Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby rhodiecub2 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:53 pm

I'm wondering and I have something like this before. Were the present day OL stations, from Ruggles to Green St, were these areas of low density compared to what the old elevated OL used to serve. How do these stations compare today? Have these areas from Ruggles to Green St grown as a result of the SW Corridor?
User avatar
rhodiecub2
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:27 pm
Location: Woburn, MA

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby StevieC48 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:09 pm

They have improved the area around the current Green St stop and continue to upgrde the area. That is one mans opinion. :-D
User avatar
StevieC48
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 pm
Location: Taunton, MA

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:48 pm

Dudley and Egleston Squares continue to be the major population centers and transit hubs in the area. The Green Line continues to be the major access to Northeastern University, leaving Ruggles as a place to turn buses, Green and Forest Hills continue to serve the same traffic that the Elevated served. Most of the remaining stations serve their neighborhoods but have little effect on the Washington St.Corridor. Dudley Station is as busy as ever.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
User avatar
Gerry6309
 
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:46 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby Charliemta » Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:20 am

It was a major mistake to relocate the Orange Line away from Washington Street. Moving it to the railroad corridor moved it away from an established high density spine over to a hard to access low denity area. Also, it moved it close to an existing transit facility, the Green E Line on Huntington Ave., resulting in duplicated service along part of the route.

It would have been better to refurbish the elevated line, make it a bit more modern and keep it where it was, at least the portion from Dudley Square to downtown. A rebuilt elevated line would have served Roxbury much better than the current SW corridor location, and would have retained a transit-oreinted urban vitality along Washington Street.

South of Dudley Square the line could have been relocated over to the SW corridor, as it is not far from Washington Street there.
Long live the "El"
User avatar
Charliemta
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:51 pm

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:33 am

Charliemta wrote:It was a major mistake to relocate the Orange Line away from Washington Street. Moving it to the railroad corridor moved it away from an established high density spine over to a hard to access low denity area. Also, it moved it close to an existing transit facility, the Green E Line on Huntington Ave., resulting in duplicated service along part of the route.

It would have been better to refurbish the elevated line, make it a bit more modern and keep it where it was, at least the portion from Dudley Square to downtown. A rebuilt elevated line would have served Roxbury much better than the current SW corridor location, and would have retained a transit-oreinted urban vitality along Washington Street.

South of Dudley Square the line could have been relocated over to the SW corridor, as it is not far from Washington Street there.


Didn't even need to change the SW Corridor OL realignment to keep rapid transit to Dudley. The Green Line Tremont Tunnel dead-ends exactly 2 blocks diagonal from the old Pike overpass on the El.

Google Maps - See on the map where the round Church of All Nations building is on the upper left. The covered portal is right underneath the building lobby bordering the sidewalk at the edge of the park (top of the photo). NEMC lobby is about 300 feet of cut-and-cover across the park, and the large upstairs lobby at the station was built in as a provision for any future GL extension (and still can be), since when the South Cove tunnel and station shell were built in '67 the Tremont tunnel had only been disused for 5 years and would still be in "preserved-dormant" state for 7 more years of minimal cleaning/utility upkeep until final abandonment and sealing in '75. From there it's a block's cut-and-cover under Shawmut (or most likely the squat hospital maintenance garage entrance) to the Pike, a curve under the Pike, a portal in wide gap to the Herald St. side of the SW Corridor trackage (which could be widened further by closing the 40-foot gap between the electrified and non-electrified pairs of tracks on the rest of the ROW), and then a long gradual incline the length of the Shawmut-to-Washington block along Herald, crossing the intersection on a wide curve and hooking into the El. That's 800 feet of new tunnel, an OL transfer station at NEMC, and 300 feet of incline's worth of new construction. Demolish the El from the Chinatown portal to the Pike where Washington is too dense and narrow to really support it, refurbish the El for the 1.5 miles from the Pike to Dudley where Washington is wide and the neighborhood did NOT complain about the El, refurbish Dover/Northampton/Dudley and ramp the trackbed up at the stations so the platforms are short, loop at Dudley, and then demolish the Forest Hills extension where Washington narrows and the SW Corridor gets closer.

Voila!...5 stops to Park St, and OL transfers on either side of Park/GC. Almost better than before. Plus capacity to run a future surface line down the Warren St. and Blue Hill Ave. reservations to connect the Green Line to Mattapan and the Fairmount line without B-line level traffic management woes. Ditto for an Urban Ring jumping-off point that could've been train right from the get-go.

Really, that's the kind of potential that was lost when they opted to tear the whole thing down. So much useful and inexpensive existing infrastructure got wasted by that, and it needn't have even disrupted plans for the SW Corridor relocation.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7218
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby jonnhrr » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:02 pm

Given that the El was torn down :( (my favorite part of my commute to school in West Roxbury in the 1960's) what options are there today, given that the Silver Line does not seem to be an adequate replacement from what I have read on this board? Is there enough room in the Washington St. ROW to do a B or C line style of center reservation and create the "F line to Dudley" utilizing the Tremont St. incline ?

