GREATER BOSTON TERMINAL ZONE
Proposed by George E Willett in Norwood.
Would Remedy Long Routing of Freight for Nearby Places.
All Transportation to Be Under One Company.
NORWOOD. Feb 3—The establishment of a Greater Boston terminal zone and the taking over under one operating company of all the transportation problems within that zone—such was the generous program offered by George F. Willett of the Norwood Civic Association, at whose rooms were gathered some 50 delegates from Boards of Trade of Metropolitan Boston to discuss local transportation questions today, the guests of the Norwood Board of Trade.
Mr Willett is the organizer of the association and his paper was the feature tf the afternoon session. He premised his talk with the argument that the Metropolitan District requires and deserves adequate transportation service, which can be secured only if transportation companies and investors amicable to obtain a reasonable return.
Of the existing passenger service he found “a noticeable lack of both steam and electric facilities connecting points located only a few miles apart, but situated on different lines” and “reasonable service in the majority of cases provided only between points located on the same division”.
Freight service in the Metropolitan Zone he found even worse, owing to the lack of direct connection between the New Haven on the south and the Boston & Maine on the north.
He cited several examples of slow circuitous routing. A shipment from Lynn to Hyde Park, about 25 miles by existing lines would travel by way of Salem, Lawrence, Lowell, Mansfield and Readville, a distance of more than 300 miles, and would require six days in transit.
The route from Norwood to Peabody, 35 miles apart, would be 144 miles long, taking five or six days, by way of Putnam, Conn, Ayer and Salem. Norwood and Hyde Park are only seven miles apart and on the same road, but the rente is from Norwood to Boston and back through Readville, a total of 27 miles, requiring two or three days.
Mr Willett’s recommendations are for the appointment of a committee which should start investigations and draft legislation looking to the following object:
“The organization of a terminal company, along the same lines as the Boston Terminal Company, to take over, within a zone to be later determined, all properties, including rights of way, stations, rolling stock, freight yards, etc, of the New Haven, Boston & Maine and Boston & Albany Railroads, all steamship docks and terminals and all electric lines.”
The company would be financed by bonds, possibly guaranteed by the State, which with its stock would be issued widely for public sale. Earnings in excess of 6 percent would be divided between the company and the State and the interests of the public would be conserved by the Public Service Commission.
The advantages in service would include the system of belt lines and circuits, the accomplishment of the project for a tunnel between the North and South Terminals, electrification of the lines and consequently more frequent stops.
James A. Halloran of Norwood was named chairman of the meeting and George Harding Smith of Norwood secretary. The board’s invitations had been accepted by the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Boards of Trade of Abington, Arlington, Cambridge, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Everett, Framingham, Hyde Park, Malden, Medfield, Milton, Natick, Needham. Newton, Peabody, Quincy, Reading, Salem, Sharon, Somerville, Stoneham, Stoughton, Wakefield, Walpole, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston, Westwood and Weymouth. Most of them sent delegates, and there was present also Sec Richard L. Gay of the Massachusetts State Board of Trade.
All the delegates took part in the afternoon’s discussion, and Mr Willett’s plan was universally praised. It was voted to hold a second meeting at the Boston City Club Tuesday afternoon, Feb 15, and a committee to effect temporary organization was appointed, consisting of George F. Willett of Norwood, J. F. Higgins of Framingham, Arthur W. Berry of Somerville, W. H. Day Jr of Lynn, 15. Sutcliffe. C. H. Higgins of Arlington, E. Clarence Hovey Jr of Cohasset. George F. Joyce of Dedham, Henry Riegel of Needham and Frank E, Perkins of Abington.
In the evening a banquet was given by the Norwood Board of Trade, the president of which, Alden F. Parker, gave the visitors welcome. Chairman Edward F. Mchweeney of the Fort Directors spoke on the industrial development of the port of Boston and incidentally warmly praised Mr Willett’s plan, Port Director Lombard Williams also spoke.