Dorchester Rapid Transit Extension News (1915-1931)

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Dorchester Rapid Transit Extension News

Electric Railway Journal · Various Issues, 1915-1931


Dorchester Rapid Transit Boston South of Colombia Station. [Many similar Wharton Special Trackwork Layouts have been installed in the subways of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, where the heavily loaded trains in the rush hour jams subject them to severe tests... Advertisement, Wm. Wharton, Jr. & Co., Inc., Electric Railway Journal, January 14, 1928, page 108.]

A collection of short news articles about Boston's Dorchester Tunnel subway, from various issues of Electric Railway Journal, 1915-1931.

February 13, 1915

Boston, Mass - Bids are desired until Feb. 25 by the Boston Transit Commission, 15 Beacon Street, Boston (B. Leighton Beal, secretary), for building Section H of the Dorchester Tunnel, located in Dorchester Avenue, between Old Colony Avenue and Woodward Street and is about 2200 ft. long. The structure is to be mainly of reinforced concrete and consists of a single-span double-track tunnel, to be built by the cut and cover method. The work also includes a pump well, an emergency exit and sewer changes. Specifications and forms of contract can be obtained at 15 Beacon Street, ninth floor. The right to reject any and all bids and to award the contract as is deemed to be for the best interest of the city of Boston is reserved.

February 27, 1915

PRESIDENT BANCROFT ON BOSTON TRANSPORTATION BILLS. Before the committee on metropolitan affairs of the Massachusetts Legislature on Feb. 19, William A. Bancroft, president of the Boston Elevated Railway, appeared in opposition to a group of about a dozen bills extending or altering the existing system of rapid transit. Several of the measures provided for the construction of a subway station at Arlington and Boylston Streets; others proposed the removal of the elevated structure in southern Washington Street and the construction of an equivalent subway, and the extension of the Dorchester tunnel to Codman Square from the terminus authorized at Andrew Square. General Bancroft discussed the growth of the system, its investment and earnings during the past eighteen years along lines which have been published in this journal and showed the need of the company's being given a financial breathing spell before undertaking any new rapid transit lines. He pointed out that probably no other city in the world had received so comprehensive a rapid transit development in the period from 1897 to 1915 as has Boston and said that the rapid transit lines in themselves were unprofitable, with the exception of the Tremont Street Subway and East Boston tunnel, which about "break even." The wages increase of two years ago was costing the company $500,000 a year more than before and the public was not paying the proper cost of transportation. General Bancroft quoted numerous figures showing that a substantial service was already rendered the Arlington Street district and stated that the institution of a new station would be of doubtful value to the community, apart from costing the company $46,000 a year to maintain, carry and operate with escalators. Closing, he urged that the rapid transit facilities authorized in 1911 and now under construction be completed and tested before further extensions of the system were added to the company's burdens. The hearing was closed.

February 27, 1915

Commission Approves Boston Transfer Facilities. — The Public Service Commission of the State of Massachusetts has approved the establishment of free transfer privileges by the Boston Elevated Railway in connection with the opening for service of the westerly section of the Dorchester tunnel. The Washington Street and Dorchester tunnels cross at different grades at Washington, Winter and Summer Streets and the transfer facilities in general provide for interchange between north and southbound, east and westbound surface and tunnel cars and trains. The board has ordered the establishment of free transfer privileges at Dewey Square, Boston, between southbound Atlantic Avenue and Washington Street-Dudley Street surface cars, and between northbound cars boarded on Washington Street between Dover and Boyleston Streets and Powers Wharf-Atlantic Avenue cars.

March 13, 1915

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATIVE NEWS. The committee on street railways has reported adversely on the bill for the state ownership of street railways. The measure provided that upon the petition of 10 per cent of the legal voters of the State, the question of public ownership should be placed upon the ballot, and upon a referendum in favor of the bill the following Legislature was to prepare a plan for the purchase of the existing lines. The committee on metropolitan affairs has reported in favor of the construction of a station in the Boylston Street subway, Boston, at Arlington Street and has reported adversely in reference to petitions for the construction of a tunnel in Dorchester extending the prospective Dorchester subway. The committee has voted leave to withdraw the petition of Senator Bagley that the Public Service Commission investigate the operation of trains on the Boston Elevated rapid transit lines and of cars in the Boston subways. Other bills acted upon adversely by the committee are one that subway cars be made of metal; that the Washington Street tunnel be extended to Dudley Street and the elevated structure be removed in Boston on that portion of the system, and that the Boston Transit Commission investigate the necessity of further rapid transit tunnels and subways, anticipating the requirements of the next twenty-five years.

April 3, 1915

ARTICULATION OF BOSTON LINES. On April 4 train service will be extended from Harvard Square, Cambridge, through Park Street, Boston, to the Washington station of the Dorchester tunnel, now under construction. The operation of trains through to Washington Street, 0.5 mile, will tie together the Tremont Street subway, Washington Street tunnel and the Cambridge subway. The new facilities will be centered at the Washington rtation, which is expected to become the most important downtown transfer point in Boston on the rapid transit lines.

The new station differs from all others on the Boston Elevated Railway in arrangement. It extends under Summer Street from Washington to Chauncy Street, and is built in two levels. The lower level contains two platforms about 350 feet long each, which will be used as the berths of Harvard Square trains until the next section of the Dorchester tunnel is opened. The upper level is a 500-ft. promenade or lobby with exits to the surface and to the winter and summer stations of the Washington Street tunnel. An escalator will also be in service between the lower level and the street. Free bodily transfer will be given between tunnel and subway trains, and between trains and surface cars, as previously outlined in this paper.

April 24, 1915

Massachusetts Commission Reports to the Legislature on Transportation in Metropolitan Boston. The Massachusetts Public Service Commission has submitted a special report to the Legislature upon transportation problems in Metropolitan Boston, in accordance with a resolve of last year's General Court. The report consists of forty-seven pages of discussion by the commission and an exhaustive supplementary report by William B. Bennett, assistant chief engineer of the Wisconsin Railroad Commission, who was employed by the board to make an independent study of the transportation questions now at the front at Boston. Mr. Bennett was assisted by E. J. Steinberg, engineer in charge of the Milwaukee office of the Wisconsin commission. The full reports are to be printed by the State at a later date. A detailed financial report has also been prepared by J. W. Lester, accountant of the Massachusetts commission, upon the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn Railroad and the six street railways operating in the metropolitan district, and a report will soon be completed by Prof. W. L. Puffer upon safety on rapid transit lines.

The primary question before the board was the relation of steam and electric railways at Boston to the general transportation problem of the metropolitan area. The report holds that any comprehensive plan for the improvement of steam railroad facilities at Boston must await the financial improvement of the railroads themselves.

The questions with which Mr. Bennett's report deals may be divided into four classifications: (1) Changes in the present service of the Boston Elevated Railway. (2) Future extensions of rapid transit service, including the proposed use of certain steam railroad locations by the rapid transit lines. (3) Unification of street railway and rapid transit lines. (4) Revision of fares.

The commission plans to take up the proposed changes in Boston Elevated Railway service in the future, with public hearings. Briefly these changes concern the rerouting of cars on the surface lines; trailer service; the building of a transfer station for surface and elevated lines at Egleston Square, to relieve Dudley Street station congestion; modifications of Dudley Street station; and changes at Maverick Square, East Boston; Forest Hills and on the rapid transit lines.

With respect to these recommendations, the board concedes that the present routing of cars on both the Boston Elevated and Bay State systems is far from satisfactory at many points, but urges caution in working out a readjustment. The company has already taken steps toward the early use of trailers in the Boylston Street subway and the gradual extension of such service to other lines during rush hours. The board favors the construction of inclosed loop tracks at Egleston Square by which surface car service in the Roxbury-Jamaica Plain district can be better co-ordinated with the rapid transit line, relieving congestion at the Dudley Street station. The removal of certain concessions on the east loop at Dudley Street is also to be considered as a means of increasing the traffic capacity of this station. The board favors reconstructing the Maverick Square portal of the East Boston tunnel to permit the operation of multiple-unit trains.

The Bennett report divides the metropolitan area into six subdivisions tied together in pairs by three main routes intersecting in the heart of Boston; viz., the Cambridge subway with the Dorchester tunnel extension now under construction; the Sullivan Square-Forest Hills line, and the Boylston Street subway and East Boston tunnel. It suggests the joint use by the rapid transit lines of certain steam railroad locations, as one permitting the operation of through multiple-unit trains from Manhattan Square to Harvard Square. This, it is estimated, would call for an investment of $4,000,000 against $7,133,600 for the proposed extension of the Dorchester tunnel from Andrew Square to Cadman Square. The Bennett report also favors the immediate completion of the South Everett elevated line from Sullivan Square and its connection with the Saugus branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, equipping the latter for electric train operation and handling freight on industry tracks by electric power at night. Another recommendation by Mr. Bennett is the connection of the West Roxbury branch of the New Haven system with the Boston Elevated rapid transit line at Forest Hills. The plans of the board's advisory engineer also include extension of the Boylston Street subway to the Boston Custom House, with connection to the East Boston tunnel, and a subsequent connection of the former to the Newton circuit line of the Boston & Albany Railroad when this is electrified. Still another extension suggested in the Bennett report is one of the East Boston tunnel to the Charles River viaduct and thence via the Southern Division of the Boston & Maine Railroad to Somerville. No attempt has yet been made to ascertain the attitude of the steam railroads toward this joint use of tracks, but the board believes that favorable arrangements might be made in view of the falling off of suburban traffic in the last twenty years on the steam lines.

