Quiz...

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

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Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:01 am

The MBTA used Watertown Carhouse as a repair shop, storage facility and as a base for work cars and snow plows. The tracks were maintained at levels where LRVs and Type 7s could traverse them, along with the various service cars and PCCs. At least one LRV was kept equipped with a pole for such operation. The removal was forced by a local state rep who wanted street improvements in the area, thus the MBTA was required to remove the tracks, not pave them over. It was an "Outside Section" added to the state budget, and supported by a Newton rep who wanted to eliminate the wrong way operation in Newton Corner. The Watertown line was the last lengthy section of track kept alive after passenger operations were discontinued. Other Examples were the Route 92 trackage in Charlestown (1948-1963), Broadway, & Chelsea St. In Everett and Everett Av in Chelsea (1938-1952) and Somerville Av. in Cambridge/Somerville (1941-1958). These "Ghost Lines" enabled equipment transfers as the system evolved into a bus operation. The legislative action was also used to short circuit desires in Brighton to restore passenger service to Oak Sq. Unlike the other operations which were reduced to single tracks in places, the MBTA maintained the Watertown Line as double track from 1969 to 1994.
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Re: Quiz...

Postby tober » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:45 pm

Here's a question that Gerry didn't ask and which I don't know the answer to but I suspect that one of you may. Using the definition of "street railway" that I think Gerry originally intended, i.e.- surface cars that run on rails at grade:

In general, the metropolitan Boston area street railway network has been shrinking since around the end of WWII. Should the green line extension to Medford come to pass, it will represent the first expansion of the network in quite some time. What was the last expansion of the street railway network?
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Re: Quiz...

Postby diburning » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:40 pm

tober wrote:Here's a question that Gerry didn't ask and which I don't know the answer to but I suspect that one of you may. Using the definition of "street railway" that I think Gerry originally intended, i.e.- surface cars that run on rails at grade:

In general, the metropolitan Boston area street railway network has been shrinking since around the end of WWII. Should the green line extension to Medford come to pass, it will represent the first expansion of the network in quite some time. What was the last expansion of the street railway network?


I believe it was the Highland Branch (Riverside) opened in 1959.
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:02 pm

And... What was the last piece of new (wasn't there before) surface street railway trackage constructed? (other than minor alterations to yards)
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Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:15 pm

Regarding street railway operation, who can name five street railway companys in eastern Massachusetts whose bus operation followed or ran simultaneous to their trolley operation ? 20 points per company.

0 Pts = Brookline Boob
20 Pts = Pahk Street Fomah
40 Pts = Fenway Flunkie
60 Pts = Rozzie Rookie
80 Pts = Back Bay Brain
100 Pts = Wondaland Wondah

(Moderators- This is a street railway company question.)
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Ron Newman » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:02 pm

I wouldn't call either the Riverside D Line or the Mattapan Line a street railway, since they do not operate on streets. One could also argue that Lechmere station is not part of a street railway.

If you insist on calling these street railways, then the last 'new' street railway trackage was the connection from the Green Line tunnel portal to Fenway station on the D Line, around 1959.

And here's my question: When was the last revenue trip on the Chestnut Hill Avenue tracks in Brighton?
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Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:04 pm

Ron Newman wrote:I wouldn't call either the Riverside D Line or the Mattapan Line a street railway, since they do not operate on streets. One could also argue that Lechmere station is not part of a street railway.


It is Ron, by definition. "Street railway" is very loosely defined in Massachusetts Law. (C 161, S 1). It's defined as:

"Street railway'' or "railway'', a railway, including poles, wires or other appliances and equipment connected therewith, of the class operated by motive power other than steam, and usually constructed upon public ways and places."

Remember that this is an old law and that at the time in Massachusetts that railroads were primarily steam powered with trolley track usually situated on public ways. It is interesting to see that this is how trackless trolleys fit into this description as well. As we saw earlier, busses can be included also- not technically as "street railway vehicles", but vehicles which can be owned, acquired, and operated by a street railway company.

Quiz answer at midnight- stay tuned. (There's two big clues right in my avatar. Anybody should be able to make it at least as a Fenway Flunkie !)
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Re: Quiz...

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:04 pm

3rdrail wrote:Regarding street railway operation, who can name five street railway companys in eastern Massachusetts whose bus operation followed or ran simultaneous to their trolley operation ? 20 points per company.

BERy/MTA/MBTA
Eastern Mass
Middlesex & Boston
Boston & Worcester
Plymouth & Brockton
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Re: Quiz...

