MBTA Commuter Rail
The MBTA Commuter Rail system serves as the commuter rail arm of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's transportation coverage of Greater Boston in the United States. Trains run over 398 miles of track to 137 different stations, with 58 stations on the north side with the remaining 79 stations on the south, it is operated under contract by Keolis, which took over operations on July 1, 2014 from the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company. The system is the sixth-busiest commuter rail system in the U. S. behind the three New York areas, Chicago area, Philadelphia area systems, is tied for fifth-busiest with Philadelphia's SEPTA Regional Rail in terms of weekday ridership. The line's characteristic purple-trimmed coaches operate as far south as North Kingstown, Rhode Island, as far north as Newburyport and as far west as Fitchburg, both in Massachusetts. Trains originate at two major terminals in Boston — South Station and North Station — both transportation hubs offering connections to Amtrak, local bus, intercity bus via South Station Bus Terminal, subway lines, but with as yet no passenger rail infrastructure directly connecting them, other than the existing MBTA subway lines.
MassDOT is entering into a study phase of the North–South Rail Link, which would provide a solution to the problem. In the second quarter of 2017, daily weekday ridership was 122,000. No lines feed into both the South Stations; the following lines terminate at South Station: Greenbush Line Old Colony Lines, consisting of: Kingston/Plymouth Line Middleborough/Lakeville Line Fairmount Line Providence/Stoughton Line Franklin Line Needham Line Framingham/Worcester LineThe following lines terminate at North Station: Fitchburg Line Lowell Line Haverhill Line Newburyport/Rockport Line The Commonwealth of Massachusetts's involvement with the operating facets of commuter rail began in 1967 when the Boston & Maine Railroad petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue all passenger services. Service north of the state line was discontinued, but most service in Massachusetts was preserved through a contract between the Commonwealth and the B&M, at this time still an independent railroad company.
The Commonwealth and MBTA began to purchase several lines, like the Lowell Line between Somerville and Wilmington, from the B&M. In 1969 the B&M transported 24,000 passengers every weekday on four separate routes, its yearly deficit was US$3.2 million. A pool of 86 Budd Rail Diesel Cars provided the service. B&M filed for bankruptcy protection in 1970. All remaining B&M commuter assets, with the exception of yard tracks and freight-only branches, were sold to the Commonwealth on December 14, 1976, though B&M was contracted to operate the service using its existing fleet of diesel railcars; the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, the long-time operator of most South Station commuter trains, filed for bankruptcy for the last time in 1961. Two years earlier in 1959, the railroad had discontinued passenger service on the Old Colony division in southeastern Massachusetts. On July 28, 1965, the MBTA signed an agreement with the New Haven Railroad to purchase 11 miles of the former Old Colony mainline from Fort Point Channel to South Braintree in order to construct a new rapid transit line along the corridor.
The line was expected to be completed within two years. The agreement provided for the MBTA to subsidize commuter service on the railroad's remaining commuter rail lines for $1.2 million annually. The NH was included in the Penn Central Transportation Company merger in 1968, which itself filed bankruptcy in 1970. MBTA purchased many PC southside commuter lines on January 27, 1973, including the Providence/Stoughton Line as far as the Rhode Island border plus the branch to Stoughton, the Franklin Line and Needham Line and the Framingham/Worcester Line from Riverside to Framingham, as well as a number of abandoned lines and lines without passenger service including the Old Colony mainline from Boston to Braintree and the Plymouth/Kingston Line. PC merged into Conrail on April 1, 1976; the MBTA purchased the Fairmount Line to restore it for passenger service as a bypass during Southwest Corridor reconstruction. The Framingham/Worcester Line part of the Boston & Albany Railroad, was merged into the New York Central Railroad and its ownership subsequently passed to PC in 1968.
