Old Salem Station

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

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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby The EGE » Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:16 pm

The first Salem depot was built in 1838. It was a largish wooden building with a train shed.

It was replaced in 1846-47 with the famous castle depot, which also served as the Eastern RR headquarters. Trains ran on the surface through the depot then entered the downtown tunnel through a portal at Front Street.

1910 image from Library of Congress:
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High resolution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... _%26_Maine).jpg

1900 scanned image showing portal:
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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... usetts.png

The 1847 depot was damaged by fire in 1882, but remained in use until 1954 when it was demolished and the tunnel was extended south to the modern Mill Street portal. In 1959, a low stucco building was built on the west side of the tracks. This station had two side platforms in the trench, with stairs from Mill Street and a pedestrian bridge with stairs behind the station building.

My images from last year:
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High resolution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... t_view.jpg

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High resolution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... tforms.JPG

There were multiple reasons for moving the station to the north side of the tunnel. Parking and safety have already been mentioned. Also an issue was disabled access. By the late 1980s, the ADA was looming large as a future possibility. Although it wasn't passed until 1990, every station the MBTA has built or majorly rebuilt since 1987 has had some form of disabled access. Salem was problematic due to its below-grade location, which is relatively uncommon in the system. It would have required multiple elevators. Additionally, the 2-to-1 track join in the station location (which prevents straight platforms) and the narrow width of the trench would have made high-levels (even mini-highs) a tight squeeze. This was also during an era of CR system expansion; planners may have considered the possibility of Peabody/Danvers service. Adding those trains is easier when you can put a separate platform on the wye track north of the portal, rather than adding more stops on a single-track section of the line.
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
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Re: Old Salem Station

Postby jbvb » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:31 pm

When the belowgrade Salem station was in service, the end of double track switch was inside the tunnel, with the 2-light dwarf EB home signal at the tunnel portal. As the B&M did at several other EoDT switches, the straight route was from single to double track, WB in this case. The existing equilateral turnout was installed after the Northey Point station went into service.
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