Commuter Rail Going Electric

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

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Commuterrail1050
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:25 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by Commuterrail1050 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:19 pm

Jay no need to be rude on here! I was stating as my opinion that hybrid would be better if a power outage were to occur so it would have backup power to keep moving. It's to prevent trains from getting stuck without power such as the amtraks for example. That's all I was saying. If the electricity were like the subways as third rail, then I see it as a benefit. For the catenary wires, it's not good for that reason.

RenegadeMonster
Posts: 563
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:19 am

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by RenegadeMonster » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:29 pm

doepack wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:21 am
I don't know what the local political climate is like there, but I think you'd have a better chance on selling the NIMBY's the environmental and quieter advantages of electric operation. From what I've seen, NIMBY opposition to proposed expansion of diesel operations is usually a lot louder...
The local political environment would not be favorable to it. They would rather see rail eliminated altogether than install canary poles and wires.

A year or two back when they were proposing adding wifi too commuter rail there was vast opposition and communities seeking to block it. They put the project on hold indefinitely. Why? Wifi would have required installing cell towers along the rail to provide service. The concerns were the towers would be an eye sore and reduce their property values. The rails go right through some very affluent neighborhoods full of mansions. The same argument will for sure be brought against canary poles and wires. I have heard complaints about the poles added when they installed PTC. Of course these complaints are all by the very affluent people who own mansions who don't ever use the commuter rail. Those of us who are not affluent and part of the working class who use the commuter rail to commute into Boston would be all for it.

jaymac
Posts: 3869
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:08 pm

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by jaymac » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:51 pm

Commuterrail1050 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:19 pm
Jay no need to be rude on here! I was stating as my opinion that hybrid would be better if a power outage were to occur so it would have backup power to keep moving. It's to prevent trains from getting stuck without power such as the amtraks for example. That's all I was saying. If the electricity were like the subways as third rail, then I see it as a benefit. For the catenary wires, it's not good for that reason.
I try not to be "rude on here" or anywhere else, for that matter. To help me realize my goals, I'd appreciate your pointing out the particulars of my rudeness. Feel free to PM if you'd like to.
To discuss substance, third-rail distribution means lower-voltage -- 600 V -- distribution which has generally been DC. Third-rail -- besides grade crossing and other ROW safety concerns -- also has line-loss issues from its lower voltage that require more frequent substations, safety and infrastructure concerns together producing an increase in costs and liability-exposure issues. No system is exempt from failure, but systems that are more complex -- like still-to-be-proven heavy-rail transit hybrids -- would seem more prone to failure.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.

mirage
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 am

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by mirage » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:47 pm

RenegadeMonster wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:29 pm
doepack wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:21 am
I don't know what the local political climate is like there, but I think you'd have a better chance on selling the NIMBY's the environmental and quieter advantages of electric operation. From what I've seen, NIMBY opposition to proposed expansion of diesel operations is usually a lot louder...
The local political environment would not be favorable to it. They would rather see rail eliminated altogether than install canary poles and wires.

A year or two back when they were proposing adding wifi too commuter rail there was vast opposition and communities seeking to block it. They put the project on hold indefinitely. Why? Wifi would have required installing cell towers along the rail to provide service. The concerns were the towers would be an eye sore and reduce their property values. The rails go right through some very affluent neighborhoods full of mansions. The same argument will for sure be brought against canary poles and wires. I have heard complaints about the poles added when they installed PTC. Of course these complaints are all by the very affluent people who own mansions who don't ever use the commuter rail. Those of us who are not affluent and part of the working class who use the commuter rail to commute into Boston would be all for it.
Yes, but the WIFI poles were 74 ft high and thus viewable in all directions from blocks away Much different situation than the 20 ft catenary in my mind and WIFI isnt a critical need so it was easy to fight against it.

mirage
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 am

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by mirage » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:54 pm

jaymac wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:59 am
To this nonprofessional, it seems the easiest and least expensive transition would be to replace diesels with straight electrics. Existing car stock would not have to be replaced on a wholesale basis and could cover the entire system, regardless of whether total conversion had yet taken place.Yes, EMUs would have the advantage of greater acceleration, but to borrow a lesson from the B&M's Budd history, with the Highliners' greater acceleration also came -- as the fleet aged -- more failure points and more expenses. On the subject of the B&M, numbers of through-truss bridges will also add issues for catenary clearance, especially if there's a push for full double-stack clearance to Portland.
If T/MASSDot service west of Worcester should happen, those complications get added, as well. Presumably, any Springfield-Pittsfield extension would be diesel.
Good ideas don't always happen, as demonstrated by the the NH's early 20th century plans -- however preliminary -- to cross under Boston Harbor before SCOTUS ended Mellon control of the B&M.
You also have to take into account that all the current rolling stock is out of date already and most are past their intended service life. Its not like they are going to throwing away tons of rolling stock that is in good condition and/or up to modern standards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MBTA_Comm ... ling_stock

rr503
Posts: 704
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 4:13 pm
Location: North by Northwest

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by rr503 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Electric trains also eliminate diesel emissions, a favorite target of property owners opposing the expansion of rail service. Which is to say, I would be somewhat surprised if adjacent property owners are unified in opposition.

CRail
Posts: 2381
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Commuter Rail Going Electric

Post by CRail » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:18 pm

Closed for housekeeping. The quoting is out of control here and since electrification has been beaten to death for so long (prior to recent developments making the discussion warranted) that I’m sure there’s another topic to blend this with.
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