From Dave Brigham:
Most folks in Greater Boston are likely at least somewhat familiar with the MBTA's four subway/trolley lines -- the Blue, Green, Orange and Red lines -- regardless of whether they ride them or not. How many people in the metropolitan area, however, know about the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line, unless they ride it everyday or are train lovers?
Regular readers of this blog know that my son, Owen, and I often ride the subway in and around Boston. We've been doing this for more than 10 years, as what once used to be a special occasion has turned into something we do most weekends. We do many of the same things on our trips, from eating pizza at Regina Pizzeria at South Station to riding mainly on the Green line, but we seek out new areas of the city fairly frequently, so I can take pictures of things to write about here.
In the last decade we have taken a handful of rides on the Ashmont-Mattapan line, and it's always a pleasure (regular riders may beg to differ with me, as I know the line, like all MBTA branches, has its issues). A little background: the line is an extension of the Red line, which terminates at Ashmont Station in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. The loop at Ashmont looks like this:
"Those cars aren't red," you're saying to yourself. That's correct. These cars, known as PCC streetcars, date to around 1945, according to my in-house MBTA expert, and were at one time painted green, before being restored "to their original Boston Elevated Railway paint that they were originally delivered in," according to this article at the Boston Streetcars web site.
The Ashmont-Mattapan line exists along what was formerly the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. The other end of the line is in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood, but the middle section runs in part through the town of Milton, as well as Cedar Grove Cemetery. The line as we know it today opened in 1929.
In addition to the cool old train cars, the line also features an old station.
"So what's in the station now?" you ask. When I took this photo a few months ago a place called Kuizinn Lakay Plus, which offers pizza and also CD's and DVD's, per the sign. I believe "Kuizin Lakay" is Czech for "Food & Discs."
The cozy place next door is a Spanish restaurant, RestauranChito, that I believe is still in business. It was hard to tell. I'm guessing this place has been around for a long time as different hole-in-the-wall eateries, but not as long as the old station.