Old Readville shops

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Old Readville shops

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:00 pm

Is it true that the Readville shops used to be off the NEC and not where it is now? I vaguely remember that as a kid, but can't seem to find any pictures or info anywhere.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby CarterB » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:27 pm

Far as I know always in same location, before that site of "Camp Meigs" Civil War training camp.

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ma1240.photos.076620p/
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/hh ... s.076621p/
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:13 pm

There have been two different shops at Readville. The original New Haven shops were situated on the west side of the junction, filling up that entire space between the Midland Division (Franklin Line) and the abandoned branch to Dedham Center. Part of that space has been redeveloped, but the rest is still railroad property. IIRC Amtrak has plans to eventually build a new maintenance facility there.

The MBTA's Readville Shop only dates back a few decades, and afaik there was no railroad use of that property before it was built.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby JBConn » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:23 pm

Love the Library of Congress photos, really enjoy that sort of thing myself.

It appears to me that the two LOC photos shown point to a location off of what is now "Industrial Drive" in Hyde Park/Readville, where I recall a large yard where my Brothers and I used to ride on our bikes in the early 1970s. The long building in the background appears to still be there. The railroad buildings seem to have been there as recently as 2001, but now it's a large schoolbus yard. See the following site for some comparisons of old aerials:

http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials. ... &year=1969

Even in the 1970s, the yard and buildings ewre in rough shape, if I recall correctly.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:32 pm

The original New Haven RR Readville shops, west of the NEC mainline between the Midland and Dedham lines, were closed in the late 1950s when the railroad centralized its heavy shop work at New Haven. But as others have noted, the old brick buildings survived quite a while longer. The NH also had an unloading facility for auto racks in that area that was active until at least the time the railroad was absorbed into Penn Central, and some of the shop tracks were used for miscellaneous car storage at least through the end of the 1960s.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby MarkB » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:09 am

Here's a view of the Readville shops in 1912. The Boston/Providence line is at the bottom right, the old Dedham branch runs towards the upper left, and the Franklin line runs towards the lower left. I believe that the first shop required trains to cut under the Franklin line to reach what is labeled Boiler Shop in this image. The buildings on the other side of the Franklin like are supposed to have been built later.

When I moved to Dedham in 1971, Burtman Iron Works was still in the old shop building towards the back of the property. They're long gone. The Boston Public School contractor has been keeping buses down there for years, and there's a tow yard below the Sprague st bridge now. Boston and Dedham have been in conflict over the development of the property for years. The only access from Dedham is across a road that has always been a dead end, so the abuttors want nothing built/no traffic. Mumbles wants affordable housing, the Town of Dedham wants jobs and taxes with no kids to fill up the schools. And of course, the soil was full of noxious substances, so there have been battles about trucking/training it out. So nothing gets done.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby elecuyer » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:20 am

Any way to get a link to the full copy (non-cropped) version of that map?
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:40 am

MarkB wrote:Here's a view of the Readville shops in 1912. The Boston/Providence line is at the bottom right, the old Dedham branch runs towards the upper left, and the Franklin line runs towards the lower left. I believe that the first shop required trains to cut under the Franklin line to reach what is labeled Boiler Shop in this image. The buildings on the other side of the Franklin like are supposed to have been built later.

When I moved to Dedham in 1971, Burtman Iron Works was still in the old shop building towards the back of the property. They're long gone. The Boston Public School contractor has been keeping buses down there for years, and there's a tow yard below the Sprague st bridge now. Boston and Dedham have been in conflict over the development of the property for years. The only access from Dedham is across a road that has always been a dead end, so the abuttors want nothing built/no traffic. Mumbles wants affordable housing, the Town of Dedham wants jobs and taxes with no kids to fill up the schools. And of course, the soil was full of noxious substances, so there have been battles about trucking/training it out. So nothing gets done.


