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 Post subject: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
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An article in April 2022 Trains about South Station describes a loop track on a lower level. The loop was built as part of the new station in 1898. According to a story from Fred Kuyper, the lower loop was abandoned after the first train filled the lower platform area with smoke.

Is any part of the loop tunnel still in place under the building?

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 1152
Location: Leicester, MA.
wesp wrote:
An article in April 2022 Trains about South Station describes a loop track on a lower level. The loop was built as part of the new station in 1898. According to a story from Fred Kuyper, the lower loop was abandoned after the first train filled the lower platform area with smoke.

Is any part of the loop tunnel still in place under the building?

Wesley


If it is, I'm pretty sure that with all of the rebuilds over the years the lower loop is inaccessible. I'm pretty sure both portals no longer exist. Redevelopments to the station and surrounding area would be responsible (I think some of the mass pike ramps to the southeast of the station wiped out one approach to the loop, if it survived that long).

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 5:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
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Location: Northern California
From Wikipedia:

“In the original configuration, two tracks came off each approach to join into a four-track line and then run under the main platforms in a two-track loop. These tracks were never put into service, and later became a parking lot and bowling alley for employees.”

In my opinion, the big mistake at South Station was not connecting it to North Station during The Big Dig. This would have allowed the Northeast Corridor to extend to Portland. This connection may now not be possible. A drive up the Maine Turnpike will demonstrate the need for such a connection.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:42 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi David
I do have slides showing when the Big dig was going on around South station. I think I have one slide showing the underground loop, looking from Atlantic Ave.
Now as for connecting North & South station yes that was talked about during the Big dig. But all that came out of it was talk, there is a connecting track, I believe at Beacon Park, which leads to Somerville, the location of MBTA service facility just North of North Station.
The (T) uses this track to make equipment moves, of it trains, it was also used for moving freight in interchange between Beacon Park and Somerville, during the 60's and still in use today.
I hope I answered at least part of your question, Pat.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:41 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Boston South Station did have a double-track loop under the surface tracks and main concourse but it was usable only as an electric operation but was never electrified. I understand they ran one steam train but the soft-coal burning engine in a confined space did what you would expect and the loop was never used in service.

In the dark days of Penn Central, half the headhouse was removed as were half the tracks, and not the matching halves. Today the tracks curve around to the South, then come to the remaining headhouse at an angle. With that construction, the loop would be gone.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
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Beacon Park to Somerville:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Jun ... ot_Company

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:29 pm
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Location: Near Boston
A North Station-South Station connection is appealing to some people, but the distance between the two stations would the grades for an underground connection impractical. It would be a challenge to find room for tracks on the surface. Boston is a hub, many people go in and out of Boston. Very few people go through Boston to another destination.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:09 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
The NH-B&M State of Maine express overnight NY GCT to Portland ran via Worcester, not Boston.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:21 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Droege's book (as republished by Kalmbach) has a foldout of the South Station layout that shows these tracks. There he mentions that the loop was never actually put in service.

He discusses the electrification, but I don't remember any sense that it would be used by switchers turning consists. My unfortunately-distant memory (I have to get the book out of where it's buried in storage to confirm it) was that it was going to use third-rail electrification and there might not have been adequate overhead clearance for even trolley wire.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:02 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
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Location: B'more Maryland
You might want to see this image if you haven't already.

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/cont ... rmat=1000w

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:39 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
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Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
You might want to see this image if you haven't already.

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/cont ... rmat=1000w


This shows the loop track entering and leaving on the same side of the station(?). Thank you for posting the link.

Wesley


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2022 11:28 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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As I recall the arrangement, the loop tracks entered from the right side of the station approach tracks, looped around, and exited on the same tracks, the loop terminating in crossovers before it came back above ground. If I remember correctly, on the tracks that were going to get electrified MU service.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2022 8:36 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 552
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi All
I found a diagram of South Station showing the lower Loop Track, off the internet, the diagram is not the greatest or the sharpest, but it will give you and idea where the lower loops, were located, Pat
Attachment:
File comment: Off the internet, South Station lower loop track. diagram .
south-station-lower-track-loop-Yahoo-Image-Search-Results (2).jpg
south-station-lower-track-loop-Yahoo-Image-Search-Results (2).jpg [ 56.8 KiB | Viewed 913 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 1:23 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 1152
Location: Leicester, MA.
David Johnston wrote:
From Wikipedia:

“In the original configuration, two tracks came off each approach to join into a four-track line and then run under the main platforms in a two-track loop. These tracks were never put into service, and later became a parking lot and bowling alley for employees.”

In my opinion, the big mistake at South Station was not connecting it to North Station during The Big Dig. This would have allowed the Northeast Corridor to extend to Portland. This connection may now not be possible. A drive up the Maine Turnpike will demonstrate the need for such a connection.


Well if they really wanted? You could add another leg onto the Grand Junction line by the Mass Pike at Storrow Drive. The Storrow Drive bridge might be interesting, but unless I missed something, the Pike right there is due to have those bridges replaced... And that section of the Grand Junction used to be double track if memory serves. But hey, that would be too easy.

And as an addendum, the 4th Iron and Yard 10 lead tracks are there. Bring those to passenger standards and you can connect to all the major lines running out of North Station without having to go into North Station, the New Hampshire route being the only one that you need to do a roundabout way to get to without bulldozing cubic amounts of highly expensive real estate. Granted it wouldn't be a straight and super fast run, but making use of existing infrastructure to enable the goals to be met? At least then you can get services running.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston South Station Lower Loop Track??
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2022 1:52 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:34 am
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Location: Granby, CT but formerly Port Jefferson, NY (LIRR MP 57.5)
To my mind, the grandest feature of South Station as originally built was the trainshed.

Two images from the Boston Public Library collections:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/6009194438/sizes/l
https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/6009194508/sizes/l

EJ Berry wrote:
The NH-B&M State of Maine express overnight NY GCT to Portland ran via Worcester, not Boston.

I have an unused original ticket strip from the SR&RL narrow gauge for a trip to New York City. The route is SR&RL to Farmington, MEC to Portland, B&M to Worcester, and then NH to GCT - no Boston.

-Philip Marshall


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