Why Does The Red Line Cross Over And Under So Frequently?

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Why Does The Red Line Cross Over And Under So Frequently?

Postby NH2060 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:51 pm

When the extension to Braintree was constructed why didn't the T build the tracks on only one side of the ROW? Having ridden the line to/from Braintree a couple of times I'm rather curious as to why this was done. Furthermore the prospect of rail service being restored on the Old Colony (if there weren't any local freights, etc.) must have been taken into account at that time which makes me wonder even more.
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Re: Why Does The Red Line Cross Over And Under So Frequently

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:11 pm

The flyover over nothing near Savin Hill on the Braintree branch was built to cross what at the time was still a (barely) active freight branch, the remnant of the New Haven RR's spur to the Walter Baker Chocolate plant on the Dorchester/Milton line. South of the Neponset River bridge in the 1960s there was no active railroad until the connection to the Greenbush Branch in Braintree, which the NH reached from the south. The NH line had been cut when the Neponset drawbridge burned in 1960 and was never rebuilt. The rapid transit line had exclusive use of the right-of-way but space was left for a railroad track should the need ever arise, which in fact happened when Old Colony commuter service was restored in the 1990s.
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Re: Why Does The Red Line Cross Over And Under So Frequently

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:22 pm

The "flyover over nothing" at Savin Hill is on the Ashmont line, and was for a spur serving some industries just west of the tracks there. The Baker Chocolate factory was served by the Milton Branch, which split off from the Old Colony mainline just north of the Neponset River bridge. The Braintree line flyovers between JFK/UMass and Savin Hill and south of Quincy Adams were to accommodate the remaining freight service on the Milton Branch and south end of the Granite Branch (which are both west of the Old Colony main line), and on the Greenbush branch (which is east of the Old Colony main).
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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