bwparker1 wrote:I was just wondering if the Boston & Albany mainline in Massachusetts was every completely double track from the MA state line all they way into Beacon Yard, and if so, when portions of the double track were eliminated to single track? Driving back from NYS yesterday, I noted that the CSX bridge that goes over I-90 is only wide enough for a single track, which got me wondering if there used to be a double track bridge of some sort in that location, and it was replaced as part of the single-track.
Nice historical B&A track chart here that shows the entire line end-to-end: http://www.zekedev.com/sites/boston_line/trackchart.cfm
Quad track from the junction with the NEC in Back Bay to Nevins Yard in Framingham, triple from near the Framingham-Ashland town line to the old station at downtown Ashland, double from Ashland station to Charlton Depot, triple from Charlton Depot to the junction with the (soon-to-be-revived) North Brookfield RR, double to around the Springfield-Wilbraham town line, triple to Springfield Union Station and the junction with the Conn River/Springfield Line, double from the CT River Bridge to Renssalear and end of the line with extra yard leads every couple of towns. Quad still exists through Beacon Park from the Mass Pike Viaduct to Everett St. in Allston...3 of the 4 tracks are used as yard leads, but they are officially part of the mainline ROW so they may stay after the yard gets ripped out. The rest of the quad to Riverside Jct. was cannibalized for the Pike extension in 1965, but except for the more recent vintage 2-track bridge over Route 128 it's all still quad-width past there. All the old bridges excepting that one over 128 are 4 tracks wide and at some of the Worcester Line station stops in Wellesley and Natick the two tracks spread way wide to reach the platforms, indicating there clearly was more in the old days.
Right now it's single running track through Beacon Park, but that'll change back to double after the yard closes and the T can upgrade one of the yard leads into a running track. It's single from near the Worcester-Auburn town line to the Mass Pike underpass in Brookfield where the double picks up again. Then single from the NECR junction in Palmer to Dimmock Pond in Springfield where the double picks up again. All of that will have to be re-doubled for Amtrak to reinstate Inland Regionals after the Springfield Line upgrades are finished. West of the CT River they probably aren't going to do anything to the single gaps because Amtrak really isn't projecting much in the way of Lake Shore Limited schedule increases over the next 15 years. It's between Springfield and Worcester where all the intercity passenger growth is projected and the reinstated double is badly needed.