Roslindale Village Station

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Roslindale Village Station

Postby highgreen215 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:43 am

At the outbound end of Roslindale Village station the track passes over Robert St. Years ago there were two tracks on this line - one track was torn out during WWII, its bridge span was taken down later. On the station side of the street you can still see the two-track stone abutment (only one is in use). The abutment on the other side of the street was constructed to support FOUR tracks. Questions: Were there originally yard tracks that passed over Robert St. to a small freight yard where the station parking lot is today? If so, why is there only a two-track abutment on the station side of the street. Was there ever a four-track abutment on that side? The "missing abutment" area is just a landscaped dirt embankment.

Does anyone have any old photos or maps of Roslindale station (it wasn't called "Village" in those days) that would solve this mystery?
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby jaymac » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:57 am

Given scale issues, the maps available both at Ward Maps and UNH topos show only the line and not the number of tracks and/or yards. The UConn online NH valuation charts are both incomplete and glitchy for that stretch of track. Dunno how old the Greek Orthodox church on Belgrade Avenue is, but given the elevation on GEarth almost at grade of the current northerly T lot, a likely yard would probably have been on the northerly side of the line instead of dropping the seven or so feet to Belgrade Avenue on the south.
It's possible that that a four-track abutment was put in for possible expansion and commuter loop operation as well as a lead to a possible yard. It's also possible that the current alignment was the result of post-retrenchment relocation.
If you haven't already done so, a check with the NHRHTS might be helpful, as would insurance maps for the WWI-or-so era.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:03 am

Historic Aerials doesn't show anything too revealing on the lowish-res aerial shots from '38 & '55, or on the topos dating back to the 00's that show track counts: http://historicaerials.com?layer=1955&z ... 5159015656.

I *think* there may have been a freight house & yardlet there at some point, if only because I'm misremembering that being topic fodder on here many years ago in some historical thread. But you might be talking as far back as Boston & Providence era before Rozzie ever became a trolley suburb well-connected to the rest of the city.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:44 am

Was the station on the other side of the street back in the day? If so, it would have had wider embankments to support leveled ground for the platform.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby neman2 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:28 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:Was the station on the other side of the street back in the day? If so, it would have had wider embankments to support leveled ground for the platform.


I was thinking that also, maybe if someone at finds the right map that covers Roberts st. As jaymac states the UConn site links you to a map for Attleboro when you check that area.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:15 pm

The UConn indexing is a bit wonky, but the geographical index helps.

http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/mash_up/nynhhrr_index.html

Note that there seems to be a gap in the collection between Roslindale and Needham Junction.

There is a map of the area around the Arboretum, though, cutting off at South Street and showing the circa 1915 station. I haven't found on that goes further west from this point.

[url]http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora/object/20002%3A860072913?solr_nav[id]=a4e6247245229159613e&solr_nav[page]=0&solr_nav[offset]=0[/url]
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby chrisf » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:40 pm

Roslindale_station.jpg
This is a photo from the 1910-1915 era. There doesn't appear to be any room for any sort of a yard in what is now the northern parking lot at Roslindale.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:28 pm

Looking closely at the abutments on Google Street View, there are cutouts in the top of the abutments on the north side of the bridge that match the cutouts underneath the bridge's beams. Unless someone knows otherwise, this would suggest that it was the north track that was removed all those years ago. It seems the right-of-way on one side was squared-off to a 4-track width, but I can't come up with any evidence that there were ever more than 2 there.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby chrisf » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:15 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Looking closely at the abutments on Google Street View, there are cutouts in the top of the abutments on the north side of the bridge that match the cutouts underneath the bridge's beams. Unless someone knows otherwise, this would suggest that it was the north track that was removed all those years ago. It seems the right-of-way on one side was squared-off to a 4-track width, but I can't come up with any evidence that there were ever more than 2 there.

