Transit history/trivia quiz

HenryAlan

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For the Red Line, is it Ashmont? Or is that only if you are coming from the otherwise inaccesible Mattapan trolley?
 

The EGE

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Correct! The Radford Lane entrance has a ramp directly to the inbound Red Line platform. The Mattapan Line is at lobby level; you need stairs/escalator/elevator to reach the Red Line platforms.
 

The EGE

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The final one was a bit of a trick: Harvard. You can get to the Red Line platforms using only ramps - if you ride a bus into the tunnel.
 

The EGE

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Some station name trivia:

1. What two stations have "Square" (or "Sq.") on station signs, but not in their official names (MBTA website/maps)?

2. What two transfer stations have "Square" in their official (and signed) name only on one mode?

3. I could find at least 5 stations named for places or buildings that no longer exist. (One still has an adjacent street with the name, but the namesake building is gone). Bonus: which station with a street name isn't quite correct?

4. A number of stations (West Newton, South Attleboro, etc) have directional modifiers. What are the westernmost "East" station, the southernmost "North", etc?

5. The vast majority of MBTA station names have English roots. I can find only two names have any links to Boston's Black population. I also count 13 Native names, 1 Irish, 1 French, and 2 Italian - can you find those, and perhaps more?
 

AndrewOnTheMBTA

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Some station name trivia:

1. What two stations have "Square" (or "Sq.") on station signs, but not in their official names (MBTA website/maps)?

2. What two transfer stations have "Square" in their official (and signed) name only on one mode?

3. I could find at least 5 stations named for places or buildings that no longer exist. (One still has an adjacent street with the name, but the namesake building is gone). Bonus: which station with a street name isn't quite correct?

4. A number of stations (West Newton, South Attleboro, etc) have directional modifiers. What are the westernmost "East" station, the southernmost "North", etc?

5. The vast majority of MBTA station names have English roots. I can find only two names have any links to Boston's Black population. I also count 13 Native names, 1 Irish, 1 French, and 2 Italian - can you find those, and perhaps more?
I will try them without looking it up. Thanks for the fun questions!!
1. Sullivan. Ashmont/Peabody Square

2. Not sure

3. Lechmere (easy), Wonderland, Suffolk Downs, Wood Island, Wellington (named after Wellington Station of the past).

4. North Scituate (south), not sure of northernmost south station, West Gloucester (east), East Weymouth (west)?

5. 1 Irish - Sullivan, 13 Native: Shawmut...2 Italian: Savin Hill.
 

Brattle Loop

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Correct. My guess was wrong. Now I want to find the answer. Fun fact - Green St is Green at the stations right?
Correct. Another fun fact, the MBTA doesn't quite seem to know the name of one of its own core stations, namely State [Street]. The website and station signs say "State", the map says "State St.", and the announcements on the Blue Line say "State Street" while those on the Orange Line say "State".
 

njlx

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2. Harvard and Central? It's been a while, but if I remember correctly the "Sq." is only signed on the buses, not on the red line
 

Brattle Loop

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2. Harvard and Central? It's been a while, but if I remember correctly the "Sq." is only signed on the buses, not on the red line
I don't know for Harvard. The tracklesses and some of the buses use "Harvard" or "Harvard Sta[tion]", and the bus tunnel is signed "Harvard". I think I've seen surface buses signed "Harvard Sq", but I wouldn't consider it part of the official name of the station
 

The EGE

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4. Easternmost "West" Station - West Gloucester.
Northernmost "South" Station - South Acton?
Correct and correct.

I will try them without looking it up. Thanks for the fun questions!!
1. Sullivan. Ashmont/Peabody Square

2. Not sure

3. Lechmere (easy), Wonderland, Suffolk Downs, Wood Island, Wellington (named after Wellington Station of the past).

4. North Scituate (south), not sure of northernmost south station, West Gloucester (east), East Weymouth (west)?

5. 1 Irish - Sullivan, 13 Native: Shawmut...2 Italian: Savin Hill.
Ashmont is correct. Sullivan Square is listed with "Sq" on the subway map, similar to Jackson Square, so I didn't count it.

Lechmere is named for Lechmere Square, not the later department store. The original Wellington station name appears to have originated with a family that farmed nearby (as with many station names), so I didn't count it. Wonderland, Suffolk Downs, and Wood Island are all correct.

North Scituate is correct; East Weymouth is not.

Sullivan is Irish, Shawmut one of the Native names. Savin Hill... interesting. It wasn't one of the two I'd found, but you might be right. It was named for the savin species of junipers, whose name is of Latin origin, possibly related to the Sabines.


Massachusetts Ave (Orange Line), Massachusetts Ave (Silver Line) ;), Mishawum, Wyoming Hill, Wachusett, Cohassett?
Yes to all of those. I'd forgotten about the Mass Ave stations, so there's 15 to be found, of which 8 have been spotted.

North Scituate, Pawtucket/Central Falls (under construction)
Both correct (though I hadn't counted Pawtucket/CF since it's not yet open).

2. Harvard and Central? It's been a while, but if I remember correctly the "Sq." is only signed on the buses, not on the red line
Bus announcements are tricky. I wasn't considering local bus (only the Silver Line) when making this quiz. The two stations I'm thinking of have colored signs for both modes.

