Good thing we don't need fallout shelters anymore

Abandoned fallout shelter next to abandoned Tremont Street trolley tunnel

The fallout shelter's on the right.

Patrick Kineavy and Alex Lovejoy of the MBTA recently explored a long-abandoned fallout shelter next to an abandoned trolley tunnel under Tremont Street (the one you see on the right on the inbound platform at Boylston).

Imagine having to subsist on whatever's in this barrel:

Old food supplies
Old fallout shelter



Free tagging: 


In the barrel

I'm told the barrels typically contained crackers, similar to Saltine crackers, specifically. Not sure if it is true or not.


Thanks, that's pretty cool.

We there no food provisions, then? Would figure some had water and some had food of some sort.

My man ,see the second link.

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My man ,see the second link. Not trying to step on your action here, but with respect to the articles picture , I have seen those barrels around , mostly in the basements of public buildings , like the old Munies , or schools. Carry on , !

Wow, I remember those

My local army surplus store when I was a kid used to sell the short-dated* surplus food tins for a couple of dollars apiece. We bought a couple once because we were young and brave and had sturdy digestive systems. Which was good, given how much chewing those saltines required (they were more like hard tack than saltines).

I'm curious to know if every

I'm curious to know if every building with those "Fallout Shelter" signs would have had supplies like this stashed somewhere.

By the time I arrived on the scene, the "Duck and Cover" drills were long past. I do, however, remember a big air-raid siren located in the center of our town, and, well into the mid-1980s, I remember that every Friday Springfield had the "12 o'clock Whistle" basically a test of the sirens.

About, oh, maybe 15 years ago I heard one of those sirens going off in the middle of the day. It made me stop and listen, because at the time I hadn't heard one of those things for probably 10 years. Haven't heard one since.

Strange air raid drill

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When I was in grammar school in the Boston Public Schools in the mid 60s the old "duck and cover" drills were gone, but I do remember we had a grand total of one air raid drill, which consisted of going into the corridor and standing against the wall. I'm not sure what good that would have done should there have been actual bombs falling.

I remember there used to be a

I remember there used to be a siren here in the south end that sounded when school was canceled!

At least as of 6-7 years back, on Long Island they still use those for the noon whistle.

Wow, the next time I'm out on

Wow, the next time I'm out on Long Island (whenever that might be) I'll hope to hear a drill. There's something very oddly familiar about the sound of that tone.


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In my hometown they repurposed the sirens for tornado warnings, but they still test them once a month. When they go off for real and the sky is green, though, man, you better get to the basement asap.

We once had a tornado warning in high school while my class was the auditorium, and the fallout shelters are below that, so we had to go down there. Very surreal.

Drinking Water, "Nutritional" Biscuits, And More

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Some of the barrels contained drinking water; the one in the picture labeled in gallons probably did. Other Civil Defense barrels contained so-called "nutritional" biscuits, or whatever they thought was nutritious in the 1950's. Yet other barrels contained things like first aid supplies, flashlights and even Geiger counters.

I remember seeing those CD barrels when our school would have "shelter drills". A loud buzzer would sound, and everyone in the school would go down to the basement and cover our heads. Today, the poor building looks like it didn't survive the blast!

The black and yellow "fallout shelter" sign is bent and faded, but it's still there!


I can picture it

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whatever they thought was nutritious in the 1950's

Barrels upon barrels filled with lime Jell-O molds studded with cocktail weenies.


There was a fire down there

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There was a fire down there about 40 years ago, circa 1975. Green Line was shut-down a few hour because of the smoke if I recall. The condition of the civil defense supplies is a result of the fire, and not just from 50 years of sitting there. By 1975, clearing out and/or replacing the damaged supplies wasn't considered much of a priority.


Per the online Globe archives

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Per the online Globe archives, the fire was October 2, 1974, article title "Fire in abandoned MBTA tunnel delays trains". The story claims that the crackers destroyed in the fire were supposed to be shipped to Bangladesh and Honduras. So I guess that means in the mid-1970s the U.S. was shipping 10-15 year old civil defense crackers to third world countries?

How'd they get down there

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This picture looks like it was taken with a flash and I know those tunnels have lights in them that the T turns on when the media/tours go.

Something tells me they weren't suppose to be down there..

The lights only go as far as

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The lights only go as far as the active pump room, the area with the burned supplies is at the very end, beyond the pump room.


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Burned supplies?

Okay who do I hafta {insert nasty word} to get a visit down there personally?

I wanna go!

Urb, if I can go, do you want to go with me?

*thumbs up*


EDIT: But you don't have to {insert nasty word} me, just to clear that up.


Both Pat and Alex are MBTA

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Both Pat and Alex are MBTA employees and both certainly would have clearance to be there!



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These are some seriously creepy pics. Something about them gives me the willies.



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I hope they didn't disturb the poor souls who live in the tunnels throughout the system