On the bridge span itself, you can see where the northern bridge was cut away from the one which remains. Also, given what's still at the station site from the above photo, that also confirms that what's left is the more southerly of the two tracks which used to be there.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby Arborwayfan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:11 pm

I can confirm the station configuration from childhood memories. The north side of the bridge was still there, wide enough for one more track IRRC; they took that side down as part of the reconstruction. The stations pictured were gone by the late 70s when I was a kid, but you could see where they were. The granite curb of the eastbound station's sidewalk on the side away from the tracks was still there in a dirt parking lot. The westbound station's basement had been poorly filled, so that the paved parking lot on that side (towards the church, away from the square) had sunk noticeably in a big square. I believe the sunken area was some distance back from the track that was there in the 70s. All this supports all of your conclusions. An additional fact that implies some questions, though, is that I'm pretty sure that even back in the 70s, before reconstruction, the platform was on the north side of the tracks -- right where the more northerly westbound track must have been. So at some point someone made a conscious choice to build a new platform on the north side of a track that had had a platform on the other side of it to begin with. I wonder why?

Other things I remember, that may not be relevant:
The granite stairs to Robert St. on the south side of the tracks next to the bridge over Robert St were fenced off in the 70s. They were reopened as part of the reconstruction. The concrete stairs on the north side of the same bridge were open. The stairs from the platform to the pedestrian underpass (theoretically South St.) on one side of the tracks were abandoned and kind of blocked off. I remember walking by as a little kid and seeing some isolated steps in the middle of a dirt slope. I think that was the north side, but I could be wrong.
The area south of the tracks was a ratty dirt lot. I don't remember if people parked there; I remember being pretty impressed when they built the station with two parking lots and access roads. There were two different steep dirt slopes down to the first block of Belgrade Ave, basically gulleys. That is to say, the whole station area was falling apart. My mom didn' t even like to go through the underpass when we walked to the square.

At the corner of Conway St and the pedestrian walk down to the underpass, on the northern edge of the north side of the station area, there was an old lamppost, similar to the gaslight one in the picture, but electric, with the kind of teardrop shaped frosted glass lamp on it. The post was wood on a cast iron base. It was there, working, into the 90s. Actually, it seems to be in Google street view, too; if anyone lives around there, you could check and see if it's still wooden. It's an odd survival, the only one like it anywhere around until they put some modern all metal ones like it in elsewhere in the square in the 90s as a Main Street project. https://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx? ... ORM=HDRSC4
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby Arborwayfan » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:40 pm

By the way, Jaymac, the Greek Orthodox church is c. 1990. But it was built by adding onto an existing storefront building, just a random flat-roofed structure that could have been 20 or 60 years old at that point.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby jaymac » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:08 am

Arborwayfan-
Thanks! Now the discontinuity in roofing material and curve at the intersection showing on GEarth begin to make sense.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby neman2 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:11 pm

TomNelligan wrote:The UConn indexing is a bit wonky, but the geographical index helps.

http://magic.lib.uconn.edu/mash_up/nynhhrr_index.html

Note that there seems to be a gap in the collection between Roslindale and Needham Junction.

There is a map of the area around the Arboretum, though, cutting off at South Street and showing the circa 1915 station. I haven't found on that goes further west from this point.


I found the map that covers Roberts Street (sorry I don't know how to post the image here but here's the link).-


http://archives.lib.uconn.edu/islandora ... A860058776

It doesn't show anything that would explain the extra long abutment.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby neman2 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:21 pm

resolverON17OVO3.jpg


I think I figured it out.
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Re: Roslindale Village Station

Postby Arborwayfan » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:50 pm

I wonder if the longer wall on the west side of Robert Street is just there to let the street go through. I'm not sure how much of the land under the station is fill vs. how much of the alignments of Robert St and Belgrade Ave is cuts. I never thought about it that much when I live there and walked by every day, but there was a lot of dirt moved one way or the other in that area when the line was built or afterward. Looking at the satellite it looks like it's all fill for a ways to the west, but maybe not; maybe the space for the houses and stores (now church) on either side of the ROW was cut out. But in that case, why not cut out bigger building lots? Maybe the original builders of the line thought they might want more tracks in the future so they made a provision for that with wider abutments, but the tracks were never needed so never built.

Or maybe the plaforms once went over the street, too; the bridge in the map looks much winder than the current one, and the longer west abutment is shown with no extra track or structure. The current platform goes much further east than the ones in this map, probably because the cut isn't wide enough for two tracks and two platforms.
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