Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:32 am

In Somerville, you can still see remnants of stairways down to stations at Somerville Junction (from Central Street) and Union Square (from Webster Avenue). An electrical substation now occupies the former platform of Winter Hill station at Gilman Square. North Somerville station (actually in Medford, just beyond Ball Square) stood until a few years ago.

The B&M discontinued all of these Somerville stops long before the T took over.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby FP10 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:23 am

i've been wondering about this for a while; just north of the current providence station on the NEC theres an overhead structure with stairways leading down on to obviously abandoned platforms. What was this?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby ST214 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:16 am

Mostlikely Pawtucket-Central Falls,RI. I don't remember any other stairways to the tracks besides that one....


FP10 wrote:i've been wondering about this for a while; just north of the current providence station on the NEC theres an overhead structure with stairways leading down on to obviously abandoned platforms. What was this?
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby ST214 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:20 am

While were at it, how about partially abandoned stations???

Readville....the Providence/Stoughton platforms have been out of use for years, but never closed....I think they're kept as is for emergency purposes. And for the folks that have never been there, the SB platform creates some interesting photo angles for Franklin trains as they climb or descend the ramp...
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:53 am

B&Mguy wrote: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.


Well, yeah, but you're getting kind of legalistic there! You are absolutely correct that the B&M ran intercity passenger service to Concord (as well as to Dover, NH, on the Portland Division) until 1967, and that it was not subsidized and therefore not connected with the MBTA. But you should be careful with references to the MBTA "taking over" in the 1960s. Initially, in the mid-1960s, the MBTA began providing cash subsidies to both the B&M and NH to cover some of the cost of their commuter operations. (NYC's B&A line wasn't included.) But it was hardly an MBTA takeover at that time... trains ran fully under railroad control, with railroad crews and equipment. It wasn't until about ten years later, in the mid/late 1970s time frame and following the B&M and Penn Central bankruptcies, that the MBTA began to purchase the lines, supply equipment, dictate schedules, and generally become more visible as the sponsor of the service. Initially they were just paying the railroads to not discontinue the trains.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:47 am

ST214 wrote:While were at it, how about partially abandoned stations???


At Porter Square, the old stairway to Somerville Avenue is closed off, but still standing.
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:09 am

TomNelligan wrote: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.


Where are the North Waltham and South Sudbury stations, and what are they now used for?

I think Weston is now a private residence. Lexington has become a meeting hall and exhibit space, while Bedford's is being restored as part of a small park at the end of the Minuteman Trail.

On Magoun Avenue in Medford, a station building is still standing even though the railroad line that served it has been entirely torn up (and not replaced by a trail or path). But that's long before the MBTA era.

See also this thread in the Boston & Maine forum: viewtopic.php?f=77&t=27342
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby B&Mguy » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:38 am

Thanks for the clarification about the MBTA/B&M transition Tom. It happened well before my time, and there are lots of details that I still don't quite understand.

On the subject of the remaining Central Mass Stations, the Station at Waltham North no longer stands. I don't know when it came down, but i believe it was located at Bacon Street. I know the old crossing siignals still stood in this location until a few years ago.

Waltham Highlands still stands, and is now used as a real estate office. It has been modified slightly, but it is easy to see that it was once a station.

Weston Station appears to be vacant, and would be a prime candidate for restoration. I beleive the MBTA owns this building as they own the ROW.

The small shelters at Cherry Brook and Tower Hill stood until the mid 1980s I believe. Both locations are somewhat overgrown now, and it might be hard to find traces of them.

Wayland has been nicely restored and is a local crafts and antique shop.

Finally, South Sudbury still stands and is used by a limo comapny. This is not the orginal station, and looks like it probably dates to the early 1960s.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:18 am

B&Mguy wrote:On the subject of the remaining Central Mass Stations, the Station at Waltham North no longer stands. I don't know when it came down, but i believe it was located at Bacon Street. I know the old crossing siignals still stood in this location until a few years ago.

Waltham Highlands still stands, and is now used as a real estate office. It has been modified slightly, but it is easy to see that it was once a station.


You are correct on that... sorry, I was confusing Waltham North and Waltham Highlands in my original message. It's tough being an old guy. :-)

Waltham North was just a platform at the time Central Mass passenger service ended in 1971. Waltham Highlands is the one that is still alive and well, as you note. If you include Roberts, the downtown station at Moody Street, Beaver Brook, and Clematis Brook, Waltham had six different stops within city limits as late as 1971! And in prehistoric times there was yet another one, Riverside, at the point where Prospect Street crosses under the Fitchburg Line. It was a commuter stop for the enormous Waltham Watch Company that was located directly across the river at that point.
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby jbvb » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:28 am

Service to Concord and Dover NH continued until 1967 after the MBTA switched to subsidising service only to towns in the MBTA in early 1965. Newburyport also paid the B&M to operate a single train into 1976, and Haverhill had a single train (don't know funding details) till about the same time. The Newburyport train stopped at Rowley for the first few years, and the Haverhill train stopped at North Andover and Shawsheen (both buildings still exist) till the end AFAIK.
Ayer retained a few trains, but most of them stopped at South Acton. I believe Ayer wasn't in the MBTA district, but I don't know how its trains were paid for.
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby djlong » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:35 pm

There's something on the Lowell line that I don't know anything about.

One time, back in the late 1980s when I was commuting onthat line, the train stopped northbound somewhere north of Woburn. Not too far ahead of where I was looking out the window I saw a sign, faded and peeling, but quite legible that said "Dickson Depot" in white letter with what looked like an orange background,

Anyone have any information?
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby B&Mguy » Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:34 pm

I always wondering where the Riverside station was located on the Fitchburg Line. You'd never know today that was once there. I wonder if the tracks used to cross at ground level. I can't see given the current layout how a station would fit there.

Thanks for the info Tom! :-D
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Re: Other abandoned MBTA stations.

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:19 pm

B&Mguy wrote:South Ashburnham


When was this last used as a station stop? I don't recall the train stopping anywhere in the 1980s between Fitchburg and Gardner.
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby NealG » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:26 pm

I recall once seeing an MBTA Lowell/Haverhill Line map and schedule (trains to Haverhill went via the Lowell Line when this was published and the current Haverhill line ended at Reading) from the late 1970s or early 1980s that had a station in the area of Cross St in Winchester and another one at Salem Street in Wilmington on the Wildcat branch..
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Re: Abandoned Commuter Rail Stations

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:41 pm

I guess that was replaced by North Wilmington (between Reading and Ballardvale), which has a platform just barely long enough for one car.
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