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Citizen complaint of the day: A bit of Charlestown's industrial past comes back to trip somebody up

Old train switch in Charlestown

A concerned citizen files a 311 complaint about a dangerous remnant of an old railroad switch along Medford Street in Charlestown, from back in the day when freight rode the rails to and from the waterfront:

My daughter fell on rusty metal piece of old train track.

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Comments

i still think its nuts that a "world class city" like boston doesnt have rails going to its ports. Its put on trucks, shipped to worcester, then put on rails. Or, just put on trucks in newark and driven here.

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She might walk into a tree or a parked vehicle at some point.

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It's hard to tell from the picture, but I doubt that thing's more than a few inches tall. People tend to look straight ahead while walking, with occasional glances down to the street surface. If they didn't, they'd more frequently walk into other people or trees or whatever. It's very easy to miss unexpected things on the ground, especially for kids running around.

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It's perfectly possible to trip or slip from something else, and suddenly find yourself falling on something that's much more dangerous than you'd expect to be near a sidewalk or roadway.

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My cat's breath smells like cat food.

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It looks like those tracks are back a ways from the street and probably on private property?

(Hope the kid is okay, however.)

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They own the rail line, I think they bought it out when it was threatened to be abandoned about 20 years ago. I don't think it's ever been used. Supposedly Massport may have bought it for a haul road? New England suffers from having ~0 ship-rail freight.

Back in the day there was a multi-level rail crossing, with this line running under the El which crossed streetcar tracks at-grade. The 92 and 93 were converted to buses in the late 1940s, but the tracks were active to access the 100 Fellsway cars until 1955.

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The true location is more like here, or maybe even by to one of those driveway crossings, a lot closer to the street.

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https://maps.app.goo.gl/fXgbSXxLxusy8bw97

that's from 2021, not sure what it looks like now.

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It's a popular dog walking spot, fortunately the dogs don't walk into such objects without noticing them first.

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Seems like a railroad right of way? Yes, near where you walk but not a city issue.

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That's an impressive looking piece of equipment. So solid.

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No one has taken it for the scape metal value yet.

The old train equipment is all pretty impressive.

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That would look pretty cool painted up and placed in the backyard if one were a train aficionado.

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As in the case of crime and most mishaps involving kidlets, it's supervision, supervision, supervision.

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B&M RR Historical Society has webpage on the switchstand

A quick search on the part numbers revealed:

Ramapo Ajax Corp.
Hillburn NY

Model E2229

enclosed within rhombus.

The E2229 switchstand is on Page 8 of a 4o page document.

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How dare you guys accuse a three year old out for her job of being careless and running into this rusty thing!

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We don't know her age from that brief 311 report.

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But the complaint reads like a line from the first draft of "Whitey on the Moon".

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...there are many things in the world that would be hazardous to fall on, and it doesn't look like this one was directly in the path or anything.

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I was taken to task on this website way back in the day for suggesting the reconstructed playground at Fallon Field, which makes generous use of concrete, was a tiny bit dangerous to the very young among us. I believe that the gist of the grief I took was because kids need to be able to deal with things around them. If the kid couldn't handle there being the remnants of railroad infrastructure along the remnants of a railway, I don't know what they can handle, really.

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