When crossing gates were still manually operated

Old crossing gate

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out where this train crossing was and when the photo was taken. See it larger.

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    Comments

    Am I cheating?

    I saw this picture about 10 years ago. It is Mather Street in Dorchester, where the Red Line now runs underground. You are just northerly of Shawmut Station. Google says 50 Mather Street.

    If there still is a flagman there it is before 1927. That is when direct train service ended and the switch to subway began. It has to be close to 1920 based upon development patterns in the area and the size of the trees.

    Shawmut Station gets its name from this being the old Shawmut Branch of the Old Colony Railroad, which ran from South Station to Mattapan over what is now the Red Line Tracks.

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    Is a residential T station unique?

    By on

    In my limited T knowledge it seems that most stations are in commercial or industrial areas. Are there many T stations that are nestled into a purely residential area like this? It's pretty cool.

    Europe

    This is what struck me the most about spending time in Germany -- the tram (think larger green line train) just comes down small streets and stops every few blocks the way a bus would. Each house has a car but the residents are more likely to use the tram when just going to work or shopping. The cars need to straddle the tracks and road just to drive down the street.

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    Green St. and Stony Brook

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    Those two are probably the closest to this, but both kind of stick out due to the fact the land around them was cleared for interstate construction some years back.

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    I live there

    I live in West Medford and can't figure this out. Supposedly the person is paid by the town, not the MBTA.

    Ironically since I moved there at least 2 people have been killed at that train crossing after being hit by a train. The person manning the booth won't actually stop you from crossing and the gates are down while the train load/unloads so it's temping to just walk across.

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    Reason why

    The reason is due to federal mandate (per FRA, I believe) requiring roads and traffic flow to meet certain criteria regarding road geometry, road design, traffic volume, etc. The town of Medford has failed to comply with necessary regulations, such as changing a street or two to a one-way, and either replacing the crossing gates with longer arms or putting a center-line barrier up the road. It's costly, and most importantly: the NIMBY's will fight any changes to their God-given right to drive the way that is most convenient to them. Heaven forbid anyone has to change their traffic patterns.

    This also applies to the railroad crossing at the northern end of Greenwood Station in Wakefield -- I forget the name of the street. Forest St? There may be one other location. I know there's only two, maybe three, locations in the state of Massachusetts which require crossing tenders 24/7.

    The Answer

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    Mather Street is correct! The date is June 25, 1923.

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