Mattapan-Ashmont (Boston) in 360 - A ride on a 1936 PCC trolley.


Trainzing since 12-2003

From the video description:

We're riding on the MBTA's Mattpan-Ashmont "High Speed Line". Opened in 1929, the High Speed Line was converted from an old steam railroad line, into a rapid transit line. An extension of today's Red Line, the route is 2.6 miles long, and has the system's last 10 PCC cars assigned to it to provide service. The route holds the distinction as the only trolley line to bisect a cemetery.

These cars are the OLDEST PCC cars still running in their original configuration. They were the last cars built with the 1936 body style, and are the last such cars still in service. They are also the last "air-electric" PCC cars in revenue service, and the last Pullman-Standard built PCC cars still in service.

The MBTA has plans to rebuild eight of these cars utilizing new propulsion equipment and trucks, which will disqualify them as PCC cars in the future. The other two cars are expected to be retired.
Thanks for sharing this John! Great video.

I've been a fan of the "high speed line" to Mattapan for years... As a kid about 50 years ago I used to occasionally ride it out to Milton with my mom to go to some store there she loved that I've long since forgotten the name of. :)

A few years ago I started modeling the Mattapan terminal/shops in TRS19. I really should probably finish it one of these days... I need to put down the trolley poles and find appropriate buildings and details. I have it scripted with a portal so you can watch the PCCs constantly come and go. The trackwork was done with a Google earth image and Basemapz to get an accurate track layout...


You were lucky to ride on the line. We had family or friends out in Milton but drove there instead. I did see the trolleys though. Being a rail enthusiast even at a young age, I kept my eyes out for anything with rail. At the time, I didn't know the significance the route and the PCC trolleys were standard fare in the 60s. I looked at doing the line myself some years ago but scrapped the idea because the lack of available assets at the time made the project difficult and I got very frustrated because I could never find anything that looked right.

Paul Z. May (paulzmay) made a whole slew of trolley poles. These are track objects that will snap to the tracks like signals. The nice thing about Paul's trolley poles is he has them in suitable colors too and even some that clip to bridges easily, and they just work. Once the poles are in place, you "connect" up the spline wire and align the spline points with the clips on the poles. If you get the setup right, everything falls into place. I used this on an early version of my Gloucester Terminal Electric route until I went to heavier catenary.

The line is interesting because there are still remnants of the old New Haven branch with some buried sidings and the junction where the line connected to the Old Colony line near the Neponset River bridge. Some of the freight lasted on the freight line until the early 80s. Once the mills became NIMBY condos and fancy restaurants, that was it and the tracks were yanked. I am glad the New Haven and the MTA at the time had the foresight to preserve the passenger service on the branch when it was converted to a trolley line. Being Trainz, freight operations could be returned to the mills with the single freight line running beside the trolleys.