Saturday, March 3, 2012

100 YEARS AGO - Harvard to Park Street in EIGHT MINUTES

While Boston is about to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park, another major Boston landmark turns 100 this month. On March 23,1912 what we now call the Red Line opened between Harvard Square and Park Street. It cost $11,750,000 to build which would be $276,386,639.68 today.

Slogan used in 1912

 Harvard Square Station in March of 1912
Park Street Under in March of 1912

In 1912 the new subway cut travel time from Harvard Square to Park Street from 25-30 minutes to 8 and a passenger never had to wait more than FOUR minutes for a train from 5:30 AM until Midnight.

Service began with 40 all-steel motor cars built by Standard Steel Car Co.  The cars had an extraordinary length of 69 ft. 2½ in. over buffers and large standees capacity, weighed only 85,900 lb. and featured an all-new door arrangement. There were three single sliding doors per side that were evenly distributed along the car‘s length so that the maximum distance from any location inside the car to a door was around 9 ft. The idea was later taken over by the Brooklyn-Manhattan and Philadelphia‘s elevated line cars. Moreover about 20 ft of the car was separated by a bulkhead and used as a smoking compartment. In contrast to the elevated lines passenger flow was not intended here, so every door was used as entrance and exit as well. These cars would stay in service until 1963. 

The subway was extended later to what is now Downtown Crossing and South Station by 1916, South Boston by 1918 and Dorchester in 1927. The Braintree Line opened in 1971 and the Alewife extension in 1984-5.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Fenway Park came close to being torn down in the 1960's

In June of 1967 Tom Yawkey was fed up with Massachusetts and Boston politicians. He was upset that a proposed stadium at South Station was not approved.

He gave an interview to Will McDonough and said if no new stadiumwas built, he would move the Red Sox.

Boston Globe - June 21,1967

Luckily for New England that became the summer that saved baseball in Boston and Yawkey was suddenly happy with Fenway.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The proposed MBTA service cutbacks are staggering.

Most of the media coverage in the past couple of weeks has centered on the T raising fares but the service cuts they are proposing are draconian.

They have two proposals out there and neither bodes well for the region.

MBTA Fare and Service Changes - PDF

Option 1

Option 2 

BOTH proposals would end commuter rail at 10 PM with NO SERVICE WEEKENDS.
This will make it next to impossible for people to take the train to sporting events.

BOTH proposals would end weekend service on the E branch of the Green Line and the Red Line shuttle between Ashmont and Mattapan. 

ALL ferry routes eliminated.

A glance at the proposed monthly pass costs will stagger you.
Seniors and disabled people will be hit the hardest.

This is a classic doomsday scenario for the region. The impact on the region would be devastating.

The T will hold the usual round of public meetings knowing that 99.9% of the ridership will not attend. 

This simply can not be allowed to happen.