Blue Line from Bowdoin-Maverick...

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Postby BC Eagle » Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:54 pm

Charliemta wrote:"....and I believe (this is where it gets fuzzy for me) that the track continued over to the Cambridge side, before joining the Cambridge-Dorchester subway tracks"

I'm not sure, but I read somewhere that the tracks from the Cambridge Street Blue Line portal continued west through the Charles Circle to the Longfellow Bridge, stayed on the dual roadways onto the bridge, then joined the Red Line tracks up on the bridge. That makes sense, because the grade difference between the roadways and tracks on the Longfellow Bridge is negligible.


Yes, I've read this as well. It was discussed on one of the older incarnations of this board last year. Apparently, you can still see a gate where the Blue Line joined the Red Line Tracks. I also seem to remember that the old Red Line cars used to tow the East Boston trains to the Eliot Shops once they entered the Red Line.
BC Eagle
 

Postby octr202 » Thu Aug 26, 2004 1:52 pm

Yeah -- the gates are still there in the fence, inbetween the end of the Longfellow bridge proper and the tunnel portal on the Cambridge side. I have a copy of Streetcars of the Hub at home, with a map with non-revenue street trackage marked. I'll take a look tonight and see if I can get an idea.

If those are the original gates for the track connection, then they've sure been left a long time. There is also a paved crossing there over the tracks -- I always assumed it was an access point for hi-rail work equipment.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

BLUE LINE FORM BOWDION-MAVERICK

Postby StevieC48 » Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:36 pm

I GOT A BOOK FROM THE IMMAGES OF AMERICA SERIES "THE BLUE LINE" BY FRANK CHENEY, IT HAS PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS THAT SHOULD CLEAR UP SOME OF THE CONFUSION. GOOD LUCK STEVIE
User avatar
StevieC48
 
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 8:43 pm
Location: Taunton, MA

Postby ceo » Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:37 pm

An interesting tidbit is that when they first converted the subway from trolleys to rapid transit, it was tricky because the tunnel had been sized to fit small streetcars. As a result, I believe the new rapid transit cars had to be ordered to certain specifications in order to fit in the tunnel. Don't have any books in front of me to confirm that, though.


This is why the Blue Line has a much lower platform height than most other subway lines, and why the cars are shorter in length.
ceo
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 9:28 am

Postby Charliemta » Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:27 pm

I wonder how the Maverick-Bowdoin subway trains were powered as they travelled between the old Cambridge Street portal and the Red line on the Longfellow bridge. Did they use overhead catenary while on those surface streets, and navigate through the traffic like a streetcar?

As a kid back in the mid/late 1950's, I remember seeing trolley car tracks on the Longfellow bridge. I also remember one time a Blue line car in the Harvard Square station. I recognized it by the unique type of doors that the vintage East Boston subway cars had.
User avatar
Charliemta
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:51 pm

Postby octr202 » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:22 am

From what I've read/heard, they apparently used some sort of detachable trolley pole and jumper cables to carry the current from the poles to the third rail shoes. Sounds like an OSHA nightmare, but these were different times. Keep in mind that this only happened late at night, with minimal traffic around on the surface to interfere.

I've got to get my hands on one of those books and see this for myself. I looked in my copy of Streetcars of the Hub and sure enough, there is a non-revenue steet track marked crossing the Longfellow bridge on both the 1940 and 1950 maps of streetcar trackage in Boston. it ends on the Cambridge side of the bridge on the west, and what would be up Cambridge St. towards Bowdoin on the east. It does not connect to any other surface trackage.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
User avatar
octr202
 
Posts: 4142
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 8:13 am
Location: In the land of the once and future 73 trackless trolley.

Postby efin98 » Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:31 am

Charliemta wrote:I wonder how the Maverick-Bowdoin subway trains were powered as they travelled between the old Cambridge Street portal and the Red line on the Longfellow bridge. Did they use overhead catenary while on those surface streets, and navigate through the traffic like a streetcar?


They used the same old system that had been in use from before the line was converted- a trolley pole with some sort of temporary connection to the electrical supply. I imagine it is sort of like what the various trolley museums do with their rapid transit cars that are operational... IIRC the Red Line did this as well for their work trains so it might have been using the same system that the Red Line used.
efin98
 

Postby Charliemta » Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:53 pm

On the Mapjunction.com webiste I found a 1938 Bromley map showing the old East Boston line portal on Cambridge Steet in the West End. Those old Bromley maps are great.

Here's the link to the map. You can zoom out or in with it, and scroll around the larger map.

http://www.mapjunction.com/places/Open_BRA/cgi-view/rest.pl?t=12702&p=25091

Today the tunnel apparently now ends near Joy St., just east of the old portal. The distance between there and Charles Street isn't very far, so the cost and difficulty of extending this tunnel to Charles Steet Station would be relatively cheap.
Long live the "El"
User avatar
Charliemta
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 7:51 pm

Postby CS » Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:31 pm

To clear something up, does that mean that the blue line heavy rail cars ran in traffic when going to Eliot shops?
C. Sarjeant
"CS"
CS
 
Posts: 248
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:44 am
Location: Dorchester, MA

Postby The Collector at Court St » Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:50 pm

Sort of.... they did those moves mostly overnight.
The Collector at Court St
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:25 pm

Postby ctaman34 » Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:58 pm

The Collector at Court St wrote:Sort of.... they did those moves mostly overnight.
yes they did
ctaman34
 

Postby Robert Paniagua » Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:16 pm

Yeah, or during weekends or holidays.
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations
User avatar
Robert Paniagua
 
Posts: 4418
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:11 am
Location: Weymouth, MA 02188

Previous

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aerie, ExCon90 and 31 guests