Proposed But Never Built

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,404
Reaction score
1,273
Fantastic. Thank you for the link. I hadn't seen this one. Amazing read.

I love this excerpt:


An opportunity lost. But maybe on the next Tobin Bridge?
"Next" Tobin is beyond any 30-year planning range, because the current Tobin that broke ground in 1948 and opened in 1950 easily has a 100-110 year cumulative lifespan in it. This Chelsea rapid transit proposal actually aimed to grab some of the current span's overbuilt lane capacity before the NE Expressway did. Given that the Urban Ring is on the board and so richly densifies the transfer frequencies a stone's throw from Chelsea Sq. I doubt there ever will be another proposal floated for a one-seat direct ride there. There's simply too much to gain reshaping bus loads to have a 6-min. frequency rapid transit pipe spanning Logan-Sullivan and then being fileted at Brickbottom inbound to GC or into Cambridge.


I didn't know that Waltham rapid transit was anywhere near as far along as this report presents. Although the North Waltham terminus on the Central Mass really wouldn't have panned out well on utilization vs. Waltham Center because it skirts the heaviest density and the bus terminal. But back then the Watertown Branch was still intact as a loop routing between West Cambridge and Waltham Ctr. and seeing some of its heaviest-ever historical freight traffic because of Wartime munitions production at Arsenal...so it + the Fitchburg Main from Weston to Waltham Ctr. on the primary freight routing were thought not to be touchable. Today you'd be flipping routings...side-by-side on quad-track ROW out to Clematis Brook Jct., rapid transit subsuming the 2-track main through Waltham Ctr., and the Fitchburg Main being re-routed over the Central Mass where less density means stationless expressing out to the Weston/128 Superstation where all routes reconvene. And it would be Green Line out of Union Sq. since Red points the wrong direction out of Alewife and is locked on the Arlington Heights/Lexington trajectory. But I was surprised that one graduated past the first-round scoping, because unlike the other mid-40's plans it never gets referenced today. Still wouldn't rate it higher than Union-Watertown on the deep-future priorities, but Green Line is readily branchable and redistributable unlike an awkwardly 'tweener-placed Red-north split, so there's no reason why there couldn't be a future LRT branch split at Danehy Park coming out into the daylight after Porter superstation splitting the loads for Watertown/Newton Corner vs. Waltham bus hubs.


Also didn't know they were having the Orange Line bend back in out of Dedham Ctr. back towards Readville covering both of the intermediate stops on the Dedham Branch. I would've thought if anything further was in the mix they'd be side-by-sideing with Route 1 out to 128 by the current Legacy Place and pinning their hopes on TOD. Back then Route 1 widening from 2 to 4 lanes had eaten the original Franklin Line ROW from Dedham Center to Islington which was just tracks at-grade on pre-widening Route 1's northbound curbside, but the area around Legacy was still undeveloped at the time and would've made a good TOD template to claim a reservation. I guess they rated the neighborhood density at Stone Haven and East Dedham higher in the study. Despite the incredibly stupid-stupid-stupid decision for the T to sell off the Belle Ave. ROW in the mid-2000's so new single-family houses could forever block W. Rox-Dedham, that little nugget in the report is a (deep long-term) hopeful reminder that the Dedham Branch ROW out of Readville is mercifully unencroached. It could potentially take a super-extended RL Ashmont Branch if Mattapan HRT were extended through a short stationless subway down River St. through the Neponset watershed's solid-ass granite bedrock then portaled up at Poydras St. locked onto the fully quad-track graded Hyde Park end of the Fairmount Line for easy going into Readville. Then a hop-across the NEC from Wolcott Sq. onto the Dedham Branch. Not anyone's idea of a five-alarm urgent build, but the T didn't necessarily fuck over all future generations for HRT into Dedham with its willful encouragement of the destruction of the Orange ROW.
 

Arenacale

Active Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
173
Reaction score
140
Have you guys seen this? It's the 1962 Inner Belt plan overlaid on today's roadway system.
Was actually thinking about the Inner Belt this morning, specifically wondering how the routing around Ruggles and the Fens would have worked, now I know. What strikes me in the map is how much of a middle finger to Cambridge it would have been.
 

fatnoah

New member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
71
Reaction score
10
And it would be Green Line out of Union Sq. since Red points the wrong direction out of Alewife and is locked on the Arlington Heights/Lexington trajectory
I covered a lot of Google ground in my search but I do recall a doc somewhere stating an Alternative for Red Line beyond Harvard should include overhead wires to support above-ground running and Lechmere cars.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,404
Reaction score
1,273
I covered a lot of Google ground in my search but I do recall a doc somewhere stating an Alternative for Red Line beyond Harvard should include overhead wires to support above-ground running and Lechmere cars.
Overhead wire would've been an "of that era" option because of how they hedged on it for the Blue Line extension, and the question marks at the time about the long-distance distance scalability of third rail. But there never would've been intermingling of HRT and LRT revenue service on the same tracks. Incompatible platform heights and a lethal weight differential, especially with those steel heavyweight cars that used to run on Red back then vs. a Type 5 with its partial wood frame.

