• Haverhill Line Upgrades (Western Route)

  • 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

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  by BostonUrbEx
 
Doesn't look like anyone noted it here yet, but a new interlocking at the Highlands Crossover is being installed. The hand-throw trailing-point crossover will be replaced with powered universal crossovers. Not much to show for it yet, but some conduit and wiring was laid out to support it. It is being installed out of the cab signal budget I'm guessing, as it seems the upgrade from 251 territory is what prompted the installation. Sounds like Wakefield Jct will not be getting the same treatment, unfortunately.
  by CRail
 
It's my understanding that this is to facilitate the Lynn Fells Pkwy bridge replacement, which will make the line single track temporarily. I'm betting that it'll never be 261 (signaled in both directions), as I'm guessing it'll go right from 251 to 562 (cab signals only). Completion of this project will also be the end of main line stick rail on Commuter Rail territory.
  by Trinnau
 
It has nothing to do with the bridge. That is going to be built offline and rolled in on a weekend like all the other bridge work they've done recently. There was a virtual public meeting on it in October and here's the presentation from that meeting. No mention of signal work.

My guess is it will help with any work and any issues between Fells and Reading. If anything happens in that 6 miles then it's about 15 miles between Reading Junction and CPW-WJ that is single-tracked. Adding a powered interlocking gives them flexibility.

562 still needs 261 or 251 to go with it. You can have one-directional 562 if you really want. The ATC job is going to make the line signaled in both directions between Fells and Reading.
  by CRail
 
Trinnau wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 8:20 am562 still needs 261 or 251 to go with it. You can have one-directional 562 if you really want. The ATC job is going to make the line signaled in both directions between Fells and Reading.
Absolutely false. While you're correct that you can have cab signals in one direction, the rules that apply are one or the other, not both. You CAN have 261 with cabs like they do in this part of the Northeast Corridor, but that's 261 with cabs, not 562. CSS territory without wayside automatics is a completely different world than ABS, and that's 562. Fells to Ash St. will never be 261. I don't like it because I think 261 with cabs is the way to go, but I wasn't consulted.

Your point about the bridge is well taken. Perhaps the temporary single tracking has more to do with converting to welded than the bridge? In any event, it's been explained by those in charge of such matters that the interlocking will facilitate temporary single track operations and will then naturally remain as a tool for operational flexibility.
  by Trinnau
 
I'm not sure if you have access to a current Keolis timetable, but check anywhere 562 is in effect. "CSS is in service for movements in both directions and Rule 261 applies." I bet it's in older timetables too. You are correct in that the territory will not be considered stand-alone 261 territory with wayside-only signals for both directions, or 261 territory with CSS like the Northeast Corridor. Rule 251 and 261 make no distinction where the signal indication is received.

In other words, 562 needs either 251 or 261 to go with it. Those two rules grant signal authority where 562 does not. There are also several other rules that reference tracks where 261 is in effect. They all apply in 562 territory.
NORAC 11th Edition wrote: 261. Track Signaled in Both Directions
Signal indication will be the authority for a train to operate in either direction on the same track. At a hand-operated switch that is not equipped with an electric lock, a train may clear the main track only where maximum authorized speed on the main track over this switch is 20 MPH or less.
EXCEPTION: Trains may clear at a hand-operated switch on a controlled siding with no intermediate signals and a maximum speed that does not exceed 30 MPH.
As for the interlocking, as I said (with emphasis). This means rail, ties, anything that needs to be done on the line.
Trinnau wrote:My guess is it will help with any work and any issues between Fells and Reading. If anything happens in that 6 miles then it's about 15 miles between Reading Junction and CPW-WJ that is single-tracked. Adding a powered interlocking gives them flexibility.
  by Red Wing
 
Interesting, how are they going to deal with freights if they have full high level stations? In Haverhill I thought they should have kept the 2nd bridge into Haverhill Station and set up full high level platform in what is now the parking lot with a couple of stub end tracks. Lowers the interference with freight and Downeaster while loading at the station and changing ends.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
I wondered about that as well. Freights pass by the high platform at Lawrence. Are they all shifted over to track 1 between Frost and AS to avoid the single platform on track 2?
  by Red Wing
 
Yes the freights usually don't use the platform track in Lawrence.
  by octr202
 
I note that the article simply says there's $25 million to "provide level boarding at all stations." I wonder if that simply means mini-highs at the station which lack any. That doesn't seem like enough month to full HLP's at all stations.

By my recollection, there's no mini-highs at Wyoming, Cedar Park, Greenwood, Wakefield, and North Wilmington. Everything past N Wilmington has them - though only Lawrence has a full HLP. Full HLPs would seem easy at some stations (Melrose Highlands for example), but others will be tricky (accommodating adjacent buildings at Wakefield and Reading, short distances between crossings at some stops, especially Wakefield).

I'll be very curious to see how they tackle the freight clearances for Ballardvale and Andover. There's room at each station for side HLPs on the existing ROW, but if space has to be made for a gauntlet track it'll be tight.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Yes, I also thought about the mini-highs as what's being talked about. While we're at it, anyone know the status of the second platform at Andover?
  by octr202
 
Rockingham -

I no longer live in town, but as of a couple months ago when driving by, there was no work in evidence at Andover.

The Main St/Rte 28 bridge over the ROW is done, though - not that it wasn't already double-tracked.
  by artman
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:38 am FINALLY: the single track through Ballardvale is going to be doubled. And according to the article, all stations on the Haverhill Line are getting full high platforms.

https://www.eagletribune.com/news/merri ... a7pSyw9up8
Good to see this happening. Is this he last section of single track on the line?
  by Rockingham Racer
 
artman wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:24 am
Rockingham Racer wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:38 am FINALLY: the single track through Ballardvale is going to be doubled. And according to the article, all stations on the Haverhill Line are getting full high platforms.

https://www.eagletribune.com/news/merri ... a7pSyw9up8
No, it's single between Reading and Wilmington Jct., as well as the Wildcat between Wilmington Jct. and Wilmington on the Lowell Line.
Good to see this happening. Is this he last section of single track on the line?
  by Trinnau
 
I think the article has some inaccuracies or assumptions that need to be cleared up. Basically there's a bunch of money in the MBTA capital plan for Ballardvale and some station upgrades. Hi-level platforms for the entire line will cost more than the $25 million allocated.
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