New Bedford station

New Bedford station (formerly Whale's Tooth) is the future terminus of the MBTA Commuter Rail's New Bedford branch of the South Coast Rail project. Located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The station will be built as part of the state's effort to extend rail service to Fall River and New Bedford. New Bedford station will be built on the former New Bedford and Taunton Railroad. The station is anticipated to open in 2023 along with the rest of South Coast Rail Phase 1.

New Bedford
New Bedford station postcard (2).jpg
An early postcard of the former New Bedford station
Location536 Acushnet Avenue
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Coordinates41°38′36.23″N 70°55′31.33″W / 41.6433972°N 70.9253694°W / 41.6433972; -70.9253694Coordinates: 41°38′36.23″N 70°55′31.33″W / 41.6433972°N 70.9253694°W / 41.6433972; -70.9253694
Line(s)New Bedford Subdivision
Platforms1 side platform (planned)
ConnectionsBus transport SRTA: 1, 2[1]
Bicycle facilities8 spaces (planned)
Disabled accessYes
Opening2023 (planned)
ClosedSeptember 5, 1958
RebuiltJune 21, 1886
Planned services
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
Terminus South Coast Rail Church Street


South Coast RailEdit

In September 2008, MassDOT released 18 potential station sites for the South Coast Rail project, including three in downtown New Bedford: Whale's Tooth (the name of a ferry parking lot) at the former station location, and State Pier at State Pier Maritime Terminal (the former steamship wharf).[2] The Whale's Tooth site was selected; a 2010 conceptual design called for a single side platform serving a single track, with a station building and bus plaza at the north end of the parking lot. The existing footbridge over Route 18 at Pearl Street would be rebuilt.[3]

On June 11, 2010, the state took ownership of the New Bedford Subdivision and several other CSX lines as part of a sale agreement.[4] Plans released as part of the Final Environmental Impact Report in 2013 placed the Wamsutta layover yard just north of the station, with a second track serving as yard access and a freight passing track. The station building and bus plaza were removed from the design; the existing footbridge would be reused.[5]

In 2017, the project was re-evaluated due to cost issues. A new proposal released in March 2017 called for early service via Middleborough by 2024, followed by full service via Stoughton by 2029.[6] In 2019, the planned station name was changed from Whale's Tooth to New Bedford for clarity.[7] By then, a new footbridge at Willis Street (a block south of the existing bridge) was added to the design.[8]

The MBTA awarded a $403.5 million contract for the Middleborough Secondary and New Bedford Secondary portions of the project, including New Bedford station, on August 24, 2020; construction was expected to begin later in 2020 and take 37 months.[9] The line is expected to open in late 2023.[10]


  1. ^ VHB/HNTB (January 31, 2018). "Chapter 2 – Alternatives Analysis". South Coast Rail Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report. Massachusetts Department of Transportation. p. 51.
  2. ^ "South Coast Rail Fact Sheet: October 2008" (PDF). South Coast Rail. October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 12, 2017.
  3. ^ "Whale's Tooth Station Plan View" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. February 3, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "The Massachusetts Rail Program" (PDF). Massachusetts Department of Transportation. June 2010. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2012.
  5. ^ "Figure 3.2-31 Whale's Tooth Station Conceptual Station Design" (PDF). Volume II: FEIS/FEIR Figures Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report on the South Coast Rail Project proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District. August 2013.
  6. ^ Dungca, Nicole (March 22, 2017). "State changes gears on Middleborough commuter rail plan". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Barnes, Jennette (September 6, 2019). "Proposed King's Highway train station moved to Church Street". South Coast Today.
  8. ^ "South Coast Rail - Phase 1: New Bedford Public Meeting". Massachusetts Department of Transportation. September 17, 2019. pp. 14–16.
  9. ^ "FMCB Approves $403.5 Million Contract for South Coast Rail Main Line Construction" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. August 24, 2020.
  10. ^ Tabakin, Jennifer (May 11, 2020). "South Coast Rail Phase 1 Update" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

External linksEdit

  Media related to New Bedford station at Wikimedia Commons