Archive for June, 2008

SITE UPDATE: more Mattapan Line photos

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I’ve added a bunch of new photos to my Mattapan Line pages, starting on the top of this page.  In the process, I removed a pair of photos from my previous update and replaced them with better shots of the same areas.  I also added an oddball shot to my Interesting Railroad Photos page.

SITE UPDATE: new photos, and me yakking

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

First things first: I have two photo updates from the last few days. First are some photos of Copley Square. I went there on Thursday to photograph a Peter Witt-type streetcar (originally from Toronto) that the Canadian Tourist Commission had borrowed from the Shore Line Trolley Museum in Connecticut. They trucked it up and parked it in front of the Trinity Church from Wednesday through Friday to promote tourism in Canada. While I was there I also photographed some of the other things in Copley Square.

Next, I have some new photos of the Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line, starting halfway down the page. I finally brought my bike down from Vermont last weekend, so I was able to ride along the rail trail that parallels the line. I’ll be getting more photos of the line over the summer.

Last week was an interesting one, in the chinese curse sort of way. First, on Sunday a commuter train killed a kid on the Rockport Line up in Revere after he followed his mother and older brother across the tracks after one train had already passed through a grade crossing. I have no sympathy for the kid’s family; this was natural selection, pure and simple.

Next, on Tuesday there was an electrical fire on the Red Line between Downtown Crossing and Park Street at around 5:20PM. This actually affected me as I was in South Station at the time doing passenger counts on the outbound Silver Line platform. About 5:45 the other counters and I realized that no RL trains had gone through in a while. Ten minutes after that the inspectors there finally got word that the Red Line had been shut down between Broadway and Harvard. About quarter past 6 they finally started sending everyone upstairs to catch shuttle buses on Summer Street. However, it wasn’t until almost 7 that some Transit Police were positioned at the fare gates to direct people away from the platforms (even then they were only at the gates on one side of the lobby). About 7:10 southbound service resumed on the Red Line; I left before northbound service resumed. Naturally, of course, the chaos caused by the shutdown meant that passenger counts would be off for the rest of the night, so we had to postpone the last 6.5 hours of data collection there to a future date.

Then there was Wednesday, May 28. I didn’t hear about it until early thursday morning because I was doing passenger counts on the inbound Silver Line platform at South Station from 3PM until midnight, but there was a major crash on the Riverside Line between Waban and Woodland. One two-car train that was going at track speed (40MPH there) rear-ended another two-car train that had just begun moving after stopping for a signal. The ends of the two cars directly involved were demolished, especially that of 3667 (which was leading the second train). The motorwoman of the second train was killed as a result. Amazingly, only a handful of passengers were injured, none particularly badly. The reports that have been published so far indicate that the motorwoman went through a red signal at Waban (allowed after waiting for 60 seconds) and accelerated to track speed (the rule is that you can only do 10MPH after passing a red signal). Apparently she never saw the other train, as there is no indication the brakes were used before the crash, or that they malfunctioned. Sigh. Two Type 7s totaled, and one operator dead. :(

Oddly enough, the day after the crash I was emailed by a guy from the Boston Globe. He had come across my website while looking for pictures of that section of the Riverside Line and wanted to know if I had any unpublished ones showing that area that he could use as a reference for making a graphic of the tracks. I do, as it turns out (I never put them on my site because they were taken in winter and don’t look very interesting), so I emailed them to him. One of them ended up being published in both the print and online editions of the Globe. You can find the whole graphic and the photo here.