Historic Railroad Map of New England - 1898

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Electric Railway Map of Eastern New England.

This outline map showing parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island was published in 1898 by Geo. H. Walker & Co. It displays cities, towns, counties, and existing and proposed electric railroads which are highlighted in red. Included are names of lines and junction points.

In 1898 construction of Boston’s South Station was proceeding. The station was designed as a union terminal to replace four separate terminals serving four separate railroads. The Neoclassical façade of the new station housed a 12-foot wide clock which was styled after London’s Big Ben. After its opening in January of 1899, the South Station quickly became one of the nation’s busiest terminals. Although it was renamed the Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center in 2014, most still refer to it as South Station.

In the era of this map, New York banker J.P. Morgan was acquiring railroad after railroad in New England in his attempt to control rail travel throughout the region. Morgan’s New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad had dominated in New England since the early 1870's. Morgan’s new endeavor entailed acquiring some fifty railroad and steamship lines and establishing a network of electric trolley lines to provide dependable interurban transportation for all southern New England. The railroad, familiarly named the New Haven, was exposed for its monopolizing practices in the early 1900's. An anti-trust lawsuit in 1913 forced the railroad to end its trolley systems.

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