• 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 artman
 
Trinnau wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm 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.
They have $60 million in the article for the double-tracking. I can't believe it is $10 million per mile to do that. So I wonder if either the $60 mil includes the $25 mil for platforms, or the $60 mil has money in for station work (overhead walkways?) on top of the separate $25 mil
  by roberttosh
 
Interesting timing, I wonder if this has anything to do with the likely CSX takeover of Pan Am?
  by roberttosh
 
artman wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:25 pm
Trinnau wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:12 pm 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.
They have $60 million in the article for the double-tracking. I can't believe it is $10 million per mile to do that. So I wonder if either the $60 mil includes the $25 mil for platforms, or the $60 mil has money in for station work (overhead walkways?) on top of the separate $25 mil
Isn't the remaining gap literally just from one side of the station to just across the street from the other side?
  by Trinnau
 
Correct on Ballardvale, they need to do the crossing too but you can see the track on either side of the station.

So I took a closer look at the article. The $60 million is likely a combination of work at Ballardvale, Reading and North Wilmington stations along with double-track from Reading to Wilmington Junction and the associated signal and PTC modifications that entails. This will close the single track gaps and provide for station work at those locations. The other $25 million is part of the MBTA's accessibility program, and will provide "level boarding areas". This actually reads to me as mini-highs and not full high-level platforms.
  by roberttosh
 
Any start or finish dates associated with this work being given?
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
The single track stretch of the Haverhill Line which begins just west of Reading Station needs to be double track. Not only that, if there is a way that the Haverhill Line could be double tracked from Boston to Melrose, that would be nice too. It's probably not easy adding a second track on the Haverhill Line between Boston and Melrose.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
When the Orange Line was extended up to Oak Grove, that took care of any space available to re-double the Haverhill Line.
  by Trinnau
 
If they gave up the Orange Line test track you could get halfway between Wellington and Malden near the old Piantedosi siding by Medford St - you can see the 4 bridge bays on Google. But between there and Fells you would need to rebuild several bridges and the 2 transit stations and it looks like there may be a few really tight pinch points between Malden and Oak Grove.
  by MBTA3247
 
Malden to Oak Grove the ROW is too narrow to add a 4th track without taking adjoining property. At Oak Grove you would need to sacrifice several dozen parking spaces for an additional track.
  by BM6569
 
Wonder if the new station would be built with a possible future 2nd track in mind
Last edited by CRail on Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unneccessary quote removed.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Undoubtedly, since the plan is to put back the second track.
Last edited by CRail on Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed. Do not use the "Quote" button as a "Reply" button.
  by The EGE
 
I don't think you'll ever see Reading to Wilmington Junction double-tracked. It makes more sense to eventually switch Haverhill trains over to the Lowell Line + Wildcat - far fewer grade crossings, and double-tracking the Wildcat is easy. That gets your Haverhill trains to North Station faster, and Reading locals can operate on their own (or be converted to Orange Line).
  by Trinnau
 
The 18 or so miles from Wilmington Junction to Boston are roughly the same travel time no matter which route you travel if running express. Grade crossings don't really matter in terms of travel time, just less chance of a grade crossing incident. Double-tracking the Wildcat (about 3.5 miles) isn't without it's pitfalls on the Wilmington end, tying into an expanded, functional 2-track junction at the station may require a station reconfiguration and removal of a small building or two depending on how it's done.

But there really won't be capacity on the Lowell Line if/when service levels return post-COVID. The way Rail Vision was going there would be no capacity to route any meaningful number of trains onto the Lowell Line running high-frequency Anderson/Woburn locals. Downeaster is/was looking at service expansion, full Lowell service plus potential NH commuter rail (currently back on the table). The double-track from WJ to Reading (6 miles) is the easiest and cheapest option to re-install while building up capacity and requires only 2 station rebuilds, one being Reading which you would want to do under any local scenario anyway to make it a 2-track station.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Trains used to have to come to a complete stop at the Albion St Crossing in Wakefield. Is that still the case, or did they interlock the traffic signals with the railroad?
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