As part of the Massachusetts Turnpike Boston Extension's construction in the 1960s, the Worcester Line's roadbed between Route 128 and Boston was sold to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, with the provison that the control of the railroad remain with NYC. Conrail inherited the line which formed a vital freight artery between Boston's Beacon Yard and Conrail's Selkirk Yard; the Riverside-Framingham section was sold to the MBTA in 1976 as part of their larger acquisition of PC commuter assets, but the section past Framingham remained in Conrail control. In September 2009, Conrail successor CSX Transportation and the Commonwealth finalized a $100 million agreement to purchase CSX's Framingham to Worcester tracks, as well as the Grand Junction Railroad plus lines which will be part of the South Coast Rail project, to improve service on the Framingham/Worcester Line. After several years of construction and negotiations, ownership of the line was transferred to the commonwealth on October 4, 2012, with increased service on the outer section of the line beginning several weeks later.
The Northeast Rail Service Act of 1981 compelled Conrail to transfer operations of all pa
Lowell is a city in the U. S. Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Located in Middlesex County, Lowell was a county seat until Massachusetts disbanded county government in 1999. With an estimated population of 109,945 in 2014, it is the fourth-largest city in Massachusetts, the second-largest in the Boston metropolitan statistical area; the city is part of a smaller Massachusetts statistical area called Greater Lowell, as well as New England's Merrimack Valley region. Incorporated in 1826 to serve as a mill town, Lowell was named after Francis Cabot Lowell, a local figure in the Industrial Revolution; the city became known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution, due to a large series of textile mills and factories. Many of the Lowell's historic manufacturing sites were preserved by the National Park Service to create Lowell National Historical Park. During the Cambodian genocide, the city took in an influx of refugees, leading to a Cambodia Town and America's second-largest Cambodian-American population.
Lowell is home to two institutions of higher education. Founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles, Lowell is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 miles northwest of Boston in what was once the farming community of East Chelmsford, Massachusetts; the so-called Boston Associates, including Nathan Appleton and Patrick Tracy Jackson of the Boston Manufacturing Company, named the new mill town after their visionary leader, Francis Cabot Lowell, who had died five years before its 1823 incorporation. As Lowell's population grew, it acquired land from neighboring towns, diversified into a full-fledged urban center. Many of the men who composed the labor force for constructing the canals and factories had immigrated from Ireland, escaping the poverty and Potato Famines of the 1830s and 1840s; the mill workers, young single women called Mill Girls came from the farm families of New England. By the 1850s, Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States.
The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy, yet the city did not finish raw materials produced in the American South, but rather became involved in the South in another way, too. Many of the coarse cottons produced in Lowell returned to the South to clothe enslaved people, according to historian Sven Beckert, "'Lowell' became the generic term slaves used to describe coarse cottons." The city continued to thrive as a major industrial center during the 19th century, attracting more migrant workers and immigrants to its mills. Next were the Catholic Germans, followed by a large influx of French Canadians during the 1870s and 1880s. Waves of immigrants included Portuguese, Lithuanians, Swedes and eastern European Jews, they came to work in Lowell and settled in ethnic neighborhoods, with the city's population reaching 50% foreign-born by 1900. By the time World War I broke out in Europe, the city had reached its economic and population peak of over 110,000 people.
The Mill Cities' manufacturing base declined as companies began to relocate to the South in the 1920s. The city fell into hard times, was referred to as a "depressed industrial desert" by Harper's Magazine in 1931, as the Great Depression worsened. At this time, more than one-third of its population was "on relief", as only three of its major textile corporations remained active. Several years the mills were reactivated, making parachutes and other military necessities for the World War II effort. However, this economic boost was short-lived and the post-war years saw the last textile plants close. In the 1970s, Lowell became part of the Massachusetts Miracle, being the headquarters of Wang Laboratories. At the same time, Lowell became home to thousands of new immigrants, many from Cambodia, following the genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge; the city continued focusing more on culture. The former mill district along the river was restored and became part of the Lowell National Historical Park, founded in the late 1970s.
