Remembering Boston's Main Line.

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

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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby jbvb » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:59 am

F-line, I work in Malden and use the Orange Line regularly, and really, there is a lot about the location and zoning/planning around the stations that came out very badly. Community College is aptly named because that's all it really serves; everywhere in Charlestown where people actually live is a long, exposed and dangerous walk across crowded arterial streets. The one pedestrian overpass was never replaced. I've nothing to add to your comments on Sullivan Sq. except that I don't think I've ever seen a pedestrian arrive or depart in the direction of Charlestown. Wellington and Malden Center are also dangerous to walk to and weren't done with any consideration for station-facing commercial development. There are buses, I use them; rush-hour congestion on the approaches to most stations makes schedule-keeping a joke.

The north extension wasn't badly routed given a primary goal of serving Melrose - Reading, but they should have gotten those ducks lined up before they finalized the route. I rode the Charlestown El back in the day, but only as a railfan. Everett served the industrial area around it directly, but otherwise it was purely a transfer point. The old Sullivan Sq. at least had a footbridge over Rt. 99 to Charlestown. City & Thompson Squares were convenient to Charlestown's two tourist attractions.
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Re: The loss of Egleston Station

Postby Teamdriver » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:33 am

But Dude Would you rather live under the steel El or have nice rubber tired buses go by? Chacher, chacher,... chacher chacher chacher! ( that is my recollection of the sound the train made). Overhead el is a blight, ask the tax man. Or look at Main Street 02129 and the big difference before and after for one.
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Re: The loss of Egleston Station

Postby RailBus63 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:36 am

jaymac wrote:The chance of the T putting down rail in pavement -- except for where tracks and streets intersect -- is probably exceptionally remote. With their signifacant amount of street-running in heavily trafficked areas, the Watertown and Arborway service abandonments serve as models. Buses can move around double-parked cars and trucks, can approach curbs for kneeling and also reducing rider exposure to traffic passing on the right. Beacon Street and Comm. Ave. service survives because of significant amounts of separate ROW and wide boarding platforms. Also, buses require far less infrastructure investment and have no overhead or rail maintenance expense. Given the choice, I'd rather ride steel-on-steel, but buses are highly effective in kicking the can down the road, as RailBus63 phrases it.


A Washington Street route would have had significant private ROW from the Cathedral to Melnea Cass Boulevard.
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:25 pm

The Elevated and MTA were incredibly efficient where it came to large-scale repair and getting trains running after a major disruption. Here are a couple of shots of North Station on the Main Line which was victimized by a fatal bomber in June of 1959. A very mysterious case, it's still open, with no person ever found to have committed it. If you have ever heard anything over the years that might lead in the direction of the perpetrator, however insignificant, please call the MBTA Transit Police's Criminal Investigations Unit at (617) 222-1050. From an engineering perspective, the recovery was nothing short of a miracle. Overnight, the MTA cleaned up the debris and the trains were back running the following day ! Compare the two photographs:
Image

Image

This 01100 body was stored at the far end of Forest Hills Yard for many years on shop trucks. I took this photo as a youngster. I think that it's the car in the original shot that was entering the station at the time of the explosion. When you look at the original photo and realize that the front of this car was approximately 100 feet from the source of an interior explosion, the force and heat of the blast becomes frighteningly apparent.
Image

Celebrate Boston's account of the crime:
http://www.celebrateboston.com/disaster ... losion.htm
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby DaveCantor » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:10 pm

Very late replying to this thread, but after roughly half a century I think I found a place to tell this story.

In the early 1960s, I lived in Everett and often used the main line to go into Boston.

One day I got onto the inbound platform at Everett Station and noticed that the signal at the end of the platform was displaying red over yellow instead of the usual green over red. Now, there were no facing point switches before the next signal, and I could not figure out why there would be such an indication.

Out of curiousity, I did not board the train. I wanted to see whether the signal would clear to red over yellow again. It did not. After the train departed and got a few blocks down the track, the signal cleared from red over red to yellow over red (and then to green over red).

Not that it matters now, fifty years later, but what could cause a red over yellow aspect to be displayed when there is no diverging route?

