bmvguye39 wrote: ↑Sun Jul 25, 2021 2:45 pmThe only reason I mentioned third rail is because I know its used in the NYC area but also because you cant see it so its a less intrusive solution...
It's more dangerous, requires more substations that require more footprint, it's more expensive, less efficient, need I go on? Third rail makes no sense for FRA heavy rail, it was obsolete by 1914, but GCT and the LIRR already had it installed, so they have kept it. It is unlikely to ever be used again on any FRA heavy rail system except for expansions to the existing LIRR system. The standard for all new electrification, like the Shore Line, Denver RTD, and CalTrain is 25kV overhead wire.
For the amount of people volume on the north shore, I think full electrification is silly and a waste of money. I think you could run 4-6 car DMUs back and forth to Beverly from Nbpt and Rkpt all day long like shuttle trains and have other trains in Beverly go into the city....
North-South Rail Link is going to require electrification of all lines except Greenbush/Old Colony, which don't go through it.
Or consider a more euro style cantenary that is less hardware and less cumbersome in design.
One criticism of the Amtrak Shore Line electrification is that it is over-engineered, but I don't know how much it has to be for the harsher conditions here compared to Europe, or how much could be saved by not over-engineering it, so it's something that should be looked into, although if the $2.4M/mi number can't be hit, I'd suspect overruns, corruption, inefficient work practices, etc, before over-engineering.
CRail wrote: ↑Sun Jul 25, 2021 10:16 pmThese on-board power plant streetcars on steroids that current DMU manufacturers are putting out lack the operational flexibility to make sense for any existing commuter service. They're fine for a start up service trying to establish ridership but that's about it.
Those are for non-FRA applications, but they are actually pretty stupid, as anything that is going to get light rail frequency should just be electrified. If they are temporally separated, they can shut the power off before the freight operator gets on the line if the clearance is needed.
FRA compliant DMUs or HMUs are what should be running on the Waterbury Branch, Springfield Line (if not electrified), Ronkonkoma to Greenport, Patchogue to Montauk, Southeast to Wassaic, and other similar low-volume outer branch lines.
Just stringing up wire everywhere is outrageously cost prohibitive. I don't see any reason to do so on any north side lines, especially with low hanging fruits like the Dorchester branch, Needham (as it would set up for potential Orange Line conversion), and Stoughton (which has to be done anyways) still waiting to happen. Step number 0 is to bring the Corridor up to capacity to handle our trains and even that isn't happening at this point. Until that happens, even considering north side electrification is nonsensical (my personal opinion; not intended to imply such discussion is unwelcome here).
You're not wrong in that the North Side isn't the first priority, but the whole system except for Greenbush and Old Colony/Buzzards Bay/Hyannis should be electrified, including South Coast Rail and New Hampshire services, along with the North South Rail Link built. The Old Colony and Greenbush Lines are very marginal for electrification because of the lack of ability to add more frequency due to the single track bottleneck going into South Station and lack of necessity due to being the only lines not part of North-South. Due to low frequency and thus relatively high per-train ridership, they are likely one of the narrow use cases where diesel push-pull equipment actually makes sense, and where operations have to stay as traditional commuter rail and not higher-frequency regional rail like most of the other lines.
Stringing up wire is not "outrageously cost prohibitive" at $2.4M/mi when you factor in the deep decarbonization, energy recovery, much faster acceleration and thus overall commute times, lower maintenance costs for locomotives, lower noise, lower marginal operational costs to add more service, and more fuel cost stability. There just aren't really any more efficient ways to move more people around, and combined with station and track improvements and the North-South link, could significantly increase train ridership, leading to economic growth, and fewer issues pahkin yah cah in Bahstahn.