Correct. Another fun fact, the MBTA doesn't quite seem to know the name of one of its own core stations, namely State [Street]. The website and station signs say "State", the map says "State St.", and the announcements on the Blue Line say "State Street" while those on the Orange Line say "State".
That was a real frustration for me while making this quiz! There are several stations with particularly inconsistent names, Wyoming [Hill] and [Melrose]/Cedar Park among them.
 

njlx

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I was one station off on #2 then - Porter has the "Sq" for CR, not for Red line. Drawing a blank on the other one though...
 

DBM

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Correct. Another fun fact, the MBTA doesn't quite seem to know the name of one of its own core stations, namely State [Street]. The website and station signs say "State", the map says "State St.", and the announcements on the Blue Line say "State Street" while those on the Orange Line say "State".
If the MBTA were willing to self-own on this delightful little slice of absurdity, it would paint signage in the underground pedestrian tunnel that links the Old State House Blue Line platforms to the Old South Orange Line platforms that reads:

This Way To the Orange Line STATE Stop At Old South Meeting House
That Way To the Blue Line STATE STREET Stop At Old State House
 

Brattle Loop

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That was a real frustration for me while making this quiz! There are several stations with particularly inconsistent names, Wyoming [Hill] and [Melrose]/Cedar Park among them.
Wyoming Hill is mostly called that, except, weirdly, for the platform signs.

Cedar Park is hilariously inconsistent. The parking lot sign, system map, and MBTA website all use "Melrose/Cedar Park", old versions of the map once upon a time used "Melrose - Cedar Park" as does the sign on the inbound platform, and the sign on the outbound platform has the delightful variation "Melrose Cedar - Park". (Honorable mention goes to the announcer at North Station still calling it "Melrose" in the late 2000s, thirty-odd years after "Cedar Park" was added to account for the fact that it's one of three stops in Melrose.)
 

donkeybutlers

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Massachusetts Ave (Orange Line), Massachusetts Ave (Silver Line) ;), Mishawum, Wyoming Hill, Wachusett, Cohassett?
North Scituate, Pawtucket/Central Falls (under construction)
Shawmut, Mattapan, Waban, Nantasket Junction, Natick Center, West Natick, Swampscott

Blue Hill Ave is an anglicization of a native name. Concord and West Concord are also named for a concord settlers and indigenous people had there. Alewife is the English name for a native fish.

Interestingly Tappan is of indigenous origin in NY but here it is named after Lewis Tappan and it eventually traces back to a Brit named Toppen.

The two names with links to Black people are Melnea Cass and Nubian

The Brandeis part of Brandeis/Roberts is Czech-Jewish.

Salem comes from Hebrew through Greek. Sharon is also of Hebrew origin.

Canton Junction and Canton center are anglicizations from Chinese. Chinatown also obviously bears reference to China.

Campello is Italian.

Montserrat is likely Catalan by way of the Caribbean island with the same name.

Bellevue is French. Belmont is a fully Gallicized version of Bellmont, while Beachmont is slightly Gallicized. Ashmont I cannot find info for but is probably similar.

Fitchburg is germanized.

Englewood is an Anglicization of Dutch (for where English people live). No one seems sure where the name Greenbush in Scituate is from but in NY its Dutch so it may be here too.

Melrose is Anglicized Scottish.
 
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Riverside

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Shawmut, Mattapan, Waban, Nantasket Junction, Natick Center, West Natick, Swampscott

Blue Hill Ave is an anglicization of a native name. Concord and West Concord are also named for a concord settlers and indigenous people had there. Alewife is the English name for a native fish.

Interestingly Tappan is of indigenous origin in NY but here it is named after Lewis Tappan and it eventually traces back to a Brit named Toppen.

The two names with links to Black people are Melnea Cass and Nubian

The Brandeis part of Brandeis/Roberts is Czech-Jewish.

Salem comes from Hebrew through Greek. Sharon is also of Hebrew origin.

Canton Junction and Canton center is an anglicization from Chinese. Chinatown also obviously bears reference to China.

Campello is Italian,

Montserrat is likely Catlan by way of the Caribbean island with the same name.

Bellevue is French , Belmont is a fully Gallicized-version of Bellmont while Beachmont is slightly Gallicized,

Fitchburg is germanized.

Englewood is an Anglicization of Dutch (for where English people live). No one seems sure where the name Greenbush in Scituate is from but in NY its Dutch so it may be here too.

Melrose is Anglicized Scottish.
Honestly I feel like there is a children's book to be written here! A little kid riding the train, passing through all these different stations and learning about where the names came from.
 

The EGE

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njlx is correct about Porter/Porter Square.

donkeybutlers absolutely killed it with the name origins! Many of those I did not know. Campello is indeed one of the Italian names I was thinking of.

Last call for the remaining (otherwise I'll post the answers tonight):
1: One other station with "Square" on signage but not on maps or on the website
2: One other station with "Square" on one mode, but not the other
3: Two remaining stations with absentee namesakes, and one with an mismatched street name
4: The westernmost "east" station still remains
5: One more Italian name and one more Native name still remain
 

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