Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lost Train Stations: Boston & New York Central

Boston and New York Central line entering Boston through the harbor, 1866.

The Boston and New York Central line is shown coming north through Dorchester, across the South Bay and South Boston, and running on a curved trestle to the foot of Summer street, 1866 (BPL).

The Boston and New York Central railroad was formed in 1853 by a merger of three existing lines. This has been a little more difficult railroad to research than most. If I understand correctly, it connected to New York through Connecticut. I'm fairly sure that this track became today's Fairmont line, which turns west through Mattapan and runs along the Neponset river to Readville. I wonder what it was like riding that trestle through the harbor during a Nor'easter. Did they hold up the train in South Boston?


  1. You are correct that this line is difficult to research; its history is extremely complicated. You're also correct that this is what's now called the Fairmount Line through Readville, connecting with what's now the Franklin Line.

    According to some research notes that I compiled a few years ago, the line was only operated under the "Boston & New York Central" name for 6-1/2 months, from January 1, 1855, through July 14 of that year, and again for a year from March 2, 1857, through March, 1858. It was closed in 1855 as a result of lawsuits over grade crossings in Dorchester. After those lawsuits were resolved in 1856, the line reopened, but then closed again and didn't reopen for several more years as a result of other lawsuits and financial problems.

    The line reopened as the Boston, Hartford & Erie RR in February, 1867; it was acquired by the New York & New England RR in 1875; was reorganized as the New England RR in 1895, and became part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford RR system in 1898.

    The station in Boston was on the exact site of South Station, and operation over that trestle was discontinued when construction on South Station was begun -- when passenger operations were moved to another terminal in Boston, I think the Old Colony station, but I'm not sure.

  2. Charles - thanks for the added information.

  3. what is the name of that curved line in the first pic?