Mile 2: Dike Street, Providence, Rhode Island

Side by side comparisons of the 1894 and 2021 USGS Providence Quadrangles, showing the urban stations on the Hartford Providence and Fishkill

Dike Street Station is the second and final HP&F stop that still has Northeast Corridor passenger rail going through it. Our next stop, Arlington, is after the HP&F parts ways with the Northeast Corridor a bit further up the line. This stop served the Waterman-Weybosset Mill. It was also where the Providence and Springfield, also called the Pascoag Line, diverged from the HP&F tracks. At the junction with the Pascoag branch the 1939 RI State Aerial photos show a yard, which Edward Ozog calls the Olneyville Team yard. More information and a vintage photograph can be found on his site, here.

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A vintage Form 31 Conductor's Cash Fare Ticket, showing Dike Street as a stop
Conductor's Cash Fare Form 31 Ticket from early 20th century, showing Atwell Ave and Dike Street stations. Notably, they are listed with the Pascoag Line stations (that line branched off, as we shall see, in Olneyville just past Dike St) and the other HP&F stations are absent from this ticket. It is not known if this means this ticket dates from after the end of passenger service, or if the HP&F local service in Rhode Island would have been on another form. I have in my posession a Form 32 ticket from about the same time as this and a later form 3 ticket that list HP&F stations from Waterbury to Willimantic as part of service through Putnam and Franklin to Boston.
The Northeast Corridor Tracks past the Dike St. Station Site
The Northeast Corridor Tracks past the Dike St. Station Site. I am not entirely sure why the near track is at a lower level, but this page on Senator Reed's website might be related. There was a lot of concern about the electrification of the Northeast Corridor, and that the catenary wire would stop autoracks and other large freight cars from being used. The FRIP project was created to make sure that there were dedicated freight tracks to move such cars, and I wonder if this track was lowered for related reasons (maybe the Westminster St or other bridges were too low. (11/2023)
A vintage picture of the Weybosset Mill and Dike Street Station
A vintage picture scanned by Google Books of the Weybosset Mill and Dike Street Station. This is from the 1901 book A Sketch of the Mills of the American Woolen Company and can be found on Google Books here.
Looking across the Northeast Corridor to the site of Dike St Station
Looking across the Northeast Corridor to the site of Dike St Station. This is shot from one of the ramps connecting Westminster St to RI-10 or US-6  during construction in November, 2023. We are looking directly down Dike St, from the vintage photo above the station would be adjacent to the tracks and to the left of Dike St. Both this picture and the above picture are from similar vantage points, with Dike Street leaving the tracks and heading west, and that's confusing because the buildings are entirely different today than in 1901 (11/2023.)
A view of the Dike Street Station Site from southbound MBTA Train № 815
A view of the Dike Street Station Site from southbound MBTA Train № 815. The station would have been just past the yellow jersey barriers that mark the end of Dike Street (12/2023.)
A view of the Dike Street Station Site from southbound MBTA Train № 815.
A view of the Dike Street Station Site from southbound MBTA Train № 815. This is immediately adjacent to the station site, as the yellow jersey barriers marking the end of Dike Street are very near the train (12/2023.)
The site of Dike St Station, looking back towards the Weybosset Mill
The site of Dike St Station, looking back towards the Weybosset Mill (11/2023)
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards the tracks
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards the tracks (11/2023)
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards Westminster St.
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards Westminster St. (11/2023)
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards Cranston
The site of Dike St Station, looking towards Cranston. (11/2023)
These triangular buildings occupy the railroad frontage between Dike Street and the next street south, Oak Street. The Pascoag Branch began at Oak Street
These triangular buildings occupy the railroad frontage between Dike Street and the next street south, Oak Street. The Pascoag Branch began at Oak Street. The brick buildings in the back don't appear in the 1939 Rhode Island State aerial photographs, but are in the 1962 ones and and, the branch passed in front of the  and under the ramps to US 6, which are running to the west. This photo was taken from southbound MBTA train № 815 (12/2023.)
A view of the ramps to US 6. The Pascoag Branch curved away in front of the brick building here and under the ramps to the west
A view of the ramps to US 6. The Pascoag Branch curved away in front of the brick building here and under the ramps to the west. This is from an instant later on southbound train 815 (12/2023.)
A school bus depot in Olneyville on the site of the former yail yard
A school bus depot in Olneyville on the site of the former yail yard. Edward Ozog calls it the Olneyville Team Yard, and he has photos of it available here (12/2023.)

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