Subway station locations question

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Subway station locations question

Postby Yellowspoon » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:17 pm

Why are the stations located where they are?

Orange line, State Street station, southbound. Why is it so far from the northbound station? This station is 100 feet closer to the northbound DowntownCrossing platform that it is to the northbound State Street platform. It's quite a hike from the Blue line. From the northbound platform, I can see the southbound trains go by. Why not have the platform at the same place? Note: a 60m (200 ft) walkway is all that is needed to connect the Blue & Red lines, albeit with a 600m (1/3 mile) walk.

Haymarket, green line. After one alights a train, one has to walk about 100m towards North Station before reaching the stairs. IIRC, the station was previously located in that long passageway prior to 1963. Why not have the station at the stairs? They're right next to the tracks. -OR- In its current location, why not have an exit at the south end of the station. It's half way to Faneuil Hall.

Red line, downtown (Park & DowntownCrossing). Why not one station under Winter Street? The Park Street station extends under the Common so everyone must walk to the south end. The DC station starts 100m south of Washington Street so most people have to hike north. The distance from Tremont to Washington is just about one train length. It would save time (with only one stop) and some walking.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby Aerie » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:02 am

I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe sometimes stations are staggered because at the time they were built in the early 1900s, the entire line had to be under the public way (street) and could not be built under someone's private property without paying for the privilege.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby highgreen215 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:48 pm

I'm sure it had to do with the most efficient use of space below Boston's narrow crooked streets.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:23 pm

Largely it's because Washington Street is too narrow for side by side platforms. Staggering them reduced the amount of work needed to build through existing building foundations.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby Disney Guy » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Yellowspoon wrote:Red line, downtown (Park & DowntownCrossing). Why not one station under Winter Street? The Park Street station extends under the Common so everyone must walk to the south end. The DC station starts 100m south of Washington Street so most people have to hike north. The distance from Tremont to Washington is just about one train length. It would save time (with only one stop) and some walking.

I am guessing that one station to substitute for Park St. and Downtown Crossing would be too congested with people getting on and off even if there were a decent amount of space for platforms. Plus you would have lots of people getting off of the east end of the train making their way to the west to connnect with the green line and people getting off of the west end of the train making their way to the east to connect with the orange line.

Because of rush hours crowds in both directions at the same time in the DTX area, an island platform between the tracks would not achieve any savings in right of way width compared with outside platforms.

I don't remember why Haymarket was moved ca 1963.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby BigUglyCat » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:30 pm

Disney Guy wrote:I don't remember why Haymarket was moved ca 1963.

Wasn't it due to the parking garage construction that obstructed use of the old Haymarket?
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby The EGE » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:33 pm

The Green Line platform at Haymarket was moved slightly south in 1971; I'm not sure why, but it may have had to do with Haymarket North Extension staging. I don't believe the Orange Line platforms have ever been moved.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby octr202 » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:40 am

Speaking of Park & DTX, is there even enough straight and reasonably level track in there to locate a station platform in the first place? I know standing at the south end of Park St, the drop-off and curve is quite noticeable.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby CS » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:04 am

Also, until 1967 the downtown stations on the (current) Orange Line were considered (and named) different stations.
Chinatown (Essex 1967 - 1987) was Boylston (southbound) and Essex (northbound).
Downtown Crossing was Winter (southbound) and Summer (northbound) - they both became Washington, which the Red Line level always was in 1967.
State was always State northbound: Southbound was Milk and the Blue Line level was Devonshire.
Haymarket was Friend (southbound) and Union (northbound). Haymarket was the Green Line station.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:05 pm

CS wrote:Also, until 1967 the downtown stations on the (current) Orange Line were considered (and named) different stations.
Chinatown (Essex 1967 - 1987) was Boylston (southbound) and Essex (northbound).
Downtown Crossing was Winter (southbound) and Summer (northbound) - they both became Washington, which the Red Line level always was in 1967.
State was always State northbound: Southbound was Milk and the Blue Line level was Devonshire.
Haymarket was Friend (southbound) and Union (northbound). Haymarket was the Green Line station.

