• 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 markhb
 
New England, of course, was once home to hundreds of streetcar transit systems, nearly all of which were paved over and replaced with buses over the years. But periodically, the asphalt wears away, and the underlying rails are exposed. So I am creating this thread as a place for people to report places where the tracks are seeing daylight, however temporarily, as well as when they are repaved over. And yes, the Green Line counts as well, but always-exposed street lines that are or were strictly for freight probably don't. (One reason I had for starting this is that, a few years ago, there was a place in Portland where an actual interlocking (or whatever the term is for embedded-in-paving-stones rail junctions) was exposed; that's covered over now.)

Westbrook, Maine: very short stretch currently visible on the Cumberland St. stretch of the rotary, between the Main St. intersection and where the P&R crosses the road.

Portland, Maine: I've heard that there are some exposed rails in the area of Park Ave. and Deering Ave., near Deering Oaks, but I haven't seen them personally.
  by The EGE
 
There's bits and pieces of former trolley tracks in and around Boston that are visible. I've personally seen or photographed rails on Alford Street near Sullivan Square in Charlestown, Ocean Avenue at Revere Street in Revere, and Church Street in Waverley, as well on the Cross Street bridge in Somerville that's currently being ripped up. I've also seen a picture of exposed rail somewhere on Main Street in Somerville.

There is also a few feet of Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn trackage (electrified commuter rail) on Hagman Road in Winthrop.
  by Noel Weaver
 
The Cheshire Bridge which was owned at one time by the Springfield Terminal (electric railway between Charlestown, NH and Springfield, VT) I crossed this bridge a few years after the line was abandoned and the rails were still in place on the bridge which is still used by highway vehicles. I think the railroad sold the bridge to the State of New Hampshire. Somebody else might be able to update us on this one. I think the trolley cars stopped running in 1946 and the electric operation for freight did not last too long after that but the line remained for freight in to Springfield, Vermont for some time after with a 44 ton diesel and later on borrowed diesels from the Boston and Maine.
Not too far to the north I wonder if any remnants of the old Claremont Railway still exist? It was a trolley and freight line in Claremont, NH with some street operation, grades and sharp curves.
If you travel route 7-A between Canaan, Connecticut and Sheffield, Massachusetts you will follow the railroad quite close and you will cross the Housatonic River right next to the railroad's crossing of the same river. Look at the railroad bridge and you will see abutments for the old Berkshire Street Railway line which once ran between Pittsfield and Canaan. Incidentally the Berkshire Street Railway was the only trolley or interurban line in the US to serve four different states; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York. Last trolley cars in Pittsfield ran in the early 30's.
Noel Weaver
  by newpylong
 
The EGE wrote:There's bits and pieces of former trolley tracks in and around Boston that are visible. I've personally seen or photographed rails on Alford Street near Sullivan Square in Charlestown, Ocean Avenue at Revere Street in Revere, and Church Street in Waverley, as well on the Cross Street bridge in Somerville that's currently being ripped up. I've also seen a picture of exposed rail somewhere on Main Street in Somerville.

There is also a few feet of Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn trackage (electrified commuter rail) on Hagman Road in Winthrop.
Sweet finds. Never seen any of those.
  by MEC407
 
markhb wrote:Portland, Maine: I've heard that there are some exposed rails in the area of Park Ave. and Deering Ave., near Deering Oaks, but I haven't seen them personally.
And Congress Street, about a block east of the Portland Observatory:

Google Street View link
  by Ridgefielder
 
I have a vague childhood memory of tracks in the pavement near the former Danbury & Bethel Street Railway carbarn on South Street in Danbury-- this would be ca. 1979. At that point the structure was used by a building supply company called Lloyd Lumber, and was pretty well un-altered; it still exists in heavily modified form as a Party Depot retailer.
  by FLRailFan1
 
If you go up Main Street in East Hartford, you can see the trolley tracks that went into Pratt-Whitney. Last I check in 2005 it was there...
  by joshg1
 
BostonUrbEx wrote:The absolute best is at Suffolk Downs Station in East Boston. Check it out some time. :)
That is brilliant. I finally have a reason to go to Eastie other than Logan.

