Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

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Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:33 pm

I was going to post this under the "gardner, MA" topic, but figured someone would say something about going off topic.

So where else are there any remains of the MBTA? I know that the commuter rail used to run up to NH years and years ago. Probably before I was even born. Any traces of that left?

Isn't there one on the Lowell line? And the Iron works in Lynn?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby CSX Conductor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:09 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote:Isn't there one on the Lowell line?
Lechmere comes to mind.
Another former station that comes to mind is Dudley El, which has old parts on the new busway.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:30 pm

What about Mishuam(sp?)?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby TomNelligan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:41 pm

theseaandalifesaver wrote: I know that the commuter rail used to run up to NH years and years ago. Probably before I was even born. Any traces of that left?


There wasn't much there to begin with during the short-lived Boston-Concord service restoration in 1980. Nashua and Manchester just had paved platforms, no shelter or other structures, since the B&M stations in both cities were long gone. At Concord the train used the small bus station that was actually the last B&M station up there, but it has since been replaced by a newer building.

Beaver Brook was a little-used stop on the Fitchburg Line in Waltham, right under the Route 20/Main Street bridge, that lost service in the 1970s. The asphalt platform remains.

If you count abandoned lines, there are old stations all over eastern Massachusetts. You can start with Lexington, Bedford, Waltham North, Weston, and South Sudbury on lines that once had MBTA-supported service (the Bedford Branch and the Central Mass) and there are a bunch of others on lines that predated the MBTA.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby B&Mguy » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:51 pm

If you include Commuter Rail from back in the 1960s and 70s when the MBTA took over for the B&M, there are many stations that were discontinued, or entire lines that were abandoned.

The Central Mass line of the B&M was also a lightly used commuter rail line that ran between North Station and South Sudbury as of 1964. Commuter service ended in 1971, and freight died out around 1980. You can still see much of this line in the towns it served and a few stations remain standing. There is talk that this line will be made into a rail-trail, but since it runs through some very affluent towns, local opposition might leave this corridor untouched.

The other B&M/MBTA Commuter Rail line to be completely abandoned was the Lexington Branch. This line ran from Boston to Bedford until a severe snowstorm in 1977 put it out of service. Since traffic was very light, it was eventually abandoned, and built into the popular Minuteman Bikeway. You can still see stations at Bedford and Lexington as well as various railroad artifacts along the route.

The Woburn Branch was also abandoned in 1981, and believe it or not, it's very hard to find any traces of it today.

As far as stations that are no longer used, here are the ones on the North side that were used when the MBTA first took over, but not today. I'm not sure how much remains of some of these locations, as many of them were probably not much more than a simple platform. I'm sure I'll miss some, so please add any I missed. :-D

Clematis Brook
Beaver Brook
West Action
South Ashburham
Gardner
Mishuwam
Nashua, NH
Merrimack, NH
Manchester, NH
Concord, NH
Shawsheen
Lawrence (old)
Rosemont/495
Methuen
Route 213

Also keep in mind that all of these lines once had many more stations that were discontinued long before the MBTA entered the picture.

Who wants to tackle the South Side?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:34 pm

Mishawum is not entirely abandoned. The Lowell Line trains make a small number of reverse-commute stops -- three northbound in the morning, three southbound in the evening.

GE River Works in Lynn is most definitely not abandoned. Look at the Rockport/Newburyport schedule and see how many weekday trains stop there.

Salem station used to be a few blocks south of where it is now, in a tunnel section. Some remnant of the platform and stairs probably remain.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:37 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:
theseaandalifesaver wrote:Isn't there one on the Lowell line?
Lechmere comes to mind.


Just to clarify: this has nothing to do with the Lechmere Green Line station in Cambridge. This was a passenger platform on the Lowell Line, next to a Woburn(?) warehouse belonging to Lechmere Sales Company, a now-defunct local department store chain. Just a few trains stopped there during weekday rush hours.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:40 pm

B&Mguy wrote:Rosemont/495
Methuen
Route 213


These stations appeared on some MBTA maps, but my understanding is that they never got service. And the New Hampshire stations had no service "when the MBTA took over". That came later, and only lasted a year or so.
Last edited by Ron Newman on Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby jwhite07 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:41 pm

Ron beat me to Mishawum not being abandoned...

The old Salem station was not in the tunnel, but at the opposite end of the tunnel. And yes, remains of a platform and stairway to street level still exist.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby CSX Conductor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:22 pm

Another abandoned T station on the rapid transit side would be the old Harvard platform. :wink:
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:00 pm

Sorry for any confusion and you guys have been SUPER helpful...

But...

What I meant was abandoned MBTA Commuter Rail stations. Like Gardner and old Salem stations.

I also didn't know that the MBTA once ran trains on lines that they didn't anymore. I thought it was always pretty much the same spider map it was 20 years ago or so that it is now. Which a few add-ons.

What other lines did the MBTA take over from B&M that are no longer in service?

And how easy are these locations to legally get pictures of?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby TomNelligan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:15 pm

Ron Newman wrote:
B&Mguy wrote:Rosemont/495
Methuen
Route 213


These stations appeared on some MBTA maps, but my understanding is that they never got service.


Correct. Back in 1979-80, when service restorations were all the rage, those further extensions were proposed but never funded, so they never happened. Nevertheless they appeared on maps for years, not unlike the ghost of the Arborway Line that the MBTA only recently exorcised from transit maps.

theseaandalifesaver wrote:What other lines did the MBTA take over from B&M that are no longer in service?


The North Side lines that were discontinued (or restarted and then discontinued) within the MBTA era have already been mentioned -- the Bedford Branch, the Woburn Branch, the Central Mass, Fitchburg-Gardner and Lowell-Concord. But there were also a couple of New Haven RR lines on the South Side that were dropped after a couple years of MBTA subsidization: Needham Junction to Millis and Readville to Dedham. Just missing the MBTA-era cut, because they were dropped when the T began underwriting the service in the mid-1960s, were Millis-West Medway, and Franklin-Blackstone.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby B&Mguy » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:23 pm

Ron Newman wrote:
B&Mguy wrote:Rosemont/495
Methuen
Route 213


These stations appeared on some MBTA maps, but my understanding is that they never got service. And the New Hampshire stations had no service "when the MBTA took over". That came later, and only lasted a year or so.


Ron, didn't Concord, NH have passenger service until 1967? If so, there would have been a three year overlap when the MBTA took over. I think the long distance trains were still run by the B&M though, so NH technically did not have MBTA service. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:22 am

Yep, I think you're right about that -- B&M continued to run a small amount of unsubsidized service to New Hampshire for a few years after the MBTA was created.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:23 am

On the south side, abandoned stations include Mount Hope (in Roslindale) and Pawtucket-Central Falls, which still stands in ruined condition along the line to Providence.

Allston station lost service years before the MBTA took over, but still stands today as the Sports Depot. Further west on the line, Riverside station used to serve both the Green Line and the railroad, but the railroad stop has been abandoned.
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