BTW I never got to ride the old Tremont St line but I do remember running an errand for my Dad in the South End and seeing the Dallas PCC parked outside the portal when they were running the short lived shuttle to Boylston.

Jon
Avatar Photo - P&W local from Gardner to Worcester at Morgan Rd., Hubbardston
User avatar
jonnhrr
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Sabattus ME USA

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby jbvb » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:25 am

Washington St. is easily wide enough for a trolley-only reservation on either side of Mass. Ave., roughly Union Park St. to Arnold St. It's much narrower entering Dudley Sq., so street running (or street closing) would be required. Union Park through Dover St. and over the Pike I recall as intermediate in width, haven't been there in a long time.
jbvb
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Rockingham Co., NH

Southwest Corridor Question

Postby B&Mguy » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:12 pm

Did the MBTA relocate the Washington Street elevated in the 1980s to eliminate both the El and the Arborway Line?

When you think about it there was really no point in moving the OL to the Southwest Corridor if they planned on keeping the E Line. It seems that putting the El underground on Washington St. would have been a better idea, since the Southwest corridor area is already mostly within walking distance of the E Line. Was there ever a plan to eliminate that entire E branch?

You now have that whole Forest Hills-Dudley segment underserved by the 42 bus, and even though people can walk to the SW corridor, the Washington St. business district must have taken that hit hard.
B&Mguy
 
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 5:02 pm
Location: Somewhere on the B&M

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby sery2831 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:28 pm

Some answers for your questions are above. But the T wanted the EL gone, and with the newly available right of away for the I-95 corridor that was killed due to NIMBYs it made perfect sense to put the OL there. The T made a 'good faith' effort to keep the E Line to Arborway but never liked street running so they formulated a plan to kill that. In 1985 it was diverted to buses for a complete rail rebuild that tied into a new station at Forest Hills. During the rebuild they scrapped many PCC cars so when the project was done they did not have enough cars to run the service beyond Heath Street.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5136
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby madcrow » Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:18 pm

Scrapping perfectly good cars and then claiming you don't have enough to continue service on a certain route seems to be a favorite tactic for the T when they want to ditch a line... It happened with the A line, the El (Roxbury residents wanted the El to continue as a branch off the "new" Orange Line as far as Dudley. The T responded by quickly scrapping all the 1100 series cars and then delivering the standard excuse) and the E line...
madcrow
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:45 am

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby jwhite07 » Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:11 pm

During the rebuild they scrapped many PCC cars so when the project was done they did not have enough cars to run the service beyond Heath Street.


As late as 1991, there were still over 40 PCCs stored at Arborway, most of which had been rebuilt during the 1980s. I forget the exact number, but back in the day when you could just walk in and ask the shop foreman if you could poke around awhile, I did just that and got nothing more than, "Sure kid, just don't fall into a pit". About half of the cars were out in the yard, but the carhouse was full of PCCs as well, sitting where they had been parked on December 28, 1985. Six years of constant exposure to the elements probably hadn't done any favors to the cars in the yard, but I don't think some of them couldn't have been made serviceable again, especially considering the vast amounts of parts still on the shelves in the carhouse. The cars sitting inside the carhouse would have been even easier to resurrect. Even if they gave some TLC to, say, 25 of the 40+ cars that were there, wouldn't that have been enough to equip service beyond Heath Street?

It wasn't equipment issues that killed the Arborway line.
User avatar
jwhite07
 
Posts: 1411
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:39 pm

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:08 pm

jwhite07 wrote:
During the rebuild they scrapped many PCC cars so when the project was done they did not have enough cars to run the service beyond Heath Street.


As late as 1991, there were still over 40 PCCs stored at Arborway, most of which had been rebuilt during the 1980s. I forget the exact number, but back in the day when you could just walk in and ask the shop foreman if you could poke around awhile, I did just that and got nothing more than, "Sure kid, just don't fall into a pit". About half of the cars were out in the yard, but the carhouse was full of PCCs as well, sitting where they had been parked on December 28, 1985. Six years of constant exposure to the elements probably hadn't done any favors to the cars in the yard, but I don't think some of them couldn't have been made serviceable again, especially considering the vast amounts of parts still on the shelves in the carhouse. The cars sitting inside the carhouse would have been even easier to resurrect. Even if they gave some TLC to, say, 25 of the 40+ cars that were there, wouldn't that have been enough to equip service beyond Heath Street?

It wasn't equipment issues that killed the Arborway line.


