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De-training of West Cambridge MA Continues...

It seems like every second of the day, less of the railroading past of West Cambridge MA yard area exists. Here we see some of the MBTA/Keolis snow fighting equipment. A freight siding used to come off the main at extreme right, right across a road. Last time I visited this spot, you could still see that ROW. No more...

Photographed by Jonelle DeFelice, July 17, 2018.
Added to the photo archive by Jonelle DeFelice, July 21, 2018.
Railroad: Boston & Maine.

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The old small yards like this one used to be everywhere and supported local carload businesses. This business has pretty much disappeared. Only large customers are still receiving carloads. I suppose the modern day equivalent of railroads serving the small customer are the rail containers on wheels that fan out from the yards in Ayer and Worcester. Gone with these small yards are the myriads of local freights that switched the yards for the through freights as well as served the local customer. My friend and I used to walk to West Cambridge yard from Belmont and ride with the yard crews when we were not watching the big freights divert along the Freight Cutoff at Hill's Crossing. He became a professional railroader probably from "practicing" in WC yard. About where you are looking in this photo was Ryerson Steel that switched its own operation with a self-propelled steam crane.There was lots of industry in Cambridge before it became gentrified and "technified". Modern "enlightened" residents would have been horrified at the "grittiness" of Cambridge and Somerville back then.

Posted by Ron DeFilippo on 2018-07-22 07:56:02

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