New Haven Boston Questions

Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.

New Haven Boston Questions

Postby Bostontrucker » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:16 pm

Hi everyone, I have a some questions about New Haven in Boston:


1. I make deliveries to the New Boston Food Market in Widdett Circle. The Two warehouses were built maybe in 1969 with railroad access. The longer warehouse has two sidings and where the abandoned box cars are located have two tracks as well. Did the NH make deliveries to this location. It's hard to find any information and pictures. 1969 would have been when the NH got folded into Penn as well as cryovac meat gaining ground, meaning easier to ship it by truck. Some sections of that warehouse still have the old overhead rails for moving the slabs of beef. How active was this area rail wise during the NH years as well as Penn Central? The Newmarket warehouses were built in the 50s and got more traffic by the NH. It also looks like the old Sears Warehouse where the South Bay mall is now located received rail shipments. Was this during the NH or Penn years?


2. The Post Office at South Station must have been built duing the 1930s or 40s. Any pictures floating around that show the rail platforms today where the mail was unloaded? Also, the Post Office was built over a good portitoon of the undergound loop. Would this portiton still be intact? I know when South Station was remodeled most of the loop must have been filled in, but the portiton under the PO might have survived. My grandfather unloaded the mail cars and swiped a few railroad lanterns too haha.
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby Pat Fahey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:47 am

New Haven Yard Boston, Mass # 2.jpg
Map from the New Haven Railroad technical society copyright 1975
Hi Bostontrucker
Hopefully, I can try to answer a few questions, first the location of the now Boston Food market, at one time the New Haven Railroad, had a Large yard at this location. The yard had a roundhouse and two turntables, coaling plant for the steam locomotives, on the map you can see that the yard was quite large.
Now I have no idea when the New Haven Railroad, either decided that they did need the large yard, anymore. It could have been before the PennCentral era? Maybe someone for the New Haven Historical society can provide a better answer.
You asked about the siding if they would have been deliveries make by the New Haven Railroad, by 1969 when the Boston Food market was built, the Railroad, The New Haven, was already a part of the PennCentral RR. So the deliveries would have been made by the PCRR, using the tracks of the New Haven RR.
Now as for your second question I am still working on that.
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:57 am

Perhaps this will be of interest. I took this photo from the West Fourth Street (Dover Street) bridge in December 1967. In the foreground is the New Haven's Dover Street engine terminal, full of commuter GP9s and RDCs, and in the background is the land that is now the Widdett Circle complex. There was an active roundhouse out of the picture to the rear and left. The NH engine terminal basically occupied the current site of the MBTA's Cabot garage complex.

The current USPS facility at South Station was built in the early/mid 1960s as rail traffic was shrinking and the higher numbered platform tracks were removed. At the time the old lower level access to the never-used loop had been converted into a bowling alley. Much of the underground loop tunnel survived up until South Station's major reconstruction in the mid-1980s, but I doubt if there are any traces left now.
Attachments
slides130.jpg
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby Pat Fahey » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:15 am

Hi Tom
Excellent photo, all I had was the map to work with, hopefully, between the two of us, the above questions were answered. Pat
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby JWilson » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:04 pm

Widett Circle and its markets are located right where the words Buildings and N.Y.N.H. are on the title section of the map above. Photos and maps of this area show the markets in place in 1969 but not in 1967 so they may have been served by the New Haven for a little while before Penn Central. The route now used by the MBTA Red Line in this area was originally used by the Old Colony Railroad. The old green bridge that you see just before passing the big white fuel tanks is where the Old Colony passed over the New York and New England which went out to sea on a long curving trestle, looping back to their station about where the Post Office facility next to South Station is now. The New Havens South Bay tower was to the right of the white fuel tanks.
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby Bostontrucker » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:07 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. I recently bought the book "New Haven Facilities In Color: Volume 1", by Phillip W. Adams. There are many good photos of the Dover Street yards and one night photo that shows a portion of Widdett Circle. Looking at HistoricAerials it doesn't look like there was a lot of rail activity at Widett Circle despite the newly built railroad sidings. I wonder how those two box cars got stranded there. I'm pretty sure they're not refrigerated box cars.

The first portion of the Post Office at South Station was at least there in 1938 judging from HistoricAerials. A good stretch of the undergound loop lies right below this. I don't see how this section could have been dismantled during the renovation since it lies right under the Post Office. Is this section still intact? Any pictures floating around of the post office tracks and how they look today?
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Re: New Haven Boston Questions

Postby JWilson » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:50 pm

There are no Post Office tracks anymore. The facility is entirely served by trucks.
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