Abandoned tunnels under Boston- I had no idea.

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Abandoned tunnels under Boston- I had no idea.
Posted by 54light15 on Monday, October 14, 2019 11:10 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFIo-dBlmjs 

I knew about the ones under Chicago, but I've never heard of this. Why would these be abandoned? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. 

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Posted by mudchicken on Monday, October 14, 2019 12:19 PM

$$$$$ and broken dreams...

Wait till you get into the stories of the bigger Cincinnati Subway (1916-1929, at least Boston laid track and ran for a while); the Cincinnati & Dayton 1847 "Deer Creek Tunnel" and the Western Hills Tunnel (ill-fated 1858 Cincinnati & Western and the copper jacketed boiler/ steam locomotive in a double tracked, brick lined tunnel) Cincinnati Subway

https://www.wcpo.com/news/insider/buried-train-roll-hill 

Out here in Colorado, there is the never used 1905 Denver Laramie & NW Fish Creek / Virginia Dale tunnel near the Woming border. The railroad never had the $$$ to lay track that far. (The USRA and WW1 killed several railroads in Colorado, tunnels & all)

Another series of street railway tunnels are abandoned and repurposed in Rochester, NY.

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by 54light15 on Monday, October 14, 2019 12:46 PM

Thanks- I knew about the Rochester tunnels that were never used. Aren't there unused subway tunnels in an Ohio city? I've heard about it somewhere. 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, October 14, 2019 1:11 PM

54light15
Aren't there unused subway tunnels in an Ohio city?

See mudchicken's immediately prior post, and read until you reach a familiar-appearing city name reputed to be in Ohio.

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Posted by York1 on Monday, October 14, 2019 1:28 PM

The video has some pretty funny closed captions.

John       

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Posted by blue streak 1 on Monday, October 14, 2019 8:21 PM

A map would be interesting !  Also glossed over reason for abandoing ?

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Posted by daveklepper on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:06 PM

The Boston tunnels shown, and there are others, were used by the Tremont Street North Station - Egleston and Broadway North Station - City Point PCC - operated (single cars, very rare use of trains typical of the other PCC lines) subway-surface lines.  The tunnels run south from the Boylston Street Station, tracks connected to the outer tracks at the station, with the inner tracks turning west to continue to Arlington, Copley, Massachusetts, and Kenmore stations, the current B, C, D, and E routes.  (A was the line to Watertown, with City Point and Egelston abandoned before letters were assigned.)  E diverges south at Copley, and B, C, and D  continue through Kenmore.  In addition to the grade-separated junction at Boylston, there is an additional grade separation juction within the tunnels, with two tracks on the east that turned east on Broadway, at the Broadway and Tremont portal, and two on the west running south on Tremont Street.

I think the abonment of subway-surface operation on the two lines was dumb.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Monday, October 14, 2019 10:30 PM

According to the news story, these underground trolleys were replaced by more modern subways.

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Posted by daveklepper on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 5:52 AM

Not really correct for the tunnel interiors shown.  The tunnel under the hatch in the Public Garden was part of the original subway, at the first portal before the extension to Kenmore with an intermediate portal near Arlington. There is no track remaining in that very short tunnel section.  The tunnels where the track remains are the tunnels used by the subway-surface lines I noted, and they got bus replacements, with the buses not penetrating quite as far into the downtown area.  Much later, the Washington Street Elevated, the Orange Line, got relocated to part of the New Haven main line RoW, close by Tremont Street, and this is probably the choice for most of the former streetcar riders today.  And Washington Street has the Silver Line articulated buses running on supposedly dedicated lanes.  (Initially, the enforcement was rather haphazard. but I think it has been improved.)   This should be light rail and should enter the subway using the abandoned tunnel on the two easternmost tracks.  Whereas the City Pointd riders used to have a one-seat PCC ride into the Green Line subway, I suspect most now transfer to the Red Line rapid transit at the Broadway Station on or near Dorchester Avenue. They had that choice before bus conversion.  In fact, during WWII and for some time afterward, the was a supplemental short-turn Broadway service, using Type 5s, that ran between the trailing crossovers at the Army Base and at Broadway station.

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:46 AM

Overmod- I didn't read the attachment-D'oh! But I've heard of an abandoned subway tunnel, not a railroad tunnel, or was that it? 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:41 PM

54light15
But I've heard of an abandoned subway tunnel, not a railroad tunnel, or was that it? 

mudchicken said it was both.

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 1:15 PM

when I think of a subway, I think of electric urban transit- I didn't see anything about that, maybe I'm missing something? But I did see in the attachment about a brass bell attached to a "yolk." Must have been a big egg. 

