Box In Boston. On July 7, 2018, Amtrak/Amtrak Downeaster Train 690 was arriving at North Station in Boston, Massachusetts under some beautiful summer morning sunshine with F40NPCU (Non-Powered Control Unit) 406 leading. The "box" moniker is a nickname derived from the cowl design of the locomotive, allowing the crew to walk through the interior from the cab to the rear. The train has just crossed the Charles River over the pair of 1931 single-leaf, through-truss, rolling bascule bridges originally built for the Boston & Maine Railroad. The Phase III heritage paint of this unit is very recognizable in this city, as prior to electrification of the Northeast Corridor they held down the assignment from New Haven, Connecticut to Boston, but powered those trains to South Station. AMTK 406 (F40PHR, EMD, 1/1988) was rebuilt to serve as the cab unit for the 40th Anniversary Train, and has seen intermittent service on various state supported routes requiring this type of equipment, though is presently out of service.
Once treated like a backwater with decrepit locomotives, cars and track, Massachusetts has become a star in the Amtrak constellation with electrification to Boston, service to Maine and an upgraded Connecticut Valley line.