• underpass at Alewife

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

  by NRGeep
 
Used primarily for buses on northeast side of Alewife station under Rt 2. Was this part of Freight Cutoff?
  by The EGE
 
The alignment was part of the Fitchburg Cutoff/Freight Cutoff. However, the older bridge over the rail line was replaced with the modern concrete arch in 1984, in preparation for the reconfiguration of the 2/3/16 rotary to the north the next year.
  by neman2
 
As a frequent user of this I believe it is the primary exit for all traffic (a lot more cars than buses) from the Alewife station to Route 2 westbound and Route 16 eastbound.
  by roberttosh
 
Hard to believe that the B&M was still running several through jobs per day through that area right up until the mid 70's.
  by Red Wing
 
That must have been an interesting area between the Fitchburg, the Cutoff and, The Lexington Branch.
  by NRGeep
 
Was there ever a tower in that area?
  by neman2
 
NRGeep wrote:Was there ever a tower in that area?
Not that I know of . As a past resident of Arlington (1958-1984) , occasional railfan and extensively employed in the construction of the Red Line extension from Harvard to Alewife, there was never a tower near Alewife. West Cambridge Yard, the Lexington Branch and the interlocking near Brighton St , Belmont (formerly Hill Crossing) area was under the control of Waltham Tower. I don't remember where the dividing line with the B+M towers to the east was.
  by NRGeep
 
What oversite (if any) did the North Cambridge - Mass Ave tower have over the Cutoff?
  by jbvb
 
AFAIK the tower in Davis Sq. only controlled the crossing gates. So I'd guess that a tower at Mass. Ave would have done the same job. Where the Freight Cutoff crossed the Lexington Branch was called 'Diamond Crossing' in a 1947 ETT, later 'Fens Crossing'.

In 1947, 'Signal Control System' (CTC) was in effect between Hill Crossing and a northward dwarf signal 1300 feet past North Cambridge (Mass. Ave) and it was bi-directional. From the dwarf to 1,000 feet south of Somerville Jct. it was an Inward Main Track, no train orders required. Outward trains were only allowed with pilot protection or full flag protection. Later the CTC was extended the whole length.