Skip to main content

MBTA Celebrates Opening of Worcester Union Station Center Platform

Posted on July 9, 2024

The new, high-level, center-running platform opened to passengers on Monday, July 1.

The center-running platform improves Union station’s functionality, ridership capacity, safety, and will be fully accessible.

Worcester Center Platform Event Photo

Today, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng, and Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty joined local elected leaders and stakeholder advocates to celebrate the newly opened center-running platform at Worcester Union Commuter Rail station on the Framingham/Worcester Line.  The new, high-level, center-running platform at Worcester Union station opened to passengers on Monday, July 1, 2024, and improves Union station’s functionality, ridership capacity, safety, and is fully accessible.

“We know how critical Union Station is for the City of Worcester – connecting our state's second largest city with communities across the state, supporting economic development in the region, and helping people get where they need to go safely and reliably,” said Governor Maura Healey. “This new platform supports increased service and increased ridership. Importantly, it also paves the way for future passenger rail expansion, including West-East Rail. We're grateful for the partnership of so many Worcester officials who helped make this possible, and congratulate the T on a job well done.”
“Investing in our transportation system means investing in our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This Worcester Commuter Rail promotes connection across the state. Investments like these are critical to moving Massachusetts forward and making sure we support everyone in the state.”

“These significant platform, track, and accessibility improvements help advance the goal of the Healey-Driscoll Administration to build infrastructure to support travel through public transportation,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “The station improvements put us on a path to accommodating increased train service between Western and Eastern Massachusetts. The infrastructure supports needs today and will be the building blocks of expanded train service in the future.”

“We are committed to rebuilding our infrastructure making our stations more welcoming and fully accessible for all. On July 1, the MBTA reopened the center platform at Union station for our Worcester passengers,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “Union station is a critical transportation hub for the Worcester community. The upgrades will ensure safe and more reliable service that allows two trains to serve the platform, which is a significant improvement to prior service that was limited to only one train at Union station. The reopening of this platform is another step forward towards improving service to the Worcester area. Thank you to the leadership of the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their focus on the MBTA and the services we provide to better enable us to deliver this critical project. I’m proud of the dedicated hard work of the MBTA Capital Delivery team and appreciate the support of the Worcester community; as we welcome you back to this new and improved platform.”

“I am grateful for the city’s partnership with the MBTA as we work toward improved access to the Commuter Rail for riders,” said Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty. “The center platform will open up greater opportunities for much-needed, expanded access to get to Boston and, eventually beyond. This center platform is just the beginning of great things we will continue to accomplish with strong collaboration.”
“This new platform is a great update for all Commuter Rail users traveling in and out of Worcester,” said City Manager Eric D. Batista. “It not only can accommodate an additional train but improves user experience and operational efficiency. Train service is an essential part of the Worcester community’s transportation network, and we thank the Healey-Driscoll administration and MBTA for its investment in the Union Station platform and look forward to continued partnership.”

The new center-island platform at Union station can accommodate two trains at the same time versus the previous single-side platform, which only accommodated one. The center-island platform improves and reduces train dwell times at the station, improves operational flexibility, and eases congestion along the Worcester Line, thereby improving the customer experience for passengers. The center platform is also high-level, making it accessible for all passengers. 

The new center-island platform and associated stairs and station canopies accommodate and provide flexibility for additional MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak Intercity Passenger Rail, including expanded West-East Rail service. Two new station access points were also constructed – a new pedestrian tunnel/concourse from the platform under the tracks to the historic station building and a new pedestrian bridge at the opposing end of the station to an expanded and modernized parking lot. Three new elevators, stairways, security, and accessibility improvements to the commuter parking area have also been accomplished.

Demolition of the old platform, tracks, and signals will continue until the end of this year. Passengers should expect to see construction activities at the station, but there will be no impact to passengers’ commutes.

The reopening of the platform joins additional transit benefits in support of the Worcester community, including the restoration of a morning express train to Boston in spring 2024 and an investment of $20 million in signal repairs this year that will enable 30-minute headways on the Worcester Line. 

Worcester’s Union station first opened in 1911 and was built by the New York Central Railroad along the Boston and Albany Railroad Main Line. The Worcester Redevelopment Authority (WRA) began renovating the station in 1994. It re-opened to passengers in July 2000, providing MBTA Commuter Rail, Amtrak Intercity Rail, and local bus service/connections. 

The previous platform was closed to passengers with a temporary platform opened in March 2022. The total budget for the project was approximately $74 million with funding from a variety of federal, MBTA, and city funding sources.


“The opening of the center-running platform at Worcester Union Station marks much-needed progress for Commuter Rail infrastructure. This enhancement will greatly improve passenger flow, reduce congestion, and provide a more efficient service for travelers across the Commonwealth. Union Station has always been a vital hub in our region, and this upgrade reaffirms our commitment to modernizing and enhancing our transit systems." -- Senator Robyn Kennedy
“The improvements at Union Station will enhance the commute for hundreds of people from Central Mass. who use the Commuter Rail. We often see Central and Western Mass. residents struggle with finding easily accessible ways to commute to the eastern part of the state. The upgrades to Union Station will certainly encourage them to explore the Commuter Rail as an option as Worcester become a more efficient option." -- Senator Peter Durant

“The opening of the center-island platform at Worcester’s Union Station reinforces the MBTA’s commitment to connecting families, workers, and tourists between Boston and the Heart of the Commonwealth with fast, frequent, and reliable service. I’m thrilled to see this project be completed, especially with critical and long-needed accessibility improvements like high-level platforms for easier boarding. Thank you to the MBTA, the City of Worcester, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for getting this project done.” -- Senator Michael Moore
“I am proud to see this crucial infrastructure investment become a reality. This project adds more flexibility and options to those commuting in and out of Worcester and complements the continued growth and investment in housing in Worcester’s core. I look forward to seeing the continued improvements to and expansion of services offered at Union Station.” -- Representative Daniel M. Donahue
“Opening another platform at Union Station is another step forward from the MBTA as we continually look to expand the capability and functionality of Worcester’s public transit offerings.” -- Representative Mary Keefe
“The completion of the center platform is a step in the right direction — toward acknowledging Worcester not just as New England’s second largest city, but as a true transportation hub for the region. Increased rail service capacity, directly connected to our fare-free bus services, makes Worcester ideal for economic investment and further expansion of rail service and routes.” -- Representative David LeBoeuf
“I applaud the MBTA’s reopening of the new center-running platform at Worcester Union Station, which stands to promote accessibility, safety, and operations during peak hours of service. Improving transportation in the Commonwealth bolsters our local economies and connects residents to other communities and industries throughout our state, and this project reinforces that impact. I look forward to continuing to work with General Manager Eng and his team to provide reliability, speed, and increased service to the greater Worcester community.” -- Representative John Mahoney

More Information

Media Contact Information

For all queries and comments, please contact:

MBTA Press Office