For nostalgias's sake, I saw some interesting threadson alt.urban.transport about the old Providence subway trolley that I thoughtI'd reproduce here for posterity.
From: Derek J. Hallam
There are two tunnels that go under Providence'sEast Side.. One, I know a little about, It was built in 1912, and was RhodeIsland's "Subway" (Streetcar tunnel to get up college hill) and is nowused by Buses. The other, I stumbled across while walking down BenefitStreet, slightly north of Angell street. The portal was very large, probablybig enough to fit a full sized train through, although it was covered byiron sheeting, with only a small opening about the size of a door. I peekedmy head through, and there were rails in it. I wandered the East Side forabout a week until I finally found the other portal, It was in the FoxPoint section of Providence, over by a sport complex. There was water pouringout of it (There had been alot of rain that week) so I didn't peek in.Instead, I followed the ROW that was grown over, and it took me right tothe Railroad Bridge that spans the Seekonk river (Its now raised, impassable.)
To which Dave Snowden of Redondo Beach, CA replied:
Until the tracks at the old Union Station wereremoved, the "East Side Tunnel" was used by freights of the Providence& Worcester RR. The tunnel was originally double-tracked and lead offof track 4. Before 1940 there was an electric trolley line that ran fromUnionStation through the tunnel to Warren where one lineran to Bristol and the other branch split to Fall River running over anupper level of the Slade's Ferry Bridge.
Also, on the East Side after crossing the bridgethere were 2 lines to the north, one connected to the Northeast Corridorat Boston Switch, near Attleboro and the other connected with the Worcesterline near Central Falls.
All passenger trains to Boston ran via Pawtucketand were not routed through the tunnel, although the route could have beenused by a diesel train in an emergency. I do not know how freights madeit through the tunnel during the steam era. The New Haven ran "Race Trains"to Narragansett Park from Boston. I think there was a train fromProvidence and it would have been routed through the tunnel, then overthe bridge to the track which was in Pawtucket.
For some reason, the closed-off tunnel (includingthe whole ROW underthe Hill, and the permanently-raised drawbridge,and a bunch ofabandoned track across the river) appear on my Arrow'93 street map.Of course said map also has a bunch of other not-quite-currentstuffin that area as well.
My Father, who Worked at the old Supervaluwarehouse in EP (now closed) Which was right along the tracks on the EastProvidence side of the river, said to me just last night that every weekor so, a 4 car long freight train would go right through the Warehouseand it would need to be un-loaded inside the Warehouse, then it would continueon towards Pawtucket. So apparently, the trackage around there is stillused for freight deliverys to the industrial areas along the Seekonk River.