The 1945 plan had the Arlington Heights extension out of RL East Watertown as a Mattapan-style trolley interurban with forced transfer at the terminal. It's possible they were hedging that option on some of these, whether the map shows them as all-linear extensions or not. That was more realistically in the "of the era" considerations, because of the large installed base of trolleys that could be reassigned from deleted streetcar routes to new interurban routes with ease.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,404
Reaction score
1,273
Was actually thinking about the Inner Belt this morning, specifically wondering how the routing around Ruggles and the Fens would have worked, now I know. What strikes me in the map is how much of a middle finger to Cambridge it would have been.
I love it. No fewer than 3 apartment buildings I once lived in would be nuked totally off the face of the earth by that.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
1,666
Reaction score
295
Was actually thinking about the Inner Belt this morning, specifically wondering how the routing around Ruggles and the Fens would have worked, now I know. What strikes me in the map is how much of a middle finger to Cambridge it would have been.
That design is a bit different than the final official design (right before Gov. Sargeant slapped on the expressway moratorium). One notable difference is the last plan called for tunneling the Inner Belt under the Charles River, probably to appease BU. Doing so would have created this large loop interchange on the Cambridge side:

The City of Cambridge hired a firm to come up with a tighter design and shift the Inner Belt toward MIT more, but that was all ditched when the moratorium took hold. I have a copy of that Cambridge report.

Another difference in the last Inner Belt plan (before the moratorium) was the compression of the Roxbury interchange of I-95 and the Inner Belt:


It would have been horrible for the housing project on the other side of the SW corridor tracks, plus decimate a large part of Roxbury. That's how these espressway routings were: they always hit the low income neighborhoods and totally avoided the wealthy ones.
 
Last edited:

fatnoah

New member
Joined
Aug 28, 2012
Messages
71
Reaction score
10
Overhead wire would've been an "of that era" option because of how they hedged on it for the Blue Line extension, and the question marks at the time about the long-distance distance scalability of third rail. But there never would've been intermingling of HRT and LRT revenue service on the same tracks. Incompatible platform heights and a lethal weight differential, especially with those steel heavyweight cars that used to run on Red back then vs. a Type 5 with its partial wood frame.

The 1945 plan had the Arlington Heights extension out of RL East Watertown as a Mattapan-style trolley interurban with forced transfer at the terminal. It's possible they were hedging that option on some of these, whether the map shows them as all-linear extensions or not. That was more realistically in the "of the era" considerations, because of the large installed base of trolleys that could be reassigned from deleted streetcar routes to new interurban routes with ease.
Yeah, I misread it. The overhead was to support RL to Lexington & Waltham via Lexington Branch and Fitchburg ROWs from Alewife Brook Parkway and the GL would use the Fitchburg ROW between Lechmere and Alewife Brook Parkway.

Screen Shot 2020-05-01 at 10.43.45 AM.png
 

stefal

Active Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2015
Messages
940
Reaction score
514
If there's any indication of how much was built in this boom, page 1 has 'never built' proposals for Avalon NS, now complete, and TD Garden Towers, Winthrop Square, and SST, all under construction to an extent.

I thought I saw this somewhere on here, but it doesn't look like it's in this thread:

1596215484341.png

1596215498071.png

1596215509392.png

1596215532377.png

Source
1596215771196.png

Source

1965 proposal for a retractable roof for baseball and football along with an arena for hockey, basketball, and dog racing.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,404
Reaction score
1,273
If there's any indication of how much was built in this boom, page 1 has 'never built' proposals for Avalon NS, now complete, and TD Garden Towers, Winthrop Square, and SST, all under construction to an extent.

I thought I saw this somewhere on here, but it doesn't look like it's in this thread:

View attachment 6503
View attachment 6504
View attachment 6505
View attachment 6506
Source
View attachment 6507
Source

1965 proposal for a retractable roof for baseball and football along with an arena for hockey, basketball, and dog racing.
To think it was 1997 or even '98 when the Megaplex's head had at long last been chopped off at the root so it wouldn't sprout a new one. At that point, a convention center/dome stadium shit sandwich instead of an arena-for-all-things because the B's/C's had gone their separate ways by that point with the New Garden.

Gotta admit, 30 years was a pretty good run for conceptual vaporware that was seemingly unwanted/unloved by anyone whatsoever below the billionaire class.
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
404
Reaction score
75
What could have been: the city's 1890s plan for Fenway-Kenmore, with the Back Bay alphabet continuing to Z. The astute observer will note several street names that were reused with the rectangular grid.
That is (on first glance) a very confusing sequence compared to the very methodical order used in Back Bay.
 

Charlie_mta

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Messages
1,666
Reaction score
295
If there's any indication of how much was built in this boom, page 1 has 'never built' proposals for Avalon NS, now complete, and TD Garden Towers, Winthrop Square, and SST, all under construction to an extent.

I thought I saw this somewhere on here, but it doesn't look like it's in this thread:

View attachment 6503
View attachment 6504
View attachment 6505
View attachment 6506
Source
View attachment 6507
Source

1965 proposal for a retractable roof for baseball and football along with an arena for hockey, basketball, and dog racing.
Damn! The mother ship has landed.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
6,404
Reaction score
1,273
Has anyone made a google map of all the proposed railroads from The state libaray of Massachusetts/archive?
That'd be like creating an encyclopedia of dot-coms, circa 1996-2000...they covered every square inch of earth in delerious overspeculation, but only 1 out of every 200 of them can still be remembered as a trivia answer 20 years later.
 

Top