The commission does not as yet feel convinced that the consolidation of the Boston Elevated Railway and the Bay State Street Railway is necessary to the solution of transportation problems in the metropolitan district. It has given the matter much consideration, but desires more concrete evidence of the benefits of the proposed merger before it sanctions the plan.

The Bennett report recommends that the charter of the Boston Elevated Railway be amended to enable the commission to establish a zone system of fares like that of Milwaukee. The board regards the Milwaukee zone system as an improvement upon the flat fare system. It points out that the gradual increase of the former tends to improve present conditions. The Milwaukee system, however, does not lend itself to conditions of dual corporate operation as found at Boston. The comparative areas of the territories in square miles served by the following transit companies are of interest: Boston Elevated, 80; Philadelphia Rapid Transit, 96; Detroit United Railways, 52; Cleveland Railways, 46; Buffalo International, 40; Indianapolis Traction & Terminal, 34; Milwaukee Railway & Light, 30; New York Railways, 18. In most of these cities fare inequalities exist.

In the opinion of the board, interference with the present contractual relations between the Boston Elevated Railway and the State should be advocated only after clear proof of its necessity. Certain equities have been created by the company's charter which attach to both company and public. Up to the present time the board feels that the contract has worked well as a whole. It has resulted in the extension of a combined rapid transit and street railway service at a flat rate of 5 cents over a metropolitan area larger than any similar area in the country, taking transfer facilities into account. The last eighteeen years have been marked by the practically continuous building of rapid transit lines. The board realizes the importance of prosperity to the Boston Elevated as a factor in the transportation development of the community. It recognizes that the company's stock is now selling below par and that its present financial condition is less favorable than has been the rule in the past. At the same time it does not favor any change in farfes at present, believing that the recent disturbance in business conditions may be a large factor in the situation. No steps have been taken by the company toward securing a revision and the board believes that the State should not take the initiative here. The form of relief, also, deserves exhaustive study, and might lie in an abridgement of transfer facilities, a decrease in taxes, reduction in the burdens relative to the care of the streets, etc.

In conclusion the board states that it regrets its inability to solve the problem of fare inequalities in such communities as Hyde Park, Chelsea and Revere. Neither the Boston Elevated nor the Bay State Street Railway favors extending the 5-cent fare system of the former to cover these communities. The board points out that despite these inequalities metropolitan Boston stands in a class by itself with respect to the degree of articulation of electric railway service existing. It offers its services as always, in the investigation of specific problems and will shortly take up in a comprehensive way the transportation changes outlined above in relation to the Boston Elevated Railway.

June 26, 1915

PROGRESS ON BOSTON TUNNEL. Rapid progress is being made by the Boston (Mass.) Transit Commission in the construction of the section of the Dorchester tunnel between upper Summer Street and the South Station. At Dewey Square one of the most important underground stations of the Boston rapid transit system is being built, and it is expected that by July 1 finishing work can be begun. Operation of the Summer Street section of the Dorchester tunnel will probably commence in the fall, providing rapid transit by trains of the Boston Elevated Railway between the South Station, Cambridge and points west. Upon the completion of the Dewey Square station it will be operated as a temporary terminal pending the extension of the tunnel along Fort Point Channel toward South Boston and Dorchester, and the new Washington station recently opened for traffic will become a way station. The Dewey Square station will include two platforms 350 ft. long for east-bound and west-bound traffic and a mezzanine lobby just below the street level, with escalator connections running to the exits. The station will be the lowest on the rapid transit system and will afford quick connection with the Boston Elevated service east and west for passengers arriving in the city by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad and the Boston & Albany Railroad. It is being built by the Hugh Nawn Contracting Company, of Boston, and the estimated cost of the station is $500,000. Work has been pushed day and night since last August, and 325 tons of earth have been removed daily without closing the square to traffic. The station will be 44 ft. deep and although extensive changes in piping, sewers and building supports have been required no serious accident has as yet occurred on the work.

September 9, 1916

Another Boston Tunnel Section to Be Opened. — The Boston (Mass.) Elevated Railway will equip and operate the Summer Street section of the Dorchester tunnel within the next few months, providing rapid transit train service between Cambridge and the South Station via the Cambridge subway. As the result of a recent conference with the Boston Transit Commission, the Park Street-South Station section of the tunnel will probably be operated without a rental charge, pending the completion of the Dorchester tunnel to Andrew Square.

December 9, 1916

BOSTON TUNNEL EXTENSION OPENED. The extension of the Dorchester tunnel of the Boston (Mass.) Elevated Railway from Washington Street to Dewey Square was opened for traffic on Dec. 3. Although the length of tunnel placed in commission is only 1/2 mile, the new service represents one of the most important improvements in rapid transit from the standpoint of public convenience that has been completed by the Boston Transit Commission during the last few years. With the exception of the East Boston tunnel, Boston has had no crosstown rapid transit line of major importance running east and west, although the Atlantic Avenue elevated line has to some degree compensated for this condition by the loop and inter-terminal service operated upon it in the course of its history. The Dorchester tunnel, when completed, will enable high-speed train service to be rendered between Harvard Square, Cambridge, and Andrew Square, Dorchester, the section between Harvard Square and Park Street being popularly known as the Cambridge subway. In order to accommodate the public as far as possible in advance of the completion of the tunnel, the Boston Elevated Railway has established service in the downtown sections of this tunnel as rapidly as the completion of stations has permitted. Under this plan trains were operated from Harvard Square to Washington station following the completion of the tunnel under Winter and part of Summer Street, and the further extension of service to South Station under the present terminal point provides rapid transit from Cambridge and the various suburbs at the west of the Charles River to the South Terminal Station of the New York, New Haven & Hartford and Boston & Albany railroads.

December 16, 1916

HEARING ON BOSTON TRANSFERS. H. B. Potter, assistant to the president, appeared before the Public Service Commission of Massachusetts, Nov. 23, in support of a petition of the Boston Elevated Railway for a reduction of transfer facilities on various Summer Street lines in connection with the opening of the Dorchester tunnel from Washington Street to Dewey Square. Mr. Potter pointed out that through the abuse of paper transfer checks at Washington, Winter and Summer stations of the rapid transit system many passengers from residential districts made a round trip on a single fare between their homes and the most congested retail center in New England. It is proposed to issue transfers at South Station (under Dewey Square) between Dorchester tunnel trains and Atlantic Avenue, Dorchester Avenue and Summer Street extension cars, doing away with the local transfer facilities on Summer Street, which at present offer opportunities for abuse. It is planned to remove all surface-car traffic from Washington Street, from Essex to Franklin Streets, during the holiday season, and some of the diverted lines will connect with Atlantic Avenue trains at the Beach Street elevated station, where increased service will probably be inaugurated. The commission took the case under advisement.

January 6, 1917

Report on Dorchester Tunnel Extension. The Boston Transit Commission has filed a special report in the Legislature relative to the extension of the Dorchester tunnel from Andrew Square to Upham's Corner. At the last session the commission was ordered to report upon the cost and most feasible route, and it finds the former to be about $2,800,000, via Boston Street, Edward Everett Square and Columbia Road, the distance being about 1 mile. An accompanying report by Chief Engineer Edmund S. Davis states that the present terminal at Andrew Square includes about (520 linear feet of two-track tunnel extending southerly from the station for cross-over facilities. The extension from this point to Upham's Corner would terminate at a station 350 ft. long with a lobby above the track level and the necessary entrances and exits. South of this station the usual crossover facilities would be provided. The estimate takes into consideration the advanced cost of labor and material, the cost of the subway and station, including location of waterpipes and sewers and land damages.

January 27, 1917

Boston Elevated Purchases Thirty-five Large Cars. Permission has been granted by the Massachusetts Public Service Commission to the Boston Elevated Railway to purchase thirty-five steel cars for service in the Cambridge subway and Dorchester tunnel extension to Andrew Square. The contract for the cars has been awarded to the Pressed Steel Car Company, Pittsburgh, Pa., and the trucks to the J. G. Brill Company, Philadelphia. It is expected that the contract for motors will be awarded this week. In a recent letter to the commission, President Matthew C. Brush of the railway company stated that the cost of these cars complete will be about $18,500 each, compared with $11,415 each for similar cars in 1912. Mr. Brush expressed regret at being obliged to purchase cars at the above advance, but informed the board that such action is necessary in order to be prepared for the opening of the tunnel to Andrew Square. The new cars are similar to those already in service in the Cambridge subway and are 69 ft. 2-1/2 in. long over all, seating seventy-two passengers each. The distance from center to center of trucks is 51 ft., and the total estimated weight loaded with 291 passengers at 140 lb. each is 127,147 lb. The total weight of the car light is 86,407 lb., various included weights being body, 41,393 lb.;. trucks, 21,961 lb.; two motors without gears, 12,300 lb.; air-brake equipment and piping, 3,518 lb.; controlling equipment and conduit, 5,620 lb.; miscellaneous, 1,615 lb.

July 6, 1918

Dorchester Extension Opened. The Broadway-Andrew Square section of the Dorchester tunnel was opened for traffic by the Boston (Mass.) Elevated Railway on June 29. The new line is a double-track subway with 8845 ft. of single track installed, and is equipped for train operation along the same general lines as the previously operated route east of Harvard Square, Cambridge to Boston. Congestion at the recently opened Broadway station of this tunnel in South Boston, will be relieved by the new line as will also congestion at Dudley Steeet, Roxbury. There -svill be a saving of five minutes on each trip from the Dorchester district into and out of the business center of Boston. One of the most valuable features of the new service is the reduction in running time between residential areas in Boston and the Victory plant at Squantum, where destroyers for the United States Navy are being built on a large scale. At Andrew Square there is a transfer station with two surface car loops and two train platforms on a lower level.

