Tracks on Carton St. off "C" Line

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Tracks on Carton St. off "C" Line

Postby dr_wu002 » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:18 pm

Today while walking on the Southern side of Beacon St. I noticed actual tracks and what appears to be the outline of other tracks turning down Carlton St. What is this? Could this be a long lost spur to the "D" line?

Postby jrc520 » Sat Mar 27, 2004 5:14 pm

no. there never was a spur. It's most likely a remnant of an older car line. anyone know?
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Postby efin98 » Sat Mar 27, 2004 7:24 pm

looks like it was a former street car route, probably long abandoned. off of the usual bus routes, so I wouldn't be surprised if it a was pre-MTA BERy route.
And as far as I know outside of Kenmore and Resevoir the C and D have not connected. Doubtful there would be a need to as the C was a trolley line and the D was a railroad line.

Postby bingdude » Sun Mar 28, 2004 1:58 pm

Its been 20 years but I don't remember ever seeing tracks near Carlton Street off Beacon. (There is a Synagogue on the South West side of the intersection IIRC).

Now the B,C and D lines DID connect once upon a time. Chestnut Hill Ave used to have two street running tracks that started at the Reservior station, and went past Beacon all the way up to Commonwealth. I never saw a car on it in revenue service (In fact I never ever saw a car running on it).

At the D line Reservoir station today, there are two long ramps to get to the platform from Chestnut Hill Ave. I can remember until the mid 70s there were tracks on those ramps connecting to the Highland branch just East of the platform.

Again, I never ever saw a car do this, but they COULD have run cars in loop service out of Kenmore to Reservoir, up Chestnut Hill Ave to return to Kenmore either on the C line or on the B line. The only time I could see this happening is during Red Sox season. More likely this is probably a loop for service cars (like snow plows).
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Postby TomNelligan » Sun Mar 28, 2004 4:08 pm

The street-running trackage on Chestnut Hill Avenue between Beacon Street and Comm. Ave is active before and after weekday rush hours, when it is used to deadhead Commonwealth Avenue trains between Boston College and Reservoir. There isn't enough storage space at BC, so empty trains are stored at Reservoir and shuttled out to start their runs.

As for the original question, I'm not an expert on the trolley routes of the early 20th century, but the 1915 map reprinted by the Boston Street Railway Association shows only two routes connecting off of Beacon Street at that time -- trackage down Washington Street to Brookline Village, and trackage on Harvard Street both north and south of Beacon. Nothing on Carlton in 1915.
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Postby Leo Sullivan » Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:51 pm

No, there was never any line down Carlton St. and, so far as I know or can find out, no temporary or service track. even when they were building the Governor Square extension. all the temporary stuff was east of St. Marys St. I wonder what you saw? The only lines connecting/ crossing Beacon St. from the south, west of St. Marys st.) were the Longwood horsecar line, at Harvard St. later the Allston Line crossed there and, a line came up Washington St. from Brookline village. Reservoir was always the only barn on the line. The Beacon St. line was built right at the beginning of the electric era so, historically, it is well documented. Before that, the only transit in that part of town was the aforementioned horsecar line up Longwood from Huntington Ave. in Roxbury.
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Postby dr_wu002 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:02 am

I'm not 100% sure but to me it looks like tracks in the street that were once covered over but now wear and tear on the road has unearthed them. It looks like a set of tracks (I can see metal) going inbound from Cleveland Circle and then turning right onto Carlton. All you can see is a short segment of "track" as you cross Carlton. However, coming outbound towards Cleveland Circle (but on the inbound side of the "C" Line still) looks like the outline of rails that have been paved over. These two lines curve and merge about in the same location as the actual "tracks" (as I saw them).

I'm no expert (on anything) so maybe these weren't rails -- somebody else should look at them. They're pretty cruddy looking whatever they are. But they could just be some junk buried under the street that's coming up now. I just saw them one night and they looked like rails to me. If there had been a train riding on them I would have been fairly certain that they were tracks but obviously there wasn't so I need someone else to verify this.

Carlton Street--Dr. Silber's favorite place!!

Postby bingdude » Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:38 pm

Interesting, Dr. Wu. Perhaps a late night visit with a small sledge hammer on the pavement might help uncover things :wink:

If that is a track it wasn't a permanent revenue service line. Although it is long, Carlton isn't really a through street (and isn't a little hilly? Or maybe that's Hawes St...)
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