Although Wang went bankrupt in 1992, the city continued its cultural focus by hosting the nation's largest free folk festival, the Lowell Folk Festival, as well as many other cultural events. This effort began to attract other families back to the urban center. Additional historic manufacturing and commercial buildings were adapted as residential units and office space. By the 1990s, Lowell had built a new ballpark and arena, which became home to two minor league sports teams, the Lowell Devils and Lowell Spinners; the city began to have a larger student population. The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Middlesex Community College expanded their programs and enrollment. During the period of time when Lowell was part of the Massachusetts Miracle, the Lowell City Development Authority created a Comprehensive Master Plan which included recommendations for zoning adaptations within the city; the city's original zoning code was adopted in 1926 and was revised in 1966 and 2004, with changes included to respond to concerns about overdevelopment.
In 2002, in lieu of updating the Comprehensive Master Plan, more broad changes were recommended so that the land use and development would be consistent with the current master plan. The most significant revision to the 1966 zoning code is the adoption of an inclusion of a transect-based zoning code and some aspects of a form-based code style of zoning that emphasizes urban design elements as a means to ensure that infill development will respect the character of the neighborhood or district in question. By 2004, the recommended zoning changes were unanim
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999; the city is the economic and cultural anchor of a larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area, this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, founded on the Shawmut Peninsula in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England, it was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Siege of Boston.
Upon gaining U. S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub as well as a center for education and culture. The city has expanded beyond the original peninsula through land reclamation and municipal annexation, its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year. Boston's many firsts include the United States' first public park, first public or state school and first subway system; the Boston area's many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education, including law, medicine and business, the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship, with nearly 2,000 startups. Boston's economic base includes finance and business services, information technology, government activities. Households in the city claim the highest average rate of philanthropy in the United States; the city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States as it has undergone gentrification, though it remains high on world livability rankings.
Boston's early European settlers had first called the area Trimountaine but renamed it Boston after Boston, England, the origin of several prominent colonists. The renaming on September 7, 1630, was by Puritan colonists from England who had moved over from Charlestown earlier that year in quest for fresh water, their settlement was limited to the Shawmut Peninsula, at that time surrounded by the Massachusetts Bay and Charles River and connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The peninsula is thought to have been inhabited as early as 5000 BC. In 1629, the Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor John Winthrop led the signing of the Cambridge Agreement, a key founding document of the city. Puritan ethics and their focus on education influenced its early history. Over the next 130 years, the city participated in four French and Indian Wars, until the British defeated the French and their Indian allies in North America. Boston was the largest town in British America until Philadelphia grew larger in the mid-18th century.
Boston's oceanfront location made it a lively port, the city engaged in shipping and fishing during its colonial days. However, Boston stagnated in the decades prior to the Revolution. By the mid-18th century, New York City and Philadelphia surpassed Boston in wealth. Boston encountered financial difficulties as other cities in New England grew rapidly. Many of the crucial events of the American Revolution occurred near Boston. Boston's penchant for mob action along with the colonists' growing distrust in Britain fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city; when the British government passed the Stamp Act in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of Andrew Oliver, the official tasked with enforcing the Act, Thomas Hutchinson the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists; this did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the Boston Massacre, the army killed several people in response to a mob in Boston.
The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America. In 1773, Britain passed the Tea Act. Many of the colonists saw the act as an attempt to force them to accept the taxes established by the Townshend Acts; the act prompted the Boston Tea Party, where a group of rebels threw an entire shipment of tea sent by the British East India Company into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a key event leading up to the revolution, as the British government responded furiously with the Intolerable Acts, demanding compensation for the lost tea from the rebels; this led to the American Revolutionary War. The war began in the area surrounding Boston with the Battles of Concord. Boston itself was besieged for a year during the Siege of Boston, which began on April 19, 1775; the New England militia impeded the movement of the British Army. William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe the commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, led the British army in the siege.
