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Green Line "C" Branch
Beacon Street Branch

Boeing Vertol USSLRV #3523 bound for Cleveland Circle, August 2005.
Type Light rail
System MBTA
Locale Greater Boston
Termini North Station
Cleveland Circle
Stations 22
Daily ridership 14,522 (1995 typical weekday, surface boardings only)[1]
Opened 1889
Owner MBTA
Operator(s) MBTA
Character Underground (Kenmore and eastward)
Grade-separated ROW (west of Kenmore)
Rolling stock Kinki Sharyo Type 7
Ansaldobreda Type 8
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)

The "C" Branch, also called the Beacon Street Branch or Cleveland Circle Branch, is one of the streetcar/light rail lines that runs into the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's Green Line subway in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The surface section is in the median of Beacon Street, splitting from the "B" and "D" Branches at Kenmore before surfacing onto Beacon Street via the St. Marys Street Incline. At the other end of the route is Cleveland Circle, a short walk from Reservoir on the "D" Branch and Chestnut Hill Avenue on the "B" Branch. On the other side of Kenmore, "C" trains run through the Boylston Street Subway and Tremont Street Subway, reversing direction at North Station as of November 2005.


Traffic Signals

As of December 2007, the traffic signals on Beacon Street in Brookline could be optimized to make the Green Line run faster, but the MBTA which would be expected to pay for the streetcar sensors does not see any benefit in coming up with the money.[1] The Boston Globe has published letters from riders who are in favor of these sensors[2], a letter from the MBTA spokesperson arguing that a major study is needed before the MBTA spends money[3], and a letter arguing that the T's spokesperson is giving too many excuses.[4] As of January 2008, the MBTA is hiring a consultant to study the issue.[5]


The first tracks on Beacon Street were laid in 1888, running from Massachusetts Avenue west to Coolidge Corner. The next year the rest of the line to Cleveland Circle opened, with access to the Reservoir Carhouse. In 1889, the first electric streetcar route (see Green Line "A" Branch) used Beacon Street from Coolidge Corner east to Mass Avenue, then ran south on Mass Avenue and east on Boylston Street to Park Square. That same year the line on Beacon Street to Cleveland Circle was electrified.

Another connection to the Beacon Street line was provided at Washington Square; streetcars came from Brookline Village along Washington Street and turned west on Beacon Street. This line was later extended north on Chestnut Hill Avenue and west on Commonwealth Avenue to Boston College, and was the predecessor of the 65 bus route.

On September 1, 1897, the Tremont Street Subway opened, and then or soon after Beacon Street service began to run into it via the Boylston Street Portal at the Public Garden, turning around at Park Street. On October 3, 1914, the Boylston Street Subway extended the underground portion to the Kenmore Incline just east of Kenmore Square, and the underground Kenmore and the St. Marys Street Incline extended it west on October 23, 1932.

Until 1967, when it was named the "C" Branch, the Beacon Street route had the map number 61.

Beacon Street service was extended from Park Street to Lechmere on February 7, 1931. Since then, Beacon Street service has had the following east terminals:

  • November 20, 1961: cut back from Lechmere to North Station all but Sundays
  • March 25, 1967: extended to Lechmere all times
  • June-September 1968: cut back to Government Center Sundays, restored to Lechmere afterwards
  • March 21, 1980: cut back to Government Center all but rush hours
  • June 21, 1980: extended to Lechmere all times
  • April 4, 1981: cut back to Park Street
  • June 26, 1982: extended to Government Center
  • July 30, 1983: extended to North Station
  • March 28, 1997: cut back to Government Center
  • January 1, 2005: extended to North Station

Station listing

Station Location Time to Park Street[2] Transfers and notes
Handicapped/disabled access St. Marys Street Beacon Street at St. Marys Street, Brookline 19 minutes no MBTA parking
Hawes Street Beacon Street at Hawes Street, Brookline 20 minutes no MBTA parking
Kent Street Beacon Street at Powell Street, Brookline 21 minutes no MBTA parking
St. Paul Street Beacon Street at St. Paul Street, Brookline 22 minutes no MBTA parking
Handicapped/disabled access Coolidge Corner Beacon Street at Harvard Street, Brookline 24 minutes 66 Bus to Harvard Square
Summit Avenue Commonwealth Avenue at Summit Avenue, Brookline 25 minutes no MBTA parking
Brandon Hall Beacon Street across from Brandon Hall, Brookline 26 minutes no MBTA parking
Fairbanks Beacon Street at Fairbanks Avenue, Brookline 27 minutes no MBTA parking
Handicapped/disabled access Washington Square Beacon Street at Washington Street, Brookline 28 minutes 65 Bus to Kenmore Square
Tappan Street Beacon Street at Tappan Street, Brookline 29 minutes no MBTA parking
Dean Road Beacon Street at Dean Road, Brookline 30 minutes no MBTA parking
Englewood Avenue Beacon Street at Englewood Avenue, Brookline 31 minutes no MBTA parking
Handicapped/disabled access Cleveland Circle Beacon Street at Chestnut Hill Avenue, Brighton 32 minutes walking distance to Reservoir station and nearby restaurants and attractions

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ Association for Public Transportation, Car-Free in Boston, A Guide for Locals and Visitors, 10th ed. (2003), p. 117.



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