Steepest Grades (Past & Present)

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: steepest grades?

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:08 pm

The Dedham Line Streetcars went to the highest point in the city (technically at the water tower but why quibble ?) on Bellevue Hill. If you're driving around there, notice the little horseshoe shaped street at the end of Maplewood and Grouse Sts. (by Speedy Mart). That was supposed to be a siding in both directions for the Dedham Line cars. I don't believe that it was ever installed as such, however when the trackless trolleys went up there, it got wired as a loop. Bellevue Hill was always a challenge to the many WEStRy, BERy, MTA, EM, and MBTA vehicles who worked there way up the long Washington St. hill, necessitating the streetcars to always require a full sand load and the buses and trackless trolleys to have chains. If there was ever a vehicle built for the challenge of slippery conditions on an incline in sub-freezing cold, it was the trackless trolleys. Boston should of made far more of them than they did.
~Paul Joyce~
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Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at
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Re: steepest grades?

Postby MarkB » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:02 pm

That was a pretty steep grade, then. Up from the Square to about Metropolitan ave, and then up to the top of the hill. There was a rock outcrop somewhere just south of Lagrange st in the middle of the road that they must have blasted out when they put in the streetcar line. There's a little loop of a street that runs in front of an apartment complex at Maplewood rd that was the old turnpike road bed.
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