Framingham, MA (FRA)
The modern Framingham station serves Amtrak, MBTA commuter rail and buses. Nearby stands the historic 1885 Boston and Albany Railroad depot, designed by famed architect H.H. Richardson.
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2020): 1,083
- Facility Ownership: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
- Parking Lot Ownership: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
- Platform Ownership: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
- Track Ownership: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Amtrak passengers share Framingham’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail station with riders on the Framingham/Worcester Line. This station consists of a platform with a canopy shelter and wheel-chair accessible ramps. Constructed in the late 1990s, this stop provides a transfer point to regional transit buses as well as bicycle parking.
Standing beside the new platforms but no longer in service to rail passengers is the 1885 Boston and Albany (B & A) Railroad station building and its original fieldstone baggage room. The latter small structure sits a little distance apart from the station and now houses an ATM machine. The long, two-story Romanesque station building was designed by renowned American railroad architect, H.H. Richardson and is one of the nine stations that he designed for the B & A. This handsome building was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1975. Since the facility ceased serving railroad passengers in the late 1990s, it has been the home of several restaurants.
The B & A station’s light stone exterior walls are built in uneven courses, creating a rustic look, with likewise uneven brownstone trim around doors and windows and roofline. Two minor gables on the roof surround a central peak on both the front and back, featuring shortened Palladian windows. The central gable’s windows arch gracefully on both sides of the station and provide light to the airy room within. The rooflines of the gables meet in a downward angle on either side of the central arch and each joining is adorned by a very serious carved-stone lion’s face.
On the track side, a long porch provided shelter for late 20th century passengers with simple supports in a rustic style. An arched bow window on the track side is decorated with crown glass that provides privacy to diners within. The space in the front of the station is occupied by a central fireplace ornamented with decorative moldings and brick dentil work. The interior today has had paint stripped from its wooden bead-boarding, and many details are maintained, such as brick moldings and some tile-work. The central interior room reveals a soaring network of trusses and beams.
The station’s interior was originally divided into a general waiting room, with a ticket office, facing the central fireplace. At one end of the building there was a dining room, a buffet, a smoking room, the gentlemen’s necessaries, a serving room, and a stair to the second-floor kitchen. At the opposite end of the building there stood a small ladies’ waiting room with its own restroom, the telegraph office, package room, station agent’s office and a stairway leading to offices on the second floor. The second floor stairs and spaces have been preserved.
Framingham, 22 miles outside of Boston, was sited on a thoroughfare much used in colonial times and first settled by John Stone, who made his home on the bank of the Sudbury River in 1647. Thomas Danbury, formerly of Framlingham, Suffolk (England), received a large grant of land there some time thereafter and despite his resistance to expansion, the town was incorporated by 1700.
The city has had a history of social and political progressiveness, beginning with its citizen’s participation in the American Revolutionary War: Framingham sent two militia companies to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Prior to the American Civil War, the city was an annual gathering spot for members of the Abolitionist Movement, some of whom are well known, such as Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, and Henry David Thoreau.
The Boston and Albany Railroad came through Framingham as early as 1869, and terminated there for many years. Through a series of acquisitions, this rail line belonged to the New York Central, Penn Central, Conrail, and eventually CSXT. In 1973, MBTA acquired the tracks east of Framingham and the commuter line. Since 1975, Amtrak has operated the Lake Shore Limited on these rails. Service on the commuter line was not expanded to Worcester until 1994.
South Framingham, where the station is situated, became the commercial center of the town in the 1880s with the advent of the railroads. Eventually the district came to house Dennison Manufacturing and the former General Motors Framingham Assembly plant. Since the early 2000s, influxes of Brazilian and Hispanic immigrants have begun to revitalize the neighborhood, as has an equal influx of South Asian immigrants.
East Framingham has become a major retail outlet for this part of the state. In addition to retail, a number of other organizations are located there: the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have facilities there. Boston Scientific is headquartered in nearby Natick, and BJ’s Wholesale Club is likewise headquartered in the city.
Platform with Shelter
- ATM available
- Quik-Trak kiosks not available
- No ticket sales office
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- No checked baggage service
- No checked baggage storage
- Bike boxes not available
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- Bag storage not available
- Shipping boxes not available
- No baggage assistance
- Same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Overnight parking is not available
- Accessible platform
- No restrooms
- No accessible ticket office
- No accessible waiting room
- No accessible water fountain
- Accessible same-day parking is available; fees may apply
- Accessible overnight parking is not available
- High platform
- No wheelchair
- No wheelchair lift