• Pardon, Your Steel Is Showing: Visible Trolley Lines

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by bhshea
Working for the Northampton Mass DPW, I know there's still some streetcar tracks buried in the roads, although none is showing right now. I have had to deal with the concrete track foundation on a few digs, and that is a pain to deal with! The only track visible these days is actually in the floor of the DPW barns, which was actually the old Northampton Street Railway carhouse. Towns reusing carhouses seems to have been pretty common around here, as the Amherst DPW uses an old Holyoke Street Railway barn as their HQ.
  by The EGE
There are rails under the pavement on Thames Street in Groton, CT. Some folks I know working on the water mains there have told me about having to cut through the old rail anytime they need to make a repair.
  by highgreen215
In Roslindale Square, South St., about 18 months ago they scraped off the road surface in prep for repaving. In doing so they completely exposed about 200 feet of trolley track and paving blocks. Meant a lot to me as I rode those rails up until about 1952. I took photos before the whole thing was covered over again a few days later.
  by BostonUrbEx
I was in Waverly Sq last week and was surprised to find that there's rails showing for the former 73 trolley (now a trolley bus under the same number). The tracks are a stub end on Church St where trolleys would terminate and then reverse back to Harvard Sq (at least, based on the tracks, that's what I assume the operation was). There's definitely two rusty lines on the surface -- and in some spots there's quite clearly corroded rails showing through.

Here's a good street view: https://maps.google.com/?ll=42.387423,- ... 8,,0,10.36" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by TomNelligan
The rail that's visible at Waverly was part of a trolley loop which followed the same route as the trackless wires do today. It was not a stub terminal when the line was converted to tracklesses in 1958. However that loop was fairly new at the time and had been in use for only a few years. The square was completely rebuilt in the early 1950s when the B&M tracks were lowered from grade level to the current cut to eliminate grade crossings. Prior to that, Route 73 stub ended in the middle of Trapelo Road just short of the B&M grade crossing, around the point where the wires now curve into Church Street.

BTW, the town of Belmont is about to begin a major rebuilding of Trapelo Road, so that area may be getting repaved soon.
  by Mikejf
Intersection of Brighton Avenue and Park Street in Portland was paved last week, covering the rails that had been exposed.
  by FLRailFan1
Lincoln78 wrote:Where on Main St. East Hartford? Haven't seem any tracks but would be happy to look.
It is near the fork where High Street branches from Main. The ROW is just short, since P&W built a building there, so it is about 20 feet of track you can see. when my dad worked at P&W, he showed me the trackage that P&W used. I'd say there is about 3 miles in there.
  by kwf
TomNelligan wrote:BTW, the town of Belmont is about to begin a major rebuilding of Trapelo Road, so that area may be getting repaved soon.
The TT wire including the loop in Waverley Sq are currently removed...
  by The EGE
That's the former Charles River Loop, one of a number of BERy termini placed at the exact borders of their service area. Still serves most trips of the 36 (converted to trackless trolley in 1951 and bus in 1958) plus the Dedham local bus (a combination of several former Middlesex & Boston routes).
  by YamaOfParadise
In the Fair Haven section of New Haven, the vestigial remnants of the trolley system kept around by the Manufacturers' Street Railway are visible between where it came off of its private right-of-way onto Chapel Street, and continued onto James Street to get to River Street. Going west along Chapel from there, there's at least one case where you can see the outline of the rails breaking through, and potentially a little steel. I haven't been through this area recently enough, though, so I don't know if there's been a fresh coat of pavement recently.

Considering how much streetcar trackage used to be in New Haven, there's probably a lot of other places where rails are showing through, even if it is just the pavement cracking along the outline of the rails.
  by Rbts Stn
They just repaved part of the "Epstein Building" parking lot at Brandeis (the building just north of the tracks on the west side of South Street), the parking north of the building. There is still rail on the south side of the building in the pavement nearest the tracks, but if they expand the project, that could be going away soon.
  by jaymac
South Street was a busy spot per the track chart CD available from Scott Whitney. One Fitchburg chart -- with an indication of 1953 resurfacing -- shows an additional track south of the IB main from just east of South Street towards Waltham Tower. The re-emerging rails near Epstein and west of South Street were probably for industrial service, mebbe even for the aggregate company that had a yard there. East of South Street were additional spurs off the additional track, while west of South Street and south of the IB main was a probable industrial spur.
Mebbe someone with Waltham historical knowledge can fill in the blanks.