BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

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BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

Postby The EGE » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:11 pm

I was browsing old postcards on eBay and I found this:

Image

That's something I've never seen before - BERy operating on a dedicated right-of-way!

It turns out, along the Fellsway (now Route 28) up by Spot Pond in the Middlesex Fells reservation, BERy did have a dedicated ROW heading to Stoneham. I've never heard of it nor seen pictures before.

Zoom out a few notches on this 1946 topo and you'll see the line snaking through the woods.

The bridge in the postcard is long-gone, as I-93 crosses 28 at about that same spot. But I imagine some of the right-of-way must still exist in the reservation. Does anyone have any information about this line?
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby The EGE » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:14 pm

EBWOP: Looking at a 1925 BERy map, it appears this was the #100 line from Sullivan Square to Reading, which ran on Mystic Avenue then up the Fellsway/Route 28. One of the last streetcar lines to get converted - lasted until December 1955.
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:39 pm

I believe that the bridge in that shot is here: https://www.google.com/maps?ll=42.45145 ... 89,,0,5.95
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:43 pm

Actually, perhaps you're right. It no longer exists, but maybe it was here, over former 'Brooks Rd': https://www.google.com/maps?ll=42.44840 ... 1&t=h&z=18

The former ROW is clearly marked as a trail through the woods though.
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby The EGE » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:11 pm

I'll have to go check it out sometime. A bit of a hike from the shortened #100, but doable.
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby Charliemta » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:10 am

I think the BERY portion of the trolley line only went as far north as Elm Street, which is the present day terminus of the MBTA 100 bus. From there north to Reading, the trolley line was owned and operated by the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway.
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby The EGE » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:36 am

This map shows BERy all the way to at least Spot Pond and possibly Stoneham proper: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:BERy_1925_map.jpg
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:38 am

The 100 went only as far as Elm. The 99 went all the way to Spot Pond where it met with the Eastern Mass for parts north. Both were out of Sullivan. It must have been nice !
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby 130MM » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:36 am

The EGE wrote:The bridge in the postcard is long-gone, as I-93 crosses 28 at about that same spot. But I imagine some of the right-of-way must still exist in the reservation. Does anyone have any information about this line?


The bridge still exists, along with two other bridges -- all concrete structures. This bridge is the most southerly. The next one north is very similar to the first, but the northerly one is a large viaduct. Unfortunately, it does not show on Google earth. It is a very impressive structure. Google Earth shows the trolley right of way as the "Railroad Trail". It is a short walk from the main parking lot of the Middlesex Fells Reservation (as kids we always called it "Sheepfold") off Rt .28. To get to the parking lot you pass under the bridge in the picture. There was a crew change point, I'm not exactly sure where, near the southerly bridge where the BERy and the EMSRy swapped crews.

My memory is failing me, but I believe the line extended up to Farm Hill at Main St., Stoneham where the B&M's Stoneham Branch crossed Main St. The trolley line did not cross the B&M. I also thought, with no documentation, that service beyond Elm St. in Medford was terminated in 1940, and the track was removed as part of a WWII scrap drive. edbear, are you listening?

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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby saulblum » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:10 am

Bing Maps shows it nicely.
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Re: BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Rt 100 ended at Elm St, with a crossover for cars to reverse inbound on, while Rt 99 continued up to the Sheepfold, a point roughly due northeast (as best I can figure) from the Lower Sheepfold Parking Lot that appears on Google Maps. From the Sheepfold north to the B&M's Farm Hill station the line was operated by the Eastern Mass (which also owned the track from the Sheepfold south to the Medford town line). The line was abandoned north of Elm St on July 28, 1946, with Seashore's 4387 doing the honors.
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Re: BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

Postby jbn7474 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:47 pm

It is a cool area to explore and I went there once to check it out a long time ago. I was always warned as a kid never to go in there as it is was famous spot for homesexual activities. I was a bit weirded out when I went in there as it was evident that this activity was going on out in the open. I even got followed by a couple of dudes that didnt look like they were venturing an old right of way. I scuttled on and walked to the viaduct, but random guys were scattered about out everywhere. I kinda felt totally out of place and hustled back to my car and hauled ass outta there. I never went back, it is a shame that place is such a gay area. I have no problem with them, but everyone assumes your looking for action when you roam around in there. If you do head there be warned and definately watch your back.
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Re: BERy ROW along the Fellsway

Postby 130MM » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:11 am

saulblum wrote:Bing Maps shows it nicely.


And if one scrolls to the north (right) along the right of way, both the second bridge and the viaduct can be seen.
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Re: BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

Postby Aerie » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:12 am

In the winter when the trees are bare, the long viaduct is visible off to the left through the woods driving north on Rte 28 just about where it crosses Rte 93. It's considerably further from Rte 93/Rte 28 than the smaller bridges to the south.
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Re: BERy ROW Along The Fellsway

Postby jbvb » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:43 pm

The two northerly bridges are both visible from I-93: the high viaduct above/behind the pond and the single span arch over the road into the interior of the park. The viaduct looks like it's suffering from corrosion along the rebar, and may not be around for another 50 years, but the arch looks good. I haven't walked the trail in years, but I first scouted it by bike from Cambridge after I'd caught a glimpse while a passenger in a car.

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