Needham Line

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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BandA
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Needham Line

Post by BandA »

My first impression from reading the Glob article is: "800 apartments, that won't cause any school overcrowding". Even if mitigation funds cover all capital expenses, adding new students is usually a net cost to existing taxpayers, driving up real estate taxes. But government officials see it as a short-term opportunity to expand/maintain the bureaucracy without an explicit tax override.

This large development at the corner of Needham St & Oak St I think extends all the way to the train tracks by the preserved Upper Falls train station at the corner of Oak St & Chestnut St, last used circa 1930? Since RT 9 and Needham St / Highland Ave, 128, and other roads in Newton and Needham are all overcrowded, rail + trail Green Line to Needham seems more of a no-brainer every day and would attract lots of riders almost instantly, assuming adequate parking lots (and secure bike racks) are created.

Moving Eliot Station in Thompsonville (actually on Lincoln St not Eliot St) a few blocks east would require land taking, and would probably be pretty expensive to build a new station. And the existing station has some kind of small parking lot. Although the idea of a pedestrian connection between Woodward St to Easy St is intriguing. Building a pedestrian / bicycle bridge across the Green Line and crossing parking lots would be a worthwhile standalone project and would make Eliot Station accessible from Needham St / Dedham St area. Eliot Station is about 3500 feet from Newton Highlands, so moving it a couple blocks closer doesn't seem to be worth the $millions.

charlesriverbranch
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Re: Needham Line

Post by charlesriverbranch »

According to an old MBRRE trip brochure, there was a freight agent at the Newton Upper Falls station until 1980.

charlesriverbranch
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Re: Needham Line

Post by charlesriverbranch »

The Upper Falls Greenway, the bike trail on the old Charles River Branch right-of-way in Newton Upper Falls, seems pretty useless for commuters, as it doesn't provide access to Eliot station or Newton Highlands station, but dead ends just past East Street. If it did, and the bridge over 128 still existed, it could be used to walk or bike from Needham Heights to the Green Line, saving me a lot of time. I currently have to walk to Central Avenue to get under 128, cross the river via Echo Bridge, turn left on Chestnut Street to get under Route 9, and then walk along Route 9 over the hill to Eliot station.

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BandA
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Re: Needham Line

Post by BandA »

That's another reason to put the bridge back over 128, to provide better connectivity to the "bike" path aka greenway! And if they put back the bridge for the greenway, might as well do rail + trail at the same time since the ROW is wide enough!!!

charlesriverbranch
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:53 am

Re: Needham Line

Post by charlesriverbranch »

Is it? It was only a single track when it was in use. If there's room for a trail next to the track, then any service to Needham would have to run both ways on the same track. Something like the old Newton Lower Falls branch "ping-pong", maybe? A single car that just shuttles between Newton Highlands and Needham Heights?
Last edited by CRail on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

Tallguy
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Re: Needham Line

Post by Tallguy »

Single track LRT is not that unusual. There is another single track bridge just east of 128.There is a good sized passer just south of Needham Heights which could be enough for decent operations

atlantis
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 8:33 am

Re: Needham Line

Post by atlantis »

A good example of single track LRT is the "River Line" between Trenton and Camden New Jersey. This line has large sections of single track and even runs on diesel power. This method could be a model for any future Needham/Newton light rail at least as far as cost goes.
If Boston to Cape Cod rail service occurs in 2012 I will eat a jelly doughnut dipped in tomato sauce.

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