Dave C.
who remembers the big pile of sulfur at Monsanto
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:27 pm

Everett station had a double crossover outbound of the station then tail tracks. Inbound there was a single trailing point crossover, then a trailing point connection to the shops.
That is from a 1973 track map, I doubt that things had changed much since the 1960's.

So the only way I can think of that there would be a red over yellow would be if this train was leaving from the normal outbound platform then crossing over, which they would not normally do unless there was an issue using the tail tracks. Of course this indication would be on a signal on the outbound track side. Are you sure it departed from the usual inbound platform? Of course if that was the case, the signal would most likely clear to red over red until and if a following train had to also depart from the outbound platform and the crossover had been set for the route.

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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:23 pm

DaveCantor wrote:Very late replying to this thread, but after roughly half a century I think I found a place to tell this story.

In the early 1960s, I lived in Everett and often used the main line to go into Boston.

One day I got onto the inbound platform at Everett Station and noticed that the signal at the end of the platform was displaying red over yellow instead of the usual green over red. Now, there were no facing point switches before the next signal, and I could not figure out why there would be such an indication.

Out of curiousity, I did not board the train. I wanted to see whether the signal would clear to red over yellow again. It did not. After the train departed and got a few blocks down the track, the signal cleared from red over red to yellow over red (and then to green over red).

Not that it matters now, fifty years later, but what could cause a red over yellow aspect to be displayed when there is no diverging route?

Dave C.
who remembers the big pile of sulfur at Monsanto


The diverging route signal may have been a result of some condition further up the line, requiring added caution leaving Everett. For example:

Mystic Drawbridge open.

Move underway in Sullivan Sq. complex.


The interlocking signals ahead would have been red over red, though some intermediate signals may have been normal. IIRC there were 4 or 5 more interlocking signals between Everett and the Sullivan platform.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:16 pm

Actress Christine McCarthy on an 01100 heading to the Channel Nightclub from her home in Rozzie.
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby Type7trolley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:50 pm

3rdrail wrote:Actress Christine McCarthy on an 01100 heading to the Channel Nightclub from her home in Rozzie.

Those seat cushions sure look a lot more comfortable than the confetti-carpet seats on the orange line today. Don't think they'd last very long, though...
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:40 pm

Probably not although these lasted for the life of the cars- only time that Boston went with alternating colored seat cushions on R/T. The vinyl was a heavy gauge vinyl that in the later days of the cars, had a broken in luxuriousness to them- sort of like an old good leather sofa. You can see the deflection in this picture. Now, as you suggest, you might as well be sitting on a carpeted floor. The 01100's were the pinnacle of quality R/T stock in Boston. There was nothing about them that wasn't perfect. It's hard to believe that the same builder (P-S) that built the 01100's built the 01400's.
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:29 am

Interesting video about the tearing down of the El.
http://vimeo.com/14479121
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby jwhite07 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:40 am

Actress Christine McCarthy on an 01100 heading to the Channel Nightclub from her home in Rozzie.


The 01100s were retired by 1981, when Ms. McCarthy was 16 years old. I hope she wouldn't be headed to a nightclub at that age! You sure that's her, or are we talking another Boston-native actress with the same name?
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:33 pm

Don't know what to say, J. Looks like her to me. I know that when the 01100's were phased out, they didn't just remove them from the El- you'd find an 01100 train on the system occasionally. That must have been an El tradition, as the same thing happened with all the cars predecessing new models.
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby highgreen215 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:59 am

The vinyl or fiberglass seats in the 1100s may have been more comfortable to some, but I prefer the colorful cloth seats of the 1400s. The old smooth seats were most uncomfortable during acceleration and braking when you tended to smoothly slide into the passenger seated next to you. Sometimes that was embarrassing, but not always, depending on the sex of the person beside you. The cloth seats at least keep your posterior planted in place.
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Re: Remembering Boston's Main Line.

Postby typesix » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:21 am

highgreen215 wrote:The vinyl or fiberglass seats in the 1100s may have been more comfortable to some, but I prefer the colorful cloth seats of the 1400s.


You have the car numbers switched around.
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