Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:46 pm

I've already done that and it's well concealed. You'll see why. Here's a couple of pics that I grabbed off the net. Neither are mine, but unfortunately, I don't have any info to attribute them to.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:32 am

I'm confused. How dated are the pictures from this post? Does anything at all remain of the tunnels? I drove around Jeffery's Point for like an hour the other day trying to find a sign of anything even remotely close to being a ROW.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:36 am

theseaandalifesaver wrote:I'm confused. How dated are the pictures from this post? Does anything at all remain of the tunnels? I drove around Jeffery's Point for like an hour the other day trying to find a sign of anything even remotely close to being a ROW.


ROW is obliterated by new development south of Logan Airport Station on the Blue Line. Was never going to be used for transit again because the Blue Line connected to the East Boston tunnel and the BRB&L tunnels just shot to a dead-end on the docks. It's still completely intact (although has some recent development encroaching perilously close) north of Wonderland through Point of Pines, as the MBTA has owned it for almost 60 years as provision for the Blue Line extension to Lynn. It's still a routing under consideration if the extension ever gets back on track. I've heard there's a couple spots where rails are still sticking out of the ground.

Tunnel portals are still in the same derelict shape as in that photo. The East Boston Greenway trail follows the old B&A line to the docks, so these haven't been repurposed for any sort of pedestrian use. Cleanup would be a real ordeal there's so much junk in them. They don't even do tours anymore it's so dangerous.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby CarterB » Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:38 am

If you go to: http://www.bing.com/maps/#JnE9Lk4rNDIlN ... AzODA5Ng==

Bing maps and zoom in all the way on the "birds eye" satellite view, is this the South Portal of the tunnel on Jeffries Point?
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby Tracer » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:13 pm

CarterB wrote:If you go to: http://www.bing.com/maps/#JnE9Lk4rNDIlN ... AzODA5Ng==

Bing maps and zoom in all the way on the "birds eye" satellite view, is this the South Portal of the tunnel on Jeffries Point?


Yeah its there (try this link) http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/defaul ... 2&pid=5874
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:17 pm

Triker's Bing view is a good reference as to where the open portal is. It's the only portal of four that is not sealed. I believe that the one that we see here is the inbound tunnel. That square dock in front of it was the BRB&L's East Boston terminal, and was quite impressive with multiple tracks. My understanding is that the property is now owned by Massport. I have tried to gain access to the site, writing a letter for permission to the Massport Director in vain. I was going to offer a small group (@4) to come with T-Rail and myself from RRN. Also, I have said it previously that without permission, anyone would be nuts to go even close to this property. It's a secured area with guards and security cameras and the State Police have a Troop five minutes away. That's the best that could happen. The worst is that you could possibly become trapped with no way to get rescued. I agree that it's one of the few remaining artifacts left from the BRB&L era and thus fascinating, but in the words of Shakespeare (Rocky, not William), "it is what it is".

Here's a shot of the other side- the Sumner Street side, when the portals were open. This was taken during a BSRA fan trip.(Note the overhead wire hanger.) You can still see this portal off of Sumner St., albeit just the top of the arch. The City has not and will not allow building above the tunnels. Seen in the photo are a pair of eminent BSRA traction archeologists and a few local kids who were concerned that their underground fort was being discovered.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby CarterB » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:49 am

The north portals were at Sumner St? I thought they'd have been further north. Did it cross Everett Street at grade? On Google and Bing maps there appears to be a 'line of concrete' in the slope about one third the way between Sumner and Everett sticking out of the ground. Is that the top of the portal? http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... .93,,0,1.1
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:57 am

I'm still a little confused. I now understand where the tunnel begins and why I couldn't see it driving around East Boston. But if it hasn't been filled in, then it must lead somewhere. Where is the other end of the tunnel? Also, how is it possible to get trapped in there?
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:37 pm

The north portals are closest to Sumner St., and those are they that you are seeing on Google. The tunnels are about a block and a half long at 474 feet. They go northeasterly, between Marginal and Webster, on the Webster side, 474 feet to between Sumner and Everett, on the Sumner St. side. (at this location, the ROW has been filled in as it was in a trench, up to just below the top of the portals) The ROW continued outside in a trench underneath Everett St., then at grade with Maverick St., following Lamson St. all the way past Wood Island Station. It would be very easy to get trapped in there because these tunnels have been abandoned for 71 years and have had accumulated un-drained rain water and debris piled inside what can only be described at best as "not firm", and more likely "dangerous". To go in there without authorization, skill, and all the safety back-ups would be to risk criminal action as well as your life. What looks like a solid floor could turn out to be a long drop in a black abyss onto sharp metal. (You're probably also going to have a chunk taken out of you by large wharf rats who don't appreciate you invading their long-term condo.)
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:58 pm

Do any of the rails still remain new the ROW or in the tunnel?
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:04 pm

I don't think so, and if there were, I'd be very surprised. Rail = $ and there was a huge metal drive for the war effort a couple of years after the BRB&L folded.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:08 am

Was it any accident that the Blue Line was extended on the BRBL right of way? Was the right of way set aside for future use after the 1940 shut down, or did the MTA have to acquire it before building the Blue Line extension?

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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:22 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:Was it any accident that the Blue Line was extended on the BRBL right of way? Was the right of way set aside for future use after the 1940 shut down, or did the MTA have to acquire it before building the Blue Line extension?

-otto-


It was on the 1945 Boston Transit Commission expansion plan that's been a blueprint for every built and still-proposed rapid-transit extension to this day. That, the B&A Highland Branch, and the Old Colony Main from Dorchester to Braintree were all acquired in the MTA era for the Blue Line to Lynn, Green Line to Riverside, and Red Line to Braintree (South Shore construction began '66 two years after the MBTA was founded, but the extension was greenlit and the ROW purchased while it was still the MTA).

Can't find an exact date for the BRB&L purchase. Wasn't in 1940 because the operating charter on the ROW was outright abandoned and not transferred. Extension opened to Orient Heights in '52. Must've been purchased at some point between the study in '45 and '50 when construction was underway.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:27 pm

The MTA purchased the right-of-way of the BRB&L, knowing that they wanted to extend their East Boston line. I can't find the actual year of purchase either, but I'm guessing either 1947 or 1948, probably 1948, as the MTA took over in late 1947. I believe that it was a MTA purchase and not property inherited from BERy. About a year after their formation, the MTA began the extension to Orient Heights in 1948. It took four years to complete, opening in 1952. In 1954, less than two years later, the line was further extended into Revere (Wonderland). Wonderland was known as the site of an old amusement park and dance hall.
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Re: Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

Postby The EGE » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:31 pm

I come bearing information!

The Massachusetts State Library has a beautiful set of 1876 plans of the ROW - and they're all scanned and online! They show the complete right-of-way, as well as streets and property lines.

http://archives.lib.state.ma.us/handle/2452/50726

#1 and 2 are a list of gradients; #3 is a cover page, and #17 is a full-length elevation chart. From East Boston to Lynn, the order is:

6, 5, 4, 8, 7, 11, 13, 12, 15, 10, 9, 16, 14.

No sign of the Winthrop Loop on that map, though I did find this partial map.

Here's a view from Everett towards Sumner, showing the top of the portal: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&ll=42.366141,-71.031588&spn=0,0.004823&z=18&layer=c&cbll=42.366141,-71.031588&panoid=BuT-70KRFtFkWBPvbb0bxQ&cbp=12,195.18,,0,1.43
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