There were even more at Watertown, although most of the 1970's and 1980's rebuilds were stored at Arborway so it was the "good" ones that were cut off from the rest of the system. Don't forget...Watertown was still in the courts back then, too, so there was a divide-and-conquer aspect to the willful negligence. If equipment was shuttled around before the E's closure so that all 34 of the rebuilt Wartimes were moved to Watertown you would've had an ample fleet to restart service to Oak Sq. or Watertown. 1984-85 was probably the first time in the history of the MBTA that they had an actual surplus of well-functioning Green Line cars. The LRV's finally hit equilibrium by that point, the Type 7's were already ordered, the Picture Window PCC's were still serving Mattapan, they had more Wartime rebuilds sitting around than were actually needed for the E, and there several fully operational non-rebuilds (as well as tons of derelicts) just sitting in storage. They probably had enough just with the rebuilds to restart both the A to Oak and also handle post-construction Arborway for a couple of years. Or both lines including restoration past Oak if they did anything more with the functional non-rebuilds. Run the lines on those until the panto overhead gets out to FH for Type 7 service, then retire the Picture Windows on the M and shift a third of the rebuild fleet there, and you've still got a cushioned fleet at Watertown to last till the 3700 order.

It's bad enough that the lines themselves disappeared, but doubly mind-boggling the number of like-new cars that were pissed away from willful neglect and vandalism from non-existent security in Arborway yard. Nevermind the money tossed away. That rebuild program wasn't cheap, and some of the cars were only back in service for a year before they were mothballed and eventually scrapped.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7218
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:26 am

1900 - Local service via the connecting Boston & Providence's Main Line coming in from the south, serving Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury Crossing, Back Bay, and Downtown with stations at close distances from one another along the way.
-A network of car lines bringing service to the above communities, plus up through the Washington Street Corridor through West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, South End, and Downtown, as well as connecting surrounding areas such as Roxbury Crossing, Brookline, Dedham, Mattapan, Milton, Newton.

1960 - Local service via the same connecting Boston - Providence Main Line now under New Haven coming in from the south, serving Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury Crossing, Back Bay, and Downtown with stations at longer distances from one another along the way.
-MTA's Elevated bringing service up through the Washington Street Corridor through Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, South End, and Downtown and beyond.
-MTA's Arborway Car Line bringing service up through the South Huntington Ave., Huntington Ave. areas into the major hospital and college areas within the city of Boston.

2000 - Local service via the same connecting Boston - Providence Main Line now under the MBTA coming in from the south, serving Hyde Park, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury Crossing, Back Bay, and Downtown, with stations the furthest distance apart in the history of commuter lines on this route.
-No service up through the Washington Street Corridor as before.
-No (real) service up through the South Huntington Ave./ Huntington Ave. hospital/college route as before.
-Service that cuts through an area of low density bordering two high density areas previously served (Washington St. Corridor and Centre/So.Huntington/Huntington Ave. route) leaving both of them isolated from convenient transportation. This same service duplicates precisely the same route as the first line indicated for 2000 above, with the exception that stations are closer together.
-Now we are down to two lines which run on the same roadbed primarily with peripheral routing.

What kind of progress is this ?
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:11 am

The T was planning to relocate the OL to the SWC from the 1960s (that's why NEMC station and it's bit of tunnel were built a couple decades before the rest of the SWC). They made those plans when: (1) they thought it would be part of a highway project, and subway with highway was kind of fashionable and cheaper and less disruptive than new construction elsewhere; (2) there were still buildings where the SWC park is today (does anyone know if there were still busy factories, warehouses, residential areas, etc. along there?). Maybe they were expecting the new line to encourage new development and serve existing centers of population.

In the 1970s, when they went ahead with them, I bet there was disagreement among people along the route. I bet a lot of people who lived, owned property, or owned stores along Washington St wanted the El gone because of the noise and shadow. I remember that in 86 and 87 the newspaper stories about the El talked a lot about "the sun will shine on Washington St" and how eliminating the El was supposed to improve the neighborhoods. I also know that a fair number of Catholics (and perhaps the Archdiocese formally) had for decades thought of the El in front of the Cathedral as a Yankee protestant insult that had to be removed to make the Cathedral pleasant again; that probably didn't have a major effect but it can't have hurt. (Did you know the El was shut down from Dudley to maybe Essex while the Pope said mass in 79 or 80?) Even if a subway would have been the best thing for the local businesses, livability, etc., I'm sure that lots of neighbors wouldn't have liked the construction one bit. If the El had been kept there'd be a steady "why do we have to put up with this El" instead of the current "why do we have to put up with this lousy service".
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Southwest Corridor, then and now.....

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:56 pm

(does anyone know if there were still busy factories, warehouses, residential areas, etc. along there?)


The Roxbury Crossing section of the Boston-Providence Main Line, by the sixties it was occupied by "secondary takeovers" which were using the former industrialized buildings for mostly less industrialized purposes. Even the police station (District 10) was being used as a drug rehab (The Third Nail). The area was highly industrialized prior to that, much of it dependent on the railroad. Jamaica Plain had a bunch of industries along the line right up until the end - Haffenreffer Brewery (now Sam Adams), Boston Gas Co., Gulf Oil Co., etc. At Roslindale, it started as industrialized (Coke processing plant), and quickly went to residential/commercial. Same for Hyde Park.


I bet a lot of people who lived, owned property, or owned stores along Washington St wanted the El gone because of the noise and shadow.


Yeah, until they saw what they got to replace it - then they wanted their El back !
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Next

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests