Blue Line to Lynn Gets State support!!!

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

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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:31 pm

Are there any buildings on the former Narrow Gauge right-of-way?
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Postby efin98 » Wed Jun 09, 2004 7:37 pm

Ron, after Oak Island Street(where I stated the cross over to join the commuter rail right of way will probably be) the right of way all but dissapears and the buildings encroach. I think about a block or two up the famous garage built on the right of way is located.
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BRB&L

Postby Conrail4014 » Thu Jun 10, 2004 11:51 am

I have read a bit about the old Boston Revere Beach & Lynn, and I was wondering if someone might be able to given a good account of why it was abandoned.

Thanks for any info
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Postby Xplorer2000 » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:30 am

Its mostly vacant industrial space . a lumber yard, etc, 'til you get really close to downtown There's an office building and its associated parking lots where the old terminal was. Actually, if you look at some of the properties, there are a lot of them that have open space, i.e. parking lots, etc..., where the r.o.w. was. Those that aren't completely vacant, that is.This is why I suggested thet a tunnel might actually be a less invasive prospect to the neighborhoods in question, and would also solve any problems of noise remediation that might crop up along the route after the fact, like they had to do along the Red Line. Effectively ,the NIMBYs would be silenced before they ever have a chance to b*tch. I know, in some circles, taking some or all of the Commuter Rail r.o.w. is a really attractive idea, but look at the Old Colony... the line is at or near capacity, and any service additions, including Greenbush , have to contend with a restricted right of way that precludes expansion because the Red Line leaves no room for it. Kudos to whoever thought to leave room for a possible restoration of commuter rail way back when the Red Line extension was built....that kind of foresight in planning seems to be unheard of these days.
As for why the BRB & L, aka the Narrow gauge, went out of business, remember, it was built specifically to haul passengers, before there was an extensive road network in the area. Case in point, Revere Beach Boulevard is actually the original ROW!!! They made them move the line about 300 yards inland to build it, to its current location today. Even Electrification in the twenties only saved them for another thirteen years. and they would probably have had to undergo a major rehabilitation of their fleet soon( most of the lines cars were steam hauled wooden coaches, until converted to M.U.s during the electrification. They dated from the late 1800's, as did the lines ferries) Its also a shame , because Winthrop also lost its "direct" to Boston service( Branching at Orient Heights....you had to switch to a railroad owned ferry at East Boston Terminal).Unfortunately, little documentation survives....apparently,or so I read somewhere, one of the stipulations of the Federal bankruptcy preceedings was an order that all the railroad's books, papers ,documents, etc..., were to be destroyed by burning them. makes you wonder oif they may have been trying to hide something from the public...Nahhhh!!!! But basically, the Automobile killed the Narrow Gauge. Pity too, because they ran round the clock service...and didn't make excuses not to , like the "T" does these days
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Postby Xplorer2000 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:45 am

As a little more info I remembered. a couple of the Narrow Gauge cars survive on the CASS Scenic Railway (one combine and at least one coach that I remember) All of the steam locomotive were scrapped, save one, which survived to the abandonment as a stationery boiler to heat the shops. They also purchased at number of Type 5's which were used in "Night Owl"(sound familiar) service both on the Main line, and the Winthrop Loop.
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Postby jwhite07 » Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:59 am

IIRC those weren't Type 5s but ex-Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway cars... 4300s, maybe? They're discussed in the new Blue Line book from Arcadia Publishing.
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