November 6, 1920

In Boston the busiest station on the subway system is the Park Street underground station at the intersection of the Tremont Street subway and the Cambridge-Dorchester tunnel. Here the lower level station, for Cambridge-Dorchester trains, is 350 ft. long and has two side platforms for unloading and one island platform for loading. The former are 10 to 12 ft. wide, the width of the latter varies from 18 to 30 ft, tapering from the center toward the ends. The upper level for the Tremont Street surface cars has two island platforms. Each track has berths for eight cars along the straight portion of the platform. The east platform (exclusive of stairways) contains about 9,625 sq.ft. and the westerly one about 14,050 sq.ft. The entrance and exit stairways from the upper level to the surface are through structures on the Boston Common. The southerly entrance on the easterly platform has an intermediate lobby or mezzanine above the platform for the control; on the other entrances the control is on the platform. The lower level has an entrance lobby at its easterly end just east of the Park Street structure with stairways to the street and from the unloading platforms, ticket control and a wide stairway to the loading platform. From both unloading platforms there are escalators to the street surface. For direct transfer between the two stations there are six stairways, one from each platform on the lower level to each one on the upper.

January 28, 1922

Report Presented on $5,655,000 Project. Extension of the Dorchester tunnel beyond Andrew Square and the electrification of the Shawmut branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, for the purpose of creating a rapid transit system in the Dorchester district, near Boston, at an estimated cost of $5,665,000, is planned in detail in a report filed in the Legislature by the Public Utilities Commission and the Boston Transit Commission, acting jointly. These two bodies were directed to study the proposition, which was first suggested by Charles A. Ufford of Dorchester, and report back to the General Court, under an act passed at the last session.

The plan, in brief, provides for taking over the Shawmut branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, running the present Dorchester tunnel trains along the Shawmut branch roadbed to Fields Corner and using highspeed trolleys on the Shawmut branch tracks beyond Mattapan Square. Under this plan passengers would transfer from the tunnel trains to the surface cars at Fields Corner station of the Shawmut branch. The station would be rebuilt and extensively enlarged.

The trustees of the Boston Elevated Railway, the report continues, are ready to procead with the plan, while the New Haven Railroad officials have said they are willing to co-operate to the best of their ability. Concluding, the report says:

The plan has been extensively studied, and it is felt that it will coordinate with any future extensions which we can foresee and that it itself is worthy of immediate adoption, if financially practicable. as a large step forward in the right direction. Further extension of this or similar plans may well await the results of accumulated experience

The plan for carrying out the project depends, of course, on the ability to secure the funds necessary to finance the undertaking.

June 9, 1923

BOSTON ELEVATED WILL OPERATE LINE. Governor Cox of Massachusetts has signed the .so-called Dorchester Rapid Transit Bill, providing for the operation of electric trains over the Shawmut Branch of the New Haven road from a point near Andrew Square, South Boston, to Fields Corner. It is intended that the Boston Elevated Railway shall operate the line.

The improvements intended to be carried out under the provisions of this measure call for the expenditure of more than $5,000,000. Of this amount it is expected that the State will be called upon to contribute about $4,000,000, while it is expected that the expenditure on the part of the Boston Elevated Railway for rolling stock and other equipment will account for the other $1,000,000 of the total expenditure.

June 23, 1923

$5,500,000 Electrification Project at Boston. It is estimated that it will cost the city of Boston $4,500,000 to carry out the provisions of the so-called Dorchester transit bill, the passage of which was referred to briefly in the ELECTRIC RAILWAY JOURNAL for June 9. This does not include expense for equipment totaling another $1,000,000.

The Dorchester transit bill is calculated to give the people of Dorchester rapid transit on Boston Elevated trains as far as Fields Corner, with surface car connections from that point as far as Welles Avenue, over what is at present the Shawmut branch of the New Haven road.

The bill provides that the city of Boston shall finance the entire project, paying the cost of extending the tunnel beyond Andrew Square, changing the railroad tracks on the Boston division and procuring this right-of-way for the Elevated; defraying the cost of land taking and damages and new track equipment, and purchasing the Shawmut branch outright from the New Haven and Old Colony roads at a price not to exceed $1,000,000. (The Interstate Commerce Commission has estimated the physical valuation of the Shawmut branch as $1,050,000).

The bill states that after the city has acquired the property it shall be leased to the Boston Elevated at a rental rate of 4-1/2 per cent a year, "upon the fair and reasonable cost, as determined by the Public Utilities Department of the premises and equipment." But it is stipulated that, though, the rental shall be not less than 4-1/2 per cent, it shall in any event be one-half of 1 per cent more than the rate of interest the city has to pay on its bonds. The one-half of 1 per cent profit a year accruing to the city is intended to go into a sinking fund, which, in the end. it is anticipated, will amortize the principal. Mr. Ufford has estimated that the city can discharge the entire cost in 40 years.

The method of financing is the same followed in the acquisition of subways by the city and rental to the Elevated.

Apparently the only direct expense to be borne by the Elevated will be the purchase of new cars. At the company offices, it is estimated that 40 new tunnel cars will have to be provided at a probable expense of $20,000 each, totaling $800,000. As additional surface cars may have to be furnished for the run beyond Fields Corner, the total expense to the Elevated might reach $1,000,000.

The principal physical changes decreed in the bill are:

1. Extension of the Dorchester tunnel from its present terminus a few hundred feet beyond Andrew Square so that tunnel trains will come to the surface to the west of the tracks of the Boston division of the New Haven road. This is to bring the tracks under Boston and Power Street and Dorchester Avenue, thus avoiding grrade crossings.

2. Use by the Elevated of the railroad right-of-way on the Boston division of the New Haven road from Dorchester Avenue to Harrison Square where the Shawmut branch begins. The railroad tracks are to be moved over toward Dorchester Bay, and the Elevated trains will run over the present location of the New Haven tracks. Shelters or stations for Elevated passengers must be provided at Columbia Road and Savin Hill Avenue and at such other points as may be agreed upon between the Elevated and the Public Utilities Department.

3. Erection of a terminal at Fields Corner, where the Dorchester tunnel trains will be looped or run dead in, for the return trip to Harvard Square.

4. Use by the Elevated of the Shawmut branch from Fields Corner to Welles Avenue or beyond to serve Milton for single car service connecting with the new rapid transit line.

September 29, 1923

Extension to Cost $4,000,000. An extension of the Dorchester tunnel in Boston and the use of the Shawmut branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad to Mattapan station is assured by the action of the Boston City Council in accepting the legislative act of the present year. The work will begin early next year, will take about two years to complete and will cost approximately $4,000,000, and after it has been built it will be leased by the city to the Boston Elevated Railway.

The present tunnel will be extended from Andrew Square, under Boston Street and under land of the Old Colony Railroad, coming to the surface by an incline south of Dorchester Avenue. Then there will be a surface track to Harrison Square, whence the tunnel cars are to run over the electrified Shawmut branch of the New Haven railroad to Mattapan, at the junction of River Street and Blue Hill Avenue.

Mayor Curley would depress the tracks all the way out so that a highway may be constructed above them like Park Avenue in New York.

October 20, 1923

High-Speed Operation Out of Boston. A rapid transit line approximately 8 miles long from Harvard Square to Peabody Square, Dorchester, is assured by the decision of the trustees of the Boston Elevated Railway to revise plans for the absorption of the Shawmut branch and its incorporation in the Elevated system and run Dorchester Tunnel trains to Ashmont.

The Legislative act, authorizing the city of Boston to buy the Shawmut branch and lease it to the Boston Elevated Railway made no specific provision for service beyond Welles Avenue, save to decree that the Elevated must guarantee adequate service for the people of Milton. Originally, the Elevated had merely announced extension of the Dorchester Tunnel train service from Andrews Square to Fields Corner, with single-car service to Milton.

The Legislature, however, left the Boston Elevated Railway wide latitude in working out plans for service beyond Fields Corner, and the trustees have decided that for reasonable expenditure the rapid transit service can be extended to Peabody Square. Mayor Curley has urged that this be done.

The plans of the Elevated call for the depression of the Shawmut branch roadbed to eliminate five grade crossings. Elevated trains will run over the right-of-way of the Boston Division of the New Haven Road, paralleling the railroad tracks, beyond Andrew Square where the Shawmut branch begins.

June 28, 1924

$5,000,000 Suburban Improvement Plan Approved. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has issued an order approving the plan submitted by the trustees of the Boston Elevated Railway providing for the operation of rapid transit passenger trains on the Shawmut Branch section of the New York, Mew Haven & Hartford Railroad from Welles Avenue, Dorchester, to Mattapan, without interference with the transportation of freight over the railroad.

The plan is part of the establishment of a new rapid transit extension of the Elevated, which will carry the trains operating through the Harvard Square subway, over the tracks of the New Haven road in Dorchester and Milton. The entire project will cost approximately $5,000,000, it is understood.

Under the law, which was enacted last year, it is provided that the city of Boston can make no taking or purchase of land or property from the railroad companies until a satisfactory plan providing for the carrying of passengers, without interference with freight carrying, between Welles Avenue and Ashmont station, Milton, is submitted by the Elevated and approved by the commission.

November 29, 1924

Boston Transit. Department on Nov. 25 opened bids for the building of the first section of the work of making the Shawmut Avenue branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad into a branch of the Boston Elevated Railway. This section includes the extension of the Dorchester subway at Andrew Square and the building of an incline to the New Haven tracks. The contract has not yet been awarded, but the bids are as follows:

Reynolds Brothers, Inc.: $1,074,295; Simpson Brothers Corporation: $1,033,520; C. & R. Construction Company: $1,019,930; Martin F. Gaddis: $1,013,640; A. G. Tomasello & Son: $991,460; Coleman Brothers. Inc.: $969.530.

February 13, 1926

Sixty cars of the Cambridge subway type have been ordered to provide for operating the Dorchester Rapid Transit extension when completed. Ninety new No. 5 type cars of an order of 100 placed in July, 1925, have been received and placed in service.

September 11, 1926

Another Dorchester Transit Award Announced. The C. & R. Construction Company is the lowest bidder and undoubtedly will receive the contract to build the third section of the Dorchester rapid transit system, to be operated by the Boston Elevated Railway. The bid was $626,550 and the nearest competitor for the contract was the J. C. Coleman Sons Company, bidding $650,695. There were eleven bidders and the highest bid was $1,069,400.

This section covers about 1 mile between Geneva Avenue and Peabody Squire and will include the construction of the Shawmut station and the rebuilding of Peabody Square bridge. With the awarding of this contract more than one-half of the 6-mile extension will be under construction. The New Haven Railroad has discontinued its service to four stations and permanently abandoned the location to clear the way for the rapid transit electric railway construction work.

October 30, 1926

Rapid Transit Over Steam Tracks Under Consideration. — The Boston Elevated Railway, Boston, Mass., is considering plans to operate a rapid transit line over the tracks of the Boston & Maine Railroad from North Cambridge to Somerville Junction. This is the present right-of-way of the Central Massachusetts branch of the Boston & Maine, which is being diverted to another route. The idea is similar to the arrangement now in use on the Shawmut branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad through Dorchester and Ashmont. The system suggested would operate from Somerville Junction through Somerville to connect with the main line of the Boston Elevated at Lechmere Square.

September 10, 1927

Work on Boston Subway Extension Continues. Work is about to start on the fourth section of the Dorchester rapid transit system in Boston, a $10,000,000 project which was begun three years ago. There were eight bids for the work, ranging from $401,565 to $537,475, the lowest bid being from the C. & R. Construction Company, which also received the contract for the third section, now almost completed. The fourth section runs from Peabody Square to Shawmut Junction, and includes the Ashmont station. It will take about 300 days for its construction.

November 5, 1927

Dorchester Extension Discussed by New England Club. Features of the new $12,000,000 rapid transit line is the topic of several papers at Boston meeting, the first of the season. Association president talks. The first meeting for the season of the New England Street Railway Club was held at the Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston, on Oct. 27. President R. B. Stearns, vice-president Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, presiding. The program was in charge of the Boston Elevated Railway, the first of a series of meetings to be planned, in turn, by several of the large electric railways in this territory.

E. L. Lockman, assistant to the superintendent of maintenance Boston Elevated Railway, read a carefully prepared paper on the general features of the Dorchester rapid-transit extension of the Boston Elevated Railway which is to be opened to the public on Saturday, Nov. 5. An abstract of Mr. Lockman's paper will appear in a future issue. He showed motion pictures especially taken for the occasion from a car traveling over the newly completed track. There were also construction motion pictures. Only the portion from Andrew Square to Fields Corner will be put in operation this year, he said. In answer to a question about the relation of the rapid-transit extension to existing and future facilities in the region, H. M. Steward, superintendent of maintenance Boston Elevated Railway, says that much business is going to come to this line from the southern part of the territory to be served. The previous steam railroad facilities in the region determined the routing. New bus lines will be installed as needed, but it is impossible to tell in advance just how the people will respond to the new facilities. The rapid-transit extension has resulted in a building up of the section and feeders to the rapid-transit lines will be added in accordance with the response of the patrons.

This improvement will eventually represent an investment of from $12,000,000 to $13,000,000. It will be possible to cover the distance from Park Street station to Fields Corner, about 5 miles, in fourteen minutes running time. There are no grade crossings on this extension.

April, 1929


Inspection Facilities of Various Kinds Used in Electric Railway Garages. Pit construction in the Dorchester garage of the Boston Elevated Railway is of unusual design with exceptionally good ventilation and light.

September, 1929

Boston, Mass. - Rapid transit service to Milton will be started at the Ashmont end of the Cambridge-Dorchester tunnel on Aug. 26. The opening had to be postponed from Aug. 17 because of the inability of the Boston Elevated Railway to complete track construction on the high-speed line between Ashmont and Milton. The transit department is pushing the work to provide rapid transit all the way from Harvard Square to Mattapan Square, using trains of the Boston "L" from Harvard to Ashmont stations, and high-speed trolleys from Ashmont to Mattapan.

New Features Embodied in Cars for Dorchester Extension

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 21 · November 19, 1927 · pp. 953-954.

By E. P. Locke, Engineer of Car Construction Boston Elevated Railway. Abstract of a paper read at meeting of the New England Street Railway Club, Boston, Mass., Oct. 27, 1927.

Prior to receipt of the new cars for the Dorchester extension 95 similar cars were in use on the Cambridge subway. The general arrangement of the Cambridge subway cars embodies longitudinal seats, extending the full length of car at each side, except at door openings; three sliding doors on each side and a sliding door and gate at each end. The motorman's cabs are located in the right-hand diagonal corners of the car. These cars are 69 ft. 2-1/2 in. long over all, with 51-ft. truck centers, and 9 ft. 6 in. wide, and are mounted on one trailer and one motor truck. They were purchased in three lots and are known as No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3. The 60 new cars are designated as No. 4.

The design of the No. 4 car, while in general the same as the earlier cars, differs in certain respects: The side doors on the old cars are arranged to slide into pockets in the sides of the car. The No. 1 and No. 2 cars have wooden doors, but on the No. 3 car they are constructed of steel. All are operated by means of compressed air. On the No. 4 cars they are arranged to slide on the exterior of the car body, are constructed of wood covered with aluminum, and are actuated by means of electric mechanism. Provision is also made for hand operation, should that necessity arise.

The reasons for these changes are: Saving in weight, original cost, and in maintenance cost, due to the elimination of the door pockets; elimination of accumulation of snow in door pockets; increase in the inside width of car for passenger accommodation; elimination of unavoidable waste of air at door engines and of cold weather troubles such as slow door movement and failures due to freezing at valves.

The front edge of each side door on the No. 4 car is equipped with a wide molded rubber striker which closes against a flexible striker on the door post, instead of a single smaller bumper on the door only, as on the earlier cars. With this arrangement a person may easily withdraw a hand or foot without injury, should either become caught when the door is closed.

The weight of each side door, including hanger and fittings, is 110 lb., against approximately 190 lb., the weight of an all-steel door, a saving of 80 lb. per door. The total saving per car, in door weights, including side, end and cab doors, is approximately 640 lb.

Electric door engines are located under the seats and have a shaft extending through the side of car. To the outer end of this shaft is attached an arm that engages in a track on the back edge of the door. The operation of the doors is controlled by means of push button switches at both ends of the car, this arrangement being the same on all Cambridge cars.

All end doors and gates are inclosed in pockets in the end of car, when in open position. On the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 cars, the gate is outside the door, and, due to its construction, will allow snow to blow into the pocket to such an extent as to interfere with operation. On the No. 4 car this arrangement is reversed, i. e., the door is on the outside. It is fitted with a double weather strip at the back edge, which, it is believed, will prevent snow from entering the pocket and will also stop, to a large extent, the cold drafts at this point.


Combination of steel and composition floors used in this type of car has, in the past, resulted in a weight varying from 8 to 12 lb. per square foot, depending upon the material used. The reason for this is that it has been necessary to apply the composition to a thickness of 1 in. or more to withstand the tendency toward cracking, due to vibration and slight movement of the car frame. Flooring material is now available, however, which does not require the excessive thickness heretofore necessary and which has more or less flexibility to withstand the car vibrations. On the No. 4 Cambridge cars, the floor composition was specified to be laid to a thickness of 3/8 in.

All floor material is subject to more or less wear, and must, in time, be repaired. To repair the thick composition floors, it has been necessary to rough up the old material, and, in some cases, to chip it out in order to apply the new material in a sufficiently thick layer to prevent cracking. Some trouble has been experienced, also, in obtaining a good bond between the old and the new materials. It is expected that these troubles have been overcome in the material used in the new Cambridge cars, as experience has shown that resurfacing may be done by first cleaning the floor and then applying the material in thin layers until the floor is again brought to its original level.

The supporting plates on which this material is laid consist of two sheets of No. 22 U. S. S. gage copper bearing steel in which have been pressed staggered rows of oval shaped cones or depressions. Two such sheets are placed together so that the top of the cones of one sheet touch the top of the cones of the other. The two sheets are then riveted together through the cones. This results in a structure 7/8 in. thick, the surfaces of which are flat, except for the depressions, and which provides an air space between the sheets of approximately 13/10 in.

After they are riveted together, the sheets are dipped in rust-proofing paint. These sheets are applied to the car frame in lengths to extend from side sill to side sill and 30 in. in width, the frame being designed so that a supporting member or a splice plate will come under each joint. The joints are made by inserting a freshly painted wood strip in the edge of one sheet and then telescoping the adjoining sheet into it.

Bolts are then inserted through the sheets, the wood filler and splice plates, or the supporting member of the frame. Wood strips are also inserted at the outside edges of the sheets before they are bolted to the side sills. In this way a practically sealed air space is obtained between the top and bottom members of the sheets, which serves as an insulator and which should have a tendency toward a warmer floor surface in cold weather, and also a tendency toward sound deadening.

The combination of the steel sheets and the surfacing material, as applied to the No. 4 car, results in a floor thickness of 1-3/4 in., 13/10 in. of which is dead air space, and the weight of which is 6 lb. per square foot, or a total saving n weight of approximately 1,300 lb. per car, when compared with the 8 lb. per square foot weight.

All Cambridge subway cars, previous to the No. 4, have been equipped with spring upholstered seat cushions and backs when purchased. In the No. 4 car these have been displaced by wood slat cushions and backs at a material saving in weight and a decided improvement from a sanitary and maintenance standpoint.

The slats are only 1/2 in. thick. Those in the cushion are secured to galvanized corrugated iron sheets, which serve as the supporting member, and at the same time meet the requirements as to fire protection over the heaters and other electrical apparatus. The backs consist only of the slats, which are attached to 1/16-in. pressed-steel angles, bent to the proper shape and attached at top and bottom ends to the frame. The saving that is made in weight per car on this item is 429 lb.


The appearance of the interior of the car is somewhat different from that of the older cars, due principally to the different lighting scheme. Instead of the old arrangement of three rows of 36-watt lamps, without reflectors, the new cars have ten 94-watt lamps mounted in pendent type, statuary bronze fixtures having glass reflectors. These are arranged in a single row at the longitudinal center line of the car. Interspersed with these are five emergency lamps that are also equipped with glass reflectors of similar shape, although smaller than those of the regular lamps. If, for any reason, the electric current fails and the 94-watt lamps are cut out. the emergency lamps are automatically cut in through a relay, so that the car will not be in darkness.

An improvement from the standpoint of appearance and also with respect to maintenance cost is the adoption of electric tail lights in place of the old-type steam railroad oil lamps that are carried on brackets at the ends of the cars. The tail lights on the new cars are arranged in permanent boxes constructed in the ends of the cars, only the red lens and lens-retaining casting being visible from the exterior of the car. Each box is equipped with one 36-watt lamp for regular use and with one emergency battery lamp. As in the case with the interior lighting, the emergency tail lamps come in on loss of the regular current, or in case of a failure of one of the regular 36-watt lamps in this circuit.

In cleaning windows considerable time is lost in thoroughly removing the dirt from the corners of the glass, and, if care is not exercised, it is apt to accumulate at these points, resulting in an unsightly appearance. To overcome the need for cleaning the corners and also to remove the unsightly appearance should dirt accumulate, sanitary corners, so called, have been applied to all sash, both inside and outside the glass, except at sash lifts, where they are outside only. These consist of thin pieces of brass laid against the surface of the glass and flanged over the edges. They are applied when the sashes are glazed and are held in place by the glazing rubber.

In the earlier lots of cars no provision was made for heating the motorman's cab. This has been arranged for on the No. 4 cars, however, by utilizing a portion of the heat from one of the regular heaters under the longitudinal seat adjacent to the cab. The top of the heater is perforated, thus allowing the warm air to pass up through into a duct which carries it to the cab partition, where it enters the cab through a grille-covered opening. The upper portion of the cab partition contains a permanent wire screen, over which may be drawn a duck curtain to exclude light when the cab is used for operating purposes. This arrangement replaces the sliding steel panel used on the earlier cars, and will result in some saving in maintenance cost.

First Station Completed on Dorchester Rapid Transit

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 11 · September 10, 1927 · p. 428.


Fields Corner transfer station for connecting lines. Illustration at left shows the bus and street passageway.

Simplicity is the keynote in the design of the new Columbia station, the first to be completed on the Boston Elevated Railway's new Dorchester rapid transit extension. This station will serve a heavy residential district and several large industrial plants. In general arrangement it is of the "island" type. The headhouse is provided with wide doorways. It has an area of approximately 290 sq.ft. on the sidewalk level for prepayment use. The fare collection apparatus includes two General Electric automatic dime-in-the-slot passimeters and an old type passimeter located at the change booth window.

Two flights of stairs lead from the fare collection barrier to the north end of the platform, which extends 350 ft. beyond the stairs. The width of the platform varies, being 20 ft. wide at the stairs and 23 ft. at the opposite end. A feature of the design is a 4-ft. space between the platform edge and the concrete base, which not only provides a place for cables, wires, piping and other necessary equipment but serves as a refuge for track workmen when a train is approaching. A canopy with slab waterproofed concrete roof is supported by steel members and extends the entire length of the platform. Two switch rooms and toilets for the public and employees are located under the stairways, while a waiting room and station master's room are in the center of the station.

The entire structure is fireproof, being built of brick, concrete and steel. The tracks were so located as to provide for a 135-ft. extension to the platform to be built when increased traffic warrants six-car trains.

Boston Elevated to Open New Dorchester Line Nov. 5

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 16 · October 15, 1927 · p. 754.

Work is so far advanced on the building of the new Dorchester rapid transit line, which will be the newest part of the Boston Elevated system, Boston, Mass., that a part of it will be opened for service on Nov. 5. The Boston Transit Department, which is building the line, announces that the section from Andrew Square to Field's Corner will be ready for service on that date and has petitioned the Public Utilities Department to authorize the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad to close the Savin Hill station on Nov. 1 so that the Boston Elevated Railway may turn the power into the third rail on that date and allow the Elevated officials and employees three days to try out the new line and familiarize themselves with the signals, curves and station platforms before carrying any passengers. There will be an official inspection of the line on Nov. 4.

This is the section, a third-rail rapid transit line, which will take the place of the steam railroad, the right-of-way having been bought from the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, which is to abandon the passenger service when the new line is built so that the Boston Elevated can take it over. In planning for this extension of the Elevated system it has been assumed that the short-haul suburban passenger traffic can be handled more economically by a railway than by the steam railroads. The railroads coming into Boston have been talking about abandoning the suburban service.

Dorchester Rapid Transit Extension Completed

Electric Railway Journal · Vol.70. No. 20 · November 12, 1927 · pp. 892-896.

Former steam railroad right-of-way will be utilized by Boston Elevated Railway in part for rapid transit service and in part for high-speed trolley operation. Details of construction are given. Abstract of a paper presented at a meeting of the New England Street Railway Club, Boston, Mass., Oct. 27 [1927].

By E. L. Lockman, Assistant to the Superintendent of Maintenance, Boston Elevated Railway.

Previous to 1923 the residents of the Dorchester district of Boston had for several years urged the necessity of improved transportation facilities. It was suggested, among other things, that the Cambridge-Dorchester tunnel be extended to Meeting House Hill and possibly beyond that point. During various discussions the proposition of using one or more of the branch lines of the New Haven Railroad was advanced by Charles A. Ufford. The Department of Public Utilities and the Transit Department of the city of Boston, acting as a joint board in 1922, reported to the Legislature a comprehensive rapid transit system for the Dorchester district. On May 25, 1923, Governor Cox approved "An Act for the Extension of Rapid Transit Facilities in the Dorchester District of the City of Boston." This art was accepted by the City Council and approved by the Mayor of Boston on Sept. 12, 1923. After surveys and estimates had been made, a plan acceptable to those interested and the Boston Elevated Railway was approved.

The Shawmut Branch, extending from the main line of the Boston Division of the New Haven Railroad at Harrison Square to Milton and Mattapan. a distance of approximately 4.25 miles, with double track to Milton and then single track to Mattapan. was purchased by the city from the New Haven Railroad. In order to connect the existing Dorchester Tunnel of the Boston Elevated Railway system with the Shawmut Branch it was necessary to extend the tunnel from Andrew Square terminal under the New Haven tracks and under Boston Street, then curving to the left under Dorchester Avenue and coming to the surface beyond Dorchester Avenue parallel with the railroad tracks. From this point to Harrison Square the Transit Department was obliged to purchase additional land and move the four tracks of the New Haven Railroad to the east in order to provide a two-track right-of-way 35 ft. in width for rapid transit purposes.

The act provided that the extension of the Dorchester Tunnel was to be equipped by the railway in the same manner as all subways and tunnels previously built and leased. For the balance of the Dorchester rapid transit extension the equipment, except rolling stock, was to be provided by the city. By mutual agreement it was decided that all connections with the rapid transit extension occurring within public highways were to be installed and owned by the railway. These connections included trolley tracks, special work, trolley wire, poles, feeders, conduits, etc.

When it came to the proposition of building tracks and installing signal and power apparatus, the Transit Department felt that this work could be done best by the Boston Elevated Railway, as that company had much greater experience than any available contractor. The act provided that the work could be let without competitive bids and a contract was made with the railway covering the installation at cost plus an allowance of not more than 10 per cent for engineering, overhead, etc.


Material required to equip the extension from Andrew Square to Fields Corner included 29,016 tons of ballast, 14,229 6x8-in. hard pine ties. 58,269 ft. of 85-lb. A.S.C.E. rail for the track and 24,874 ft. of the same section for the third rail, 14,000 ft. of special guard rail, 74,369 screw spikes, 20,626 tie plates and 60,250 malleable castings.

The track is constructed according to the Boston Elevated Railway standard for third rail operation. The running rails are mounted on rolled steel tie plates and fastened to the wood ties with screw spikes. The ballast is crushed stone. The third rail is of the same section as the running rail but is rolled under different chemical specification. All curves are protected with Boston Elevated Railway special guard rail, and in addition a safety guard is placed on all fills and on all bridges.

The tracks are on 13-ft. centers on tangents and slightly more on curves, leaving on either side within the 35-ft. right-of-way ample room for signals, conduits, etc. The roadbed or sub-grade was first rolled with a steam roller and the ballast up to the bottom of the ties was delivered by motor truck. The minimum depth of the ballast under the ties is approximately 12 in. The ties are 8 ft. and 9 ft. 3 in. in length, spaced on approximately 2-ft. centers, the longer ties being used for supporting the third rail.

After the rails and ties were in place ballast for tamping purposes was delivered by car. Compressed air tie tampers were used for surfacing the track. The ballast is dressed off level with the ties and on the outside of each track it is sloped off to the level of a footwalk about 2 ft. below the top of the rail. This footwalk is approximately 2 ft. in width and dressed off with peastone. It was provided for the safety of inspectors and track walkers. Footwalks are also provided across all bridges. Where the tracks are on a fill the banks are dressed off and seeded in order to improve the appearance and prevent erosion.

The entire line is block signaled, the signals being of the three-colored light type and controlled by alternating-current track circuits. One rail of each track is used for this purpose. There are 30 blocks of an average length of 8,000 ft. Each signal is equipped with an electric automatic stop to prevent a train passing a signal indicating "danger." The temporary interlocking at Fields Corner station is of the electro-pneumatic type with a.c. control. The block signals and interlocking equipment were furnished by the Union Switch & Signal Company.

The entire length of the rapid transit right-of-way is protected by a chain link fence 6 ft. in height topped with three strands of barbed wire in order to prevent trespassers entering the right-of-way and coming in contact with the third rail or trains, which will be operated on frequent headway. To prevent possibility of accidents this fence has been grounded in several places, as anything coming in contact with the third rail and fence would charge the entire fence for a long distance. The length of the fence including both sides, together with auxiliary fences at certain stations, is 32,070 ft. and it was necessary to provide 3,207 foundations with a concrete beam between foundations, requiring a total of approximately 2,000 cu.yd. of concrete.


The contracts for the passenger stations were let separately from the contracts for the right-of-way. The equipment of the stations will be provided jointly by the Transit Department and the Boston Elevated Railway. The passenger stations at Columbia Road and Savin Hill are way stations of the island type. Taking into consideration that they are out-of-door stations, they approximate as nearly as possible the best type of subway or underground station. The construction is substantial and entirely fireproof.

At each station the entrance building or headhouse is located on the sidewalk level at the intown end of the station. The headhouse is provided with wide doorways leading into an area where there is located the apparatus for collecting fares, making change, exit turnstiles, etc. Beyond the fare collecting barrier a double flight of stairs used for entrance and exit lead to the platform below. Under the stairs suitable toilets, closets, etc., are furnished. The platform is located between the tracks and is constructed of reinforced concrete. A canopy covers its entire length and is slightly higher than the roofs of the cars. The stations are 300 ft. long and provisions have been made for a future extension of 135 ft. to allow for the operation of six-car trains.

Fields Corner station, the third on the extension, is 2.4 miles from Andrew Square and will be the temporary terminus of the rapid transit trains pending the completion of the extension and terminal at Ashmont. At this location the Transit Department and the Boston Elevated Railway have developed a modern station and terminal for the interchange of passengers between rapid transit trains, trolley cars and buses. This station, with approaches, covers an area of 6.8 acres and is located a short distance north of the railway's building, carhouse and yard. The layout is an improvement over the older type of terminal in that it provides for direct interchange of passengers between trolley cars and rapid transit trains on the same level. The trolley cars reach the upper level by inclines having a grade of not more than 5 per cent.

The platforms are covered by a building 300 ft. in length by 135 ft. in width of steel and reinforced concrete construction with a steel and wood roof. The rapid transit platforms are long enough at the present time to accommodate four-car trains, but provision has been made for extending the platforms 135 ft. when six-car trains are operated.

The rapid transit tracks pass through the approximate center of the station with platforms on either side. There are two tracks for trolley cars on the outbound platform and one track on the inbound platform paralleling the rapid transit tracks and flush with the platforms.

The platform between the trolley cars and rapid transit track is 33 ft. in width, divided into two parts. The "pay-leave" area holds four cars where trolley car passengers not having previously paid their fares will do so before entering the rapid transit platform. A "pay-enter" area for three cars is provided for the convenience of passengers who have previously paid their fares and wish to continue their journey on the trolley cars.

There is a 20-ft. busway through the station at the street level. Buses enter from the Dorchester Avenue side and pass out of the station at Geneva Avenue. The bus platform is 14 ft. in width and is divided transversely into two parts. The "pay-leave" area has a capacity of six buses. Passengers leave the buses here, pass through a barrier and pay their fare before entering the station to take either the trolley cars or rapid transit trains. The buses then make an additional stop in the "pay-enter" area, holding six buses, where passengers who have previously paid their fares take the buses.

Entrances and exits are provided at the street level. The main fare-collecting unit is located on the upper level between the inbound rapid transit tracks and the surface tracks. Fare collecting units are also located on the bus platform at the Charles Street entrance to the station. A total of eleven General Electric automatic passimeters and five Langslow passimeters are used in the various fare-collecting units.

The color scheme of the station differs from that used in the subway tunnel stations, where the trim around the white tile or plaster walls is a different color at each station. At all three stations the color of the roof supports, waiting rooms, booths, etc., is green, stippled with black, which is very effective.

Between the area occupied by the rapid transit station and the railway's property was a tract of land of sufficient size to permit the erection of a 100-car bus garage. At the request of the railway the Transit Department purchased this property, which with the rapid transit station and the railway's property gives an area of approximately 10 acres and provides for a complete operating plant of rapid transit trains, trolley cars and buses. The site for the bus garage is now being prepared; not all of the buildings have as yet been removed. One unit will be built at this time having an open floor area of 20,000 sq.ft. with a capacity of 56 buses. A central heating plant is also to be installed for heating the garage and waiting rooms in the station.

South of Fields Corner station the tracks extend for a sufficient distance to provide storage yard and operating tracks. A temporary double crossover has been installed for turning back trains. The crossover with necessary signals for governing the train movements will be controlled from an electro-pneumatic interlocking plant located in a temporary wooden tower just south of the station.

Between Park Street and Peabody Square, a distance of 4,150 ft., there is a covered section or subway. It was first intended to build this section in an open cut providing substantial retaining walls on either side and abolishing grade crossings at five streets. It was found, however, that the retaining walls would have to be of very heavy construction and the Transit Department and the railway engineers arrived at the same conclusion at practically the same time; that is, it would be fully as cheap to build a subway with a light roof construction and that the operating conditions would be much better in a subway than in an open cut, particularly on account of the probability of the cut filling with snow during heavy storms.

Shawmut station, 3.06 miles from Andrew Square, between Mather Street and Centre Street, will be of the subway type with separate platforms for each track; the platforms will be 435 ft. in length by 12 ft. wide. In this case it was found advisable to build the platform for the length necessary for six-car trains, but only 300 ft., to accommodate four-car trains, will be equipped. The entrance building or headhouse will be located in the covered section over the station platforms.

Ashmont terminal, 3.6 miles from Andrew Square, will be located just south of Peabody Square at the approximate location of the Ashmont station of the New Haven Railroad and will be the terminal for rapid transit trains and high-speed trolley line from Mattapan and Milton. There will also be local trolley track connections as well as ample capacity for buses.

The Ashmont terminal will also be of the one level type, in so far as trolley cars and rapid transit trains are concerned, the platforms between them being at the same level. The building covering the station platforms will be 300 ft. in length by 166 ft. in width, constructed of reinforced concrete, with roof of steel and wood. As at Fields Corner, the rapid transit tracks pass through approximately the center of the station, the tracks being about 4 ft. below the platform level.

All trolley cars enter the station from the south of the station building, passing over the rapid transit tracks on a concrete viaduct. There is one in-town trolley track next to the east wall of the station, having a capacity of six cars. Between this track and the in-town rapid transit track is a platform 30 ft. in width, where the main fare-collecting unit will be located.

After discharging passengers, the trolley cars will pass out of the station and over the rapid transit tracks by means of a concrete viaduct north of the station building and re-enter the station on the west side, where there are three tracks, having a total capacity of fifteen trolley cars, with ample platform between the outbound rapid transit track and the nearest trolley track and suitable platforms between each pair of trolley tracks. Cars that enter the station from the south may proceed north on Dorchester Avenue, without returning through the station.

The high-speed trolley cars will enter the station from the south on the in-town track previously described, and these cars will return over the reverse route as described above, picking up their passengers on the outbound side of the station, reaching the high-speed trolley track by means of the concrete viaduct south of the station previously described.

At this station the busway is located at approximately the same height as the roof covering the platforms. In designing the station the Transit Department took advantage of the fact that rapid transit tracks are considerably below the level of Dorchester Avenue and Peabody Square. The buses will enter the station from Dorchester Avenue on a slight upgrade, reaching the bus platform which is parallel to the rapid transit tracks. The total length of the bus platform is 330 ft. x 12 ft. wide. The busway itself is 20 ft. wide, and has a capacity of eleven buses on the loading and unloading platforms. The buses will leave the station on a slight descending grade, reaching Dorchester Avenue near Peabody Square.

Passengers leaving buses will have ready access to either the rapid transit or trolley car platform by means of a passageway at the roof level and stairways to the platforms. Fares will be collected at the entrance to this passageway.

It is anticipated that the number of movements of rapid transit trains, trolley cars and buses at this terminal when the entire extension is in full operation will be equal to if not in excess of the total car movements at Park Street station in the Tremont Street subway.