On June 17, the British captured the Charlestown peninsula in Boston, during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The British army outnumbered the militia stationed there, but it was a Py
North Andover, Massachusetts
North Andover is a town in Essex County, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 28,352. North Andover is a town in Massachusetts; the lands south of the Merrimack River around Lake Cochichewick and the Shawsheen River were set aside by the Massachusetts General Court in 1634 for the purpose of creating an inland plantation. The Cochichewick Plantation, as it was called, was purchased on May 6, 1646 when Reverend John Woodbridge, who had settled the land for the English, paid Pennacook chief Cutshmache six pounds and a coat for the lands; the plantation was incorporated as Andover, most in honor of the hometown of many early residents, Hampshire, England. The town was centered in what is now North Andover, but the spread of settlement south and west of the old town center created much conflict in the early years about the location of the parish church. In 1709, the matter was brought to the General Court, which set aside two parish churches and south; the parishes grew apart as the years went on and on April 7, 1855, the North parish separated from the south and was incorporated as North Andover.
There are several first period houses still standing in town. The oldest house is the Bridges House, relocated from Marbleridge Road to Court Street in 2001. Other first period houses include the Stevens House on Great Pond Road. No house in North Andover has been scientifically dated by dendrochronology, so dates are based on stylistic elements, original deeds, tradition; the North Parish Church on the North Andover Green is a historic church building built in 1836. It was the 5th meetinghouse of the Puritan church congregation founded in 1645 in North Andover. In about 1836 the congregation chose to become a Unitarian church and commissioned this Gothic building. North Andover's development was varied, with much of the land along the Shawsheen and Merrimack being concerned with industry, the lands southwest being more agricultural. Several mills were located in the town, as well as the Western Electric Company, AT&T's manufacturing division, which supplied telephone machinery for many years before it was split up by AT&T into the new company, Lucent Technologies.
Today North Andover is considered a bedroom community of the greater Boston area. In January 2018, voters turned down a proposal for a cannabis-growing and research facility in the former Lucent Technologies building, along the Merrimack River; the town meeting vote was 1,430 against having recreational marijuana facilities and 1,155 voted in favor. The growing and research facility would have brought the town $100 million over a 20-year period. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 27.8 square miles, of which 26.3 square miles is land and 1.4 square miles, or 5.18%, is water. The town lies to the south of the Merrimack River, which makes up part of its northwest boundary, along with the Shawsheen River; the northeast quadrant of town is dominated by Lake Cochichewick, bordered by the Osgood Hill Reservation, Weir Hill Reservation and the Reas Pond Conservation Area. The town is home to portions of Harold Parker State Forest, Boxford State Forest and the Charles W. Ward Reservation.
There are many brooks and ponds dotting the town. North Andover lies in the northwestern portion of Essex County, with a small corner of the town bordering Middlesex County, it is bordered by Andover to the west, Lawrence to the north, Haverhill to the northeast, Boxford to the east, Middleton to the southeast, North Reading to the southwest. North Andover's Old Center, closer to the geographic center of town than its newer town center, is located 3.5 miles southeast of Lawrence's city center, is 25 miles north of Boston and 30 miles southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire. A small portion of Interstate 495 crosses through town along the Lawrence border, with one exit within town and two more providing access to the highway; the town lies along Massachusetts Route 114, known as the "Salem Turnpike," and is served by Route 125 and Route 133, which are concurrent for much of their routes within town. The town is served by the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority bus line; the nearest train station is located in Lawrence, where the Lawrence stop along the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail lies.
