The Tremont Street Subway is a tunnel in Boston's subway system, and is the oldest subway tunnel in North America, opening on September 1 1897. It was originally built as a tunnel to get streetcar lines off the streets, rather than a rapid transit line. It now forms the central part of the Green Line, connecting the Park Street station to Government Center.
The tunnel originally serviced stations at Park Street, Scollay Square, and Adams Square. The latter two stations were substantially altered when Government Center and City Hall replaced Scollay Square and Adams Square in 1963. Adams Square was closed altogether, and Scollay Square station was completely renovated and altered, and the northbound tunnel to Haymarket was rerouted, though the southbound tunnel is still original. The original entrances were in the Public Gardens, at North Station/Canal Street, and at Pleasant Street. The Pleasant Street tunnel still exists as of March 2006, but is disused and the Pleasant Street Incline is sealed. The other portals have been closed as the line has been further extended.
From its inception, the subway used trolleys powered by electricity from overhead lines, made possible by the invention of the trolley pole in 1880 by Frank J. Sprague. However, the modern line has been pantograph-only since the trolley wires were removed in the 1990s.
The Tremont Street Subway is now a National Historic Landmark.
The original owner was the private West End Street Railway, later the Boston Elevated Railway. Public ownership began in 1947 with the Metropolitan Transit Authority, later reconstituted as the modern Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
TRANSIT ARCHEOLOGYAbandoned tunnels mark subway footprint ; Tour of abandoned subway network offers a glimpse of how the T was built
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