BandA wrote: NH2060 wrote:
On their website there's a map-like graphic on the right hand side that hints of a possible New London-Norwich-Plainfield-Worcester service down the line.
There's also a rendering of the platform @ Worcester Union Station:
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Why is a new platform needed? I'm assuming it's so arriving and departing can be handled simultaneously + a freight running through. I would think, sweep the old platform & repair the canopy. Wait for the service to prove itself before building platforms.
While you don't technically need
a new platform, with the added Providence <-> Worcester service traffic, the scheduling of platform access would make get quite complex and tight; there's only one platform currently in Worcester. Going to the original NH/B&M platform location would only operationally impede one movement (traffic coming east off of the B&A mainline and going north, and vice-versa). This way also avoids whatever service provider also having to convince the MBTA to let them have access to the existing platforms, something not having to be done if you build the new platform. Also, despite being on an elevated structure, it'd still probably be cheaper than what Woonsocket has to do to build an entirely new station and supporting facilities (parking, etc).
I have mixed feelings about going forward with building a station as in Woonsocket proper as opposed to in Blackstone. While Woonsocket does largely make more sense than Blackstone as far as being central to the population and downtown area, putting a station in Blackstone obviously has the potential to link up with the potential re-adding of the now Franklin Line service back out to Blackstone. I don't know how reasonable it would be to have both Woonsocket and Blackstone as stops on a Providence <-> Worcester service, considering how close they are. Of course, there's really few other feasible stops on such a service (maybe a I-295 park-and-ride?), so the time hit might not be too major.
As for the station stops on a potential New London-Worcester service, I'm surprised that there aren't other stops on such a line. While the population density is really sparse throughout this region (hence why this kind of service would be better accomplished by a few RDCs rather than locomotive-hauled trains), the population tends to be very clumped together along the Norwich & Worcester line and the rivers it follows, because of mill towns. Offhand, I think Webster, Oxford, Putnam, and Danielson would all be good places to put stations and station stops. Groton would be a good idea, too, but I am perplexed at where you would put it. Serving Naval Station New London would be a very good idea, and that would generate a fair bit of traffic for the line alone; I took SLE into New London for a couple of months, and I frequently saw servicemen waiting for trains (be they Amtrak or SLE). But I still am fond of the idea of having a station at the wye with the NEC, where a station has already historically stood. There's a fair bit of land within the area of the wye, especially since it used to be a former railroad yard; putting a station here could service both New London <-> Worcester trains as well as a service extension of SLE. You'd probably be able to finagle a third track on the NEC to keep the line clear for movements, as well. There definitely were sidings on the NEC third of the wye, but today it would require reconfiguring the added electrification. There's no reason you'd have to touch the beautifully maintained SS-119 there, either.