Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

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

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Lentinula
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by Lentinula »

CRail wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 8:44 pm
Going by the terminology typed in by a public information person who likely doesn't even use the train is what leads to your confusion. Clear this up for yourself, there is NO inbound or outbound platform. Any train can approach from either track in either direction.
what a disaster that is though. Inconvenient for passengers, and i'm sure far more time consuming for loading than it needs to be.

jamesinclair
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by jamesinclair »

Someone tell the MBTA that they're wrong

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CRail
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by CRail »

I give up. You’re right, tracks are just like streets and you must always stay to the right of the double yellow line. Wait on the “inbound” track for your inbound train and miss it every single day if the semantics are that important to you. Or maybe they should just run the inbound train on the “inbound track” because that’s the way it has to be and it can smash into the outbound train stopped at Newtonville every day. Yes, that would be better because “inbound” would be complied with.
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QB 52.32
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by QB 52.32 »

Lentinula wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:39 pm
what a disaster that is though. Inconvenient for passengers, and i'm sure far more time consuming for loading than it needs to be.
It's not a big deal for the bulk of the riders, the "regulars", but for that segment targeted for off-peak or peak-opposite-directional travel, the "casual" rider, it can be challenging (after having to hunt for parking).

CRail
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by CRail »

What happens with “normal” operations is that people get lulled into a routine and get all out of sorts if that routine gets disrupted. Trains run on opposite tracks all the time on all lines, very often as a “normal” operation. If you free your mind from the rigid confines of a norm that doesn’t exist you’ll be much safer and often less confused.
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ExCon90
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by ExCon90 »

Then somebody should tell the MBTA. An infrequent traveler might assume that the word INBOUND on the sign had some sort of official meaning ...
Lots of systems in this country and elsewhere display track numbers or platform numbers--then they can put a train anywhere they need to as long as they make timely announcements.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by njt/mnrrbuff »

On Metra's UP-W Line, they run on the opposite tracks the majority of the time. The Framingham-Worcester Line of MBTA has been doing opposite side running forever, I think. I think they have been doing that since CSX owned the line. Now that Mass owns the tracks, I think, who knows, maybe the state will change its mind to do traditional running.

Trinnau
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by Trinnau »

Not likely until at least the Newton platforms are flipped over in 5 or so years. Dave Perry has an excellent writeup on his blog from 2016 as to why the tracks are switched on the line. Some of the info is slightly out of date but it is still largely real.

johnpbarlow
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by johnpbarlow »

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:47 pm
On Metra's UP-W Line, they run on the opposite tracks the majority of the time. The Framingham-Worcester Line of MBTA has been doing opposite side running forever, I think. I think they have been doing that since CSX owned the line. Now that Mass owns the tracks, I think, who knows, maybe the state will change its mind to do traditional running.
The UP's W Metra line was built as the Chicago and Northwestern Railway back in the late 1800's and C&NW uniquely employed left hand running (a la UK) as normal v. the US historic standard of right hand running.

Also note that between Framingham and Worcester, the T runs inbound trains on track 2 and outbound trains on track 1 the vast majority of the time.

CRail
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by CRail »

The fact of the matter is trains can and will show up on either track, and that is never going change. The B&M signaled lines for right side running prior to centralized traffic control and with the exception of 2 segments on the north side ALL of it has been converted to bidirectional.

This is not a place to complain about the T, they have their own department for that. There is no debate to be had here, let’s move on.
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BandA
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by BandA »

jamesinclair wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:51 pm
Someone tell the MBTA that they're wrong

Image
This shows just how much the MBTA cares about Wellesley riders, and they care even less for Newton CR riders. Any train occupying Track 1 blocks in those Wellesley stations should trigger an automatic ??restricted speed?? on any train approaching on Track 2. There should be signaled track crossings at those stations, or go full ADA with elevators & overhead pedestrian bridges costing $millions.

ExCon90
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by ExCon90 »

CRail wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:28 am
The fact of the matter is trains can and will show up on either track, and that is never going change. The B&M signaled lines for right side running prior to centralized traffic control and with the exception of 2 segments on the north side ALL of it has been converted to bidirectional.

This is not a place to complain about the T, they have their own department for that. There is no debate to be had here, let’s move on.
They still need to provide some means of informing passengers which track the train is on before they see an approaching headlight.

Arborwayfan
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by Arborwayfan »

Maybe the T should change the inbound and outbound track signs at those stations to show track numbers, or letters, or call one side "Charlie" and the other "of the MTA", or anything that would be less strange-sounding than 'board the following inbound trains on the outbound platform and/or vice versa". This practice is (a) old and (b) consistent enough that I remember metal signs attached to the fences 25 years ago that said "board trains x, y, and z on the outbound platform," or something like that. The service alert that started this thread is clearly not about particular trains, but simply announcing what happens every day as scheduled. Sure the tracks are signaled for any train to show up on any track, but in practice it's planned and predictable and no one really needs to wait and then race across, right? If inbound and outbound were not painted up prominently and used to identify the platforms, many fewer people would be confused.

While it is true for operational possibilities, and also good safety advice, "expect your train on either track" is not a good strategy for getting passengers on board unless there is a center island platform. It's also not what the T or any other system does: they either schedule which platform will be used and post the schedule, or they announce the track to passengers in good time. The issue here, which is worth someone or everyone complaining to the T about, is that they have been using confusing signs and terminology to get a simple message about a sensible operating practice across for decades, and it still confuses people.

jamesinclair
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by jamesinclair »

Agreed. A simple monitor that says "4:02 - Boston - Track 1" would solve all these issues.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

charlesriverbranch
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Post by charlesriverbranch »

Arborwayfan wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 6:18 pm
While it is true for operational possibilities, and also good safety advice, "expect your train on either track" is not a good strategy for getting passengers on board unless there is a center island platform. It's also not what the T or any other system does: they either schedule which platform will be used and post the schedule, or they announce the track to passengers in good time.
I'll tell you who does do it, though: Amtrak, at Ashland, VA. It's an unstaffed station; trains come and go on either track in either direction, and the sign tells passengers to watch for the headlight and CROSS THE TRACKS IN FRONT OF THE APPROACHING TRAIN if necessary.

And the last time I was there, the approaching headlight turned out to be a CSX freight, and not Amtrak at all.

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