• Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

  • 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 Trinnau
 
Correct, access from the station concourse will from ground level up to platform level, similar to how it currently is. The up-and-over is on the MBTA's parking lot end, and the lot is split level with most of it below the grade of the tracks. So you already have to climb up stairs from the parking lot to reach the platform.
  by BandA
 
That's really interesting, I didn't realize there were two separate access points, but makes sense, you need two access points. But the tracks are on an embankment, so a second tunnel would have been better than the huge glass structure...oh well too late!
  by Trinnau
 
Most new stations have at least two points of access/egress for safety and ADA reasons. As for a 2nd tunnel, the track level was built up artificially. Not really sure how well it would hold up to new boring/drilling. By far it is cheaper and a more known condition to go up-and-over then to bore a new tunnel.
  by BandA
 
Digging out an underpass under active tracks would definitely be more intrusive to operations, lol.
  by eolesen
 
Not necessarily. Overhead construction has as many if not more risks to operations.

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  by west point
 
"IF" a walkway under the tracks was desired here what would be done. First, I have no knowledge of the terrain and surrounding buildings. Just build bridge columns next to tracks. Then take a long weekend remove tracks & dirt under tracks. Then place prebuilt RR bridge on columns, add tracks and restore service. MBTA has already done this for replacing a much longer RR bridge.
  by BandA
 
Wikipedia sez building new platforms at Worcester Union Station is a $44M project, with the state/MBTA paying $15M. That's a lot of money to add 1 platform!
  by scratchyX1
 
west point wrote: Wed Mar 16, 2022 12:48 pm "IF" a walkway under the tracks was desired here what would be done. First, I have no knowledge of the terrain and surrounding buildings. Just build bridge columns next to tracks. Then take a long weekend remove tracks & dirt under tracks. Then place prebuilt RR bridge on columns, add tracks and restore service. MBTA has already done this for replacing a much longer RR bridge.
Isn't this the NEC? If it isn't, then yeah, it would be cheaper in long run (less elevators to maintain, among other things)
to put in a bridge under the tracks, than over them.
  by jwhite07
 
It is not the NEC - this is the former Boston and Albany.

Whether you go up and over or down and under, you'd need elevators to get from whichever level you're crossing over/under the tracks to the platforms themselves. The station area is not that well suited to the system of long ramps as at other stations on the line.
  by BandA
 
scratchx1, the Framingham / Worcester Line is part of the main line from Boston to Chicago. This used to be called the Boston and Albany Main Line. For Amtrak it carries the Lake Shore Limited.

Historically, there were three main ways to get from Boston to NY City by rail:
Shore Line
Inland Route - NY to NH to SPG to BOS
(Air Line / Hartford / midland? via Hopewell Jct then ??? to NYC)
  by twropr
 
The MBTA material describing the Worcester station platform project mentioned that Worcester is the only station on the line that can handle only one train at a time. When I lived in MA during the mid 1980s, most stations between Back Bay and Framingham were served only by TK 1. When did this change?
Andy
Jacksonville, FL
  by BandA
 
The three Newton stations are Track 2 only, although you can access Track 1 by crossing Track 2 and there is a project to fix them.
  by jaymac
 
A complication for any great amount of digging around WUS is the now-buried nature of the area. The nearby Blackstone River, the same-named canal, the no-longer water-surrounded Green Island district all point to how saturated the soil can be, that shown by the tendency of lower areas to flood during periods of extended rain, even with so many of the historical waterways either diverted or filled in.
Using pilings to support an elevated structure instead of excavation for undergrade access would seem an economical and effective approach.
  by twropr
 
Will Worcester be the only station on Commuter rail west of Back Bay (and not including Providence) to have an island platform?
Is maximum passenger train speed over the Framingham/Worcester line still 60 MPH?
Thanks
Andy
  by The EGE
 
Boston Landing also has an island platform. All other Worcester Line stations between Grafton and Lansdowne have side platforms, and those planned for reconstruction will continue to have them.

Ruggles, Forest Hills, Route 128, Lowell, Littleton/Route 495, and Porter are all island platforms geographically west of Back Bay.
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