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Saturday, August 16, 2003

03-08-16 CLASSIC PHOTOS: Boston MBTA Trip

Thanks to various personal contacts, Boston has been a perennial railfanning destination of mine going way back. During the summer of 2003 I had was taking advantage of a break in schooling to stuff as many railfan trips in as I could manage and a couple of these involved the original "Bay Area". The showpiece of this journey was a trip out to the end of the MBTA Fitchburg line and back as it is basically the Port Jervis Line of the (T). I also managed to capture the waning days of the Green Line elevated section before the opening of the North Station Superstation. I should probably have explored that more, but at the time digital media storage was still limited so I still had to conserve my shots. You can find the full set of photos here.

We begin with a close up of the upper floor of the PT&TRR's 'F' interlocking tower, located in Sunnyside, Queens. Not long after the tower was demolished for reasons unknown.

Speaking of Sunnyside, on this day, surviving Phase III Amtrak AEM-7's #949 and #950 were laying over attached to various trains. Additional things that aren't there anymore includes MHC express cars and a Phase III 4-door baggage car.

Former New Haven RR SS119, later renamed GROTON, standing on the east end of the Thames River in Groton, CT. This tower is still standing as of 2016.

SS165 at Attleboto is a rare surviving wooden tower and also contains a mechanical interlocking machine. It also still stands and will hopefully be preserved.

MBTA F40PH-2C #1066 passing the TOWER 1 signal gantry on an outbound run.

Yes, there was a time when Boston was home to elevated trains and trolleys. The last elevated segment was part of the Green Line as it snaked off the Charles River bridge, crossed in front of North Station and then went underground to Haymarket. Here are some photos of the Green Line North Station structure.

Here are a couple of Type 7 LRV's negotiating the El.

If you were wondering why the El was torn down, it had kind of been left to decay past the point of no return as seen here with Type 7 #3645.

Here we see the iconic North Station Charles River drawbridges with Tower A and some temporary "Big Dig" I-93 ramps in the background. Yeah, remember when the Big Dig was this thing that wouldn't end? XD

MBTA GP40MC's #1139 and #1131.

A collection of MBTA snowplows, which would come in handy in the winter of 2015.

Riding to Fitchburg, myself along with fellow Subchatter Alex, camped out in MBB ADA coach #510. At the time the German built coaches were the only ones with accessible bathrooms and were placed at directly behind the locomotives where they would like up with the mini-high platforms. The 2+2 reversible seating was also an upgrade over the 3+2 fixed seating in the Comet cars.

Unfortunately, the MBB cars were suffering from a number of defects such as this melting window molding and also cloudy window glass.

AYER tower in Ayer, Mass, located on the Gulford Rail System Main Line.

MBTA Operation Lifesaver unit #1025 was an M-K built F40PHM-2C built in the early 1990's. This was the direct predecessor to the popular line of streamlined MP36 and MP40 model locomotives of the 2000's.

MBTA Comet II Cab Car #1631 laying over on the Fitchburg station track, the dispatcher having already pulled up the signal to depart.

Here is a Red Line 01800 series train pulling past the old tower at the entrance to Ashmont Yard. This tower was later demolished during the Ashmont terminal reconstruction project.

MBB cab car #1507 laying over at Boston South Station. These cab cars continue in service today, while many of the single level coaches have been replaced by newer "ADA" bathroom bi-level cars.

Well that's it for this little trip back in time. Next week we should return to the present.

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