• Fairmount Line Discussion

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

Moderators: sery2831, CRail

  by apodino
I don't doubt that Amtrak would want the T to move some trains to the Fairmount line to run more trains on the NEC, but I could see some pushback against this. One is that I am sure a good chunk of folks on Franklin would not want to lose a one seat ride into Ruggles/Back Bay. Secondly is that if trains over Fairmount were to make all the stops, it would add at least 10 minutes if not more to the ride into South Station. One other thing is I get the feeling the T would like to run more Foxboro service, which would also add to the number of trains, which is also driving this.

I don't see a transfer at Readville as being viable and I think the easier way would be to take a five minute train ride to Back Bay from South Station, which actually has been done in the past.

It's true that most NEC trains don't stop at Readville, but there is still a need to maintain a station along the NEC there. For one, if Hyde Park has issues, Readville is a perfect temporary replacement. Secondly, it may be in the future that the schedulers find it better for Readville to serve NEC trains, and Hyde Park Franklin trains.

Long term what I see happening is for a fourth track to be laid between Forest Interlocking and Read Interlocking. When the line was electrified, one of the contractors I spoke to about it said that he felt this would happen, and the Electrification project made provisions for this. This would require the track 3 Platform at Hyde Park to be replaced, but it would add some capacity into a bottleneck area. I think this would be an easier way to deal with capacity issues on the NEC. I could also see three tracks being extended past Read all the way to Canton Junction as well, especially if the South Coast rail phase 2 is built to extend Stoughton down to FR/NB.
Last edited by CRail on Tue Jan 30, 2024 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed. Do not use the quote button as a reply button.
  by pbj123
I made this assertion on another website and caught hell. They said it wouldn't fit at Forest . I think the opposition was linked to the fear the only way it could be done was to eliminate the Needham Branch and convert it to Rapid Transit. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Third track from Readville to Canton Jct is fully endorsed by just about everyone. What you really need is commuter equipment with better acceleration and higher top speed, ie, electric engines or electric EMU's
  by OldColonyRailfan
Or just better accelerating Diesels. What's the sense in buying locos that can only run on one line, then having to spend $$$ to upgrade other lines.
Last edited by OldColonyRailfan on Mon Feb 05, 2024 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by MBTAVideoClips
It would be for future proofing. Also, the T seems to want battery trains, that would charge on overheads when available, so that makes it so they could standardize the battery trains before/while they roll out the overhead wires.
  by OldColonyRailfan
The T "seeming" to want them has been contested over the years. Were not certain
  by Commuterrail1050
EMUs and electric locos aren’t happening anytime soon. That would take years for either option to occur. Do you know how long it would take to put up catenary wires for all lines? The way that projects are now to complete them, they would take forever to do this. Better off having what we have for now.
  by OldColonyRailfan
That's what I'm saying. The T doesn't just have millions of billions lying around in the bank. Plus, those projects would take years, no DECADES at current “Millennial” rates.
  by CS
Seriously, how long does it really take to put up catenary wires? Forget all the political B.S. - when the shovels hit the dirt, it can't take any longer then a couple years and I'm being liberal.
  by west point
Not true. Potholing for the caissons can take years dealing with everything below ground level down to below the frost lines.
  by CS
Has the MBTA or any other entity done a study on more than South Coast and Worcester?
I've been out of the loop so forgive my lack of precision.
  by newpylong
Not to mention accounting for and relocating any utilities that would be impacted by the digging.
  by OldColonyRailfan
And im a PRO diesel person. we should buy more to replace the geeps. Just dont get more HSPs though.
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
anything the T touches, gets F'ed....How is Natick Center coming along? 4 year later and barely the Elevator shaft built. Worcester will be completed and operational soon. Boston Landing was built in 4 days with the private investment.

When Amtrak put up the wires, you can see where they planned for future track and wire. RTE 128, FOREST to TRANSFER (with station work of course) projects in the works....it'll take time, just like the 3rd track project on the WML from CP11 to CP 21

I assume the DOT branch will get wire eventually, but not anytime soon
  by MBTAVideoClips
less than four years later and Winchester has elevator shafts, the building to hold stairs under construction, some platform tiles. It's on a viaduct so you'd think its harder/time consuming, but the other stops are progressing slow because there is still a station for trains to stop at, whereas Winchester's alternative is a 5-10 min walk away.
  by CRail
With catenary there's more infrastructure underground than in the air. Putting wire up over the Dorchester makes sense for numerous reasons, but not all of them benefit the T so federal interest will be necessary to make it happen.

The problem with T funding is it requires input from all sorts of special interests. It's been said that once all the compromises are made the results are a product no one's happy with. But if the Commonwealth is going to be serious about Commuter Rail electrification, Providence is step 1, Stoughton is step 2, the Dorchester Branch is step 1A.
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