Prides Crossing (MBTA station)

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PRIDES CROSSING
Depot, Prides Crossing MA.jpg
Depot building at Prides Crossing in 2013
Location 600 Hale Street
Beverly, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°33′34″N 70°49′32″W / 42.5594°N 70.8255°W / 42.5594; -70.8255Coordinates: 42°33′34″N 70°49′32″W / 42.5594°N 70.8255°W / 42.5594; -70.8255
Owned by MBTA
Line(s)
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 2
Construction
Parking Yes
Other information
Fare zone 5
Traffic
Passengers (2013) 20 (weekday inbound average)[1]
Services
Preceding station   MBTA.svg MBTA   Following station
Newburyport/Rockport Line
toward Rockport

Prides Crossing is a regional rail station on the MBTA Commuter Rail Newburyport/Rockport Line, located in the village of Prides Crossing in Beverly, Massachusetts. The station sees limited service, with three to four trains stopping each direction on weekdays and none on weekends. (Full-service Beverly Farms station is just 0.7 miles (1.1 km) to the east).

Although the former depot building is still in place, it is occupied by a private business; current station facilities are limited. A platform is present on the outbound side only; inbound passengers must cross the outbound track on a small asphalt patch. Prides Crossing is not handicapped accessible.

With just 20 inbound riders per day by a 2013 count, Prides Crossing is the third-lowest-ridership station on the MBTA Commuter Rail system, ahead of only Plimptonville and Silver Hill.[1]

History[edit]

The station building and platform from the pedestrian crossing
The Republican and Democrat benches, a local landmark

In March 1845, the Eastern Railroad received permission to build a branch line from Beverly to Gloucester. The Gloucester Branch opened to Manchester on August 3, 1847, and to Gloucester on December 1.[2] Prides station opened in 1880; sometime between then and 1899, a wooden station building was constructed.[3] At some point, the station's name was changed to Prides Crossing.

The Eastern Railroad became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad (B&M) in 1885. On January 18, 1965, the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority began subsidizing service.[4] The MBTA bought most B&M commuter assets, including the Gloucester Branch, on December 27, 1976.[4]

On August 11, 1981, a westbound MBTA Commuter Rail train collided with an eastbound B&M freight at Prides Crossing. The cab car leading the MBTA train was thrust into the air over the freight locomotive.[5][6] Two trainmen and a passenger on the freight and the engineer on the commuter train were killed. The NTSB determined that the crash was caused by two dispatchers failing to properly communicate, resulting in the two trains being put on the same track (the second track was out of service due to construction).[7]

On January 20, 1984, the North Station approach trestles were destroyed by a fire. Gloucester Branch trains were terminated at a temporary station near Sullivan or bussed from Lynn. On November 16, 1984, the Beverly Draw bridge connecting Salem to Beverly burned, cutting the Rockport Branch and the Ipswich Line from the rest of the system. (All lines running north and west of Newburyport were abandoned by 1984, leaving no route to move equipment to the rest of the northside.) A shuttle train was run from Rockport to Beverly Depot until January 7, 1985, when it was replaced by bus service.[4] The locomotives used were then trucked to Danvers so they could be repaired at the MBTA's main maintenance facility. A new bridge opened on December 1, 1985, reconnecting Gloucester to the larger system.[4]

The former station building is occupied by a candy store. The original canopies have been cut back and enclosed for additional space, and the main building modified as well.[3] On the street side of the candy store are two benches labeled "Republican" and "Democrat", which have been local landmarks for decades.[8] In 2015, the well-worn original benches were auctioned for charity and replaced with replicas.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J.; Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. pp. 75–77. ISBN 9780685412947. 
  3. ^ a b Roy, John H. Jr. (2007). A Field Guide to Southern New England Railroad Depots and Freight Houses. Branch Line Press. p. 218. ISBN 9780942147087. 
  4. ^ a b c d Belcher, Jonathan (26 December 2015). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district 1964-2015" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Tlumacki, John (11 August 1981). "John Tlumacki". Boston Globe. p. 13. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Clendinen, Dudley (12 August 1981). "3 MEN KILLED IN COLLISION OF MASSACHUSETTS TRAINS". New York Times. 
  7. ^ "Railroad Accident Report RAR-82-01: Head On Collision of Boston & Maine Corp Extra 1731 East & MBTA Train No. 570 on Former Boston & Maine Corp. Tracks". National Transportation Safety Board. 9 March 1982. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  8. ^ Heald, Bruce D. (2005). Boston and Maine Trains and Services. Arcadia Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 9780738538754. 
  9. ^ "BFIS Donates New "Republican" and "Democrat" Benches at Train Station" (PDF). The Farms Flyer. Beverly Farms Improvement Society. 20. Summer 2015. 

External links[edit]