Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lost Train Stations: Boston Revere and Lynn Railroad

Advertisements from an 1878 Directory (thanks to Peter M. for sharing).

Boston Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad route, 1897 (BPL).

Boston Revere and Lynne depot, 1884. The depot is the small yellow (wood-frame) building on a wharf at the lower center of the map. The tracks were depressed, going under Marginal street as they came off the wharf.

Here's a railroad line you may not have heard of, unless you live between Boston and Lynn. The Boston Revere and Lynn line ran from East Boston to Lynn along the north shore. The line began operation in 1875, and ran until 1940. The line actually ran from Rowe's Wharf on the Boston waterfront, where a ferry would take passengers across the harbor to the company's East Boston railroad depot. From there, the line ran on narrow gauge tracks to Revere Beach and on to Lynn, with a loop line through Winthrop.

How cool is this? The Boston Revere Beach and Lynn locomotive #6. Made by Mason Bogie - great name.

The line was very successful. The seashore north of Boston attracted daytrippers, with so many passengers carried that the company was able to afford to electrify the line in 1928. The line was powered like streetcars, with an overhead pole connecting to the power line. Unfortunately for the company, this happened just as the automobile began attracting large numbers of travelers from trains. By 1940, the line would shut down. The track bed through Revere would later be used for the MBTA Blue Line. Some of the track bed that ran north through East Boston was taken for Logan airport, and the current Blue Line track meets the old railroad line north of the airport.

Some of the rolling stock was sold and remains in use by the East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania, a heritage railroad.

Boston Revere and Lynn depot, 1901. Here, there's a new, wider depot.

Boston Revere Beach and Lynn depot, 1922. This map shows the immigration center (pink, for red brick) to the right of the depot, beyond three dry docks.


  1. I would love to know if part of the tunnel under Jefferies Point is still there. The right-of-way above the tunnel as it goes under Webster Street and Sumner Streets are empty overgrown lots.

  2. This just makes me even angrier that we don't have the Blue Line in Lynn.

    Thanks for putting this together. SO cool!

  3. Dear Mark B.

    Great entry about the railroad. Would you grant permission to use map or photo for


  4. FYI: The Lynn Museum has two books for sale re: Narrow Gauge Railroad! "Narrow Gauge to Boston" by Frank Kyper and "Meet You at the Station" by Peter E. McCauley which features neat b&w postcards of the Railroad stations!!!

  5. Anonymous: The tunnel is still there. North end is visible from Everett Street; the south end is in a tightly protected Massport yard and is dangerously rusted.

  6. And what about the old Sullivan Square terminal? That was a masterpiece and it was just junked....and look at what replaced it! What a disgrace.