Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Arborwayfan » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:46 pm

Does anyone have pictures of commuter rail trains in/next to the Arboretum in the 1970s? Or just pictures of the railroad from the Arb side? When I was very little I lived at Fairview and Mendum Streets and my mother would take me into the park and down the hill to watch the trains in the afternoons. I would love to see what the place and the trains really looked like then. The landscape has changed -- the tracks are on an embankment most of the way along the Arb, and we used to look across a little valley at them. There was a granite wall with a culvert or drain in it about half way from Bussey Bridge to where the tracks leave the Arb towards Roslindale station. That's all gone or buried, because later they built a big fill alongside the track to hide it from the Arb side (or to keep out stolen cars, I remember someone saying, because while the line was torn up in the early 80s people would drive stolen cars up the ROW and into the park and (at least once) burn them. I remember trains of Budd cars, with and without locomotives; I was probably watching before and after the blizzard of 78 when most of the Budds stopped running on their own, right?

(Yes, before I was an Arborwayfan, I was a Needham Line fan. I was aware of the trolleys in those same years, because we'd see them when we went to pick up my Dad at Forest Hills, but I really got interested in them over years of school bus trips.
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby ohalloranchris » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:07 am

Arborwayfan wrote:Does anyone have pictures of commuter rail trains in/next to the Arboretum in the 1970s? Or just pictures of the railroad from the Arb side? When I was very little I lived at Fairview and Mendum Streets and my mother would take me into the park and down the hill to watch the trains in the afternoons. I would love to see what the place and the trains really looked like then. The landscape has changed -- the tracks are on an embankment most of the way along the Arb, and we used to look across a little valley at them. There was a granite wall with a culvert or drain in it about half way from Bussey Bridge to where the tracks leave the Arb towards Roslindale station. That's all gone or buried, because later they built a big fill alongside the track to hide it from the Arb side (or to keep out stolen cars, I remember someone saying, because while the line was torn up in the early 80s people would drive stolen cars up the ROW and into the park and (at least once) burn them. I remember trains of Budd cars, with and without locomotives; I was probably watching before and after the blizzard of 78 when most of the Budds stopped running on their own, right?

(Yes, before I was an Arborwayfan, I was a Needham Line fan. I was aware of the trolleys in those same years, because we'd see them when we went to pick up my Dad at Forest Hills, but I really got interested in them over years of school bus trips.


I am not as familiar with the area, was this part of the existing Needham line that runs today, or a separate branch/spur?
ohalloranchris
 
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:42 am

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby chrisf » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:07 am

ohalloranchris wrote:I am not as familiar with the area, was this part of the existing Needham line that runs today, or a separate branch/spur?

It's the same line as exists today.
chrisf
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:35 pm

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:02 am

Here is a link to the place in google maps: https://www.google.com/maps/place/57+Ar ... 75a74f1fc7
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:02 pm

Other than the stone arch bridge at South St. there's not much railfanning to be done anywhere around the Arboretum with how thick the perimeter tree barrier is along the ROW. Google Street View has the entire Arboretum path system mapped out; you can see for yourself what visibility challenges await by clicking around. There'd only be a couple spots off-path near the perimeter fence where the tree line thins out enough that you can see a few flecks of purple paint go whizzing through the tree branches. Otherwise the Needham Line is strictly heard but not seen from inside the park.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7237
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby chrisf » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:59 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Other than the stone arch bridge at South St. there's not much railfanning to be done anywhere around the Arboretum with how thick the perimeter tree barrier is along the ROW. Google Street View has the entire Arboretum path system mapped out; you can see for yourself what visibility challenges await by clicking around. There'd only be a couple spots off-path near the perimeter fence where the tree line thins out enough that you can see a few flecks of purple paint go whizzing through the tree branches. Otherwise the Needham Line is strictly heard but not seen from inside the park.

Trains are easily visible along the tracks on top of the embankment mentioned in the first post in this thread. There's a well worn footpath there and Street View doesn't cover this path.
chrisf
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:35 pm

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:43 pm

That's right, Chrisf. The embankment above the tracks is a great place to watch the trains from, easy to get to and completely legal. There are trees along the embankment, so the view isn't as good as it was when it was just put in in the 80s, but there are plenty of places to stand between them and look. And, in fact, the top half of every train is visible even from the park road further up the hill.

I just wish I had pictures of how it was before that embankment to clear up my memories of going there in the 70s, when the trains were even more visible and really seemed to run through the park at one point, where the hillside ran down to a very slightly raised roadbed (you could sled down the hill and slide up a couple of feet and hit a line of very low bushes or tall weeds between the park and the ROW, IIRC.)
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby highgreen215 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:41 pm

That culvert or drain you speak of is a small arched umderpass where families of earlier civilized times used to walk from Washington Street directly into the Arboretum. A dead-end street, Arboretum Road, runs from Washington to the underpass. It was a nice idea in its time - too bad it had to be abandoned and blocked off.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby chrisf » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:21 pm

highgreen215 wrote:That culvert or drain you speak of is a small arched umderpass where families of earlier civilized times used to walk from Washington Street directly into the Arboretum. A dead-end street, Arboretum Road, runs from Washington to the underpass. It was a nice idea in its time - too bad it had to be abandoned and blocked off.

That's still there, and you can still walk through: https://goo.gl/maps/fFpRkH8vd262
chrisf
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:35 pm

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:38 pm

We walked over the big stone arch bridge (Bussey Bridge) and the small underpass to the north/east (rr east?) of it often during the years of the SWC project when the line was closed (and torn up north/east of Bussey Bridge). It was an interesting place to wander around: a railroad track with a guarantee of no trains so we could safely walk on it (legally is another question, but safely anyway, at least from trains), date nails from the 40s and 50s in the ties, some remaining telegraph poles, fragment of insulators. The wall-and-drain place was south/west of Bussey Bridge.
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Literalman » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:23 pm

I recalled that I had a photo of an RDC on the stone arch bridge from circa 1980, so I posted it on my website at http://www.stevedunham.50megs.com/photos/RDC-Arboretum.html. I remember that is was a cold day, maybe 10 degrees, but I had cabin fever, because it had been bitterly cold for days. So I rode the T to Forest Hills (my wife went with me, God bless her), and we walked into the arboretum.

I have a few other MBTA photos from that era that I must get around to posting.
Steve Dunham
Alexandria, Virginia
www.stevedunham.50megs.com
Literalman
 
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:33 pm

A very nice photo at an unusual and historic location. Looking forward to seeing your other photos.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Commuter Rail next to the Arboretum 1970s

Postby Arborwayfan » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:42 pm

Thanks, Literalman! That's great! I am so happy to see that picture!
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana


Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests