F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/real_ ... 1&page=allIt would be a lost opportunity not to keep the option of building their little layover yard at Beacon Park, even if they do the Widett Circle thing. The Worcester line has the potential to be heavily utilized; It can replace express buses and the Watertown "A" line, is the only line with potential to connect to North and South station. Imagine trains running Framingham-Boston with the same frequency and cost per mile as the Riverside "D" Highland Branch.
An MBTA spokesman confirmed that the transportation agency is considering the 18.6-acre site at Widett Circle as one of two dozen places to store trains. A decision is expected by next spring.
Eminent domain being considered for the cold storage warehouse at Widett Circle to make that the new expanded layover space. If this indeed happens it might mean the T does not opt to use its Beacon Park easement and the Pike realignment alternatives get amended for a straighter-still alignment through that easement. Stay tuned. The warehouse owners are trying to redevelop that site into a major recycling center, which obviously nonplusses the state. Horse-trading likely, nuclear option definitely in play.
This might speak to the Houghton Chemical negotiations too if they're playing hardball with the Widett warehouse and threatening to nuke its much bigger plans for the recycling center.
As for this not being related to MBTA forum, that has me completely confused since there is about one small freight per day. (The Framingham line is pretty boring now that the freight is gone)
Yeah, but equipment deadheads all day through Yawkey and Back Bay are slots you can't fill with a saturation-density DMU. Build that site and you are making a choice to permanently put non-revenue traffic cycling through downtown on an unexpandable 2 tracks...forever. It's sub-ideal. It's also a very very difficult site to provide security on. People can and do hop the fence from the BU side to go exploring in Beacon Park, that entire length between Cambridge St. and the Pike viaduct. You can also hop the Pike guardrail from a car. It used to keep CSX busy catching the thrill-seekers darting between their cars on the graveyard shift. With a T layover, having such long multi-consist tracks out in the open makes it effortless for somebody to sneak in, climb the layover fence, and hide between consists from the cameras or night watchmen. Tagger's paradise. The only reason they have to design the Pike straightening to accommodate that site is because it's guaranteed available if the T can find no help with Widett Circle. It's nobody's idea of a top choice, but they have to provision.
They no longer have to provision if Widett is available. And no doubt the state is getting aggressive with Widett because they'd rather have a straighter Pike.
Second, the warehouse
is not the only space available in Widett Circle. It's simply the first chess piece. They can do 8-10 consists of storage there parked closest to South Station of any layover space there, allowing them to scoot in and out with the minimum possible Amtrak interference. That's the best possible site to start expanding. But when they fill it there that asphalt with the salt pile on the other side of the loop track is the city car tow lot...so Expansion Space #2 in the same area requires only a public-public land swap. With more total space, and the same operational advantages. They truly will not need 12 layup tracks at Beacon Park if they take the private space, because Phase II expansion in 10 years or so after SS is expanded is much cheaper to pull off and only requires a handshake with the city. There are a bunch of blighted properties (for example, the vacant industrial lot just a parcel or two north of Andrew Station on the Red Line) to move the tow lot and keep it in transit distance for any poor sap who got his car towed.
down the line...there's the Boston Food Market clogging up all that acreage in the middle of the circle. Land-swap them elsewhere within 20 years and that's the space where they could build a southside maint facility of equal heft to BET or to serve their future electric fleet, or do another two-dozen layover tracks, or some combination of the two. Real century-level permanent fixes for all conceivable storage needs. But they have to secure the first site to be able to set up all this later incremental expansion.
If the storage warehouse were allowed to do that recycling center, this parcel is gone for good and every other site is less favorable on ops. If they take it now either by relocating the business or just doing the nuclear option, they are set for life with the subsequent series of chess moves available to them. To the point where they could even start consolidating ops from Readville for everything except Fairmount + Stoughton layovers. Beacon Park is perfectly serviceable, but this is the best of all worlds and does scale enough to make BP expendable. I wouldn't have any concerns about that. It's still much easier to feed the Worcester Line straight out of SS rather than 3.5 miles away, any way you slice it.