NYNE Dedham MA branch?

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NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby salminkarkku » Tue Dec 19, 2006 5:58 am

I know that the NYNE main line from Boston started when the "Norfolk County" built from the "Boston & Providence" at Dedham to Blackstone.

But I read that the original route was not that of the later NYNE Dedham branch, but was re-aligned sometime in the 1880's.

Can anyone say where this old alignment south of Dedham ran?
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Postby BaltOhio » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:43 am

I'm just catching up with this one, and can only say that you sure pick the arcane and onscure ones.

This isn't much help, but may be a start. The NHRHTA "Shoreliner," Vol. 18, Issue #1, 1987 has an article on the NH's Dedham Branch by the late Jim Lee. Quoting a part of it, he says:

"...[Deham] was bypassed by the Boston & Providence. The outrage must have been enormous, and not long after, in 1842, a branch line was conceded to Dedham and constructed to join the mainline at Readville. Apparently some of the townspeople were not placaded by this tardy gesture because a local railroad from Dedham to Walpole was incorporated in 1846. A year later the Walpole Railroad became a part of the Norfolk County Railroad, reaching a junction with the Providence & Worcester at Blackstone... The original line running from Dedham around Wiggins Pond to South Dedham before swinging west towards Islington ands Norwood was rather circuitous and was supplemented in 1849 by a more direct line from Dedham to Islington...."

All of which you probably knew already. Tjhe article includes several nice maps, but nothing showing this original alignment.
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Postby NYNE » Thu May 08, 2008 3:49 pm

If you are still looking for information, I would suggest you check out the old USGS maps held by UNH http://docs.unh.edu/MA/ddhm94nw.jpg > The tracks essentially followed Rte. 1 south out of Dedham before veering off to join the other NYNE line.

If you go to the Islington station on the MBTA today, you can still see the embankment that carried the line to Dedham veering off to the north. When the leaves are off the trees you can follow it until development and Rte. 1 wipe it out.

Hope this helps. I am interested in this line myself.
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Postby Tracer » Fri May 16, 2008 5:25 pm

Intersection of Rt. 1 and High st. in Dedham

I drive over these tracks almost everyday so i stopped today and took some shots, it amazes me that these tracks still survive after being abandoned in 1932(i think).

view looking north
Image

view looking south
Image
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby Leo Sullivan » Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:42 pm

Though the line was abandoned, the part you photographed stayed as a siding until around 1960.
I think it went to an oil yard at the end of that sort of frontage road that the tracks in the
pictures occupied. I was told that it was, more or less, on the alignment of the old NY&NE
branch. There was also a bit of embankment visible on the right, southbound, just before
passing under the NY&NE (Franklin Line) Main Line. That embankment may still be visible
to the trained eye, I haven't looked lately.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:35 pm

The two photos that triker has posted show one track positioned a few feet southerly from Dedham Square Depot that stood about where the Providence Highway intersects with Eastern Ave. at the base of the municipal parking lot now. It has been described as "an impressive stone edifice". The tracks pictured would have been one of two almost parallel lines coming from Islington to Dedham Square, one originally built by the Boston & New York Central RR (later absorbed by the NYNE RR) and the other built by the New York and New England Railway in 1849 and 1890, respectively. The double restraining rail on a straight section indicates that it was used for protection, probably due to it's proximity to the Depot.The Row's of both almost entirely sit underneath the Providence Highway now. The tracks built by the NYNE RR Dedham Branch were in direct competition with the Boston and Providence's Dedham Branch to and from Boston. The largely unused originally B&NYC RR ROW (probably that in the pictures) were used, as Leo stated, for storage, while the almost parallel NYNE RR line was used for passenger routing through Dedham Square. (I think that those are remarkable photos as I am not aware of anywhere now where uncovered street running rail exists, abandoned circa 1883 !) Boston and Providence Railroad tracks built in 1850 came through between what is now the VFW Parkway and Crosstown Ave. in West Roxbury, running to the rear of Toys R Us as they crossed over into Dedham. The tracks then kept going southerly, right through what is now the Stop N' Shop off Providence Highway in Dedham, right through the present Dedham Mall, continuing to a B&P RR yard with a car shed, depot, turntable, and engine house. The car shed was just about where the overpass is now, and there was a spur that left the line, accessing the turntable to the five-stall engine house where the municipal parking lot is currently accross from the CVS on Eastern Ave. Coming east/west out of what is the field at East/Avery Sts. now, was a B&P RR ROW that crossed the north/south Dedham Branch, switching into the depot or entering these yards to alongside the engine house. This ROW, built in 1834 by the B&P RR was also part of the B&P RR Dedham Branch and was the first branch line in New England. If you counted all the railroad tracks around the vicinity of Dedham Square (not including street railway), including all the tracks on the Dedham Branches of both the B&P RR and the NYNE RR (2), Depot (4 incl. Dedham Branches), Avery St. (1), and Turntable and Enginehouse (5), there were 10. If you look carefully, there is still some evidence left.

Link to Ward Maps for 1876 Dedham. Magnify and swing over to end of Bryant St. for detail of Depot, Yard, etc.
http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=581

(On a side note, it was this Dedham Square Depot that the infamous D.B. Torrey, the Boston and Providence Railroad's 4-4-0 involved in the Bussey Bridge Disaster, left from prior to it's fateful encounter with the bridge in Roslindale that collapsed, killing 23 passengers on the snowy morning of March 14, 1887. The Bussey Bridge Disaster is considered the first major railroad disaster in America, and is credited with the population of then countrified Roslindale.)
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby Ridgefielder » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:36 am

(On a side note, it was this Dedham Square Depot that the infamous D.B. Torrey, the Boston and Providence Railroad's 4-4-0 involved in the Bussey Bridge Disaster, left from prior to it's fateful encounter with the bridge in Roslindale that collapsed, killing 23 passengers on the snowy morning of March 14, 1887. The Bussey Bridge Disaster is considered the first major railroad disaster in America, and is credited with the population of then countrified Roslindale.)


