I arrived early for a tour in Ashmont and with nothing better to do, I got my geek on and rode the Mattapan-Ashmont High Speed Trolley Line. I’ve lived in Boston for nearly ten years and have wanted to ride this special trolley line for almost as long. Granted, the previous time I tried the line was closed for the day, and it was closed completely for renovation for a couple of years, but I’ve been delinquent regardless.
What makes the line special to transit geeks like myself is that it uses PCC Streetcars, a sturdy design manufactured from the 1920’s-1950’s. It also has an exclusive right-of-way, hence the “high speed” designation.
The ride was a joy. The PCC Streetcars seem to have a more spacious interior and run more smoothly than the Green Line light-rail vehicles (although a couple of time the car jerked violently from side-to-side). The ride is scenic passing through a cemetery, along a Neponset River wetlands, past old warehouses in Milton and through many backyards (I’d love to have a trolley line in my backyard). The trolley drivers don’t come to a full-stop at the stations unless someone requests it, but they do a kind of rolling stop. I was amused when the trolley operator stopped to talk with the driver of the car coming from the opposite direction.
The viaduct turn-around at Ashmont reminds me of a roller coaster at an amusement park.
I thought the MBTA logo looked old-fashioned but the route maps are pretty much up-to-date.
The trolley at the Mattapan terminus
Two off-duty trolleys at the Mattapan yard.
More on the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Trolley Line at NYC Subways.
Previously: Mattapan Trolley Returns