Old Salem Station

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Old Salem Station

Postby Mcoov » Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:49 pm

Why did the B&M/MBTA abandon the old Salem station south of the tunnel, and move it north of the tunnel? What was wrong with the old one?
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby bmcdr » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:11 pm

There was no place to park, for starters, and down in that "pit" was a bad place to be late at night. There were no elevators, hence, it was not handicap accessible, the only way in or out, was via a very long staircase.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:34 pm

It looks pretty sweet down there. It's definitely on my list of places to explore and take pictures. Is it easy to access?
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:58 am

The station has long since been closed off to the public. Going there would be trespassing on railroad property.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:40 am

MBTA abandoned old Salem station sometime around 1988 or 89. I remember going to Salem around then and using the old station, and then going back a year later and using the new one. They were is a period of building new stations then; the station looks just like a Needham Line station. Also, there's a parking lot, which I don't think the old station had. And I wonder if the city was interested in moving the station so that something would be done with what must have been basically a mostly vacant RR yard.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:44 am

Is it true the the parking lot in the present day Salem station was a freight yard?

I've tried searching for pictures of the area before the parking lot was built and can't find any. I'd like the see the old wye.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby sixflagscoasters » Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:19 pm

The Historic Aerials web site show the rail yard in 1955, and it has a round house.

http://www.historicaerials.com/default.aspx

I dont know how to link directly to the Salem area, so just type in Salem, MA in the search imagery section and find the station. You will see it in the 2005 year, and then you can select other years to see how it has changed over those years. 1955 show whats looks like a complete round house, but 1969 shows just the round house without the table.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:22 pm

Was the tunnel a lot shorter originally? In the 1955 photo, it looks like the north portal of the tunnel is there, but I can't find the south portal; it looks like the surface track is mostly still there.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby Leo Sullivan » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:42 pm

the easiest way to explain the location of the original, shorter tunnel is this picture.
If the photographer had been facing the other way it would be a picture of the
original Eastern RR Sta.
LS
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Salem Tunnel 1939-.jpg
Salem Tunnel 1939-.jpg (53.68 KiB) Viewed 4040 times
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby Mcoov » Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:45 pm

That is an awesome picture! I wish there were more train stations in the middle of downtowns like that.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby bmcdr » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:37 pm

sixflagscoasters wrote:The Historic Aerials web site show the rail yard in 1955, and it has a round house.

http://www.historicaerials.com/default.aspx

I dont know how to link directly to the Salem area, so just type in Salem, MA in the search imagery section and find the station. You will see it in the 2005 year, and then you can select other years to see how it has changed over those years. 1955 show whats looks like a complete round house, but 1969 shows just the round house without the table.

Some of you younger members would be quite surprised to know just how many roundhouses there were in Boston and the surrounding suburbs, some were still standing in the early 1960's.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby jbvb » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:13 pm

Another consideration in siting the 1950s Salem station was that at that time, there was service to Rockport, Peabody and Danvers. When branch service was eliminated circa 1959, Salem became the nearest station for a lot of commuters who wanted to drive there. The current station is located more for the convenience of people arriving on Rt. 114 than for Salem residents. I didn't find the below-grade station scary; I'm pretty sure that what doomed it was 70% parking, 30% the need to build/maintain two elevators.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby railfan1988 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:19 pm

The old Salem Station was the sight of at least two attempted suicides by train, both of which occurred in the early 1980s, I believe. The first case involved a woman who stepped in front of an early morning train there, in plain view of dozens of commuters. This woman didn't die, apparently because several people reached under the train and pulled her back onto the platform. The other case also involved a woman, and interestingly enough, also occurred during the morning rush hour. The woman apparently hid behind the staircase which led down to the station platform, then jumped out in front of the train when it pulled in. That way, the train's engineer never saw her until she was right in front of him. I learned about the first incident from my dad, who saw it happen, given that he took the train from Salem to Boston every day from 1980 until 1986. Regarding the second incident, I learned about it from a friend of mine who knew the engineer involved in it. Perhaps someone out there knows the dates of both incidents?
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby FRANKCOOLIDGE » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:21 am

You are talking about the new station. The old station was a great granite building at street level.
It was removed, and the tunnel lowered to ostensibly improve traffic in the area. The horror they
produced was never appreciated. The "new" station for the MBTA is over the original river.

North of the tunnel was the original North River. North of the "roundhouse" was river. The roundhouse
had to have been built over heavy granite bottom to stabilize the ground. I used to watch the engines
from my street.
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby boblothrope » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:37 am

Two stations ago, it was a large building at street level. Trains left the front of the building through an arch right into the street. I've never seen a train station like that anywhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bosto ... usetts.png

That station was torn down in the 1950s.
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