North Andover is home to the Lawrence Municipal Airport, providing small aircraft service to the region. The nearest national service, at Logan International Airport and Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, is within a thirty-mile ride of the town; as of the census of 2000, there were 27,202 people, 9,724 households, 6,904 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,020.7 inhabitants per square mile. There were 9,943 housing units at an average density of 373.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 93.67% White, 0.72% African American, 0.05% Native American, 3.96% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.74% from other races, 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population. There were 9,724 households out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.0% were no
Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England encompassing the municipality of Boston, the capital of the U. S. state of Massachusetts, the most populous city in New England, as well as its surrounding areas. The region forms the northern arc of the US northeast megalopolis and as such, Greater Boston can be described either as a metropolitan statistical area, or as a broader combined statistical area; the MSA consists of most of the eastern third of Massachusetts, excluding the South Coast region and Cape Cod. While the small footprint of the city of Boston itself only contains an estimated 685,094, the urbanization has extended well into surrounding areas; some of Greater Boston's most well-known contributions involve the region's higher education and medical institutions. Greater Boston has been influential upon American industry; the region and the state of Massachusetts are global leaders in biotechnology, higher education and maritime trade. Over 80% of Massachusetts' population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan region.
Greater Boston is ranked tenth in population among US metropolitan statistical areas, home to 4,732,161 people as of the 2014 US Census estimate, sixth among combined statistical areas, with a population of 8,099,575. The area has hosted many people and sites significant to American culture and history American literature and the American Revolution. Plymouth was the site of the first colony in New England, founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution; the Greater Boston region has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, the region was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U.
S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Boston. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the Boston region, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, whose Law School has spawned a contemporaneous majority of United States Supreme Court Justices. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world; the most restrictive definition of the Greater Boston area is the region administered by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
The MAPC is a regional planning organization created by the Massachusetts legislature to oversee transportation infrastructure and economic development concerns in the Boston area. The MAPC includes 101 towns that are grouped into eight subregions; these include most of the area within the region's outer circumferential highway, I-495. In 2013, the population of the MAPC district was 3.2 million, 48% of the total population of Massachusetts, in an area of 1,422 square miles, of which 39% is forested and an additional 11% is water, wetland, or other open space. The eight subregions and their principal towns are: Inner Core, MetroWest, North Shore, North Suburban, South Shore, SouthWest, Three Rivers. Notably excluded from the MAPC and its partner planning body, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, are the Merrimack Valley cities of Lowell and Haverhill, much of Plymouth County, all of Bristol County. Bristol County is part of the Greater Boston CSA, as part of the Providence MSA.
The urbanized area surrounding Boston serves as the core of a definition used by the US Census Bureau known as the New England city and town area. The set of towns containing the core urbanized area plus surrounding towns with strong social and economic ties to the core area is defined as the Boston–Cambridge–Nashua, MA–NH Metropolitan NECTA; the Boston NECTA is further subdivided into several NECTA divisions. The Boston and Peabody NECTA divisions together correspond to the MAPC area; the total population of the Boston NECTA was 4,540,941. Boston–Cambridge–Newton, MA NECTA Division Framingham, MA NECTA Division Peabody–Salem–Beverly, MA NECTA Division Brockton–Bridgewater–Easton, MA NECTA Division Haverhill–Newburyport–Amesbury, MA–NH NECTA Division Lawrence–Methuen–Salem, MA–NH NECTA Division (part of Merrimack V
Chelmsford is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts in the United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 33,802. Only 48.4% are male and the median age of residents in Chelmsford is 39.2 years old. It is located 24 miles northwest of Boston and, bordering on the city of Lowell, is part of the Greater Lowell metropolitan area. Besides Lowell on its northeast, Chelmsford is surrounded by four towns: Tyngsborough to the north, Billerica to the southeast, Carlisle to the south, Westford to the west. Chelmsford is bordered by two sizable rivers: the Merrimack River to the north, the Concord River to the east. Named after Chelmsford, England, the town was incorporated in May 1655 by an act of the Massachusetts General Court; when Chelmsford was incorporated, its local economy was fueled by lumber mills, limestone quarries and kilns. The farming community of East Chelmsford was incorporated as Lowell in the 1820s. Chelmsford experienced a drastic increase in population between 1950 and 1970, coinciding with the connection of U.
