• New Widett Circle Rail Yard

  • 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: CRail, sery2831

  by bostontrainguy
 
Latest Update:

Development Plans Dropped for Widett Circle as MBTA Moves to Acquire Property

Development plans have been dropped for Widett Circle as the MBTA moves to acquire the property. The agency plans to use the expansive industrial property for train storage for the subway system and commuter rail. Widett Circle is bound by Interstate 93, the South Boston Bypass Road and rail lines, and has been home to two dozen meat and seafood wholesalers for nearly 50 years. The City of Boston owns parcels adjacent to Widett Circle which, combined with the existing 20 acres, could sum to 50 acres of potential development.
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  by rethcir
 
July 2017, Able Company (Bill Keravuori, CEO) purchased the Widett Circle property for $175 million.

December 2022, MBTA board announces plans to puchase the property for more than $200 million

Nice little profit.
  by wicked
 
The last post mentions using Widett for subway car storage. Does buying Widett offer any flexibility in rail operations? Would/could there be any rearranging of commuter rail/Red Line tracks?
  by BandA
 
Widett helps with South Station "capacity", especially mid-day storage. But not much help for Framingham-Worcester trains which have to cross over the NEC to get to Widett. Widett is attached off the Dorchester Branch? So the main advantage is it is closer than Readville?
  by wicked
 
I was wondering more if some Red Line ops could be moved to Widett and have regional rail ops in the area of Cabot and closer to South Station. I don't know the condition of the Red Line facilities in Cabot. If they're going to have to be rebuilt soon, perhaps move them to Widett so CR ops are right across the channel from South Station? If Widett and Cabot aren't adjacent, they're almost.
  by bostontrainguy
 
wicked wrote: Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:15 pm I was wondering more if some Red Line ops could be moved to Widett and have regional rail ops in the area of Cabot and closer to South Station. I don't know the condition of the Red Line facilities in Cabot. If they're going to have to be rebuilt soon, perhaps move them to Widett so CR ops are right across the channel from South Station? If Widett and Cabot aren't adjacent, they're almost.
They are very close. There was an option once discussed to move Amtrak to Cabot and the Red Line yard to Amtrak's Southhampton Yard. Cabot is not that long however and better suited for subway car storage.
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
 
lite rail and heavy rail can't mingle together on same track. They must mean an update and modernization of Cabot Yard

Gotta remember, pple writing those articles/pieces of information for the public know nothing about trains/subways etc. The majority thinks that the MBTA subway and CR are the same. We are "The T"
  by diburning
 
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 5:23 pm lite rail and heavy rail can't mingle together on same track. They must mean an update and modernization of Cabot Yard

Gotta remember, pple writing those articles/pieces of information for the public know nothing about trains/subways etc. The majority thinks that the MBTA subway and CR are the same. We are "The T"
Subway lines are "heavy rail." Subway cars and light rail can and do operate on the same track (see GCRTA).

Subway cars and full sized railroad trains cannot mingle on the same track for the purpose of FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) crashworthiness standards (transit equipment is regulated by the Federal Transit Administration) as well as possible differences in standards for things like wheel profile and flangeways. In the event that there's no difference in standards, the FRA allows for temporal separation (ie light rail trains may only operate during certain times, and at other times, full sized railroad trains may operate on the same track while no light rail trains are operating.) Examples of this temporal separation are the NJT Riverline, and the Denton County A-Train.

But becaause this temporal separation would be a pain in the rear end, they usually will not do it, and definitely not at Cabot/Widett Circle. In addition, if you look at Widett Circle on a map, it's significantly smaller than the current facilities at Cabot, so there's really no point in moving anything there, as they'd need either an overpass or a tunnel to get under Southampton Street Yard which would take up even more space.
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
 
Thank you for the correction/clarification. My "Heavy Rail" comment was referring to the CR fleet
  by troffey
 
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 5:23 pm lite rail and heavy rail can't mingle together on same track. They must mean an update and modernization of Cabot Yard

Gotta remember, pple writing those articles/pieces of information for the public know nothing about trains/subways etc. The majority thinks that the MBTA subway and CR are the same. We are "The T"
The MBTA is approximately 1/3 of the way through a $214 million dollar upgrade to Cabot as we speak. I don't imagine they will be relocating in the near future.

https://www.mbta.com/projects/red-line- ... gram#cabot
  by BandA
 
I think you can theoretically put anything you want in a yard, but practically, you don't want trolleys and Commuter Rail trains sitting above third rail, or mixing AC and DC catenary. Also need a physical barrier separating FTA transit track from FRA "national rail network". Also there is the matter of separate facilities and work forces - Commuter Rail are employees of Keolis, Transit workers work directly for the MBTA, probably differing unions and work rules.
  by wicked
 
No one suggested intermingling operations. With two yards next to each other, there perhaps could be some reorganization.

I also didn't know Cabot was in the midst of a rehab, which makes the point moot.
  by type 7 3704
 
Transitmatters says a Widett Circle layover yard is a waste of money:

https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinio ... ake-sense/

They argue that more frequent mid-day service (and a smaller gap between rush-hour and mid-day service) would need fewer trains to be stored during the middle of the day. Running Fairmount trains through as Franklin trains instead of turning them around at Readville (currently single track) would significantly reduce congestion on that line and allow increased frequencies without needing Widett as the MBTA argues. More reliable electric trains would need fewer trains being kept around as backup. And general better operating practices (citing multiple European operators that operate stub-ended terminals in major cities over there with far higher throughput than North/South Station) would significantly increase station capacity without expensive expansions at Widett Circle and South Station.
  by Red Wing
 
I think that WIdett Circle is great for 1 thing. A southside heavy maintenance facility. used right now for diesel but futureproofed for electric service. Then the sale of air rights for added revenue is an added benefit.