History question: Intercity passenger trains through Boston

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History question: Intercity passenger trains through Boston

Postby MEC407 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:11 pm

Not counting anything that went through Worcester: Has any intercity passenger train ever run through Boston either via the Grand Junction or via some other long forgotten branch? The operative word here is "through." Not terminating in Boston, but stopping in Boston or passing through Boston on its way to/from someplace else.
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Re: History question: Intercity passenger trains through Bos

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:33 pm

The short answer is no. The Grand Junction branch was built in the mid-19th century (1852-53) as a freight connection linking the Boston & Worcester RR with the ancestral north side railroads (Boston & Maine, Boston & Lowell, Fitchburg, Eastern) and the East Boston docks. It was originally an independent company, acquired by the B&W's successor Boston & Albany in 1869. It was built as a freight belt line and never had any regularly scheduled passenger service, although a few specials have operated on the line over the years. The other connection between the NH/B&A and B&M, the street-running Union Freight RR along Atlantic Avenue, likewise never saw any regular passenger service.
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Re: History question: Intercity passenger trains through Bos

Postby The EGE » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:47 pm

The closest was in the 1870s and 1880s, when the B&A ran trains from the East Boston immigration center and over the Grand Junction. They weren't really regular passenger service, but essentially one-way specials.

During the brief period that the New Haven controlled the B&M, the former proposed a cross-harbor rail tunnel from South Station to East Boston which would have likely carried some intercity service. After the New Haven lost control, the plan was abandoned.
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Re: History question: Intercity passenger trains through Bos

Postby MEC407 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:57 am

Thanks guys!
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Re: History question: Intercity passenger trains through Bos

Postby Aerie » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:14 am

Obviously no regularly scheduled passenger trains used the Union Freight Railroad, but I wonder if any special movements of passenger equipment did? Perhaps moving a private passenger car from BOS to BON? When I was a little kid, my dad would occasionally drive down Atlantic Ave and I'd be amazed at the trains in the middle of the street...haha.
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Re: History question: Intercity passenger trains through Bos

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:24 am

I very much doubt that passenger cars, which are longer than freight cars, would have been able to negotiate the street-radius curves on the Union Freight RR.
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