South of Ashmont terminal bordering on Codman Street there will be provided a rapid transit yard containing eight tracks and a loop which will accommodate 90 Cambridge subway cars. The yard is sufficient to provide an ultimate storage for 206 cars along with a suitable repair shop.

Boston's New Dorchester Line Opened

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 20 · November 12, 1927 · p. 916.

$5,000,000 improvement first move in extensive plan under which city lines will take over suburban traffic from steam railroads.

Another important branch has been added to the rapid transit system of the Boston Elevated Railway, Boston, Mass., by the opening, on Nov. 5, of the first section of the Dorchester tunnel extension. This extension runs from Andrew Square, which has been the terminal for some years, to Fields Corner in Dorchester and cost $5,000,000. It is being carried to Mattapan as fast as the work can be done, at an expense of another $5,000,000. To Fields Corner it is completed.

Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols drove the last spike with a gilded hammer on Wednesday, Nov. 2. Then the Massachusetts Public Utilities Department inspected the branch and orally certified to the Boston Elevated Railway that all the relevant laws had been complied with and the new line was safe for operation. On Friday, Nov. 4, there was an official inspection by the Boston Transit Commission, under which the line was built. These ceremonies served to dedicate the new line and at 5:20 o'clock the next morning, Nov. 5, it was opened to the general public for business.

The Boston Elevated crews had been operating empty trains over the new route for some days and were familiar with all the switches, signals, curves and grades, and they started service promptly and held their long four-car trains to schedule, running from Fields Corner to Park Street, in the very heart of Boston, in fourteen minutes. This speed is revolutionary for the Dorchester, Mattapan and Milton people, and in addition to the speed there is the frequency of service a two and three-minute headway during the morning and afternoon rush for people who have been accustomed to infrequent steam train service to South Station and long walks to their offices. Most of them are brought much nearer to their places of business by being carried to Park Street.

Moreover, the commuters learned that the new line is a heavy, rock-ballasted, third-rail road, smooth riding and quiet. For a long distance the rapid transit tunnel trains run alongside of the main line of the New Haven Railroad, an iron fence separating them. In fact, the roadbed occupied is the former roadbed of the New Haven Railroad, purchased from the railroad by the Boston Elevated. It is the first outstanding bid of the Boston Elevated for the suburban passenger business of the New Haven Railroad and may lead to the abandonment of more of this short-haul business by the steam railroads enterfng Boston, in order that it may be more advantageously handled by the local railways, mainly the Boston Elevated.

Mayor Nichols says this is only the beginning of a great expansion of the Boston Elevated system. His intention is to go to the Legislature at the next session with a bill for at least $20,000,000 for new rapid transit lines. He wants to take up again the question of a subway under Huntington Avenue to connect the Brookline village with the Boston Elevated tunnel system and to run new lines out in other directions, details of which he has not worked out. "Let's get going," he says. He would have a subway under the Common into the North End and connection with Lechmere Square; he would have the city take over from the Elevated the elevated structure in Atlantic Avenue and use it in part as a highway for heavy trucks, and he expects that another tunnel will have to be built under the harbor to East Boston. Speedy development of the traffic system has become imperative in Boston to keep pace with the requirements. Governor Fuller has recommended that pleasure cars be kept out of the business center from 10 o'clock in the morning until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. General Manager Dana of the Boston Elevated approves of this plan, stating that the Boston Elevated is running light during that period and could handle all the traffic resulting from its adoption. The registrar of motor vehicles, Frank Goodwin, favors it.

Boston's Latest Rapid Transit Line Embodies a New Principle

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 22 · November 26, 1927 · p. 972.

Particular interest attaches to the Dorchester extension of the Boston Elevated Railway system which was opened on Nov. 5. Not only is it an excellent piece of construction which will serve a large portion of the population in the southern section of Boston, but it embodies a principle in rapid transit expansion that has long been talked about but never adopted. That is the utilization of an existing steam railroad right-of-way for a rapid transit line, as distinguished from an electrified division.

In the Dorchester situation the Shawmut branch of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad had been in use for many years, connecting the South Station in Boston with a terminal at Mattapan. The service given was as good as that on other suburban branch lines of the same company, but of course its value was limited, as the only station in the metropolitan district was too far from many of the activities of residents in the suburban territory. The purchase of the line by the city and its conversion to rapid transit service has been advantageous to the residents in two ways. First, the new line is an extension of the Cambridge subway, and when completed it will permit through rapid transit train service from Mattapan to Harvard Square, with transfer to the other lines of the Boston Elevated system reaching all parts of the metropolitan area. Second, the provision of transfer stations where residents of the district may change from the trains to surface cars and buses or vice versa makes for reduced travel time for everyone, whether living adjacent to a rapid transit station or at some distance away. Neither was possible with steam operation. Many other steam railroad lines in the larger cities of this country are limited in capacity under existing methods, but would have tremendous possibilities if connected with the rapid transit lines, or used as a nucleus for a rapid transit system in a city not so served. In general they would furnish rights-of-way at much less cost than that incident to the construction of subways, and with less disfigurement to the city than the erection of elevated lines. The plan is worthy of study wherever rapid transit is contemplated.


Above, Columbia station from Old Colony Railroad. Columbia Road viaduct and headhouse are on the right. At right, view of the island type station from the viaduct.


The Dorchester extension is on the right-of-way of a former steam railroad line. The Dorchester Tunnel of the Boston Elevated Railway system has been extended from Andrew Square under Boston Street and the tracks of the Old Colony division of the New Haven Railroad. The track comes to the surface at a point directly east of Dorchester Avenue. From this point to Harrison Square the "El" tracks have been constructed on the west side of the right-of-way of the New Haven. This necessitated the relocation by the steam railroad of its own tracks for a distance of about 4,500 ft. between Columbia Avenue and Savin Hill on the easterly side of the railroad property. At Harrison Square the "El" leaves the Old Colony right-of-way, using what was formerly the Shawmut Branch of the latter. This branch will be electrified for rapid transit to Peabody Square, where there will be a yard and shops. From Ashmont to Mattapan the track of the steam railroad will be rebuilt and electrified for high-speed trolley service, with provision for convenient passenger interchange at Ashmont. The completion of this project will add more than 6-1/2 rapid-transit route-miles to the system, including more than 2-1/2 miles of high-speed trolley route on private right-of-way.


Transfer platform of Fields Corner station. Fences and passimeters will insure payment of rapid transit fares.


The surface cars loop at the principal rapid transit stations so as to provide for a convenient transfer.


Portion of private right-of-way of Dorchester rapid transit extension.

Power for Dorchester Extension

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 70, No. 21 · November 19, 1927 · pp. 952-953.

By F. N. Carothers, General Foreman of Substations, Boston Elevated Railway. Abstract of a paper read at meeting of New England Street Railway Club. Boston, Mass., Oct. 27, 1927.

Construction of the Dorchester rapid transit extension necessitated the building of a new automatic substation, located on Dickens Street near Fields Corner. This station furnishes energy not only for the rapid transit line but for the surface cars in this district as well. The equipment consists of two 3,000-kw. shunt-wound converter units with single-phase, outdoor, oil-cooled transformers. Alternating-current energy is transmitted through two 13,200-volt, 25-cycle, three-phase, No. 0000 underground cables, direct from the generating station in South Boston. Two other a.c. cables that will be used as an emergency feed are connected across town to the bus of Eggleston substation. Direct current is distributed to the lines for car service through eleven 1,000,000-circ.mil and seven 2,000,000-circ.mil feeders.

The transformers change the 13,200-volt, 25-cycle power to 440 volts for converter supply, being connected through oil circuit breakers, Y for starting and delta for running. The delta-connected oil switch is connected 30 electrical degrees ahead of the Y-connected oil switch. This gives very smooth operation in changing from starting to running position.


The converters are General Electric six-phase, shunt-wound, commutating-pole, 3,000-kw., 600-volt type. The direct current drops 5 to 6 per cent between no load and full load. They can be started and stopped by means of the supervisory system, but it is customary to allow them to function on load demand. Either converter can be made the leading or trailing unit, by the throwing of the hand-operated sequence switch. The leading unit goes into service through low-sustained trolley voltage on the d.c. bus, and the trailing unit goes into service when the load on the leading unit has reached its capacity for a period of 30 seconds. The units are shut down in the reverse order. The trailing unit drops out when the load has dropped to a point where one machine will safely carry it. The leading unit shuts down when the load remains at about 20 per cent of its capacity for a period of two minutes. At this point the tie feeders with manual stations are sufficient to keep the bus voltage normal. In event of failure of the leading unit to go into service, the trailing unit, after a short timing period, goes into service, and the supervisory notifies the system operator that the leading unit has failed.

The machines are protected from severe overload on the d.c. side by means of the MC-2 air circuit breakers in eleven d.c. surface feeders, and JR-10 high-speed circuit breakers in seven d.c. rapid transit feeders. There are also load-limiting resistors in the positive leads of the machines that will hold them to their commutating capacity, even if the d.c. bus should become grounded. These resistors also give a cushioning effect as the machines go into service. They are located in the basement directly below the converter. This is a departure from the usual practice, but has given no trouble in another station that has been in service for almost two years. The overload trip on the hand-operated d.c. machine circuit breaker has been allowed to remain on the breaker and is not set for any higher current than those of machines of the same capacity at manual stations.

