Boston South Station Lower Level Loop

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

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Re: Push Pull

Postby typesix » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:13 am

This track on lower level was never used in regular service, see this thread about the lower level:
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Re: Boston South Station lower level loop

Postby mtuandrew » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:04 pm

Moderator's Note: I've split this topic off the main "Push Pull" topic and am moving it from General Discussion: Commuter, Light Rail and Transit to the MBTA forum. MBTA mods, I believe the original poster was asking about a currently-used loop or wye, but feel free to merge this topic into another one or lock it as you so choose. Thanks!
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Re: Boston South Station lower level loop

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:46 pm

The New Haven had set up it's Boston-Providence Main Line as it's commuter line, planning to use it's outer tracks on the four-track ROW, which would have been electrified and fenced from the high-speed "express" tracks in the middle. I believe that there were "private negotiations" regarding the take over of expansion rights with BERy, BTC, and the MTA, which resulted in a stalemate. It was this operation which the lower level loop had been designed for at South Station when it was built, and the stalemate caused it to lay dormant for so many years, ultimately having the NH convert it into a locker room/bowling alley and now just a locker room/storage facility. My opinion is that a little payola was involved, thus an excuse had to be invented as to why the loop couldn't be used. This is how the highly unlikely reason came about that "it was found" that the operation of steam locomotives were impossible on the loop. Steam was never intended for the loop.
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Re: Boston South Station lower level loop

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:15 pm

As far as I know, the New Haven had a balloon track in the vicinity of South Station with which to turn their locomotives.


That's correct as regards trainsets, and it's still there and in use by Amtrak to turn Amfleet consists. The double-track loop along the Southeast Expressway at the Southampton Street yard dates from New Haven days. However the NH also had a turntable at the Dover Street roundhouse (in the middle of what's now the Amtrak/MBTA yard) that was used to turn steam locomotives and single-unit diesels. The turntable lasted into the Penn Central years and disappeared in the 1970s when the whole area was rebuilt with the addition of the Red Line shops and yard.

The lower level loop, as noted elsewhere, was never used in regular service and was not intended for turning locomotives.
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Re: South Station Question

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:07 pm

Charliemta wrote:It was really shortsighted to eliminate the underground loop in years past, given that the NEC is now electrified and could have used it, as could an electrified Fairmount line. When the postal building is torn down, maybe the loop can be restored, although the building at the corner of Dorchester Ave and Summer Street would probably also have to be torn down (no big loss there!)


Unused and remote sections of South Station were becoming a menace in the 70's with undesireables congregating in certain areas. I know of at least one tragic murder of a child who had been lured and murdered in an old Railway Express office whose body was wrapped and dumped by the old Loop. You have probably never heard of it. It was popularly known as "The Giggler" murders which were perpetrated by one Kenneth Harrison who was later convicted and died in prison. (What a shame.) (Among his other victims, he murdered a guy in a water filled sink hole in the Combat Zone one night, and an elderly woman and six year old female child who he dropped into the Fort Point Channel.)
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Re: South Station Question

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:26 pm

3rdrail wrote:. It was popularly known as "The Giggler" murders which were perpetrated by one Kenneth Harrison who was later convicted and died in prison. (What a shame.) (Among his other victims, he murdered a guy in a water filled sink hole in the Combat Zone one night, and an elderly woman and six year old female child who he dropped into the Fort Point Channel.)


Just read about it, and yes, I have never heard about it. http://www.celebrateboston.com/crime/gi ... killer.htm
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Re: Boston South Station Lower Level Loop

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:45 pm

The creep may have been the "Boston Strangler" with someone else (not Desalvo). There is DNA on file from victim Mary Kelley. I'd like to see Harrison dug up for a DNA analysis/comparison test. It might prove to be interesting. At a symposium, I spoke with Dr. James Starrs who did the previous comparison with Desalvo's DNA. Samples of two different foreign DNA samples were retrieved post-exhumation. Neither was DeSalvo's.
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