• Old Dudley Station prior to 1987

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by Goldeneye
I've only managed to ride through old Washington el at most a very few times before it closed for good in 1987, and did pass through Dudley since I was headed all the way to the end at (old) Forest Hills.

How was Dudley setup during its final 20 years or so? I notice that the inbound and outbound platforms were separate, but was there a free transfer between directions for that station?
  by dieciduej
When Dudley Street Terminal opened on June 10, 1901 there was only one platform, over and perpendicular to Zeigler St, what you would know as the Northbound platform of 1987. That platform was flanked by two streetcar loops (East and West) with cars coming in from Dudley St, as well as a lower level with cars coming in from Washington and Warren Sts., all of which received streetcars from Dorchester, Hyde Park. Staring in 1908 a second platform (Southbound) was being built on Washington St for the Forest Hills extension, that was opened on November 22, 1909. There was two elevated walkways, one over Zeigler St and one at the north end of the train platform, that connected the two platforms.

Jumping to the final 20 years I believe one of the walkways was closed due to a fire or a structural issue. Originally the trains would open on both sides of the Northbound platform but during the time, 1982 to 1987, when I was traveling through there they would open only the right-hand side doors. I am not sure if it was a free transfer between the platforms, but if I had to take a guess it would have been free.

I am sure someone will be able to shed more light on the issue.
  by Arborwayfan
By the late 70s the doors on inbound trains opened only on the right. The platform on the left was disused. Angled wooden walls had been built along the back of that platform; they were built over the platform of the old west streetcar loop; the loop was gone at that point, except for the lower part of the incline which was I think on fill between stone or concrete walls and still had the tracks https://bostonintransit.com/products/du ... ation-1982, but from looking at some pictures just now I see that at least the platform roofs were still there. (Those roofs still exist, because they are part of the original station roof that that T saved and made into the Dudley bus station. The east streetcar loop had been turned into a bus loop. I remember looking out of the train at the buses. I only ever got off at Dudley once, the day Pope John Paul II came to town; the trains ran from FH to Dudley and stopped, I suppose so they wouldn't run in front of the cathedral during his mass there.

I am pretty sure there was a free transfer between inbound and outbound. I never used it, but the ped bridge was active, and if you look in the back left of this picture you can see stairs to the ped bridge going up from the inbound platform, clearly inside the turnstiles: https://bostonintransit.com/products/du ... south-1982 It is of course possible that those stairs were closed an other stairs came down outside the turnstiles, but I think that is very unlikely. In the original design, the trolley loops were in the paid perimeter, too, and transfers between modes were free, so there would be no reason to have two sets of stairs. The stairs we see are probably the only ones.

See this picture to see the walkway going over both inbound platforms and the inbound track: https://s3.amazonaws.com/nycsubway.org/ ... 110620.jpg.

See these two pictures of the east loop as bus loop. You can see the newish turnstiles and walls that were put in well after original construction, I think replacing some kind of temporary barriers put up when there stopped being free transfers btwn the El and whatever vehicles used the loop at the time of the change. You can kind of see the stairs to the bridge coming down inside the turnstiles, and you cannot see any additional turnstiles:
right side of this picture https://bostonintransit.com/products/du ... round-1982
Left side of this picture https://bostonintransit.com/products/du ... -west-1982.

Many years ago (1992) in the state transportation library I read the historic mitigation book made before the El was torn down. It had a bunch of pictures of the el as originally built and then at various phases of its history, and also some plans of stations, including Dudley, original and as later modified. It had the plans for the renovation of the bus loop that created the walls-fences I mentioned in those loop pictures. If that could be found, it would answer this question. But it is boxed up with the rest of the books from the state transportation library (right?) and anyway even if it weren't the library would be closed.
  by jbvb
I have read that the East loop at Dudley was used by trolleybuses too. And I used an inbound/outbound passage at some point in the mid 1980s, when I shot a roll or two of film to document the El a bit.
  by dieciduej
Ask and ye shall receive! Here is a video from transit historian George Chiasson on the MBTA Orange Line Washington St Elevated in the 1980's.


At the 21:00 minute mark there is a walk thru of Dudley Sq station, that may answer questions.
  by apodino
You can kind of see it on some of the old el videos that are on youtube, but Inbound trains looped down Dudley Street and into where the current station lies, which is also where the busway was. There were platforms on both sides, but only the platform on the Right (facing inbound) was used. A walkway from these platforms went to the outbound platform was in existence, and the outbound platform was actually a block away on Washington Street itself. Facing outbound, the platform was on the left side of the train. There was an unused loop past the Platform.

The best way to describe it would be to think of the Green Line between Haymarket and Government Center. The green line loops to the right a ways and where It curve back is about where the inbound platform was (kind of where the loop track joins.) where in the opposite direction it was more a straight line, so the platform would be about where the end of the current green line platform is.

So basically the outbound track stayed over Washington Street the whole time, while the inbound track took a right turn down Dudley street and left into the station on top of the busway. Then it looped back left again over Roxbury street and rejoined the outbound line at the Washington Street intersection.
  by jbvb
I remember the loop wye on the south side of Dudley. I don't think I ever saw a train use it, but the rails were shiny when I was commuting on the El 1979-1981.
  by Arborwayfan
The Dudley Curve (capitalized in my mind) was quite something. The trains had to slow way down. I remember watching out the window to see the trip arm drop (once the tower op could see that the train was going slowly enough?), and feeling like the train would fall off. I think one did, once, early in the life of the El. Of course the curve wasn't necessarily built for revenue service, but to connect the line to shops a little further down Washington St. when Dudley was the end of the line. I say wasn't necessarily, because I don't know whether trains originally used the station as though it were a stub end terminal or whether they looped around and headed into the one platform (ie whether the outbound track and platform were built at the same time or whether the track was there all along and the platform was added). Anyone know? https://fedora.digitalcommonwealth.org/ ... 00/content

The third leg of the wye was taken out (or at least the switches were) sometime before 1987.
  by MBTA3247
All of the track at Dudley was there originally, but the outbound platform was added as part of the extension to Forest Hills. The book I have is not clear as to whether prior to that trains looped around or used the original platform as a stub end terminal (or both); both options were possible.
  by dieciduej
MBTA3247 wrote: Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:02 pm All of the track at Dudley was there originally, but the outbound platform was added as part of the extension to Forest Hills. The book I have is not clear as to whether prior to that trains looped around or used the original platform as a stub end terminal (or both); both options were possible.
It was always a loop. The tower at the loop was "Tower F". The outbound platform was built in 1908 for the extension to Forest Hills.