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Posted by Electroliner 1935 on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 4:48 PM

mudchicken
Wait till you get into the stories of the bigger Cincinnati Subway (1916-1929,

This subway was planned and built for the Cincinnati Street Railways and the Cincinnati and Lake Erie interurban It had funding and political issues but the depression did in the C. & L.E. so it never got finished. It runs under Central Parkway from Walnut Street to a portal just North of the Western Hills Viaduct and there was another stretch under the Hopple St intersection with Central Parkway. Most of the construction was in the bed of the Miami and Erie Canal. I snuck into it back in 1952 when I was going to the YMCA. There was a vent structure in front of the Y (between Elm & Plum St) and there was a broken mesh that I went into. 

You can read about it at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cincinnati_Subway

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Posted by mudchicken on Thursday, October 17, 2019 11:48 AM

Electroliner - At UC in the Civil Engineering Program, Dr. Bob Howe had the juniors take a field trip down the hill that included a brief visit to the Central Parkway side of the subway near Hopple Street. Later lessons on static and dynamic transportation & urban planning always came back to what failed here. One of the two tunnels had a "temporary" water line (60" RCP raw water) running down the middle of it somewhere in there. ("temporary" as in 35 years old at the time, think it's still there today ... the curves in the tunnel were very tight IIRC painting a picture of short single car operations.)

While the Deer Park and Western Hills (Rolle Hill) tunnels were technically steam railroad tunnels, they were for commuter use. Every time the dim-bulb transportation planners were allowed to conjure up new Cincinnati Master Plans after 1948, OKI or whomever always included the tunnels in their wasteful efforts for a future lightrail system that never happened. (Downtown/ Over The Rhine loop is there, but it is a doomed oddball operation, already in serious trouble.)

My parents, well-seasoned Brooklyn straphangers, always were somewhat mystified that the locals were so quick to kill it off along with the demise of the street railways that were supposed to also run in the subway (like Rochester, not really a heavy rail subway system.)

http://www.thecincinnatisubway.com/ 

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/subway.html  Dave might have fun with other parts of this website.

 

Mudchicken Nothing is worth taking the risk of losing a life over. Come home tonight in the same condition that you left home this morning in. Safety begins with ME.... cinscocom-west
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Posted by GORDON PENNISTON on Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:02 PM
Rochester, NY, tunnels were used then abandoned
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Posted by cessna 310 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:28 AM

Most of the tunnels were abandoned due to the elimination of street car lines or the removal of the  elevated portions. The two come to mind are the Tremont street tunnel on the Green line. The Essex street tunnel led to the Washington street elevated that was removed when the Orange line was relocated into the New Haven row. If you need more detailed information I suggest that you contact the Boston Street Railway Association.

website: thebsra.org

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Posted by Samuel Johnston on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 11:02 AM

Rochester subway operated 1927-1956.  The interurban to Canadaigua used it until 1930 and the lines to Buffalo and Syracuse to 1931.  Rochester & Sodus Bay never used it as the subway/ha-ha (yes, that's what such walled ditches are called) went nowhere near its route into town--it went to a skeleton service in 1927 and gave up in 1929.  Industrial operations to a few plants continued for a few years.  Newsprint deliveries were the last use of any part of the tunnel.  OK, subway & ditch were the old Erie Canal route abandoned jsut before WW I for the Brage Canal around Rochester.  Oddly, a consultant the City hired in 1911 or 1913 recommended they use the route for a highway for automobiles and trucks--that happened for part of it about 1960.  Big problem was that the canal left many areas unserved--but the canal was available so the subway got built.  The night before it was to open the main waterline to the city burst and flooded the whole shebang; it took two years to rebuild the system!

     Now there may be some other tunnels around in Rochester NY; the escarpment at the big falls in downtown probably got used fo something, but Rochester isn't very hilly--it isn't Pittsburgh.

     

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Posted by 54light15 on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:22 PM

"subway/ha-ha?"  Never heard that before! 

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:54 AM

54light15
"subway/ha-ha?"  Never heard that before!

Strictly speaking, a 'ha-ha' isn't necessarily a trench, it's a break in elevation that prevents further 'travel' but is invisible from the higher direction.  The purpose of depressing rail traffic in a 'trench' (or below an effective ha-ha) explicitly to hide it from view is just a bit different ... but the principle is similar enough (especially when it also serves the purpose of keeping people from crossing or walking on the tracks) that it's fair to at least mention the term in the context he did.

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Posted by Ashton on Thursday, October 24, 2019 2:04 PM

You can get a glimpse of the tunnel between Boylston and Park Street on the Green line when you turn the corner. I always wanted to find out more about the tunnel. Interesting video.

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Posted by Gramp on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 3:01 AM

Just saw a neat American Experience documentary on public tv about the building of the Boston subway. How the 7 horse trolley line companies clogged the city streets. 7,400 horses in use. The electrification of the lines after the companies were consolidated. How Sprague's electric trolley car invention was proven in Richmond, Va, and then used in Boston. Edison bought Sprague's company, and folded it into GE. Fascinating stories. 

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