The soil was finally remediated over the last year with money attached to the Fairmount improvements project. I believe it's either all done or in wrap-up phase. The T's planting grass in the center of the loop to keep it looking presentable until they figure out what to do with it.

The remediation was only up to RR zoning level, and the T has repeatedly said that the only use it's considering (unless, of course, somebody wants to overpay for the land) is as RR yard or other facility. Mumbles put up a good verbal showing about building multi-use whatever on the site, but no developers were interested in such a remote and inaccessible parcel and the soil remediation would've had to meet residential or commercial, not industrial/RR zoning standards for it to have been used for that purpose. So that plan wafted through like a lot of Mayoral hot air.

Amtrak's NEC Infrastructure Plan (p. 76 of PDF) calls for a new maint/storage facility to ease the Southampton crunch. Beacon Park was previously studied before the CSX sale, so Readville is now the preferred alternative for that. And I suppose if the T ever wants to run electrics they're going to need a wired-up facility to service and store them. This fits the bill. (Though I'd love to hear what the Dedham NIMBY's have to say about all those noxious "electric fumes" and godawful loud idling electric engines. Oh, the humanity! :wink: )
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:09 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: I'd love to hear what the Dedham NIMBY's have to say about all those noxious "electric fumes" and godawful loud idling electric engines. Oh, the humanity! :wink: )

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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby MarkB » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:19 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: I'd love to hear what the Dedham NIMBY's have to say about all those noxious "electric fumes" and godawful loud idling electric engines. Oh, the humanity! :wink: )


I live up the street in Dedham, a few house lots from the Amtrak line. On the other side of the tracks spur lines are still used at night, and I get to listen to locos running at 2:00 AM regularly. And we also have super-bright lights shining in our windows all night every night. I could read by them in my bedroom at night. When residents have complained, the town has told them that there's nothing they can do - the railroad has to right to use the tracks as they see fit. There is absolutely no support from the town fathers for Manor residents when it comes to trains.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby MarkB » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:24 pm

elecuyer wrote:Any way to get a link to the full copy (non-cropped) version of that map?


http://www.mapjunction.com/bra/

Choose New Flash Viewer. Allow page to load. Then:

Add Layer Group

Boston Public Library

Bromley Atlases

Hyde Park

1912 Hyde Park
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:27 pm

MarkB wrote:When residents have complained, the town has told them that there's nothing they can do - the railroad has to right to use the tracks as they see fit.

Finally! It's about time I've heard of a town realizing that the railroad was there long before any of it's residents.

As far as Amtrak making another Mechanical facility in the Readville area, I believe those plans are dead. There was talk about going into the old Stop & Shop warehouse because it already has rail, and one building already had a track going right into it. This idea was for a new High Speed Rail facility for when the Acelas are extended to 8 car sets because the current HSR building in Southampton Street only holds the standard 6 car sets.

The new plan is to re-do Southampton Street by clearing the Southwest corner of the yard of all of the trailers, and realign the yard lead to accomodate an extension of the HSR facility (Tracks 6 & 7) as well as the conventional side (Tracks 4 & 5).
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:52 pm

Just so everyone's on the same page, I'm not talking about the old pre-mbta shops.

I remember as a kid in the (later?) 90's seeing a yard off of what I now know is the NEC that I used to be able to see from Hyde Park ave. And I remember when the yard was moved to the Dorchester branch.

Any info on that?
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:17 pm

You mean the freight yard on the east side of the NEC just south of the station? That dates back to before the New Haven took over and is still used by CSX. AFAIK it's never been used by passenger trains, though.
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Re: Old Readville shops

Postby CSX Conductor » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:09 pm

Back in the early 90's there was enough business in Readville that cars were stored in 2 Yard, which is between the Dorchester Main & the current MBTA shops. If cars were stored in 2 Yard they would be visible from Hyde Park Avenue. 1 Yard is the main CSXT yard for Readville, and with business declining over the past several years, even 1 Yard is pretty bare on most days.
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