INTERURBAN RAILWAYS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Electric Railway Map (Connecticut/Massachusetts/Rhode Island)

Map shows interurban railways, and other electric railways in the more densely populated areas.


BOSTON & WORCESTER STREET RAILWAY
Boston-Worcester (1903-1932)

Reorganized 1927 as Boston Worcester & New York Street Railway.

Replacement bus companies:
Boston & Worcester Street Railway (1925-1927)
Boston Worcester & New York Street Railway (1927-1963)
Boston-Worcester Corp. (1963-1971)
Gray Line (1971-1984)
Marathon Lines (1984-1988)

GRAFTON & UPTON RAILROAD
North Grafton-Upton (1902-1928)


"LINES WITH SOME INTERURBAN CHARACTISTICS"

Lines which did not fully meet the authors' definitions of an interurban in the book "The Electric Interurban Railways In America", but nevertheless could be considered as interurban railways.

BERKSHIRE STREET RAILWAY
Canaan CT-Pittsfield-North Adams (1910-1932)

Replacement bus companies:
Berkshire Street Railway (until 1963)
Yellow Coach Lines (1963-1968)
Super Service Coach Corp. (1968-1973)
Bonanza Bus Lines (after 1973)

Transit service in Pittsfield/Berkshire County now provided by publicly owned Berkshire Regional Transportation Authority.


LINES OF A MORE LOCAL NATURE

Routes are as listed in the 1915 edition of "Trolley Wayfinder: Official Street Railway Guide of New England". Only routes of a somewhat interurban nature are listed, the selection of routes for inclusion was somewhat arbitrary. Not listed are lines operated by a city streetcar company which might be considered as "suburban", and not extending into another metropolitan area. For this page, another metropolitan area usually means an area served by a different transit authority. Or for Boston, outside the area served by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). Although the distinction between "suburban" and "interurban" is often blurred, considering the dense population and short distances between metropolitan areas. As many people do commute into Boston from areas served by other transit authorities, such as Brockton, Lawrence, or Lowell, which in a way could be considered as larger "suburbs" of Boston.

BLUE HILL STREET RAILWAY CO.
Mattapan-Canton-Stoughton (1899-1922)

Replacement bus service operated by Canton & Blue Hill Bus Co., acquired in 1940's by Hudson Bus Lines as a subsidiary. Hudson Bus Lines ceased operations in 1994, and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subsequently contracted with several different bus companies to operate the route.

BRISTOL & NORFOLK STREET RAILWAY CO.
Holbrook-Stoughton (1903-1916?)

BROCKTON & PLYMOUTH STREET RAILWAY CO.
Brockton-Plymouth (1900-1928)

Reorganized as Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Co., which operated replacement bus service, and continues to exist as a bus company. Original route discontinued by 1960's, with bus service evolving to commuter and airport service.

CONCORD MAYNARD & HUDSON STREET RAILWAY
Concord-Hudson (1901-1923)

CONNECTICUT VALLEY STREET RAILWAY CO.
Greenfield-Northampton (1903-1924)

EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS STREET RAILWAY (WITHIN MBTA AREA)
Boston-Lynn-Marblehead (1859-1935) [MBTA 441]
Boston-Salem-Beverly (until 1935) [MBTA 450-451]
Lynn-Saugus (1902-1935) [MBTA 429]
Saugus-Wakefield (1902-1924) [bus disc. 1931]
Salem-Danvers-Lawrence (1907-1935) [MBTA 458 disc. 2002]
Boston-Reading (1854-1931) [MBTA 136/137]
Reading-Lawrence (1900-1931) [MBTA 137]
Reading-Lowell (1895-1931) [MBTA 136]
Boston-Winchester-Woburn-Lowell (1901-1921) [MBTA 350]
Boston-Dedham-Norwood-East Walpole (1896-1932) [MBTA 34E]
Boston-Brockton (1896-1930) [MBTA 240-BAT]
Boston-Quincy (1899-1948) [MBTA 210]
Quincy-Nantasket (1899-1933) [MBTA 220]
Quincy-Braintree-Holbrook-Brockton (1894-1935) [MBTA 230-BAT]

