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MBTA - Yard Track 6 Bridge


Photo taken by P. K. Lazrus


View this photo at mhc-macris.net

BH Photo #320362



Concrete deck arch carrying the MBTA Franklin Branch over the former Readville Yard's Track 6 at Milepost 10.12 in Dedham, Massachusetts. Yard Track 6 serviced an Engine Shop and a Blacksmith Shop that were located south of the main facility area. The last shop at the site was closed down in 1958, but this track was never ripped up; the passage underneath the bridge has not been filled in like the other two bridges/tunnels providing passage under the Franklin Branch. The Engine Shop to the south is still is extant as well, and is used as an industrial building.

MBTA Historical Property Survey 

Written by P. K. Lazrus

"The portion of the Franklin Line extending from Readville to Franklin was originally conceived of as two, short, branch lines; the Walpole Railroad, linking Walpole with Dedham, and the Norfolk County Railroad that ran from Walpole to Franklin. The Walpole Railroad was chartered but never actually built. It was vigorously contested because the populous wanted a local line independent from the larger rail lines planned to Connect Boston with New York City and the upstate Hudson River region. The Norfolk County Railroad, chartered in July, 1847, was promoted by wealthy Blackstone millowner Welcome Farnum (1796-1874). The line was opened for service from Boston to Blackstone on 16 May 1849. Farnum's plan was to extend the line through to the Hudson River in order to bring coal form Pennsylvania mines into New England. Farnum had the proposed route surveyed as far as the Hudson River at his own expense, and in 1853, the line was extended as far west as Southbridge, Massachusetts. Farnum's failure during the Panic of 1857 spelled the end of his involvement with the railroad, but the line was completed to Fishkill Landing on the Hudson in 1881. The Norfolk County Railroad went through several reorganizations, consolidations, and name changes between 1858 and 1869 when the line became part of the New York and New England Railroad. In 1898 the New York and New England became the last major acquisition to come under direct control of the New York New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

The concrete arch was probably constructed for four tracks but now carries two tracks. The bridge was located within the Readville Shop complex."

- Massachusetts Historical Commission (P.K. Lazrus, MBTA Historic Property Survey, 11/1987)


Deck arch bridge over Yard Track 6 on MBTA Franklin Branch
Dedham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Open to railway traffic above, and has not been filled.
Built 1906
- Commuter Rail
- Conrail (CR)
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
- New York & New England Railroad (NYNE)
- New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH)
- Norfolk County Railroad
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
Concrete deck arch
Span length: 22.0 ft.
Total length: 22.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.23584, -71.14439   (decimal degrees)
42°14'09" N, 71°08'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/323060/4678187 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
MHC BOS.9393
BH 66847 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 1, 2015: Essay added by Erich Pfistner