May 2015, Brookline

"d" branch

d-line by longwood  (sonya kovacic)

d-line by longwood (sonya kovacic)

Last August we looked at the average speeds of MBTA trains:

21.9 - Red Line (Braintree)
20.2 - Orange Line
19.5 - Green Line (D Branch)
18.3 - Red Line (Ashmont)
15.4 - Blue Line
8.1 - Green Line (E Branch)
7.8 - Green Line (B Branch)
6.9 - Green Line (C Branch)

(The fastest human alive, Usain Bolt, has been recorded at a speed of 27.4 mph.)

Why is the D branch so much faster than the other Green Line branches? Because it runs completely separate from cars.

According to Boston Streetcars, "the D branch's setup is very similar to that of the Mattapan Line, albeit slightly less scenic. The Mattapan Line runs along a former right-of-way of the Boston and New Haven Railroad, and likewise the D branch runs along a former right-of-way of the Boston and Albany Railroad.

The D branch, like the Mattapan Line, runs completely separate from cars, allowing for speedy and direct service from Newton and Brookline to downtown Boston. When the Boston and Albany Railroad abandoned the Highland Branch, the right-of-way the D branch uses today, in 1958, the MBTA acquired the right-of-way and converted it to run streetcars as opposed to the heavy-rail commuter trains that once ran along the route. New tracks were installed, and overhead wires were constructed above them."

Read why there are still streetcars in Boston.

On April 24th, 2015 the MBTA unveiled the Green Line's first tracking board on the D branch.