What To Ride, What To See, What To Do Thread For Visitors

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What To Ride, What To See, What To Do Thread For Visitors

Postby ApproachMedium » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:29 pm

I will be visiting Boston next week for work and wondering if there's any interesting things along the MBTA that would be worth checking out. I will be there from Monday till Friday by myself and will be staying in Dorchester. Also, how are MBTA employees with giving courtsey rides to other railroad employees? Might be a bad question to get a reply on here because of company policies etc but if someone has a definate answer a PM is welcome.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby danib62 » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:15 pm

I'd recommend checking out the Mattapan High Speed Line. It's an 8 stop trolley extension of the Red Line Ashmont branch that still uses 1945-46 PCC cars painted up in a BERy scheme.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby jamesinclair » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:28 pm

Buy a 7 day pass (15$) good for all subway, light rail, local bus, zone1a commuter rail (NOT zone 1) and one ferry.

The mattapan line is the only one youll have to go out of the way for. I assume you plan on using your evenings to explore the city, so just regular use of the MBTA should allow you see more of it. Boylston is always fun....as is the charlsetown ferry.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:53 pm

Mattapan High Speed Line and Charlestown Ferry, as mentioned, are pretty cool!


I'd recommend going to Airport Station on the Blue Line to see the blue line convert from overhead to 3rd while (pantographs go up/down). It's not spectacular, but it's neat, and the modernized station looks great so that's a sight in itself. You might also want to go to Wellington on the Orange Line where they have a walkway across the Orange Line yard (generally completely empty during peak times, best to well between rush hours or weekends). I'd recommend taking the Green Line to its Lechmere terminus and the Red Line over the Charles River (between Charles/MGH and Kendall stations). Riding over the Green Line viaduct is pretty cool and the view from the Red Line over the Charles is spectacular.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby The EGE » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:13 pm

If your ears can stand a few minutes of screechy noises, then definitely visit Park Street. Four tracks of trolleys, which you can just about watch going around the loop. There's a neat woodcut mural on the outbound side, and the labyrinthine stairways between the Green and Red levels are neat.

Bowdoin is also fun; you can get off the train, watch it go around the platform, and get back on. Just remember that it's only open between rush hours on weekdays.

Government Center has a very strange triangular platform that's neat to walk around.

And don't forget to get off an inbound train at Boylston. Two old streetcars are displayed there on the tracks to the Pleasant Street Portal. Though, once again, beware your ears on that curve.

Edit: pick up copies of the Amtrak schedule, then take a ride on the Orange Line in the southwest corridor during rush hour. Real neat to see an Acela, Regional, or commuter train towering over you.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:13 am

ApproachMedium wrote:Also, how are MBTA employees with giving courtsey rides to other railroad employees?

I wouldn't bet on it. Even MBCR employees have to have pay regular fares to ride the subway.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby ApproachMedium » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:35 am

MBTA3247 wrote:
ApproachMedium wrote:Also, how are MBTA employees with giving courtsey rides to other railroad employees?

I wouldn't bet on it. Even MBCR employees have to have pay regular fares to ride the subway.


Thanks for that answer, but what about riding on the MBTA commuter lines? I have no problem paying for the subway.

And thanks for all of the great info guys! I will be sure to reference this when I get bored after work LOL. Most of my travels should be evenings after 5 or 6pm, search for some dinner than some kind of activity/train ride/attraction till its time for bed. Are there any model railroad displays in the area that could be reached by train? I wont have a vehicle with me to drive.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby Tom coughlin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:11 am

