The Old Maps Thread

vanshnookenraggen

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Hell yeah. I always wondered whether the Tremont Entrance (where I lived when I was at WIT) used to actually extend to Huntington Av or if that land was sold for the Boston Normal School and then MassArt to build on. Funny they didn't at least turn St. Alphonsus St into at least a parkway like Columbia Rd up to the hill. Even later on with all the urban renewal along the street they could have paid lip service to the Fens.
 

Riverside

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The link to old MBTA maps on Wikimedia eventually leads you to the 1963 MTA Master Plan of Rapid Transit Extensions. Generally speaking, most of it is pretty unsurprising, mostly stuff we've talked about for years.

With one bonkers exception...

Screen Shot 2020-06-28 at 8.44.38 PM.png


As far as I can tell, that is a proposal for an extension south from Ashmont to a park-n-ride at Granite Ave. While it looks intriguing on paper, I'm guessing the idea was abandoned for environmental reasons -- the Neponset River is right there, and I'm pretty sure there are wetlands in that area as well.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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The link to old MBTA maps on Wikimedia eventually leads you to the 1963 MTA Master Plan of Rapid Transit Extensions. Generally speaking, most of it is pretty unsurprising, mostly stuff we've talked about for years.

With one bonkers exception...

View attachment 5887

As far as I can tell, that is a proposal for an extension south from Ashmont to a park-n-ride at Granite Ave. While it looks intriguing on paper, I'm guessing the idea was abandoned for environmental reasons -- the Neponset River is right there, and I'm pretty sure there are wetlands in that area as well.
This was 1963 so they still didn't care about the environment. It was probably just a lack of money or low proposed ridership given the Quincy RL extension and its large garages.
 

Riverside

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This was 1963 so they still didn't care about the environment.
True, although I have no idea how long the idea stuck around in limbo between 1963 and whenever it was finally killed. I've never seen it referenced elsewhere.

That map also shows a park-n-ride in Revere, and of course at Westwood/128 and Reading/128.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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True, although I have no idea how long the idea stuck around in limbo between 1963 and whenever it was finally killed. I've never seen it referenced elsewhere.

That map also shows a park-n-ride in Revere, and of course at Westwood/128 and Reading/128.
I mean in context of the time it isn't a bad idea. I just see how it could have been dropped for something better (which we got). Interestingly I was just going over an MBTA report from 1969 which proposes extending the heavy rail Red Line through to Mattapan. So perhaps they pivoted to that idea instead.
 

guitarguynboston

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Those OL extensions would have about doubled the lines length. I know about the Express track proposal to the North but I've never heard about any express tracks on the south.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Those OL extensions would have about doubled the lines length. I know about the Express track proposal to the North but I've never heard about any express tracks on the south.
Wasn't needed. Part of the reason for the express track was the throttle-down of headways to the north 'burbs to a level that could be handled by the handful of Melrose/Wakefield grade crossings that were to remain on the 1970's OL plan. 10-15 minutes was to be the norm to Reading...not much different from what Purple Line Urban Rail is proposing today. So the express track to Oak Grove was necessary as a dumping ground and/or launchpad for all the city-zone headways that scaled way, way different from up north. It wasn't needed on the past-Forest Hills extension because that was all grade separated, and the presence of many duplicating buses out of FH pre-established a level of all-day demand that was never going to completely crater on the off-peak.

Today if you build to Reading it's all going to be grade separated, and thus the headways wouldn't throttle back anywhere near as much. Melrose/Wakefield/Reading have also grown over the last 4 decades in a way that there's fuller all-day demand than the very hard off-peak cutdown they saw back in the 70's. You'd still be building the express track extension to OG eating the RR berth because the Malden Ctr. and OG platforms are pre-prepped for it and it's too easy not to finish that job, but the service patterns you'd choose to run now on the express track would be way different and more ad-hoc supplementary...vs. then when Oak Grove would've been a very dramatic draw-down from 6-8 min. headways to 10-15.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The link to old MBTA maps on Wikimedia eventually leads you to the 1963 MTA Master Plan of Rapid Transit Extensions. Generally speaking, most of it is pretty unsurprising, mostly stuff we've talked about for years.

