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June 24th, 2004

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09:53 pm - farewEL (I swore I wouldn't make this joke)
The mornings are getting slightly better. Still I have no time for coffee rituals, but that's OK. It's never any fun to gulp down a piping-hot cup before you go out for a walk, even if it does wake the face up something fierce.

The PUT IN A GOOD WORD job has been accomplished, so thank you, responding people! I'll be working in good words real soon. I didn't realize that you could give LJ account time as an anonymous gift, so would the nice anonymous donor-person email me and let me know, if they indeed want to be known? That would be nice.

Anyway. Here's the meat of the matter. I had thought this was going to happen tomorrow, but apparently the MBTA lady I talked to on the phone said it wasn't so, so unless they're lying to the train lovin public so there won't be things like I want to plan, it won't be happening until later.

I had thought tomorrow would be the last day the Green Line would be using the North Station elevated tracks. They're due to close down and be torn down so that the new trestle connecting the underground North Station and the Science Park viaduct could be built (there'll be bus service to Lechmere instead. Until 2005.) Now I love the El tracks as they're the last remnants of a once-mighty elevated network around the Hub. The Orange Line's elevated section went under in the mid-80s, leaving that short span around the Boston Garden as it.

And I love that funky elevated North Station platform, even if it reeks of hobo urine and has crowded Chicago-like staircases.

So what I wanted to do was ride the last Green Line elevated train. I figure I wasn't around when it began, but I'm around when it's due to end, so I want to be there for it. Nothing angry or protesty, just a little celebration of the last ride. I remember reading on one of the New York transit webpages an account of a line closure in 1974 or 75, populated with long-time riders and friends alike, having one more fling on the ol' train. I can't find the webpage but I know what they wanted to convey there. I don't have nearly as grandiose plans as they do, but I'd like to share The End with as many folks as want to come.

Basically my idea is to hang out in Inman Square the night of the closure. Probably get some food at the Meat Faucet or drinks at Bukowski's, then head on over to Lechmere near closing time. We'll take the Green Line inbound to Haymarket, then switch over to the outbound platform and wait for the last train. (How will we know it's the last train? Ask the driver, of course.) Get on, ride the three stops back to Lechmere, flagrantly disregard the "no photography on the T" rule and then we'll have said our goodbye to the Elevated. Maybe there will be a harmonica or banjo (there was a banjo on that 1970s NYC page I read!) It's just a way to say goodbye to something some of us transit people had taken for granted lo these many years.

So who's in? All we need now are concrete closure plans. The MBTA's already given the El two reprieves; it was supposed to have closed on Sunday and that got pushed to tomorrow; now the official word is that the closure has been "temporarily postponed but starting shortly." I wonder how much advance warning they'll give us. I'll keep constant updates, though.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)
A couple of notes:

First, when the T was planning to shutdown the El last week, they were intending to run the last train at about 6-7pm on Friday. They need about 60 hours over the weekend to connect the tracks, catenary, and signals to the new Superstation(tm)(r), thus they're going to shut the El down early.

Second, the scuttlebutt is that the shutdown will happen either on the weekend of July 11th, or wait until after the DNC. Conspiracy theorists out there might construe that the T is trying to save face while avoiding public use of a transit tunnel right under the DNC, under pressure from the Sooper Sekrit Service.

Oh yeah, if the rest of my life cooperates, I'm in.
[User Picture]
Date:June 25th, 2004 02:36 am (UTC)
My two questions to the MBTA phonemonkey were going to be "Is tomorrow the last day Green Line trains will be running to Lechmere?" and "What time will the last Lechmere train leave from Park Street tomorrow?" As the answer to #1 was "No" I didn't get to ask the next question.

I don't mind the time as long as I know it. An early 'end' is cool too because then it means we can go out elsewhere to celebrate after the ride.
[User Picture]
Date:June 25th, 2004 11:03 am (UTC)
Ok, the Boston Fire Department gave it's thumbs up this morning, so the last run is TONIGHT at 7pm.
[User Picture]
Date:June 24th, 2004 10:48 pm (UTC)
You were probably remembering the web site about the Culver Shuttle at http://www.culvershuttle.com/ . There's plenty of photos of the final ride there.
[User Picture]
Date:June 25th, 2004 02:33 am (UTC)
That's the one! Nice findin, Tex.
[User Picture]
Date:June 26th, 2004 06:38 am (UTC)
hey, good icon! i wish i were in Bean so i could have gone, i like that plan. very cool.
[User Picture]
Date:June 26th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
Ah, but see... the point of anonymity is to be, um, anonymous. And why donate a dollar when two months is a mere five and why do it through PayPal when you can just up and buy the time and save our friend Spatch the footwork of shifting funds?

I love all my settings, I'd hate to lose them. I've been on extremely hard times, and people at several points did little things like that for me when I had little with which to work. You're welcome, there's no need to say anything nice about me 'less you want to. In return, just be nice to somebody today for me, 'kay? Say something completely random and unexpected and nice to make someone's day, because someone was mean to me three days ago and I'm *still* dwelling on it, and I want someone, somewhere, to be happy.

And keep writing stuff that's fun to read. That, too.

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