MBTA—Milton, Massachusetts, Now and Then.

A few weeks ago I posted some vintage Ektachrome slides of MBTA’s Mattapan-Ashmont trolley line that I made with my old Leica 3A when I was 12 years old.

Among these was this view at the Milton station that showed Conrail’s former New Haven Railroad tracks in addition to MBTA’s trolley line.

I might not have known what I was doing, but I was visionary. I was fascinated by the 'heavy rail' tracks on both sides of the trolley line. Here is evidence that Conrail was still serving the former New Haven branch as far as Milton. There's virtually no evidence of the freight operation today, and it takes a bit of imagination to figure out where the tracks were. Notice that I didn't allow a PCC to interfere with the scene: this was about the PFE refers!
My 1979 Ektachrome view:  I was fascinated by the ‘heavy rail’ tracks on both sides of the trolley line. Here is evidence that Conrail was still serving the former New Haven branch as far as Milton. There’s virtually no evidence of the freight operation today, and it takes a bit of imagination to figure out where the tracks were. Notice that I didn’t allow a PCC to interfere with the scene: this was about the PFE refers!

The trolley line had been adapted to use part of the railroad right of way, and yet it was still necessary to serve freight customers, so tracks from both operations had co-existed for decades.

Milton from approximately the same angle as the 1979 view above. More than just the tracks have changed. I exposed this with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera at the end of January 2016.
Milton from approximately the same angle as the 1979 view above. More than just the tracks have changed. I exposed this with my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera at the end of January 2016.

Today, the freight railroad at Milton is but a memory. (And, if news reports prove correct, the trolley may soon vanish too!). Take nothing for granted.

This is a slight tighter view of Milton as it now looks. No PFE refers here, nor tracks for them to rest upon. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
This is a slightly tighter view of Milton as it now looks. No PFE refers here, nor tracks for them to rest upon. This focal length more closely mimics the 50mm Leica Sumitar lens that  I used in 1979.

I made these Now and Then views from approximately the same place looking in the same direction, but nearly 37 years apart.

An of course, I waited for a PCC. On Sunday's trolleys operate about every 8 minutes in both directions. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.
An of course, I waited for a PCC. On Sunday’s trolleys operate about every 8 minutes in both directions. FujiFilm X-T1 photo.

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

3 thoughts on “MBTA—Milton, Massachusetts, Now and Then.”

  1. Very interesting Brian, always like the ‘past and present’ pictures. After studying the two images, it appears only the telegraph poles and wires on the left are the same, but everything else has completely changed altogether.

    1. The scene had changed to such an extent, that when I visited Milton a couple of years ago, I actually did not recognize it as the same station where I’d made the photos of the refer cars back in 1979. It was only on subsequent revisits to the location and finding my old slides that I realized it was the same place.

Comments are closed.