What you see here is the “new” train tracks where Amtrack trains run underneath the Providence Place Mall on their way to New York City and other points south.
Buddy Cianci gets a lot of credit for rebuilding the city of Providence into a vibrant center of culture and arts, but the true reason these train tracks follow this path is because a man named Warner was out drinking with his architect buddies in 1981. As the booze kept flowing, they sketched out a plan to move the rivers and the train tracks to more convenient locations so that more malls and other projects could be developed.
Yup, that’s right – here in Rhode Island we move rivers and trains to build malls. A reproduction of the bar napkin appears in the book “Providence: The Renaissance City” – complete with wine stains!