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:18 pm

Nicely done 3247 ! You won the coveted Wondaland Wondah award !!! :-D The upset was the MTA and MBTA, which were not/are not companies, but you managed to put the BERy in there. Nice job !
Two more that come to mind:
Mass Northeastern
Union Street Railway
Nicely done ! :-D

Now, who can guess Gerry's. It's not that hard - I did it. (Gerry threw a reverser lever at my head-almost got me !) Clue - The location has been discussed on RR.Net.)
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Re: Quiz...

Postby MBTA3247 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:49 am

3rdrail wrote:Now, who can guess Gerry's. It's not that hard - I did it. (Gerry threw a reverser lever at my head-almost got me !) Clue - The location has been discussed on RR.Net.)

Gerry6309 wrote:And... What was the last piece of new (wasn't there before) surface street railway trackage constructed? (other than minor alterations to yards)

I'd guess the Heath St Loop, built 1945.
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:30 am

Ron Newman wrote:I wouldn't call either the Riverside D Line or the Mattapan Line a street railway, since they do not operate on streets. One could also argue that Lechmere station is not part of a street railway.

If you insist on calling these street railways, then the last 'new' street railway trackage was the connection from the Green Line tunnel portal to Fenway station on the D Line, around 1959.

And here's my question: When was the last revenue trip on the Chestnut Hill Avenue tracks in Brighton?

1959-no - much more recent!

Mattapan and Lechmere were tied into the main street railway network in the past and Lake St. Yard still is, so all three locations qualify qualify no matter which definition you use. And I dare you to stand in the Central Av. crossing in Milton and try to direct traffic!

Chestnut Hill Av. is used to divert B line trips to Reservoir on almost a daily basis.
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Ron Newman » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:58 am

The incline from North Station to Science Park was the last new Green Line track built, around 2005. But since it goes from a tunnel directly to an elevated without ever being a surface line in between, I don't know if that's what you are looking for.

What is the route of one of these 'daily' diversions of revenue service down Chestnut Hill Ave? How are the cars signed?
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:34 am

Ron Newman wrote:The incline from North Station to Science Park was the last new Green Line track built, around 2005. But since it goes from a tunnel directly to an elevated without ever being a surface line in between, I don't know if that's what you are looking for.

What is the route of one of these 'daily' diversions of revenue service down Chestnut Hill Ave? How are the cars signed?

I was referring to good old trackage in the street.

PCC cars used to carry the rather wordy "COMMONWEALTH AV. TO CHESTNUT HILL AV." on their signs. Modern cars are just signed as "B BOSTON COLLEGE" and announcements are made.

For a while during track rebuilding in the 1980s, the Boston College service ran via Beacon Street, another possible variation. This was the last time frequent, scheduled service was routed over Chestnut Hill Av.
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Re: Quiz...

Postby tober » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:48 am

Gerry6309 wrote:1959-no - much more recent!

Mattapan and Lechmere were tied into the main street railway network in the past and Lake St. Yard still is, so all three locations qualify qualify no matter which definition you use. And I dare you to stand in the Central Av. crossing in Milton and try to direct traffic!

Chestnut Hill Av. is used to divert B line trips to Reservoir on almost a daily basis.


What other rail line(s) historically served Lechmere other than the predecessor to what is now the green line? Were there tracks on Cambridge Street from Lechmere to (somewhere near) Harvard Square?
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Re: Quiz...

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:24 pm

tober wrote:
Gerry6309 wrote:1959-no - much more recent!

Mattapan and Lechmere were tied into the main street railway network in the past and Lake St. Yard still is, so all three locations qualify qualify no matter which definition you use. And I dare you to stand in the Central Av. crossing in Milton and try to direct traffic!

Chestnut Hill Av. is used to divert B line trips to Reservoir on almost a daily basis.


What other rail line(s) historically served Lechmere other than the predecessor to what is now the green line? Were there tracks on Cambridge Street from Lechmere to (somewhere near) Harvard Square?

The Harvard Lechmere and Clarendon Hill - Lechmere services originally ran over the viaduct to Brattle Loop. When the current terminal opened in 1932, they started looping st Lechmere instead. Harvard Lechmere was converted to trackless in 1936, but cars continued to operate over the route until 1940 as Lake Street cars were based at Bennett St. Carhouse. The two Clarendon Hill lines were converted to trackless in 1941. Only the present Medford Hillside line did not operate to Lechmere in its streetcar days (Sullivan).
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