An Old System, Much Evolved

Boston's transportation network includes three heavy rail subway routes.   Each operates its own equipment; nothing is interchangeable, nor are there any track connections between the lines.

The antecedents of the Red, Blue and Orange Lines go back to the early decades of the last century.  There has been much relocation, expansion, updating, and removal of elevated trackage over the years.  The use of the color-coding dates to the mid-1960s; Boston was one of the first systems in the country to use this identification method. 

The lines are fully in subway under downtown, but have outdoor sections elsewhere, as well as other, sometimes substantial, underground portions.  Also under downtown is the main light rail route, the Green Line.  Taken together, the four routes form something of a jagged crosshatch under the irregular street pattern of center city.  There are transfer points in each case where lines intersect. 

These pages -- far too few to do any kind of real justice to the system -- present
some views of the system in Red, Blue, and Orange Line order.  The scene above is along the Red Line at the elevated Charles/MGH station.  Longfellow Bridge and some of the buildings of Cambridge are in the background.