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State tries again to figure out what to do with a mile-long abandoned railway along Chelsea Creek in East Boston

The East Boston Times-Free Press reports state officials are in the middle of an "ongoing study" to figure out what to do with the land long ago abandoned for use as a rail line along Chelsea Creek.

Jacob Citrin, owner of Cargo Ventures, originally approached the state to buy the land so he could build a road for trucks to and from his company to bypass 1A, but the state shelved the potential sale in 2019. The study includes looking at improving options for pedestrians, bicyclists and T riders along 1A between Day Square and Bell Circle in Revere.

Original state bid for the corridor, with map (1.3M PDF).

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Comments

With life sciences space.

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Integrated cannabis production research and retail operation.

Formerly known as a grow-op, but larger, more formal and legal.

Find a way to harness tidal energy and its golden.

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Would be ideal.

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the kind of creek you would never want to fall into?

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Although mainly because you'd probably get hit by a tanker rather than for "dirty water" reasons.

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Not without a paddle

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I live in Chelsea. I mean, I wouldn't swim in it but it doesnt smell or look like its dirty.

In fact, I believe the creek has been dredged in recent years (less than 30 years ago) which would remove much of the sediment from the polluting factories that were once along the creek. Dredging was done to accommodate larger tankers up the creek. Still wouldn't want to touch the bottom tho.. ew.

Can't seem to find current water quality data at my fingertips for current year(s) but.. in 2015, the EPA gave the Chelsea Creek an A- . As opposed to the Charles River which got a B in 2018. (and 2018 and 20 years prior, the Charles has been a B or above).

So its really not that dirty

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The MBTA. Does the public have a right to view what properties are owned by the MBTA throughout the state?

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how I get an authorized vehicle.

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Why not rail? All those oil tanks and industrial properties...

When did this line see its last train? Google Maps still depicts a train track most of the way down to the Chelsea Street Bridge.

Go back far enough and there was a second rail line that crossed the bridge and merged with this one. On the other side its corridor became the SL3 busway.

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...back sometime around the early 2010s I recall, back when oil prices were high enough that crude oil and various refined and related products were economical to ship domestically by rail. I believe the idea was to bring in ethanol for blending by rail.

That idea was met with the expected chorus of opposition by every political figure and community group around, and while I'm not sure it ever died a political death, eventually economics worked against it.

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especially since, at the time, the oil train would go over grand junction through Cambridge to get to Chelsea.

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Thanks Adam for reporting this and for linking to the original bid. Good to see that the state put the bid process on hold to get community input and a study of possible alternative uses.

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Although I fear that there wouldn't be much to see from the path.

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It could prove a useful connection for people riding between Chelsea and Revere. Whether or not the route is picturesque, it might make for a good safer option in the harbor area towns.

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Compared to decent bike lanes on Broadway. I'd like to see it put to some recreational use but that right-of-way doesn't connect much to much for pedestrians or bikers. Chelsea St. and the Revere Beach Pkwy. at either end are not terribly pedestrian-friendly (although there are sidewalks).

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but yeah, it definitely wouldn't connect to anything very good right now. Ultimately, both ends will be part of a larger network, and this could be an important link.

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