I always thought the first major railroad disaster was the South Norwalk wreck in 1853: a New Haven engineer blew a signal and ran his Boston-bound express train through the open draw span of the Norwalk River bridge, killing 46.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:12 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:I always thought the first major railroad disaster was the South Norwalk wreck in 1853: a New Haven engineer blew a signal and ran his Boston-bound express train through the open draw span of the Norwalk River bridge, killing 46.


It would seem that the New Haven's South Norwalk accident of 1853 in which 48 persons were killed was the first major railroad wreck, as you state. Regarding severity, I think that it's a subjective matter, depending upon which (and where) source that you look at. Certainly, the South Norwalk 1853 wreck was prior to the Bussey Bridge and killed more people. I will say however that reading various reports of the Bussey Bridge wreck and it's aftermath over the years, that there was an intensified horrific violence associated with the Bussey Bridge Wreck, probably due to the fact that the passenger cars in which so many commuters were riding, came to an abrupt stop upon either striking the bridge's abutment or the street forty-feet below. http://www3.gendisasters.com/massachuse ... ,-mar-1887
Having said that, however a death is a death and who is to say that any accidental death is worse than another, so we would have to go with sheer numbers of fatalities on this one, I believe.
Here is a Rappaport Institute version, indicating the Bussey Bridge Disaster as the "worst" RR accident (under "History".) http://ksgaccman.harvard.edu/hotc/Displ ... p?id=11666
I think also that the aftermath of the wreck, in which the soundness of iron bridges were questioned, made this a landmark incident as well.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby Tracer » Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:43 pm

South of islington station in Westwood, note the East st. bridge abutments appear to have once carried a third track, this was probably at the start of NYNE branch.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:25 pm

The NYNE "New England Limited" between Boston and New York, popularly called the "Ghost Train" by locals, was called that due to it's color scheme - all white, including the engine ! Can you imagine the engine house foreman who's job it was to ensure that that train came out into the station white as the driven snow ? All that it would take is one gust of cinder and ash to blow back and change everything ! :-D
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby atsf sp » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:17 pm

The ROW still exists in many areas. After where the turn was near stop and shop in west roxbury, a bridge end stone work is still in place with the ROW embankment stil in place. Following RT1 near the Dedham mall the ROW runs behind it fenced off. Look behind the parking lots along the way. Many of the embankments still exist.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby mapnhrr » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:51 pm

I have taken some photos of this area as well. Some of the photos I have I took aprox. 1988 or '89 and show remains of the Dedham Station and a longer length of track down Route 1 south. At the time, the track was paved over at some points. I recall as a child in the 60's this was a freight siding going at least as far as Fisher Churchill Oil Co. Up unitl 1932 (when Route 1 was built) it was a double tracked main line part of the way, which proceeded down Route 1 South and crossed Route 1, I believe, in the vicinity of Elm Street, passing behind the motel and Dunkin' Donuts where it joined the midland.

Fisher Churchhill has some photos showing the right of way along route 1 south when it was very rural; mostly woods and a few houses. An old Fisher Churchhill ad exists that shows the tracks and Fisher Churchill as well. There is also a shot of the main line and a stub track in the location I believe was the front of Dedham Station, though the station is out of view. Another view I acquired a few years ago is a rare photos howing the right of way branching off north as a single track from Islington to Dedham. I will try to get some pictures on.

I'm very interested in this branch and welcome any other inforamtion about it. If anyone has any pictures or information about the West Roxbury segment of the Dedham Loop as well, especially where the line passed under East Street, Washington Street and over the Mother Brook on it's way to Spring Street I would be curious.
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:56 am

Here's a couple of links from Ward Maps, one for West Roxbury and one for Dedham at the time. By clicking and enlarging as well as moving the map, you get a pretty good idea of where everything was.The Dedham map shows the line coming into Dedham from West Roxbury and the layout in Dedham Square. The parking lot accross from where the CVS is in the Square off High Street is where the engine house used to be. Mother Brook ran under the bridge on the ROW at High/East Sts. Looking at the Dedham map, I was surprised at how busy a place Dedham Square was back then, with all the RR facilities and tracks for B&P RR and NYNE RR. I recently was prowling around the lots in West Roxbury and found that the line, I believe, ran directly into what is now the Stop N' Shop on the Providence Highway in the Dedham Mall. If you look next door at the Toys R Us lot, right at the end of their parking lot, next to Stop N' Shops, is a fenced in small parcel of land that I believe might be part of the old ROW. Also, keep your eye peeled, as in spite of all the digging that's going on there now, I think that a lot of the old rail is underneath there and is likely to pop up from time to time - especially near the entrances in the parking lots to all those set-back stores along Route 1 that are privately owned.

http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=49

http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=581
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby Tracer » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:05 pm

The map in the link is from 1890 and shows the "wye" section near the old Dedham cinema. http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet ... eet---Prel
I was playing with local live maps and It looks like the wye may have run directly behind the the cinema(note the odd angle of the property line directly behind the cinema). http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v ... &encType=1
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Re: NYNE Dedham MA branch?

Postby Tracer » Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:30 pm

On second thought it may have run further north east then i thought.
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