S. Route 3 in Lowell to Massachusetts Route 128 in the 1950s and the extension of U. S. Route 3 from Chelmsford to New Hampshire in the 1960s. Chelmsford has a representative town meeting form of government; the current town manager is Paul Cohen. The town has one public high school – Chelmsford High School, ranked among the top 500 schools in the nation – as well as two middle schools, four elementary schools; the charter middle school started in Chelmsford became a regional charter school covering grades 5 through 12, now located in Tyngsborough. Chelmsford high school age students have the option of attending the Nashoba Valley Technical High School, located in Westford. In 2011, Chelmsford was declared the 28th best place to live in the United States by Money magazine. Settlers from the adjacent communities of Woburn and Concord founded Chelmsford. An act of the Massachusetts General Court in the last week of May 1655 town incorporated Chelmsford, it was named after Chelmsford, England; the nearby communities of Groton and Billerica were incorporated at the same time.
Chelmsford contained the neighboring town of Westford, parts of Carlisle, a large part of Lowell. Both the Middlesex Canal and Middlesex Turnpike, major transportation routes, were built through Chelmsford in the first part of the 19th century; the Chelmsford militia played a role in the American Revolution at the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill. The town's own Lieutenant Colonel Moses Parker fought on the hill, he was wounded and captured, died from his wounds on July 4, 1775. The Lieutenant Colonel Moses Parker Middle School honors his name, the lobby displays a representation of the man, he is depicted in the John Trumbull painting The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775 and in a painting in the Bunker Hill Museum. Captain Benjamin Walker of this town was killed in this battle. Ralph Waldo Emerson opened a school in Chelmsford in 1825, closing it after a few months to take over his brother's school in Roxbury. Chelmsford was the birthplace of the Chelmsford Spring Co. in 1901, which became the Chelmsford Ginger Ale Company, acquired by Canada Dry in 1928.
The ginger ale plant, rebuilt in 1912 after a disastrous fire consumed the original plant, stood on Route 110 until its demolition in 1994. The Chelmsford brand of golden ginger ale continued to be manufactured by Canada Dry for decades, it is manufactured by Polar Beverages for DeMoulas/Market Basket supermarkets, based out of neighboring Tewksbury. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.2 square miles, of which 22.6 square miles is land and 0.5 square miles, or 2.29%, is water. Chelmsford is bordered by two sizable rivers: the Merrimack River to the north, the Concord River to the east. Chelmsford consists of several neighborhoods. In addition to the town center, smaller areas include South Chelmsford, West Chelmsford, East Chelmsford, North Chelmsford and The Westlands. North Chelmsford, an industrial village, is distinct from the rest of the town to the extent that it has many of its own town services; the northern parts of Chelmsford tend to be more urban and densely populated, while the south is more rural.
Like much of the rest of Massachusetts, Chelmsford has a humid continental climate according to the Köppen climate classification. Summers are warm and humid, while winters tend to be cold and snowy; the level of precipitation is consistent throughout the year. As of the US census of 2000, there were 33,858 people, 12,812 households, 9,301 families residing in the town; the population density was 1,495.0 people per square mile. There were 13,025 housing units at an average density of 575.1 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 93.09% White, 0.79% African American, 0.07% Native American, 4.62% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population. There were 12,812 households out of which 34.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.4% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older.
The average household size was 2.61 and the average fami
The Haverhill Line is a branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, running north from downtown Boston, Massachusetts through the cities and towns of Malden, Wakefield, Wilmington, North Andover and Haverhill. A station stop exists at Oak Grove in Malden, but this stop is only used when Orange Line rapid transit service is disrupted; until 1959, the Boston and Maine Railroad operated commuter service along its Western Route from Haverhill and Reading to Boston. In 1959 the section from Reading to Wilmington Junction became freight-only, Haverhill commuter trains as well as intercity service from New Hampshire and Maine were rerouted over the Wildcat Branch and the lower Lowell Line. Salem Street stop on the Wildcat Branch opened to replace North Wilmington on the mainline; the MBTA was formed in August 1964 to fund Boston's transit system. In December 1964, the MBTA signed a contract to subsidize B&M commuter service within the MBTA funding district. On January 4, the B&M discontinued most interstate service, with a single commuter-oriented round trip to Dover, New Hampshire, the only such service remaining on the Western Route.
