June 25, 2004

Last Elevated Train Runs in Boston

Greater Boston

On this day in 2004, Boston's last elevated train pulled into North Station. For over a century, Bostonians had avoided the congested streets below by riding trains carried on huge steel tracks overhead. When the El was built in 1901, people were thrilled to pay the five-cent fare to travel in mahogany-paneled cars from one shiny station to another. But over time city officials and most residents came to see the once-elegant El as a noisy eyesore. Gradually elevated lines were replaced with subways, and the tracks were demolished. The final run of the Green Line trolley on the last half-mile of elevated track marked a milestone in the modernization of the nation's oldest subway system, and, at the same time, the end of an era.

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