The renamings were done to avoid confusion caused by stations with multiple names. Union and Friend are opposite each other and were built under a narrow block east of Washington St. because the Tremont St. Subway ran under Washington Street at that point (and still does!) The present Haymarket Station on the Green Line occupies that section of the subway, in the space formerly occupied by the middle tracks. There was no room under Haymarket Sq. for a station at the time theWashington Street Tunnel was built, so the Tremont St. Subway's original Haymarket stop was expanded to the west, and the
hospital portal expanded by two tracks. The Orange Line tracks occupy part of the original Tremont St. Subway in this area.

As for the southbound State St. platform, it should have its original name restored. The platform is centered on Milk St. and was placed where it is to avoid the sharp curve just to the north. If the station occupied the curve, sliding platforms would have been required, and these were already considered a safety hazard. As it is, the subways would have been impossible in more recent times. Imagine building a subway station in the basement of the Old State House today, let alone a second!

Between State and Haymarket the Orange Line passes under the old Adams Sq. Station, part of which still exists under the city's ugliest building.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby jbvb » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:08 pm

I believe Haymarket on the Green Line was moved to its current location well before 1971, more or less simultaneously with the Government Center line relocation.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby The EGE » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:22 pm

jbvb wrote:I believe Haymarket on the Green Line was moved to its current location well before 1971, more or less simultaneously with the Government Center line relocation.


The NETransit history says this:

May 10, 1971:
New (relocated) Haymarket station opened. The new station was located in
space formerly occupied by center Brattle loop tracks. The old Haymarket
station was abandoned. During the construction of the new Haymarket station
the Brattle loop was temporarily disconnected from late 1968 to approximately
March 1970.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby Yellowspoon » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:06 am

Gerry6309 wrote: ... As for the southbound State St. platform, it should have its original name restored. The platform is centered on Milk St. and was placed where it is to avoid the sharp curve just to the north. If the station occupied the curve, sliding platforms would have been required ...
Yes, but if it were further north, say directly opposite the northbound platform, there would not be a curve or need for sliding platform(s).

The EGE wrote:The NETransit history says this:

May 10, 1971:
New (relocated) Haymarket station opened. The new station was located in
space formerly occupied by center Brattle loop tracks. The old Haymarket
station was abandoned. During the construction of the new Haymarket station
the Brattle loop was temporarily disconnected from late 1968 to approximately
March 1970.
The station was where the current looooong corridor to the surface stairs now resides. It is (in my opinion) a waste of real estate. If the stairs were moved 100 feet towards the station (and Fanuel Hall), they would still be under the weather protection of the garage above and customers would have a substantially shorter walk.
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby TrainManTy » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:32 am

If you want to pay for the renovations, I'm sure the T would be happy to talk to you! :-)
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Re: Subway station locations question

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:03 am

Yellowspoon wrote:
Gerry6309 wrote: ... As for the southbound State St. platform, it should have its original name restored. The platform is centered on Milk St. and was placed where it is to avoid the sharp curve just to the north. If the station occupied the curve, sliding platforms would have been required ...
Yes, but if it were further north, say directly opposite the northbound platform, there would not be a curve or need for sliding platform(s).


At that location the platform is about 35 feet down, below the Blue Line and the southbound track is up against the property line. Little or nothing of the existing platforms extends under the Old State House - for obvious reasons. Look at the buildings on the west side of Washington St. there (both north and south of Court St.) and tell me what you think the cost in today's dollars to take them by eminent domain and demolish them would be? Then you have to excavate and underpin the Blue Line. The subway is the way it is because the Boston Transit Commission did not want to mess with the businesses there in 1901. The time to do it would have been when those parcels were being redeveloped in the sixties and seventies., but the MBTA had its focus elsewhere.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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