On January 18, the B&M cut back commuter service to the MBTA-subsidized area. The Wakefield Junction stop on the Reading Line was discontinued at this time. On June 30, 1967, the B&M ended all interstate service; the Dover trip was cut back to Haverhill, funded by the towns of Haverhill, North Andover and Andover. The Salem Street stop was discontinued at this time. In September 1973, the MBTA purchased the Western Route between Somerville and Wilmington Junction, with the intent to replace all Reading Line service with the Haymarket North Extension of the rapid transit Orange Line. However, local opposition to the extension - in Melrose, where rapid transit conversion would have required the elimination of grade crossings blocking important east-west local roads - and funding issues meant that the Orange Line only reached Oak Grove. A single track was retained for Reading Line service to Melrose and Reading. Pearl Street station in Malden closed on December 27, 1975 concurrent with the opening of the Orange Line's Malden Center station.
The towns along the single Haverhill trip dropped funding one by one. Service to North Andover ended in November 1974, to Shawsheen and Ballardvale in November 1975 after Andover withdrew; the round trip, by stopping just at Lawrence and Haverhill, was ended in June 1976. The MBTA bought all B&M commuter equipment and lines on December 27, 1976, including the Western Route from Wilmington Junction to the New Hampshire border. Despite the passenger cutbacks, the upper Western Route remained in use by freight. During the 1979 energy crisis, the MBTA restored service to much of the outer northside lines, including trains to Fitchburg and for a time Gardner on the Fitchburg Line, short-lived service to Concord via the Lowell Line. Weekday service was restored to Haverhill via Reading with funding from the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority on December 17, 1979. Station stops resumed at North Wilmington, Andover, Lawrence and Haverhill but not North Andover. Weekend service to Haverhill began on April 27, 1980.
On January 20, 1984, a fire destroyed the wooden trestles approaching the Charles River Bridge. Haverhill/Reading Line trains ran to the normally-unused platform at Oak Grove for transfer to the Orange Line during the disruption. Oak Grove was discontinued as a regular stop when North Station and the drawbridges reopened on April 20, 1985, but the platform at Malden Center was permanently reopened for transfer purposes. On December 14, 2001, Amtrak's Downeaster service began operating from Boston to Maine; the Downeaster runs via the lower Lowell Line and the Wildcat Branch the Western Route, with a stop at Haverhill. Around this time, some rush-hour Haverhill trains began using the Wildcat Branch to avoid interference from Reading local trains. On December 5, 2005, the new McGovern Transportation Center replaced the old Lawrence station; the line was shut down on weekends in September through December 2017 for the installation of Positive Train Control equipment in order to meet a 2020 federal deadline.
Due to the Reading line being single-tracked along the Orange Line corridor in the 1970s, most double track removed north of Wilmington after the 1976 discontinuation, the Haverhill Line has the most single track on the MBTA system. In early 2009, the MBTA began planning the addition of double track between Reading and Ballardvale that summer; those plans fell through, but that year the MBTA was awarded $51.5 million of stimulus funding for a variety of projects, including $10.2 million for the addition of double track from one mile north of Ballardvale to Andover Street in Lawrence, as well as $7.2 million for signal upgrades. The double tracking will increase capacity on the section of the line shared with freight service, increasing reliability and allowing for possible travel time decreases for the Downeaster; the second track will not be extended through Ballardvale station due to limited space for a second platform, but Andover station is to receive a second platform and additional parking following the removal of a town vehicle yard.
Work started in April 2010. Due to funding issues and constr