• Boston & Albany

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by UpNorthBob
I recently took one of what will be several trips each year, to transport my daughter back from college in Boston. While there, I was thinking of the photos of the Boston area in Al Stauffer's book "Steam Power of the New York Central System." So my question is: Where was/is the Beacon Park engine terminal and yard located, and how did/do the tracks get to South Station? Obviously, for a neophyte like myself, driving around Boston trying to follow tracks isn't a very good option. It's a challenge for me just to be able to get back on the Mass Turnpike.

  by sodusbay
I believe this was in the Alston yards, still in use, behind Boston U, between Commonwealth Ave. and the Charles River (Storrow Drive).
  by coalmine
If you got on the Turnpike westbound at Brighton, you were right at Beacon Park. The main line of the B&A ran roughly parallel to the NYNH&H for a short distance out of South Station where it broke off to go through the B&A side of Back Bay Station. The New Haven called their side Back Bay, the B&A called their side Trinity Place; the B&A always did things a bit differently.

Trackage arrangement today is somewhat similar as the Framingham / Worcester commuter trains use the B&A as does Amtrak 448/449. It was a straight shot from the B&A coach yard (which is roughly where the Prudential Center is today) to South Station.

Memories of Beacon Park for me include multiple sets of NYC E units for passenger trains, FAs for freights, Alco RS units, etc. etc.

The B&A in Boston also at one time passed behind two major league ballparks; Braves Field (IIRC, it's now Nickerson Field and belongs to Boston University), and behind Fenway Park.

Things were, of course a lot different before they ripped up everything for the Turnpike.

I was still living in Boston in the PC era; Beacon Park was a place to find 6-axle Alco beasties (ex PRR) and lots of other stuff from what were once "foreign" roads. This trend continued into Conrail with RDG and EL power being fairly common. It was a hard place to get into to take pictures, even "back in the day," but I managed to get more than a few, due in large part to a friend who worked there.

You'll want to check out Robert Jones's 2 vol. set on the B&A; pricy, but well worth it.

Hope this helps

work safe

  by rlsteam
On my New York Central Collection web site ( www.forecyte.com/nyccollection/ ) there are a few photos of NYC trains on the line into Back Bay and South Station -- the New England States, and suburban trains headed by Alco road switchers or E units. They were shot from the St. Mary's Street bridge near Boston University while I was a theological student there in the early 1960s. These scenes show the right-of-way before the Mass Turnpike had been extended over it. Go to the "Diesel Collection" to see them. In the "Steam Collection" there are a few B&A locomotives photographed in Boston in the 1930s; those photos belonged to my father but had been taken by others.

My grandfather was an official of the B&A (secretary to the vice president) early in the 1900s. His office was in South Station. My dad had many memories of the B&A but he died in 1976 and I remember only a few things he told me. In our family there is a grandfather clock my grandfather made from cherry wood taken from the Kneeland Street station when it was torn down.

Dr. Richard Leonard
  by coalmine
Thanks so much for sharing; I was there and recall it very well - only wish I had had a camera.

work safe