Mattapan Ashmont historical question

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Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby jonnhrr » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:01 pm

Did 2 car trains ever operate on the Mattapan Ashmont line?

I assume they don't today (at least I've never seen a picture of one).

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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:55 pm

Well, yes and yes, going by the question. There were a few fan trips that duo'd up a set of refurbished PCC's, I believe, and I am aware of a common "lash-up" between Type 4's and Center Entrance Trailers for a while. By and large, cars have been solo though.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby TomNelligan » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:06 pm

"Ever" is a long time! I note Mr. Joyce's photo, which is from a time when the line was still connected to the larger Boston El trolley network and equipment interchanged freely. But in the PCC era, it has always been single cars. When I first rode the line in the mid-1960s it was assigned a group of the ex-Dallas doubled ended PCCs with the motorman's seat at one end removed.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:31 pm

Do the PCC's as they are used on the line today have couplers? What do they do if a trolley is out cold and needs a shove?
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby dieciduej » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:40 pm

Yes the PCC cars on the line today have the standard Tomlinson coupler. At one time they were equipped with the contact pins for MU operations but since their last overhaul the contact pins have been removed with the exception of one car, not sure of the number. All the present cars are still internally wired they just need their pins.

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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:38 pm

TomNelligan wrote:But in the PCC era, it has always been single cars.

Only if you count regular service. I've seen photos of a fantrip from decades ago that had a PCC triple-header!

Here's a shot from a few years ago of one of the rare double-headers that occur whenever a car breaks down on the line and needs to be pushed back to Mattapan:

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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:30 pm

I have heard that many years ago a fan trip with two Center Entrance cars ventured onto the High Speed Line as part of the tour.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby joshg1 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:50 pm

How long did pre PCC cars last "down there," work cars excepted?
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:21 am

joshg1 wrote:How long did pre PCC cars last "down there," work cars excepted?


Type 5's were the last pre-PCC cars in revenue service, and they were gone from the system by '59...most of the remainders retired when the Harvard lines went TT. Center entrances were done by '53.

It seems logical that Mattapan had some 5's since after the Arborway lines and 28 trackage were bustituted all Mattapan cars were assigned out of Bennett St./Eliot Shops and towed from there to Ashmont. Therefore they would've shared shop space with the Cambridge fleet. But nothing pre-PCC lived out its retirement years in Mattapan because it was the bustitution of the surface lines that purged all of those cars.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby Teamdriver » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:40 pm

An aside, but maybe historical overall to trolley cars..........
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... uction.gif
General Motors streetcar conspiracy

The General Motors streetcar conspiracy (also known as the Great American streetcar scandal) refers to allegations and convictions in relation to a program by General Motors (GM) and other companies who purchased and then dismantled streetcar and electric train systems in many American cities.

Between 1936 and 1950, National City Lines and Pacific City Lines—with investment from GM, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California, Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks, and the Federal Engineering Corporation—bought over 100 electric surface-traction systems in 45 cities including Baltimore, Newark, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland and San Diego and converted them into bus operation. Several of the companies involved were convicted in 1949 of conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce but were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies.

Some suggest that this program played a key role in the decline of public transit in cities across the United States; notably Edwin J. Quinby, who first drew attention to the program in 1946, and then Bradford C. Snell, an anti-trust attorney for the United States Senate whose controversial 1974 testimony to a Senate inquiry brought the issue to national awareness. Both Quinby and Snell argued that the deliberate destruction of streetcars was part of a larger strategy to push the United States into automobile dependency.[1] Others say that independent economic factors brought about changes in the transit system, including the Great Depression, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, labor unrest, market forces, rapidly increasing traffic congestion, urban sprawl, taxation policies that favored private vehicle ownership, and general enthusiasm for the automobile. One writer on the subject has suggested that Snell and others fell into simplistic conspiracy theory thinking, bordering on paranoid delusions[2] saying "Clearly, GM waged a war on electric traction. It was indeed an all out assault, but by no means the single reason for the failure of rapid transit. Also, it is just as clear that actions and inactions by government contributed significantly to the elimination of electric traction."[n 1]

Only a small handful of U.S. cities have surviving effective rail-based urban transport systems based on streetcars or trams, including Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Boston; others are re-introducing them. The story has been explored several times in print, film and other media, notably in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Taken for a Ride and The End of Suburbia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mo ... conspiracy
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:45 pm

TomNelligan wrote: When I first rode the line in the mid-1960s it was assigned a group of the ex-Dallas doubled ended PCCs with the motorman's seat at one end removed.

Ironic in that the same authority that bought them used from Dallas had bought them in 1958-9 @ five years previously, primarily for the fact that they were double ended, didn't need a loop, and were put to run on a line that was looped at both ends.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby jonnhrr » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:01 pm

3rdrail wrote:
TomNelligan wrote: When I first rode the line in the mid-1960s it was assigned a group of the ex-Dallas doubled ended PCCs with the motorman's seat at one end removed.

Ironic in that the same authority that bought them used from Dallas had bought them in 1958-9 @ five years previously, primarily for the fact that they were double ended, didn't need a loop, and were put to run on a line that was looped at both ends.


Perhaps the reasoning was that they had more Dallas cars than they needed for the short turns such as Northeastern and Blandford St, and the Mattapan Ashmont was a logical place to use them because their small doors made loading slower in busy places such as the Bolyston subway, less of an issue on Mattapan which tended to have less crowding.

I also associate these cars with Mattapan when I lived in Dorchester in the 1960's, although I also recall the all electrics (3197-3221) doing time down there too.

One trip I recall when we attended the summer program at the Y near Codman Square, we used to go to a pool near Mattapan for swimming, normally we went by bus, but one day there were no busses so they marched us down to Ashmont and we took the trolley to Mattapan, the counselor had a roll of dimes with him to pay the fares. It was an ex-Dallas car I recall.

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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:04 pm

joshg1 wrote:How long did pre PCC cars last "down there," work cars excepted?

PCCs were first assigned in 1955, with Type 5s providing rush hour service until 1958. [Source] A Type 3 plow remained at Mattapan until 2009 when it finally got retired to Seashore.
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Re: Mattapan Ashmont historical question

Postby Gerry6309 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:43 am

The required number of Dallas Cars assigned to the shuttles was 8 (the number originally purchased. The remaining 17 were purchased in 1959, because the MTA knew that the Riverside Line would require more cars than originally planned, and MU cars could be freed up by expanding the fleet. These cars were seldom used for double-end services, and experiments on the Arborway line indicated that running them as singles over the whole route led to loading problems in the subway due to the small rear door. For this reason they were sent to Mattapan, where they were operated as single end cars. A further experiment in 1966-67 brought the All Electrics to Mattapan, and the Dallas cars back to Lotus Place. After experiencing the same loading problems, the cars were swapped again, partly because the All-Electrics were more difficult to repair at the Mattapan Outdoor Pit. After this episode, the off-cabs on the Dallas cars started to deteriorate, though 3332 and 3342 were returned to double-end status in the 1970s. 3333 was in process when LRVs were ok'ed for use to Northeastern and Brigham Circle, and was dropped from the program..
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