Shawsheen Depot

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Shawsheen Depot

Postby wilhelmh » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:12 am

Have there ever been any plans to renovate the old Shawsheen Depot in Andover? It seems like it would be a neat location for a coffee shop, bakery, etc. Its proximity to the Brickstone offices could provide weekday patronage, and there would be ample parking on the weekends for family snack/trainspotting outings.

It seems a shame to let such a pretty building decay as it has....

By the way, can anyone provide a brief biography of the station? Thanks!
50 feet from the Western Route
wilhelmh
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:55 am
Location: Andover, MA

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby The EGE » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:23 pm

From A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses:

Shawsheen Village, a planned community, was built to house the American Woolen Company workers and their families. The Boston and Maine RR built this station there around 1908. It is strikingly similar to, but smaller than, the Methuen station. No longer serving passengers, the building is used for storage, and most of its windows are boarded up for security. The westbound passenger canopy still stands, although it is in bad shape. The entire village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The 1908 date makes it one of the last new stations opened before the MBTA era. Only Rustcraft, River Works, and a few other industry-serving stations opened after.

The station closed in November 1975 along with Ballardville and Andover when the town of Andover withdrew financial support, then reopened on December 17, 1979 when the line (cut to Wilmington in 1976) was re-extended to Haverhill. Shawsheen closed for good on April 27, 1980.
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2451
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the C Branch

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:15 am

That'd be a decent candidate for a future reopening given the influx of office space development within walking distance. Probably not something they could consider for trip times and service density in the near future (even post- double tracking), but if...say, Plaistow's larger layover were to ever get built and service density increased markedly with Anderson expresses making up a much more significant % of the schedule, then there's probably good enough reason to re-add Salem St. and Shawsheen on at least the runs that skip the Reading Line stop density.

Whatever...enough rainy-day potential to keep doing minimal upkeep on the depot and station structures for future flex.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7096
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby jbvb » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:26 pm

Around 1992, FTP Software rented space in the former mill buildings. We had a number of employees who lived in and near Boston, so we looked into re-establishing the Shawsheen stop. The MBTA's response was "if you build us a station, we'll stop". The landlord wasn't interested in cost-sharing, and the Haverhill schedule at that time was not good for reverse commuting, so nothing came of it.

Operationally, a new stop a mile from Andover and 2 miles from Lawrence would slow things down considerably. The only parking in the area is the office complex's and the office site is right up against the river and I-495, so the passenger catchment won't be large. Building an 8-car high-level platform on the west side will interfere with the truck docks on the side of the nearest office building, so I don't expect it to happen under current conditions.
jbvb
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Rockingham Co., NH

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby The EGE » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:38 pm

Shawsheen is on a freight clearance route; you'd only need mini-highs.
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2451
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the C Branch

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby wilhelmh » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:07 pm

Thanks, EGE, F-line, jbvb! I really appreciate the info!

I don't realistically think that Shawsheen would reopen as a station stop, but it's tantalizingly close to 495 and there is a huge amount of parking available nearby (especially if another parking garage were built). Keeps the imagination working!

Regardless, I do wish it could find some tasteful use in the near future.
50 feet from the Western Route
wilhelmh
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:55 am
Location: Andover, MA

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby octr202 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:59 am

In terms of parking, there's a large garage at Lawrence right off of 495 as well. I would guess that most of the parking around Shawsheen is used for the businesses there...there's not much other reason for it to exist.

If there was decent reverse-peak service offered, it might make sense to have a station open for reverse commuters and maybe limited peak-direction service - but you'd only be drawing from the local walk-up catchment area.

I don't know what Lawrence's availability is, but Andover and Ballardvale are not even close to parking capacity. I'm not sure there's a need for more park & ride capacity on the Haverhill Line right now - at least not up at that end. The Shawsheen Village area is a nice, walkable neighborhood, but I don't think it's dense enough to generate enough ridership as it stands now to make stopping our current slow, heavy commuter rail trains there. If we ran lighter, smaller, more frequent trains, maybe.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby alexander » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:53 pm

Without speaking for the present owners of the structure, here is some helpful information.

The owner of Brickstone Square (nee Shawsheen Mills) owns the former R.R. station building. It is used for storage and is not decaying nor abandoned.

There is no likely scenario where this becomes a R.R. station again. Reasons have been stated:
1. Proximity to existing nearby Andover and Lawrence Stations.
2. Stops delay/lengthen existing trip times.
3. There is NO commuter parking available.
Alexander Svirsky
Pan Am Railways Shawsheen RailCam: http://shawsheen.com/RobotFoamer/
http://massroads.com/
alexander
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:06 am
Location: Andover, Massachusetts

Re: Shawsheen Depot

Postby jbvb » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:44 pm

I took another look at the platforms. All of the platform on the west (mill) side has been taken for the truck driveway except for the portion from the RR-east end of the platform canopy to the bridge abutment. The east platform has been torn up in the course of track work. There is enough room on the RoW so an ADA mini-high is not out of the question, but it's on the opposite side from the current Andover platform. So not likely until a large tenant decides they want it.
jbvb
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Rockingham Co., NH


Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: jonnhrr, Lord Mkaiba and 6 guests