With one bonkers exception...

View attachment 5887

As far as I can tell, that is a proposal for an extension south from Ashmont to a park-n-ride at Granite Ave. While it looks intriguing on paper, I'm guessing the idea was abandoned for environmental reasons -- the Neponset River is right there, and I'm pretty sure there are wetlands in that area as well.
BERy scratched at that itch way longer ago when they were studying conversion of the Old Colony Shawmut Branch to Red Line extension from Andrew (built as Ashmont + High Speed Line for 1928).

At that time the Granite Ave. station site across the river on the '63 map was where the Old Colony's Milton Branch forked off the mainline at North Quincy, where it formed sort of a mirror-image inland commuter 'circuit' to the Shawmut Branch on opposite side of the river. Back in the 20's the OC mainline was still way too busy for consideration except for the 5+ track segment through Savin Hill shared by Shawmut Branch running alongside which the RR was willing to part with. So it was thought that the easiest way to hit Braintree with rapid transit was going straight out of Ashmont/Cedar Grove, over the Neponset on a new drawbridge, and taking over the Milton Branch to Quincy Adams before rejoining the mainline for Braintree. Plan didn't get very far because unlike the Shawmut Branch which was almost exclusively commuter the Milton Branch still had economically significant freight to the Quincy granite quarries (Milton Branch being the final configuration of what originally started in 1826 as the Granite Railway, North America's first-ever chartered RR). I don't think this one ever got far enough along for BERy to have a dedicated study done for it; the granite quarry freight was a hard blocker. Documentation of it as a future consideration is limited to couple passing footnotes in various annual reports tracking planning progress of the Ashmont extension.

Had that gone through you'd have no RL branches, no Quincy Ctr. touches, but a linear mainline that went Harvard-Ashmont then maybe a Cedar Grove trolley transfer or some other treatment of the Mattapan stub...then Granite, East Milton Sq., West Quincy, Quincy Adams, and North Braintree (split w/ Greenbush Line...Plymouth/Cape split is more commonly placemarked as "South Braintree").


Milton Branch ROW is still traceable today. Go to North Quincy Station, exit north headhouse. Enterprise Dr. is the ROW, and the driveway to the big parking lots is the old mainline junction. From end of Enterprise it follows the north property line tree berm of Harris Ave. and the Presidents Golf Course, crosses Granite Ave., and follows the south south property tree berm of the MassHighway maint yard. From there I-93 literally swallows the ROW as its roadbed. Service ended in 1954 so they could start tearing things up for the highway build, and some of the expressway overpasses near East Milton Sq. were the result of major rebuildings of the overpasses of the old (double-widened for highway) RR cut. ROW reappears independent of 93 just south of the Furnace Brook Pkwy. exit rotary, at the Sullivan Rd. dead-end. Traceable alongside Boston Financial Data's driveway, crossing Village Dr., splitting the Beth Israel parking lot, and side of the road on Congress St. and alongside BJ's. Tracks still extant from BJ's passing underneath Burgin Pkwy. to the mainline switch, where it's called the West Quincy Industrial Track. Until the mid-90's when most of this industrial area started being flipped to big boxes, this was active all the way to Furnace Brook and you could see cars stuffed at the end of the line through the trees while driving 93N. Whatever former industrial park LLC owned this last fragment simply forgot to file for abandonment of that rump of trackage after BJ's when the last customer at the site of the now-vacant Lowes was bulldozed in 2007-08 s to build the Lowes. Today it sits nominally active with connected mainline switch (albeit fenced off), and nobody has returned the T's phone calls in years about permission to remove the switch.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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Wasn't needed. Part of the reason for the express track was the throttle-down of headways to the north 'burbs to a level that could be handled by the handful of Melrose/Wakefield grade crossings that were to remain on the 1970's OL plan. 10-15 minutes was to be the norm to Reading...not much different from what Purple Line Urban Rail is proposing today. So the express track to Oak Grove was necessary as a dumping ground and/or launchpad for all the city-zone headways that scaled way, way different from up north. It wasn't needed on the past-Forest Hills extension because that was all grade separated, and the presence of many duplicating buses out of FH pre-established a level of all-day demand that was never going to completely crater on the off-peak.

