• Remnants of the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn

  • 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 CarterB
What 'remains' of the BRB&L still exist, other than what the Blue Line runs on now? Wasn't there a tunnel at the south end of the line under the hill? What about on up towards Lynn?

  by MBTA3247
The tunnel has been sealed up, and I think most of the ROW north of Wonderland is still intact.
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
As you travel outbound from Wood Island you will pass a small red house on the Left. That red house is the former Harbor View station. It has since had some additions added but it is in fact the old station. If you’re on foot its on Cowper St in East Boston.

Later down the line if you drive over the Winthrop Bridge. You can see the old piers for the trolley that ran into Winthrop.

Does anyone know if any of the stations in Winthrop still stand?

  by theseaandalifesaver
tell me more about this tunnel.

  by Choo Choo Coleman
I would be interested in hearing more about this sealed tunnel as well.
If rail service of any sort is extended beyond Wonderland could this tunnel be re-opened and used?

  by TomNelligan
The BRB&L terminated at a ferry dock on the East Boston waterfront, from which passengers took railroad-owned boats over to Rowe's Wharf. The line had to tunnel under a small hill just inland from its terminal, and tunnel (two single-track bores, sealed up for many years) is still there. Sorry, I don't remember what street it's off of, but the north end at least is visible if you drive by. You can see a photo of it as it looked in 1940 in the BSRA book "From Boston to the Berkshires".

The tunnel wouldn't be of any use in any future expansion plan -- it didn't go under the harbor, just under a hill.

Edited to add: plus, the BRB&L was narrow gauge (3 foot), which means that the tunnel would be a rather tight fit for standard subway cars!

  by truman
There is also a book about the B,RB&L railroad by Liljestrand and Sweetland, its title is of course, Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad. Lots of neat old photo's and an equipment roster.

  by 3rdrail
The tunnels are down on Jeffries Point. The ROW goes up from Marginal thru Everett and Sumner Sts. You can still see the top of at least one of the tunnels granite blocks, and if you follow along, you can still see vacant pathways which were the ROW heading off in a northerly direction . I recall seeing what looked like a recent photo showing an un-filled tunnel with an iron gate up there somewhere below a roadway. I was up there before they got filled in, and I know that most of, if not all the tunnel portals are filled in with land-fill now, but does anybody know about this possible un-filled tunnel entrance ?

  by 3rdrail
Thanks for bringing up the pics Paul. The first one is mine, taken about twenty years ago, at least. It was part of a double tube at the north portals. This portal has been filled along with its twin. I believe that the third pic is a cropped version of the photo that I was referring to. It's dated 2002 and appears to be a single tube (?). Does anybody know if this portal still exists as pictured, or is it one of the portals that was filled in ? Could this be a south portal ? This one looks different from the ones that I have seen. Location ? (I've sent the photographer, Jerry Kelley, a message on NERAIL requesting further info. If I hear anything, I'll post it.)
  by jkrail
Hello Railfans:
Paul contacted me about my tunnel pictures.
The tunnels are at the end of Marginal Street in East Boston. They are now hidden behind a building that is in the Massport Boatyard. The yard is off limits and the guard will try to shoo you away. I asked to see his boss and I showed her some pictures of the old BRB&L railroad. She was quite interested but keep in mind that was a few years ago.
I guess you could say that I "talked" my way into seeing the tunnels.
One tunnel is blocked at both ends and the tunnel that you see is blocked at one end. I think that the pictures that you see are the way the tunnel looks today.
I cannot speak for the first photo but my photos were taken from the downtown Boston side.
The other end of the tunnels terminate in a grassy lot a few blocks away. You can see the top of the portal here. You can follow the ROW up and over the hill as the city will not allow building on the top of the tunnels.
If anyone has a Massport connection perhaps we could do a tour for a limited group of people.
If there are more questions on this I will do my best to answer them.
Jerry Kelley
Last edited by jkrail on Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

  by 3rdrail
Thank you Jerry. I had an idea that this was a different portal. It's a south portal. This amounts to an "archeological discovery".

  by theseaandalifesaver
i google earhted (word??) and came up with nothing.

  by bigbronco85
Wow I'd definitely be interested in seeing that

  by sery2831
Somewhere in Winthrop center is a section of track and a plaque about the railroad.