History of South Station Terminal and Boston Rail

From the departure of the first train on New Years Day in 1899 to its 1975 inclusion in The National Register for Historic Places, the South Station Train Terminal has a storied past, largely unknown to the millions of visitors who pass through its doors each year.


Detroit Photographic Co. South Station, 1899.

South Station Terminal History

The Boston Terminal Company, formed to develop South Union Station, was comprised of The New Haven Railroad, The Boston and Albany Railroad Company, The New England Railroad Company, The Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation and the Old Colony Railroad Company. Due to railroad industry consolidation, by the time of the station’s dedication, there would only be two players left out of the original group of five...


Detroit Photographic Co. Yard and Tracks, South Terminal Station, 1904.

Railway history

During the mid-1800s, the business of railroads in the United States was booming with over 29,000 miles of rail tracks in operation by 1860; a growth spurt that would continue for years to come.

With Boston at the forefront of rail development, it seemed only natural that it would become home to the largest and busiest rail center in the entire world...


1910 Souvenir postcard

The postcard and south Station

South Station was a popular post card subject for travelers and Bostonian's alike and many examples can still be found to this day - chronicling not only the historic train terminal, but the history of the postcard itself...