Take the Red Line to South Station. From there make a round trip to one of the commuter stations on the Attleboro/Providence line. Sit on the east side of the train as mileposts and many of the older stations are on that side. Allowable speed is 80 mph for commuter trains and over 100 for Amtrak. This is the former New Haven Railroad's main line to NY. Last I checked, the mileposts still gave the mileage from Grand Central Station, NY a destination not used by trains from Boston in over 40 years. South Station is an interesting and busy place with plenty of food options. From South Station, you can take the Silver Line bus rapid transit to Logan Airport, then work your way back on the Blue and Orange line to the Red Line. If its a nice evening, consider getting off at the Blue Line Aquarium stop and walking back to South Station along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Don't forget to visit North Station (the TD Garden is "upstairs"). Both the Orange and Green Lines serve this station. On another night you might ride the B, C, and D Green Line branches which provide interesting views of city neighborhoods. The E branch is a former Boston & Albany Railroad branch with some original B&A stations and mileposts. Have fun.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby AznSumtinSumtin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:43 am

Tom coughlin wrote:On another night you might ride the B, C, and D Green Line branches which provide interesting views of city neighborhoods. The E branch is a former Boston & Albany Railroad branch with some original B&A stations and mileposts. Have fun.
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Actually, The D line is a former B&A branch, and the B, C, and E lines operate along the streets. But yeah, they're really fun rides, especially the E. The portion of the E south of Brigham Circle actually operates in mixed-traffic rather than on a separate ROW. It's only about half a mile, but it's still neat.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby jonnhrr » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:25 am

Re Model railroad clubs accessible from the T. The Bay State Model Railroad Museum is in Roslindale Sq, accessible by bus (35 or 36) from Forest Hills on the Orange Line, or by CR (Needham line, Roslindate Village station). You could contact them at info@bsmrm.org as to when they are open.

Their web site is http://www.bsmrm.org/

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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby Teamdriver » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:46 am

Get a pizza at Santarpio's in East Boston! Just walk down Chelsea street from the Maverick Station on the Blue Line . Walk back to Maverick and ask someone where they moor the tugboats :Boston Towing and Transportation
Place page
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Just be on guard walking at all times anywhere in Boston. It could be a real inter-modal transportationfest, plus you arent too far from oil tanker berths, container ship ports of call.Whatever floats your boat. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&rlz=1 ... a=N&tab=wl
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Mar 27, 2011 1:11 pm

And you should also take the Red Line down braintree's way and go up to the railfan window in the end of the head car to see out front although the right windows are covered with curtains, but it should a be good to see out front all the way to Braintree Station
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby Ron Newman » Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:49 pm

If you want to get a little taste of MBTA commuter rail with your 7-day $15 pass, take a Fitchburg Line train from North Station to Porter Square, or vice versa. At Porter Square you can transfer to or from the Red Line subway.

The $15 pass covers a few other Zone 1A commuter rail trips, but those either parallel subway lines (Haverhill Line to Malden Center, Needham Line to Forest Hills, Old Colony Lines to JFK/UMass, various lines to Ruggles), or else they leave you in obscure places where you'd have to ride buses to get back to a subway station (Chelsea, West Medford, Uphams Corner, Morton Street).
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby FP10 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:46 pm

Defiantly take the red line between Boston and Cambridge on a clear night. The view going over the Charles River is spectacular, and the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square lights up the whole river. You can usually watch it go through its entire animation cycle in the time it takes to cross the bridge. The Prudential and both John Hancock towers (the big one and the older one with the weather beacon) are also visible. You could of course walk across the bridge too, but thats not very MBTA related.

And the PCCs on the Mattapan line are a must see too, but I would suggest going during the DAY. Mattapan isnt the nicest place to be at night.
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Re: Visiting Boston next week, whats worth seeing?

Postby CRail » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:37 pm

FP10 wrote:You could of course walk across the bridge too, but thats not very MBTA related.

Sure it is, it's great to watch the trains barrel over the bridge. It's especially great near the Cambridge portal where Boston bound trains are powering up the incline, and arc like crazy going by the First Street gate. During the day there are excellent photo ops with trains in front of the Boston skyline.

I've always liked visiting Cleveland Circle every now and then. The street running (although non-revenue) intersection almost makes me feel like I've gone back to a time when that was commonplace.
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