Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line
|Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line|
An inbound PCC car at Milton
|Locale||Boston, Massachusetts (Dorchester to Mattapan) via Milton, Massachusetts|
|Character||Mostly grade-separated ROW|
|Rolling stock||PCC streetcar|
|Line length||2.6 mi (4.2 km)|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Minimum radius||43 ft (13.106 m) |
The Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line, also known as the "M-Line", in Boston and Milton, Massachusetts is officially part of the MBTA's Red Line, but it uses heritage streetcars, and ongoing passengers have to transfer at Ashmont. The only MBTA line to run through a cemetery, it opened on August 26, 1929. The term "high speed line" is a historic vestigial designation, and is a misnomer, as the route has neither a fully dedicated, grade separated right-of-way nor high-speed rolling stock. All stations are low platform, requiring passengers to use stairs or a wheelchair lift to enter or exit the railcars.
History and geography
The Ashmont–Mattapan Line follows the right-of-way of the Dorchester and Milton Branch Railroad, opened December 1847. It became part of the Old Colony Railroad and then the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad after 1893. Steam trains were discontinued in 1927 and the line was closed for two years while it was modified for streetcars. There was a debate at that time whether or not to continue subway trains from Boston to Ashmont onwards to Mattapan, but the cost of full-scale subway service was apparently too high. The right-of-way is owned by the MBTA and has only two at-grade crossings on its 2.6 miles (4.2 km) route.
The portion of the line from Ashmont to Cedar Grove and through a cemetery follows the path of the original Shawmut Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, which opened in 1872. The cemetery is where the Shawmut Branch intersects with the original Dorchester and Milton Branch.
The line's longest shutdown started June 24, 2006 while the Ashmont and Mattapan stations were renovated. Service was restored on December 22, 2007. Several of the stations have been renovated for better accessibility and modernization; all stations are now wheelchair-accessible except Valley Road, which is down a grade from the nearest road with no room for a ramp.
The rolling stock consists of rebuilt PCC streetcars that formerly ran on the Green Line. A similar streetcar can be seen on a siding at Boylston Green Line station. The PCC rolling stock was repainted in a dull orange and creamy yellow color scheme, matching the livery of the old Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company.
|This article is outdated. (October 2013)|
Using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the MBTA has been conducting a pilot test of technology similar to a collision avoidance system in an automobile, using radar and increasingly fast beeping to warn train operators of obstacles ahead. Like positive train control, it would stop the train if the driver did not take action to avoid an impending collision. If successful, the system would be considered for deployment on the Green Line, where several collisions have occurred, in 2008, 2009, and 2012.
- Ashmont (transfer to Dorchester branch of the Red Line)
- Cedar Grove
- Central Avenue
- Valley Road
- Capen Street
Former NYNH&H Mattapan depot; now a Domino's pizza restaurant
- "Ridership and Service Statistics". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Transportation Research Board Executive Committee 1995 (1995). "Applicability of Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicles in North America". US Federal Transit Admininstration. Retrieved 11August 2011.
- "Mattapan Trolley to Re - Open". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 20 December 2007. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
- Associated Press (2 July 2009). "MBTA testing trolley collision-avoidance system". Boston Herald. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line.|
- MBTA: Red Line
- MBTA: Ashmont Station renovation
- MBTA: Mattapan Station renovation
- MBTA: Further Mattapan renovations