Red Wing wrote:Thanks for the answer guys.
Makes me wonder two things. If you move the Fairmount lines platforms to the other side of the bridge how far would it have to be moved to include Franklin trains to consolidate most of the platforms for the station. I would suspect an island platform would be best for less confusion for passengers and Fairmount trains laying over in the station. Would this be worth it? Also adding track to the NEC from the other side of the bridge towards South Station if possible. Would this reduce congestion on the NEC?
Why are we so hot to consolidate platforms? That introduces
congestion if you make every Franklin train take up a platform slot used by a short-turning DMU. They should never co-mingle unless a Franklin train is explicitly routing via Fairmount and has a reserved slot in between the DMU's. There'll be conflicts galore and a severe capacity reduction if diverging traffic all gets mashed together on one platform. There's very very good reason why the platforms and the traffic are segregated. Nothing blocks the NEC with Franklin having its own platforms, and nothing blocks Fairmount unless it's explicitly using Fairmount.
Also, it can't be done without warping and deforming Readville station further south spread across >2 city blocks. There's a grade difference between the Franklin-Fairmount connector and the Franklin-to-NEC platforms. You would have to move the whole works 600 ft. south to get at-grade on a combo platform, which would put it next to Yard 5 underneath the dank Sprague St. overpass a very long walk from the station parking and bus connections. That's the only place it can go because the grades aren't modifiable.
The best layout is more or less the current one, with all platforms spread across the narrowest pinch of the Sprague-Hyde Park Ave. block. Moving the Fairmount one to an island couple hundred feet north for all-direction access is consistent with that. If there needs to be new secondary egresses facilitating better pedestrian traffic around the station, then ramps off Milton St. are where to add it. Also...if the Franklin platforms get their double-track reinstated they'll creep north a few feet and introduce a little bit of platform (but not traffic) consolidation. You can see from Google overhead that the unused NEC outbound platform used to be an island shared with the ripped-out Franklin inbound track. Re-adding that track would demolish the Franklin mini-high, pull the new track entirely alongside the NEC outbound platform north of the ped overpass, and extend that platform 150 ft. north to round it up to an 800 ft. full-high. Giving Franklin a full 2 tracks, but not requiring a new platform to be built. The current outbound-side Franklin platform would then get raised in-place, extended the same distance about +150 ft. north, and probably have its south tip on the curve demolished. The entire station ends up shifting just a few feet north, which supports the relocation of the Fairmount platform a few feet north for 2 tracks and all-direction running. The whole complex ends up being centered a little more towards Milton St. and less spread-out overall.
So think north for likely station mods, not south. And while thinking north, understand that there are no opportunities for consolidating platforms because the lines haven't quite converged all the way. But that's not a bad thing because the traffic separation is the only way everything can work at top capacity without conflicts.