The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

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The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby rhodiecub2 » Thu May 04, 2017 7:54 am

Thirty years (May 4th 1987), the Southwest Corridor was opened to the public. Did anyone on this board get to ride on the first inaugural run?
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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Thu May 04, 2017 9:25 am

My dad took me to see my grandmother in Roxbury either later that day, or the next day. I was only 7.
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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby dieciduej » Thu May 04, 2017 4:53 pm

I wasn't on the first run of the day but a later one, to actually my first day at my new job. How time flies by, we are both turning 30 today.


This message was sent from a DEC VT100!
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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu May 04, 2017 8:37 pm


I remember the introduction of the Southwest Corridor well remembering the new Orange Line
SW routing and the Commuter Rail changes - new stations at Back Bay, Ruggles and Forest Hills.

I recall riding the old Washington Street Elevated as well as the new SWC routing before and
after during 1987 Boston visits. The new Orange Line was in itself quite a change...

I remember visiting the MBTA Library and securing information about the then-new SWC from
the late George Sanborn - who as many at the MBTA Forum remember was not only a congenial
person but was perhaps remembered best for the wealth of information that he had and how he
would help out anyone interested in anything in the realm of rail transit in Boston and from New
England as a whole. I still have 1987 SWC information stored someplace...

I remember best the special Southwest Corridor Orange Line tokens which were dated May 1987.
The trouble with these tokens is that they were nickel-silver in color and could be confused with
a nickel (5 cents) because of their size and appearance remembering what a cashier had told me
when I went to purchase these tokens. They stood out compared to more traditional brass tokens
and I ended up keeping two of these special tokens for my personal collection.

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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby TomNelligan » Thu May 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Just as a point of history for the benefit of those who weren't around at the time, while the relocated Orange Line indeed opened on May 3, 1987, Amtrak and MBTA commuter trains didn't start using the big ditch until October 5th. That's also when the Needham Branch reopened following the construction shutdown that had cut it off from South Station.
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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby BandA » Fri May 05, 2017 8:38 pm

I rode on the first day. I remember thinking, the inside of the tunnel/corridor & stations are pretty boring, if you've seen one Red Line Extension station you've seen all the new Orange Line stations! There was a confused, possibly homeless or alcoholic dude on one of the platforms trying to board our train to get to Dover station - some of the people were laughing at him :(

I still regret not riding the old El. When I was a kid my dad wouldn't let us ride the Orange Line nor the Ashmont Line!
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Re: The Southwest Corridor turns 30 today

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue May 09, 2017 11:04 pm

Didn't ride on the ceremonial opening day or see anything going on at the station, but my mother and I wandered all through Forest Hills on the Sunday, and I think I rode the line for the first time on the next day in the afternoon. I know I used the bathroom at Forest Hills -- which at first seemed to be open to everyone, not just employees -- on the Sunday.

I did manage to ride the ceremonial first Needham train later in the year, from Roslindale to Needham Jct.
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