Danvers is a very interesting town, it had two railroads going through it at one time and most of the iron is still in place. There has been talk recently of restoring passenger service to Danvers via the Essex RR from Salem, to Peabody, up across to the Waters River trestle into Danvers. I decided that Danvers deserved it's own page.
The above topo map from the late 1800's shows the two lines that went through Danvers.
The Essex RR went from Salem to Peabody then turned North and headed into Danvers on it's way to Middleton, North Andover and finally Lawrence.
This is the line that theya re planning on using to restore passenger service to Danvers.
If you follow the line North from Peabody you will see where it crossed the Waters River, this is where the famous Waters River Trestle is. The trestle has been burned a few times and rebuilt a few times. It's still standing and you can take pictures of it but it's not safe for trains to run over it. The trestle will have to be rebuilt for the new rail service.
Here is a view of the trestle taken on May 18, 2002, the day it snowed. My camera doesn't have much of a zoom as you can tell. Peabody is to the left of the trestle, Danvers to the right.
Here is a more detailed topo map of Danvers. You can clearly see the route of the Essex RR coming up from Peabody as well as various sidings.
Above is a current map of Danvers. The line from the center of town, North towards Topsfield has been greyed out but you can see it if you look carefully.
Here is another current map, this one showing the line coming up from the center of Peabody.
With those maps for background, let's look at some current pictures of Danvers. These pictures, unless otherwise noted, were taken the weekend of 3-15 and 3-16 of 2003.
Essex RR looking North from grade crossing just North of route 128, Purchase St.
Purchase St crossing, looking South, route 128 is visible going over the tracks.
This little trestle is located in Danversport, just South of the former
Danversport station, this picture was taken from across the Crane River
on Clinton St.
If you look on the map you will see the trestle just North of where the line goes under Endicott St.
Same trestle in the very right of this picture. The line goes behind the Crane River condos. If there is going to be opposition to the restoration of rail service I suspect this is where it will start.
Not railroad related but I thought this burned out radio station was interesting. It's on Clinton St, across the Crane River from the tracks.
Danvers Junction station, formerly the Danvers Station. View from East side, looking West. It's being used by an oil company. I understand it's been donated to the town and may be moved and restord at some point. If you look at the current maps above, the station is located near where the two lines came together and at one time crossed over one another. '
Another view of the station.
A short distance up the tracks from the station is this freight house, recently repainted.
Looking South from the Freighthouse, the tracks are barely visible but it is worth noting that there is parking. I am not sure where they were planning on putting a new station, there is some parking in this area but not much.
This interesting pic shows the Essex RR as it curves towards the Newburyport
line. Originally the line went straight, past the station on the left and
on to Middleton.
In later years the portion beyond this station was abandoned and the line curved to the right and up to the yard. See the current maps and topos above.
Picture taken from same location except I'm turned around. This is the first grade crossing that would need to be dealt with assuming the station were up near the freighthouse. This is the Cherry St crossing.
This is the next crossing, a double crossing at Park and Elm Streets. This is a rather complicated intersection even without the tracks, cars coming from all directions.
View of the embankment taken from behind the McDonalds on High St / Route 35. This stretch of track is just North of Purchase St.
This view is looking North towards 128 from just South of route 128. Note the passing siding on the right. This siding continues for a quarter mile or so down towards the small trestle over the Crane River near the site of the former Danversport Station.
Turned around, now looking towards the Danversport Station.
I don't know how I missed this trestle before. It is just South of route 128 and carries a spur over the Crane River.
Another view looking North towards route 128. You can just barely see the switchstand for the siding up on the left.
Another view of the trestle just South of route 128. You can see route 128 and where the river goes under the highway.
Utility pipe crosses along with the trestle.
Switch points, and switch stand, route 128 is clearly visible as well. View is looking North.
Closeup of switchstand, trestle barely visible through the brush on the left.
Embankment of spur before the trestle.
Spur breaks off right after tracks pass under route 128.
Derail on the spur.
Closeup of derail.
Spur is in good shape.
Trestle is in good shape.
View from the spur as you approach the "mainline"
Looking south again on the Essex, just South of the spur.
View of the spur, not sure where it goes.
Looking towards the Crane River condos.
Down behind the Crane River condos, note the curbing for the platform at the former Danversport station.
Looking South, towards Peabody and a small trestle carrying the Essex over the Crane River.
Burned out radio station and tower across the Crane River.
Looking North again, note that the condos are not far from the tracks.
Another view showing relationship between tracks and condos.
Looking South, track is single again, note curbing on the left side for the former Danversport station.
Looking South, good view of the curbing.
Looking South towards smaller trestle carrying the line over the Crane River.
Rail over the side.
Trestle coming into view. Beyond the trestle is the bridge carrying Endicott Street over the tracks. A short distance beyond that is the Waters River trestle.