To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Ashmont–Mattapan High-Speed Line

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line (Mattapan Trolley)
Ashmont Mattapan streetcar in woods.jpg
PCC Streetcar on the Mattapan Trolley line
TypeLight rail
SystemMBTA subway
LocaleBoston, Massachusetts (Dorchester to Mattapan) via Milton, Massachusetts
Daily ridership4,637[1]
OpenedAugust 26, 1929 (Ashmont to Milton)
December 21, 1929 (Milton to Mattapan)[2]
CharacterPrivate right-of-way (largely grade-separated)
Rolling stockPCC streetcar
Line length2.54 miles (4.09 km)
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Minimum radius43 ft (13.106 m)[3]
Electrification600 V DC Overhead lines
Route map

0 mi
0 km
0.35 mi
0.56 km
Cedar Grove
0.95 mi
1.53 km
1.25 mi
2.01 km
Central Avenue
1.54 mi
2.48 km
Central Avenue
1.98 mi
3.19 km
Valley Road
Capen Street
2.31 mi
3.72 km
Capen Street
2.54 mi
4.09 km
Mattapan Yard & Loop

The Ashmont–Mattapan High-Speed Line, also called the Mattapan Trolley and M Line, is a partially grade-separated light rail line which forms part of the MBTA's Red Line rapid transit line. The line, which runs through Boston and Milton, Massachusetts, opened on August 26, 1929, as a conversion of a former commuter rail line and exclusively uses historic PCC streetcars for rolling stock, in tandem with a maintenance team of blacksmiths and metalworkers who make livery parts.[4] Passengers must transfer at Ashmont to access the rest of the Red Line, which uses heavy rail metro rolling stock.

The official name of the line was changed in 2018 from "Ashmont–Mattapan High Speed Line" to "Mattapan Trolley". The 2.6-mile (4.2 km) route is used only by streetcars and has just two public grade crossings. All stations have low platforms, but all except Valley Road have been retrofitted with wheelchair lifts or wooden ramps for handicapped accessibility. Unlike most heritage streetcar lines, it is an integral part of the modern MBTA transit system rather than a tourist attraction.


Commuter rail lines

Central Avenue station in 1924
Central Avenue station in 1924

The Dorchester and Milton Branch Railroad opened in December 1847 from Neponset on the Old Colony main line to Mattapan station in Dorchester via Milton Mills (later Milton Lower Mills, then simply Milton). The line was immediately leased by the Old Colony as its Milton Branch (Neponset Branch).[5] The Old Colony built the Shawmut Branch Railroad from Harrison Square on the main line to Milton Lower Mills via Peabody Square in 1872.[5] Most Mattapan passenger service switched to use the new branch east of Milton, as it ran through dense urban neighborhoods rather than swamps.[6] The Old Colony Railroad and its branches were acquired by the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1893.[5]

When the Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) was first constructing its rapid transit Cambridge-Dorchester Line in the early 1910s, plans called for the line to be extended south from Andrew to Codman Square via Edward Everett Square, Columbia Square, and Mount Bowdoin. The route would have paralleled the New Haven's Shawmut Branch and Midland Division.[7]:66 By the end of that decade, however, passenger traffic on both New Haven-owned lines had been decimated by the BERy's network of electrified streetcar lines, which connected to rapid transit trains at Forest Hills, Egleston, Dudley Square, and Andrew. Around 1920, BERy reached an agreement with the New Haven and the Boston Transit Commission to pursue the Dorchester Circuit Plan.[7]:7 Under that plan, a bidirectional rapid transit loop would run south from Andrew along the Old Colony main line, take over the Shawmut Branch and Milton Branch to Mattapan, cut over to the Midland Division on a tunnel, and return to Andrew via the Midland Division right-of-way and another tunnel segment.[7]:67

Rapid transit conversion

A streetcar at Cedar Grove station in 1929
A streetcar at Cedar Grove station in 1929

Although the Midland Branch served more populated areas, real estate deals along the Shawmut Branch stood to benefit key state politicians. Construction of a rapid transit extension to Mattapan via the Shawmut Branch was approved on March 23, 1923.[7]:8

Steam trains were discontinued in 1927 and the line was closed for two years while it was modified for streetcars. There was a debate at that time whether or not to continue subway trains from Boston to Ashmont onwards to Mattapan, but the cost of full-scale subway service was apparently too high for the Boston Elevated Railway which then operated it. The line opened from Ashmont to Milton on August 26, 1929, and from Milton to Mattapan on December 21, 1929.[2]

A new stop was opened at Capen Street in September 1930, and the Butler stop opened on October 7, 1931.[2] In 1966, the Red Line designation was also applied to this line, which had been known as 28 Mattapan–Ashmont.[2] On March 18, 1968, the Neponset River flooded the line at Milton station. Restoration work began at 6:00 am on March 21 as the waters receded; service was resumed by 4:30 pm.[2][8]

In January 1981, the MBTA proposed to close the Mattapan Line at all times beginning that March due to severe budget issues.[9] The closure was cancelled, though the Mattapan Line and the Ashmont Branch were closed from June 20, 1981 to January 16, 1982 for track replacement and tunnel repairs.[2]

The line's longest shutdown started June 24, 2006, while the Ashmont and Mattapan stations were renovated and service was replaced by shuttle buses.[2] Service was restored on December 22, 2007.[10] Several of the stations have been renovated for better accessibility and modernization; all stations are now wheelchair-accessible except Valley Road, which is down a grade from the nearest road with no room for a ramp.

