butts260 wrote:Thank you, F-line. In my innocence, not knowing where the "Upper Factory" and the "Lower Factory were (or are), I thought it might be something located just east of Waltham station on the Fitchburg line. . . a few thousand feet long maybe.
The branch split immediately at the Waltham Center station platforms. Can very easily see it and the since-demolished Charles River bridge on Google: http://goo.gl/maps/3CN5e
" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. You can very easily trace it including the second Charles crossing which still has an intact trestle next to the footbridge. This was the west portion of the line that lasted to the early-2000's. About where it gets to Seyon St. it gets a little harder to trace because it paralleled Pleasant St. so closely. It's still intact through all the parking lots, however. The 1960-abandoned midsection starts about where the ROW crosses Route 20, but it's likewise completely intact as Watertown Linear Park through Watertown Square. Then goes through some more backlots, under a filled-in overpass at Patten St., and parallel to Arsenal St. Remnants still visible: http://goo.gl/maps/vsW6j
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The Lexus dealership at School St. is the only encroacher. East of School St. was start of the east half, on a section state-owned and abandoned 1996. Last customer was a defunct cold storage warehouse. The new Watertown Greenway path is built on this and the track spur crossing Arsenal St. into the old Armory (which is now a mall). They preserved the switch stand (date-stamped 1910) for this spur in the park. The last (and only) customer on the 2008-active stretch was Newlyweds Bakery on Grove St. (see the big tanks behind their facility). From this point east tracks are 100% untouched and still connected to the Fitchburg Line behind Danehy Park in Cambridge. State has bought the ROW, but there isn't funding for the trail extension yet so it's just rusting in place. There used to be a 19th/early-20th century spur around Fresh Pond Reservoir in Cambridge to an ice house on the reservoir, but no trace of that remains.
Back when passenger service ran on the line it was double-tracked and carried heavier passenger traffic to/from Waltham than the Fitchburg main, since it went through denser areas. The only station remnants that exist are in front of the Cambridge Waterworks on the Huron Ave. side. There's a little bit of concrete abutment left for the sloped path down to trackside.
Downtown Waltham was the factory district, but I'm not sure what "Upper Factory" and "Lower Factory" are. The first station on the branch was "Chemistry Station" which is now a park of the same name. But this was a pretty early-built branchline so I doubt Waltham in 1849 had much resemblance to Waltham in 1899. It probably changed thrice over before 19th century was even over.