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[p. 57]

A pile bridge carried the rails across Charles river. Miller's river in East Cambridge, and Mystic river between Charlestown and Medford; while granite abutments that still remain buried in the embankment, carried the track at an elevation of nine feet above the water in the canal in the western corner of Medford, adjoining the crooked corner of then Charlestown.1 Similar bridges were built where other streams were crossed, and this pioneer railroad was ready for the rolling stock and its opening for public use.

In planning the enterprise it was expected that the road when graded and laid with a single track would cost $168,000, or if with double tracks $320,000. It was very soon found that the cost of construction had been underestimated and one thousand shares of stock at $500 per share were placed on the market. But three hundred and fifty of these were disposed of when the sale stopped, and a little later the corporation came under the control of men who were the ‘Proprietors of Locks and Canals’ at Lowell. By them the road was slowly but surely carried to completion, and it was then found to have cost $1,800,000, or almost eleven times the original estimate. When completed the Pawtucket Canal Company was at the fore. Its day of triumph over its long time rival, the Middlesex Canal, was at hand. The eventful day came at last, thirty-three years later than the canal opening, a new generation of people to serve and be served, and the first steam train of passenger cars set out and passed over the railroad from Lowell to Boston on Wednesday, June 24, 1835. This direction may seem singular but the writer has the statement from an eye-witness.

The engine was built in England and was there purchased. The writer is informed by credible evidence that it was shipped from Boston,—via the canal to Lowell.

1 As a matter of record and because of the changes being made at the present time by the Metropolitan Park Commission be it noted that the canal's location was northerly thirty paces from the five mile post. By their recent change in the course of the river the boundary line between Medford and present Somerville (hitherto apparent) may only be found by survey.

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Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
Mystick River (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Charles (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
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William H. Miller (1)
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