It was thought that for this particular installation it would be better not to use high-speed circuit breakers in either the positive or negative side of the converter, as all d.c. feeders are tied into the system network, and trouble developing on one feeder, causing a blowout on the converter might result in the loss of several manual stations. It was decided, however, to protect the rapid transit feeders with high-speed circuit breakers and to use MC-2 breakers on the surface feeders. At the present time three sections from this station feed the rapid transit lines, two of which consist of two 2,000,000-circ.mil and one of three 2,000,000-circ.mil cables. Each cable has its own high-speed circuit breaker connecting it to the station d.c. bus. In case of a section blowout, it is necessary for all breakers on a particular section to close simultaneously. Otherwise the first breaker to close would try to take the total load of the section, which it could not carry, and would blow out again just about the time the second breaker was closing. This also would blow out, resulting in a pumping action, and not restoring power to the section. Of course if it were possible to set the time delay reclosing relay exactly the same on all breakers of a particular section, this would not happen.


These relays are of the PQ time delay closing and instantaneous dropout type, and cannot be set for absolute accuracy. To get around this feature it was necessary to connect the closing side of all No. 102 relays of each section in parallel, so that the first No. 102 to close would close all circuit breakers of the section. The first No. 102 was set to operate in seven seconds, the second in nine seconds and the third in eleven seconds. This also offers the advantage that should the first relay fail, the second or third relay would operate the breakers. The breakers would not close back on short circuit, for after a breaker opens, a resistance which is connected across the breaker feeds power to the fault, and the short-circuit detector holds it out until the load is such that the section will not be overloaded when it closes.

The actual operation of the reclosing feature is as follows: A circuit breaker blows out; the resistance of 15 ohms, which was shorted out by the breaker, allows some power to feed out on the cable. At the same time a B switch on the circuit breaker starts time delay relay No. 102 to start timing. When this relay has completed its timing and closes its contact, a circuit is completed to the M and N coils of the reclosing relay No. 182, but the torque of this coil is not sufficient to operate the contacts, and must wait for the aid of the A. B. coil that is connected from the feeder to the negative bus. If a grounded cable or third rail exists, the drop across the A. B. coils will be 0, and it cannot give any aid to the MN coil. The consequence is that the circuit breaker cannot reclose and must wait until the trouble has been cleared, or for load to be reduced to a point where the drop across the A. B. coil will allow No. 182 to close its contacts, which recloses the circuit breaker.

In addition to functioning automatically, all pieces of apparatus in this station have supervisory control and indication from the system operator's office. That is, the system operator can start, stop or lock out of service either converter found open, close or lock out any a.c. or d.c. cable, as he desires, provided, of course, that all automatic features function. He cannot start a rotary if it has flashed over, has grounded windings, overheated bearing, or windings, or anything that might cause serious trouble.

The supervisory is of the Western Electric 8A distributor type, and allows system operator to give as many operations as desired, either opening, closing or both, at the same time. After an operation indication is given in five seconds. The position of all pieces of apparatus is checked at five-second intervals. Watt-hour meter readings on both converters, and R. T. feeders are transmitted to system operator's office over this supervisory.

Four No. 22 telephone wires rented from the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company are used from substation to system operator's office. The use of these wires are: One for operation, one for indication, one for synchronizing the distributors and the fourth is a common for all three.

Energy for rapid transit signals is supplied from two 50-kva., 13,200 to 600-volt, 25-cycle, single-phase transformers. Only one is being used at present, the other being held as a spare. The low-tension oil circuit breaker on the signals will reclose three times in case of trouble and then lock out. The supervisory notifies system operator on each operation and finally that is locked out. There are about ten seconds between first and second reclosing, and twenty seconds between second and third reclosing. The lockout only occurs in case of three consecutive blowouts in a space of about one minute.

While this station is completely automatic, it can be changed to manual operation, even with a complete failure of all automatic devices, in a period of about two minutes. For the ultimate extension to Ashmont, another similar station will be required on Beal Street near the Ashmont station. The order for electrical equipment has been placed.

Large Car Yard Designed for Dorchester Extension

Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 73, No. 9 · March 2, 1929 · pp. 362-365.


Looking south from Ashmont Station, showing the Codman Street yard in the background. The platform, shown in the center of this view, allows the trainmen to change ends quickly and facilitates the cleaning of cars.

Storage space now provided for 60 rapid transit cars. Additional tracks may be installed later. Complete yard signal system facilitates handling of large number of trains which end runs at this point.

South of the Ashmont Station on the Dorchester Rapid Transit Extension of the Boston Elevated Railway is the new Codman Street yard. After trains terminate their runs at this station they continue south, either going to the by-pass track between Ashmont station and the Southern Artery, Codman Street, or continuing over the bridge spanning the Southern Artery to the Codman Street yard. If a train is to go back into service immediately the by-pass track only is used. If it is to be laid up, if additional cars are to be attached to the train, if the length of the train is to be reduced, or if inspection or other work is to be done in connection with it, the train goes to the yard.

The relay track south of Ashmont station is parallel to the two main-line tracks. Between the northbound and southbound track is a raised wooden platform installed for the purpose of allowing the train crew to change ends quickly and to facilitate the cleaning of the train that is to go back into service immediately. It is shown in the bottom illustration on page 364.

All of the switches and signals between Ashmont station and the entrance to the Codman Street yard are controlled from a tower, indicated as Q in the accompanying diagram of the yard. This section is well lighted by overhead illumination, and suitable plank walks have been provided so that the trainmen, inspectors and others can safely and readily walk between the yard and the station.

The Codman Street yard is located on a large tract of land containing about 1-1/2 acres, just south of the new Southern Artery and west of the high-speed trolley tracks that will later lead to Mattapan. The yard was located here for three reasons: First, because the area available was sufficient; second, because practically all of the land was already owned by the city of Boston, this area having been used formerly as a stone quarry from which broken stone for the repair of the streets was obtained; third, it was located in the proper position south of, or beyond, the terminal station, which corresponds to the location of all storage yards on the rapid transit lines of the Boston Elevated Railway system. The company has found that for economical and efficient operation of rapid transit trains or cars the yard must be located beyond the terminal station. In recent studies for rapid transit facilities, suggestions have been made that terminal yards be located on the in-town side of the terminal station. The operating and engineering staffs of the Boston Elevated Railway, however, favor the other plan on the basis of actual experience when the yard at Forest Hills was located on the in-town side of the station.


The loop track in the yard has the minimum radius that the Cambridge subway type of cars can safely negotiate. The establishment of a loop track required a very large area, so that there is a large space within the loop for storage tracks. Only sufficient tracks have been installed to take care of about 60 cars, which storage space, in the opinion of the transportation department, is sufficient at the present time. These tracks occupy only a small portion of the total available space, so that there is ample room for expansion. The accompanying diagram shows the general plan of the yard and the track layout.

It will be noted on the diagram that one track is equipped with a sunken pit where inspection can be made readily of the trucks and other apparatus under the cars. Emergency repairs can be made here also, if necessary. These tracks are numbered, as shown, and the track numbers are referred to and are in constant use by the yardmen, trainmen and the operator at tower Q.

At the entrance to the yard, on the right side as the trains enter it, is a one-story brick and concrete building, 65 ft. 8 in. long and 26 ft. 2 in. wide. It is divided into three parts. The part at the east end is used by the yardmen of the transportation department; the middle section is used by the department of rolling stock and shops, which will keep here certain material and tools for inspecting and making repairs to cars; and the west portion has been turned over to the maintenance department for the use of trackwalkers, signal men and others. The maintenance section will be used in winter for the use of additional men sent to the yard to remove snow and keep the switches open during snowstorms. The building is equipped with ample toilets and washing facilities. It is heated by steam, the heating plant being located in the basement at the west end.

From Dorchester Avenue to the Codman Street yard, a track has been installed in the center of the Southern Artery, leading into the yard, parallel to track No. 1, and terminating near the yardmen's building. Alongside this track is a driveway which is used for hauling material to, or taking it away from, the yard or the yardmen's building.

There is a system of inter-communication connecting tower Q, the yardmen's building and a small switchman's booth located near the Southern Artery Bridge. This is complete in every detail, the three locations being connected with both main line and inter-communicating telephones, call bells and a special annunciator system. The bell signals are used by the towerman in calling upon the yard force to put a relay train into road service, in notifying them when a road train is to be removed from service, etc. The annunciator is used by the yardmen to notify the towerman of required routes to be set up for train movements through the interlocking. Telephones are, of course, for securing and transmitting a variety of information, where greater detail is necessary than can be given by bell code or annunciators.

The annunciator in use was especially designed. It consists of push-button controls and miniature lights at both the yard building and switchman's booth, and with miniature indicating lights, cancelling buttons and buzzer at tower Q. In calling for a route to be set up, the yardman pushes the button at either the yardmen's building or the switchman's booth. This call is indicated at tower Q by both the light and audible signal. The corresponding light is also displayed at the originating point and continues to show until the route has been set and train movement made, after which it is cancelled by the towerman. By this method, accuracy on the part of both men is required. As both men have the indication of what was called for, disputes are avoided.


Aerial view of the terminus of the Dorchester Rapid Transit Extension, showing the Codman Street yard in the foreground and the Ashmont Street station beyond the yard.


The yardmen's building, at the entrance to the yard, is used by the yardmen of the transportation department, the department of rolling stock and shops, and the trackwalkers, signal men and others of the maintenance department.


General plan of the Codman Street Yard and the tracks leading to the Ashmont Station.


The interlocking tower of the complete yard signal system installed is shown at the right of this view.


Looking north from the yard. The track at the extreme left is the relay track, used for trains which are to go back into service immediately. Note the wooden platforms for the trainmen and trackwalkers.


Electric Railway Journal, McGraw Hill Company, Digitized by Microsoft, Americana Collection, archive.org.

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