Today if you build to Reading it's all going to be grade separated, and thus the headways wouldn't throttle back anywhere near as much. Melrose/Wakefield/Reading have also grown over the last 4 decades in a way that there's fuller all-day demand than the very hard off-peak cutdown they saw back in the 70's. You'd still be building the express track extension to OG eating the RR berth because the Malden Ctr. and OG platforms are pre-prepped for it and it's too easy not to finish that job, but the service patterns you'd choose to run now on the express track would be way different and more ad-hoc supplementary...vs. then when Oak Grove would've been a very dramatic draw-down from 6-8 min. headways to 10-15.
This is something I don't think I fully understood when I was first researching the OL. I always wondered why they basically built all of the Haymarket North stations as express stops when the whole point of express is to bypass said stations. But I didn't understand ops and branching back then.
 

vanshnookenraggen

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While I get why they went with the current alignment for Haymarket North, a swing into Everett would have been a game changer for the town and probably been a lot more useful than Wellington. Still no Edgeworth infill proposals today.
Annotation 2020-06-29 200114.png
 

Charlie_mta

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Wow, they really screwed up by not taking the Everett route alternative. Accessing a dense urban area versus an edge-city wasteland would seem to be, a no-brainer.
 

The EGE

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That route is still pretty on the margins of Everett; you're looking at a half-mile walk to downtown, and most people would still need to transfer to surface lines. So I can't say I'm surprised that the more direct route with one fewer river crossing was chosen.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Yeah...first-leg Saugus Branch density really isn't comparable to Wellington at all. Sweetser Circle's a good Urban Ring LRT stop with the new 'loft'-style redev going on in the ex-industrial area, but to this day no one is claiming parity. Way back when this area was so heavily industrial that its transti ridership was downright anemic..."temporary" Everett Station on the El was closed nights/weekends because such high percentage of patronage was from the Elevated's own shift workers at Everett Shops.

It was one thing when the Malden extension was going to be an El up Main St. with appropriate surrounding density. Once that was NIMBY'd and they were left with the RR ROW's as backup plan Western Route was hands-down the winner even at expense of needing to abandon the El's Mystic crossing to misfit "temp" Everett Station. Only thing that ever would've put the Saugus Branch alt. on the board was complications accommodating the freight customer thicket between Wellington-Edgeworth and the Medford Branch flanking both sides of the ROW. They addressed that with Wellington tunnel and plunking Medford Jct. on top to facilitate all-sides freight switching. Saugus Branch traditionally had no customers between Sweetser and closest pass to Malden Ctr., and retained its original junction with the Western Route past Medford St. and over Commercial + Malden River for many years as a backup route so the later-build Sweetser-Malden leg was a largely redundant sacrifice. Fewer potential blockers on that routing, but it was always a Plan B on demand served.
 

Charlie_mta

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Charlie -- contrast that with the 1941 Highway Map from the archives
Rt-128, Rt-2 were still both just streets with route numbers

For example Rt-128 turns 90 degrees in Lexington Center as it heads for Waltham
When William F. Callahan was head of the Mass DPW and was pushing for the construction of the Route 128 expressway in the late 1940s around greater Boston, people thought he was crazy for building a highway out in the middle of nowhere. How wrong they were.
 

Scalziand

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Finally found a map of the ROW that Connecticut acquired for teh highway extension from Bolton to Willimantic, on OpenRailwayMaps of all places. The curves aren't straight noung for full blown 200mph+ HSR, but look to be good for 100-120mph speed service.



384-ROW.png


 

F-Line to Dudley

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Finally found a map of the ROW that Connecticut acquired for teh highway extension from Bolton to Willimantic, on OpenRailwayMaps of all places. The curves aren't straight noung for full blown 200mph+ HSR, but look to be good for 100-120mph speed service.



View attachment 5995

That looks like the landbanked rail ROW, not any permutation of the highway ROW. Other than a little perspective difference there's nonexistent deviation from the trail on Google Maps.

Last stab at the highway in early-2000's went north of the Hop River--opposite side of US 6--with 1000 ft. separated carriageways.
 

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