Back in January, the state Dept of Transportation released a 5 year Capital Improvement Plan that included some details of their long range vision. Those details were none too clearly spelled out but the report did include this intriguing map. The map shows a new MBTA line running from Riverside along the Mass Pike to West Station in Brighton. This new West Station would be in today’s train yard at the Mass Pike in Allston. From there, the map showed a new “Grand Junction” line running through Cambridge then back across the river to North Station. These new lines would be built around “diesel multiple units” (DMU’s) – independently powered subway vehicles running on commuter rail lines.
The first piece of that puzzle was intended to be West Station in Allston. It was going to be built as part of an upcoming project to redesign the Turnpike’s Allston exchange.
This week the Boston Globe reported that the state DOT has decided to drop West Station from the highway project. It sounds like step #1 in a future new Riverside-Brighton-Cambridge-North Station connection just got pushed back by at least a few years.