• Accessing the Mattapan from the south via Amtrak

  • 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 train2
Question for the group about accessing the Mattapan from the south via Amtrak: if I were to ride Amtack or MBTA from the south into the Boston area is their any better way to get to the trolley than to ride into South Station and take the red line or ML on the map outbound? Second Question: I was thinking of riding Amtrak, but I suspect it will be to expensive so I might drive either to Providence or somewhere in the MBTA system and take the train. If coming up 95 what are the bet options for any line/light rail that will get me to the Trolley? And 3rd: if I choose to drive all the way what is the best parking along the trolley line? Costs if any?

Final question for now: I know the Trolley is not long just a few miles. If I were to ride the train is enough of it walk-able to shoot some lineside photos after riding the trolley? Is this area reasonably safe for a middle aged while male if I am traveling solo?

  by MBTA3247
Red Line would be best. Several of the commuter rail stations from Hyde Park inbound have direct bus connections to either Mattapan, Ashmont, or both, but transfer times may make the trip longer.

There are only two MBTA parking lots along the line, at Milton (a small one) and Mattapan. Both are likely to be full on a weekday, and both are pay lots.

Most of the line is paralleled by the Neponset River Trail, so there's plenty of places to get photos. The stations that aren't along the trail can be accessed by walking through some residential neighborhoods, and of course there's the Cedar Grove Cemetery. The area is quite safe during the day.
  by njtmnrrbuff
Mattapan isn't the safest section of Boston but you could get some good shots at the station. The better locations for photos and safety are probably in between Mattapan and Ashmont. Definately try to ride and railfan the Mattapan-Ashmont High Speed Line as soon as possible. The fate of it is uncertain. Once those PCCs are retired, it's possible that the T might want to convert the trolley operation into a bus route.
  by train2
Forgot to ask what is the fare collection method on MBTA? Do you have to buy a pass good for all the lines, buy individual fares for each segments? I always as since DC's metro came out with some card you had to BUY then load it with money to use.

Might be nice to ride station to station and get off for a few photos and then get on a latter trolley and advance up the line.
  by RenegadeMonster
With the MBTA, every time you get off you will need to pay again to get back on with a pre paid card or single ride ticket with the exception of subway connections which has free transfer.

However, you can buy a unlimited Day Pass or Unlimited Week Pass from the kiosks. Those will be your best option. Especially if you plan on getting off and back on often. This will give you unlimited bus and subway around Boston.
  by Patrick Boylan
I know you asked is there a BETTER way, and many of us would not consider a bus to be better, but the 31 bus runs from Forest Hills to Mattapan. I rode it once in 2000 just to see the route, had no problems then getting the trolley to Ashmont and red line downtown.
  by jonnhrr
Problem with the above suggestion is that if you are coming from Providence those trains don't stop at Forest Hills. You would have to go into town and take either the Needham Line or the Orange Line which then ends up taking longer that the Red Line.
  by Patrick Boylan
Sorry, being out of town myself I assumed Forest Hills was a major station at which all commuter rail trains would stop.
  by train2
New question: what is parking like if I choose to drive to one of the stations on the MP line? Looking at the line via aerial photos, parking looks a little limited. Several of the mid-line stops have no parking at all. After rush hour on a weekday, how likely are stations to be full?

I might end up doing this ride on a Saturday. How much less service is there on a Saturday vs. a weekday?
  by R36 Combine Coach
train2 wrote:New question: might end up doing this ride on a Saturday. How much less service is there on a Saturday vs. a weekday?
Saturday service is on a 12 minute schedule. Weekdays is 5 minute headways peak and 7-8 minutes midday. Full schedule
  by AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer
If you drive up you could go to either Braintree or Quincy Center for parking garages, and then take the bus from Quincy to Mattapan or Ashmont. Spend time riding and photographing the line, and then head into South station (or JFK) to catch the Red Line Braintree train back to your car. Mattapan was always coined "Murderpan" because it was kinda rough, just like Ashmont. However, if you just mind your business and don't look nervous etc nobody will bother you.

You should definitely plan on photographing the trolleys at Central Ave and Capen Street as those stops are both at grade crossings.
  by train2
On a Saturday would there be parking at both ends stations? I am guessing on a weekday parking could fill up by rush hour?