Replacement bus service continued to be operated by the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, which was sold to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in 1968. MBTA bus route numbers are indicated in brackets. Service had been discontinued by Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway in 1931 between Saugus and Wakefield. Bus service between Boston and Lowell via Winchester and Woburn was operated from 1921 to 1923 by Lovell Bus Lines, 1923 to 1926 by Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway, 1926 to 1957 by Boston & Maine Transportation Co., and after 1957 by Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway. The outlying areas of Brockton, Lawrence, and Lowell, are outside the MBTA area. And MBTA eventually discontinued service to these areas. Official MBTA information is available at the MBTA Web site. The outlying areas are now served by the Brockton Area Transit Authority, the Merrimac Valley Regional Transit Authority (Lawrence), and the Lowell Regional Transit Authority, official information is available at those Web sites.

EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS STREET RAILWAY (OUTSIDE MBTA AREA)
Beverly-Gloucester (1895-1920)
Gloucester-Rockport (1895-1920)
Beverly-Newburyport (1900-1920)
Newburyport-Haverhill (1892-1930)
Haverhill-Lawrence-Lowell (1893-1931)
Brockton-Taunton (1897-1931)
Taunton-Providence (1898-1927)
Taunton-Fall River (1897-1931)
Fall River-Newport (1898-1920's)
Brockton-New Bedford (1897-1919)

The Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway operated replacement bus service on all segments, except for early rail abandonments north of Beverly to Gloucester, Rockport, and Newburyport, and lines to Newport and New Bedford. Rail service in the Gloucester area was abandoned in 1920, with replacement bus service operated by Gloucester Auto Bus Co., which operated only locally in the area. After that time, the only local transit connection between Boston area and Gloucester area was Hemeon Motor Coach, between Beverly and Manchester. Route was later acquired by Michaud Bus Lines. Service in Gloucester area eventually evolved to publicly owned Cape Ann Transportation Authority. Prior to the 1968 sale of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, several Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway divisions were sold to other companies. The Haverhill Division was sold in 1959 to Massachusetts Northeastern Transportation Co., the Taunton Division was sold in 1960 to Udna's, and the Fall River Division was sold in 1965 to Short Line, which in 1971 became Bonanza Bus Lines. Massachusetts Northeastern Transportation Co. bus service was assumed in 1965 by Appleyard Bus Lines, sold in 1970 to Michaud Bus Lines, and assumed in 1974 by publicly owned Merrimac Valley Regional Transit Authority . During the 1970's, Bonanza Bus Lines had a basic route from Boston to Taunton, Fall River, and Newport RI, entirely over former Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway routes. In 1979, the more local service between Boston and Fall River was sold to Bloom Bus Lines. While Bonanza Bus Lines is now a subsidiary of Peter Pan Bus Lines.

LOWELL & FITCHBURG STREET RAILWAY
North Chelmsford-Ayer (1906-1916?)

MASSACHUSETTS NORTHEASTERN STREET RAILWAY CO.
Newburyport-Amesbury-Merrimack-Haverhill (1892-1930)
Hampton Beach NH-Amesbury-Newton-Plaistow-Haverhill (1902-1928)
Haverhill-Pelham-Lowell (1902-1928)
Haverhill-Lawrence (1902-1930)

Replacement bus service operated by Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway Co., renamed in 1924 to Massachusetts Northeastern Transportation Co. In 1965, bus service assumed by Appleyard Bus Lines, sold in 1970 to Michaud Bus Lines. Service assumed in 1974 by publicly owned Merrimac Valley Regional Transit Authority .

