Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Raising of the Railroad Tracks - Part II

In the summer of 1893, preparations had been made and work was soon to begin. The railroad tracks would be raised, and the old wooden depot building at Heath st, Boylston station, Jamaica Plain and Forest Hills would be replaced by modern stone station houses. Starting at West Chester park, the tracks would rise to 20 feet above grade at Tremont street, continue its elevated path to Forest Hills, and thence return to grade to the south. Along the way, the handsome Bartlett Building in Jamaica Plain would be taken and be demolished to make room for a new station.

The new embankment was to be of dirt and gravel, with stone walls. At each road crossing, a steel bridge would support the railroad tracks overhead. At the crossing of Centre street, where Hogg's bridge had carried road traffic over the rail line, a steel bridge would span the street, which would now be at grade.

At each station, the single depot would be replaced by two, one for each direction of travel. Each new depot would be of brick with brownstone trimmings, with slate roof and copper finials. Depot doors were to be of oak, and windows mostly stained glass.

At the same time as the tracks were being raised, a fourth track would be added. The two outer tracks would be used for local traffic, and the two inner tracks would serve suburban express routes. Fences would seperate the inner and outer lines, preventing passangers from coming to harm from the speeding express trains.

(Source: Boston Daily Globe July 7, 1893)

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