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The island of misfit T toys

Old MBTA signs

Drive through the new Assembly Row project, past the giant Lego giraffe, the Winter Hill Yacht Club and the new Orange Line station and you wind up at a little cul de sac in a grassy area on the banks of the Mystic River that's a cool place to see the confluence of nature and the working parts of modern civilization.

Just beyond the Orange Line and commuter-rail tracks that run past the mall is a storage area full of old T stuff: Old railroad ties, bus shelters, railroad-crossing markers and signals, cables, even the trash receptacles they used to use before they went and bought all those round, heavy bomb-resistant ones.

In addition to the commuter-rail tracks that run alongside the Orange Line, there's another line that crosses the Mystic:

Train crosses the Mystic River

Beyond that bridge is a scene right out of SimCity: The power plant you put in to start the game and the windmill you put in later to curb your pollution levels:

Mystic River power plant

Next to that is a working drawbridge:

Mystic River power plant

There are a couple of surprisingly colorful mystery pipes leading to a small abandoned dock (right next to a more modern dock just right for fishing):

Mystic River pipes

Also of note: The Amelia Earhart Dam, named for the aviator with a connection to Medford.



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Setup another MBTA store there.

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Finally they finished the Alford Street bridge. Its been like 100 years.

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My favorite part of that project was the sign that said "123 days without a worksite injury". Of course the worksite had no injuries. When you don't work, you can't get injured.

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.. and walking trail that intends to run all the way to Andover.

It's also near where I first spotted Buffleheads, (small sea ducks), decades ago.

Earhart used to live near Swirly's neighborhood.

Nice photo set.

I was thrashing through bramble patches along the Neponset trying to trace the route of the bikeway and trail that is intended to fill in the gap between Savin Hill and Pope John Paul II Park.

I was under the Distressway where it crosses the Neponset.

I even witnessed a tense situation between two egret species in Dorchester Bay.


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The first commuter rail line is the Haverhill line (aka the Western route), and the second (on the bridge) is the Newburyport/Rockport line (or Eastern route).

And the locomotive you took a picture of happens to be the first of the T's new HSP-46s (#2012) to enter revenue service!

It's funny, riding the train through there twice a day I've long since stopped appreciating the views here.

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"Beyond that bridge is a scene right out of SimCity: The power plant you put in to start the game and the windmill you put in later to curb your pollution levels:"
That is a very interesting area, loaded with industrial might. The Distrigas natural gas plant beside the power plant, beside the Prolerize scrap yard, boat loads exported. Then the Exxon petroleum complex, the New England Produce Center , the world famous King Arthur peel joint, which is across from the wine grape king. Mosey down the street a bit , you are in the location of the old Chelsea Fire, where now the most controversial Market Basket grocery chain has a store. There is a lot more of interesting stuff, but I don't want to overwhelm your senses.
As an add to , a close by neighbor, the great Boston Sand and Gravel , had some nice pictures on it's web site, under the Historical Photos heading,

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Since you seem to be a SimCity fan [many references in this blog] you should note there is a new city building simulator coming out that is supposedly trying to do some thing right that the latest SimCity iteration got so wrong. Note this new game is not another iteration of the [often consider crappy] Cities XL series, but rather from the transport sim developer of Cities in Motion.



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The park is called Draw Seven Park ... I believe it's run by the City of Somerville. Right next to it (on the other side of the Orange Line, also along the banks of the Mystic) is the new Baxter State Park (not to be confused with Maine's more famous Baxter State Park). The state park was just part of the Mystic River Reservation before the new Assembly Row development came in.

As Chris Rich mentioned, there have been plans to extend the bikeway along the edge of the bus yard right next to Draw Seven Park. I have also heard proposals to open up Amelia Earhart Dam to pedestrians and cyclists, much like the New Charles River Dam. I don't know what the statuses of either of those proposals are.

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..there when I scouted that side last year.

It will be great to extend it into the city core as it will provide more route choices.

The Mystic River Watershed Association keeps regular track of it and has a link to the DCR master plan.


Their news blog has a good sense of Mystic issues.


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