The writer has seen a few of the earlier cars, probably of the second type, in use. When discarded they were sold or parcelled out among employees of the road to be used by them for various purposes: woodsheds, henhouses, children's playhouses, and the like (minus wheels, however). They resembled very much the old style street cars and omnibuses, except that the doors were at the sides.
Old pictures show the ‘first steam train in America
’ on the Mohawk
Valley Railroad with stage coach bodies mounted on a frame and wheels, adapted to the rails.
The first type of car in use on the Boston
was a box-like structure with a seat on, or rather in, the roof, with a projecting platform or foot-board just below, and these at either end. To these the brakemen and conductor climbed in all kinds of weather and operated the brake in stopping, by means of a long lever.
The sills of the car projected somewhat at each corner and were padded with leather, and a short chain of three links coupled the cars of the train together.
As these made trips only by daylight there were probably no lamps, and they were probably discarded for the second type before 1850, and perhaps earlier.
By the time the third type came in use it was the correct style to have the words ‘Lowell
’ or ‘Woburn Branch’ in metallic letters about a foot high on each side the car above the windows.
The Boston terminal was at the foot of Lowell street and there continued till late in the '50s. The writer's first knowledge of it was in '53, and just before the departure of a train an employee would shout ‘Ca-a-a-rs ready for’ and enumerate the various stops to be made.
Later there was a bell rung instead.
At Woburn Center (the branch was opened with one train each way daily on December 30, '44), that being a terminal, there was a bell in a little cupola on the roof.
This was rung for three minutes, beginning fifteen minutes before the time of the train's departure.
This was attended to by the station agent or brakeman.