MIDDLESEX & BOSTON STREET RAILWAY
Boston-Framingham (1895-1931?)
Framingham-Hopkinton-Worcester (1902-1931?)
Boston-Lexington-Bedford-Billerica (1900-1931?)

By 1958, replacement bus service operated by Middlesex & Boston Street Railway had been discontinued between Bedford and Billerica and between Hopkinton and Worcester, and sold between Framingham and Hopkinton. Remaining bus service was sold to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in 1972. Route between Boston and Framingham became MBTA route 531, which was discontinued in 1981, after which several private companies unsuccessfully attempted to operate service until 1989. While route between Boston and Bedford continues to operate as MBTA route 62. Official MBTA information is available at the MBTA Web site. Segment between Framingham and Hopkinton had been sold in 1958 to Carlstrom Bus Lines, sold in 1969 to Bernard Bus Lines, and sold in 1970 to Boston-Worcester Corp., which had evolved from the Boston & Worcester Street Railway. Boston-Worcester Corp. was sold in 1971 to Gray Line, which sold the route in 1972 to Wellesley Fells Bus Lines, which in 1974 emerged as the operator of local bus service in Framingham. Wellesley Fells Bus Lines was sold in 1979 to Suburban Lines, which turned the route over to the publicly owned LIFT system, which had been formed in Framingham in 1984. In 2007, LIFT was replaced with the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority.

MILFORD & UXBRIDGE STREET RAILWAY CO.
South Framingham-Milford-Uxbridge (1896-1928)
Milford-Hopkinton (1896-1928)
Milford-Medway (1896-1928)

Replacement bus service between Framingham and Uxbridge operated by Milford Framingham & Uxbridge Coach Co., originally a subsidiary of Milford Framingham Hopedale & Uxbridge Street Railway, which had acquired Milford & Uxbridge Street Railway prior to abandonment of rail service. Replacement bus service from Milford to Hopkinton and Medway operated by Johnson Bus Lines.

NORTHERN MASSACHUSETTS STREET RAILWAY CO.
Fitchburg-Gardner (1900-1924)
Gardner-Athol-Orange (1894-1924)

PLYMOUTH & SANDWICH STREET RAILWAY
Plymouth & Sandwich (1899-1916?)

PROVIDENCE & FALL RIVER STREET RAILWAY CO.
Fall River-Providence RI (1901-1916?)

SPRINGFIELD STREET RAILWAY CO.
Springfield-Worcester (After 1902)

UNION STREET RAILWAY CO.
New Bedford-Fall River (1894-1932)
New Bedford-Wareham-Onset-Monument Beach (After 1901)
Middleboro-Wareham (After 1901)

Replacement bus service continued at least into 1970's to Fall River, service between those two cities now provided by publicly owned Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.

WARE & BROOKFIELD STREET RAILWAY CO.
Ware-West Brookfield (1905-1916?)

WORCESTER CONSOLIDATED STREET RAILWAY CO.
Worcester-Clinton-Fitchburg (1898-1927)
Worcester-Sterling-Fitchburg (1898-1927)
Worcester-Uxbridge-Woonsocket RI (1897-1927)

Also operated local service in Worcester. Interurban bus service introduced in 1925 by New England Transportation Co. over route between Providence and Fitchburg, which would replace rail service. New England Transportation Co. sold in 1958 to Short Line, which continued service through 1960's.


ADDITIONAL ELECTRIC RAILWAYS

Information is more sketchy for these electric railways which were not listed in the above mentioned "Trolley Wayfinder". All were located in Norfolk County, southwest of Boston.

DEDHAM & FRANKLIN STREET RAILWAY
Dedham-Franklin (1899-1912)

NORFOLK & BRISTOL STREET RAILWAY
Norwood-Wrentham (1901-1919)

NORWOOD CANTON & SHARON STREET RAILWAY
Norwood-Sharon (1901-1912?)


Much information is from the Poor's and Moody investment manuals from past years.


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