Claremont- there was major street reconstruction and *I think* water and sewer work downtown a few years ago- lots of fresh pavement. I drove through spring of '12 and didn't see any of the line that ran beside 12/103 from downtown to the west.

The Charlestown- Springfield bridge was rebuilt when the toll came down, so no trace of rail now.

I suppose I'm saying Your Steel Isn't Showing. Not trolleys, but the rails are still in place on either side of Commonwealth Pier/SuperWorldTradePort Center. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7839321042
  by Otto Vondrak
 
Ridgefielder wrote:I have a vague childhood memory of tracks in the pavement near the former Danbury & Bethel Street Railway carbarn on South Street in Danbury-- this would be ca. 1979. At that point the structure was used by a building supply company called Lloyd Lumber, and was pretty well un-altered; it still exists in heavily modified form as a Party Depot retailer.
I never realized the Party Depot in Bethel, Connecticut, was the old Danbury & Bethel car barn! (And I almost completely forgot about Lloyd's Lumber... We had one in Mt. Kisco.)
BethelCarbarn2013.jpg
I have a photo of the carbarn that was printed in my book, "Forgotten Railroads Through Westchester County." The photo is undated, but I assume it is late in the life of the trolley line as the D&B shut down in 1926.
BethelCarbarn1920s.jpg
The structure is amazingly unaltered. There are no trolley tracks showing through today, however.


-otto-
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  by B&M 1227
 
while there's no rail still in the ground, the yellow barrier on the east side of rt 67 just south of north bennnington vt is made up of old trolley rail from the hoosick falls street railway. there's also a few old bridges from the line between north hoosick and north bennington. in north bennington the carhouse still exists as a furniture warehouse beside the north bennington variety store.

in bennington I've found a stray piece of very old trolley rail sitting in an alley beside the frame shop on rt 7. in the winter you can trace the berkshire street railway's grade along the east side of route 7 north of pownal. the old power station still stands at the intersection of north pownal road and rt 7 in pownal. there's also a pair of abutments alongside 346 in pownal.

while not exactly remaining trolley rail, the rutland still operated a short stub of track from the bennington & woodford trolley to bring clay cars to the bennington potters. the line ran along the north side of county street between the houses and the roadway. vermont railway operated the track until 40ft cars were phased out in the 80s, but some rail still remains in the ground at the potters and at the intersection of county st and depot st.

in conway mass, i'm fairly certain that conway station rd is the roadbed of the conway electric railway. having walked it, it is relatively level, and ultimately morphs into what is certainly the conway electric line, which swung a horseshoe curve underneath the new haven's south river bridge before crossing the deerfield to reach the b&m at south river. the abutments are still in place for the trolley bridge and the new haven bridge, but alas, no rail.

i haven't walked the concord maynard & hudson rows to see if there's much left, but in the winter you can see a pair of abutments from the north window of a fitchburg train just east of west acton.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:
BethelCarbarn1920s.jpg
The structure is amazingly unaltered. There are no trolley tracks showing through today, however.


-otto-
Otto- When it was Lloyd Lumber, the facade was still unpainted brick, and the doors into the car bays were intact and in use to allow trucks etc. into the warehouse. I agree, it's an amazing survival.
  by joshg1
 
Walley St on the north side of Suffolk Downs Station, as mentioned above-

http://www.flickr.com/photos/newmundane ... 402825814/

A shuttle bus driver reliably informed me the tracks dated to 1908 and were the narrow gauge. I didn't like to argue. 1908 may have been the date the Elevated met the Boston & Northern, but the race track didn't open until '35.
  by The EGE
 
The Suffolk Downs loop was indeed built in 1935. The narrow gauge was on the modern Blue Line ROW and opened in 1875.