Stations on the line had red signage up until the line's closure for renovation.[11] When the line reopened in 2007, green signage was used at stations to indicate the line's light rail character, contrary to the MBTA's practice of color-coding signage to match the line.[12] However, in 2008 the green signage was replaced with red signage to match the line's color.[13]


Streetcar #3262, which was wrecked in December 2017
Streetcar #3262, which was wrecked in December 2017

On March 20, 1979, three trolleys collided between Central Avenue and Valley Road stations. The first two trolleys had stopped to avoid a police car, which had become stuck on the tracks while the officer was investigating teenagers drinking near the line. A third trolley was unable to stop in time while approaching around a blind curve; it slammed into the first two trolleys, causing injuries, but no deaths.[14]

Using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the MBTA conducted a pilot test of technology similar to a collision avoidance system in an automobile, using radar and increasingly fast beeping to warn train operators of obstacles ahead. Like positive train control, it would stop the train if the driver did not take action to avoid an impending collision.[15] If successful, the system would be considered for deployment on the Green Line, where multiple collisions had occurred in recent years.

On November 26, 2014, an out-of-service streetcar collided with an in-service streetcar near Cedar Grove. Seven people were injured.[16]

On December 29, 2017, a collision between two in-service streetcars caused 17 injuries.[17] The accident, caused by operator error, reduced the line to five operable streetcars.[18]

Rolling stock

PCC streetcar 3260 in the older green paint scheme at Ashmont in 1999
PCC streetcar 3260 in the older green paint scheme at Ashmont in 1999

The rolling stock consists of rebuilt PCC streetcars, which were formerly part of a fleet shared with the Green Line. The historic rolling stock is retained largely because the line, built for 1920s streetcars, would have to be substantially rebuilt to accommodate the heavier modern cars used on the Green Line.[19] In order to clear the line of snow, the MBTA maintains a jet engine-powered snowblower, officially the Portec RMC Hurricane Jet Snow Blower, model RP-3, dubbed "Snowzilla". Snowzilla weighs 26,000 pounds (12,000 kg), measures 8 by 12 by 27 feet, and is powered by a Westinghouse J34 turbojet engine. It uses approximately 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of jet fuel per line clearing run. Other T lines simply run regular trains to clear the tracks of snow, but the older cars on this line would short out if used for that purpose.[20]

The current set of PCC cars are "Wartime" PCCs, built by Pullman-Standard in 1945–46. They have been in continuous revenue service in Boston since their construction, although PCC cars were not assigned to the Mattapan Line until 1955.[19] The current fleet was rebuilt as part of a systemwide PCC rebuild program in 1978–83, and again in 1999-2005.[21] During the latter rebuild, the cars were repainted from their former Green Line paint scheme to a brighter orange and cream design, similar to their original coloring.[19] The cars also carry a unique geographic MBTA logo, reminiscent of the old Metropolitan Transit Authority map logo found on the cars between 1948 and 1955.[22]

On several occasions, the MBTA has proposed to replace the PCC streetcars either with newer trolleys or with buses, and has met with substantial community opposition on each occasion. The FY2017-FY2021 Capital Investment Plan, approved by the MassDOT board in June 2016, allocated $9 million to the line including $3.7 million for maintaining the PCC cars. The plan also allocates $5 million for "PCC Car Replacement-Alternative Service" which will be used for future funding should an alternate form of transportation be decided upon.[23] In 2017, MBTA began a $7.9 million project to overhaul the trollies and update the propulsion systems, but further problems such as fluctuations in power damaged the four operating trains in early 2018.[24][25] On February 5, 2018 it was reported that eight more trolleys were going to re-enter service in 2019, the fixes will prolong the lifespan of the trains by another 7 to 8 years.[26] The MBTA also announced that it is studying alternatives again to running trolleys.[26] Alternatives that are being considered are further repairs of the existing PCC cars, procurement of new replicas of historic cars, and turning the line into a busway.[27] Local politicians and citizens who live along the line have voiced their concerns over the potential conversion of the line into a busway and prefer that the route be maintained as using rail technology. As of January 2019, eventual conversion for use of new light rail vehicles (or Type 9 LRVs transferred from the Green Line) was reported to be the most viable option.[28]


Geographic map of the line
Geographic map of the line

The line begins and ends within the city of Boston, but most of the southern half of its route is in the northern part of the neighboring town of Milton. It follows the right-of-way of two former Old Colony Railroad branches which had commuter rail service until the 1920s. Much of the route parallels the Neponset River, crossing it twice. The right-of-way is owned by the MBTA and has only two at-grade crossings on its 2.6-mile (4.2 km) route.[1] Between Cedar Grove and Butler stations, the line runs through the center of the Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Station listing

Location Station Opened Notes and connections
Dorchester, Boston
Handicapped/disabled access
August 26, 1929 Bus transport MBTA Bus: 18, 21, 22, 23, 27, 191, 215, 217, 240
Bus transport BAT: 12
Handicapped/disabled access
Cedar Grove
Handicapped/disabled access
October 7, 1931
Handicapped/disabled access
August 26, 1929 Bus transport MBTA Bus: 217
Handicapped/disabled access
Central Avenue
December 21, 1929 Bus transport MBTA Bus: 240
Bus transport BAT: 12
Valley Road
Handicapped/disabled access
Capen Street
September 1930
Mattapan, Boston
Handicapped/disabled access
December 21, 1929 Bus transport MBTA Bus: 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 191, 245, 716


  1. ^ a b "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Belcher, Jonathan (March 22, 2014). "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  3. ^ Transportation Research Board Executive Committee 1995 (1995). "Applicability of Low-Floor Light Rail Vehicles in North America" (PDF). US Federal Transit Administration. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  4. ^ Cotter, Sean Philip (May 5, 2019). "MBTA blacksmiths apply old trade to new work". Boston Herald. Boston.
  5. ^ a b c Karr, Ronald Dale (1995). The Rail Lines of Southern New England. Branch Line Press. pp. 310–315. ISBN 0942147022.
  6. ^ Humphrey, Thomas J.; Clark, Norton D. (1985). Boston's Commuter Rail: The First 150 Years. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 95. ISBN 9780685412947.
  7. ^ a b c d Cheney, Frank (2002). Boston's Red Line: Bridging the Charles from Alewife to Braintree. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 6–8, 66–67. ISBN 9780738510477.
  8. ^ Fourth Annual Report (Covering the period October 1, 1967 - October 31, 1968) of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1968. p. 218 – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (January 28, 1981). "Public Hearing Notice". Boston Globe. p. 65 – via access
  10. ^ "Mattapan Trolley to Re - Open". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. December 20, 2007. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
  11. ^ Carter, Derek (April 8, 2004). "3260, inbound to Ashmont". Mattapan High Speed Trolley. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  12. ^ Carter, Derek (December 22, 2007). "The new station signs are green". Mattapan High Speed Trolley. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  13. ^ Donovan, Aaron (July 11, 2008). "Capen Street Station". Flickr. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
  14. ^ Lonnies, Isabel (March 21, 1979). "Stuck cruiser set off three-trolley crash in Milton". Boston Globe. p. 20. ProQuest 747094804.
  15. ^ "MBTA testing trolley collision-avoidance system". Boston Herald. Associated Press. July 2, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  16. ^ "Two MBTA Trolleys Collide, 7 People Reported Hurt". Boston Globe. November 26, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  17. ^ Allen, Evan (December 30, 2017). "Operator error cause of Mattapan trolley crash, MBTA says". Boston Globe.
  18. ^ "Streetcars Collide on Mattapan-Ashmont Line". Rollsign. Vol. 54 no. 11/12. Boston Street Railway Association. November–December 2017. p. 6.
  19. ^ a b c O'Regan, Gerry; Pickering, Bo. "MBTA Mattapan-Ashmont Line". Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  20. ^ Eric Moskowitz (January 23, 2011). "Snowzilla vs. winter's fury". Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  21. ^ "The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page". NETransit. March 21, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  22. ^ Prescott, Michael R. (October 11, 2009). Boston Transit Equipment 1979-2009. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 31. ISBN 9780938315063.
  23. ^ Smith, Jennifer (July 6, 2016). "State budget plan locks in trolley, Fairmount spending". Dorchester Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  24. ^ "State of the Line Report: Mattapan High Speed Line" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. February 27, 2017.
  25. ^ Ruckstuhl, Laney (February 1, 2018). "Mattapan trolleys out of service due to 'propulsion problems'". Boston Globe.
  26. ^ a b Neal Simpson (February 5, 2018). "After breakdown, T vows to keep Mattapan trolleys running". The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  27. ^ "State of the Line Report: Mattapan High Speed Line" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. February 27, 2017.
  28. ^ "Transformation of the Mattapan High Speed Line: The Path to Accessible, Reliable, and Modern Transportation" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. January 2019.

External links

KML is from Wikidata
This page was last edited on 22 May 2020, at 04:11
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.