• Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail

  • 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 Rockingham Racer
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:53 am Unless I missed it, the new and proposed transportation bill that's on Gov. Baker's desk has no mention of passenger train service specifically to Pittsfield. South Coast rail, yes, but not Pittsfield to Boston. There IS, however, mention of Pittsfield to New York City.

The bill in question is H4002. I tried unsuccessfully to link it here.
  by HenryAlan
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:53 am Unless I missed it, the new and proposed transportation bill that's on Gov. Baker's desk has no mention of passenger train service specifically to Pittsfield. South Coast rail, yes, but not Pittsfield to Boston. There IS, however, mention of Pittsfield to New York City.

[url]file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/H4002.pdf[/url]
Here's the link to the page for downloading the PDF of the legislation: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H5248

As for East-West rail, there is $50,000,000 for it, as described in 6622-2184, which begins on line 303.
  by troffey
 
BandA wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 9:43 pm MassDOT needs CSX to agree to allow commuter passenger trains, reinstallation of additional platform(s) at Worcester, and appropriate layover facilities if they reinstall the double track to Springfield, and ideally gain control of dispatching. If CSX agrees, MassDOT should support their purchase of PAR, if not they should oppose the purchase of PAR as anti-competitive. So they need some sort of agreement or memorandum of understanding right about now. There also needs to be a review of any "paper barriers" that have been thrown up over the years by CSX or PAR. Good time to iron out any remaining out-of-service lines (are there any?) or rail-trails. In exchange for good behavior CSX should get the access road issue to their W. Springfield yard resolved as well as the ethanol train issue.

MassDOT is already working on the Worcester platforms https://www.mbta.com/projects/worcester ... provements
  by BandA
 
That's good that they are going ahead with two through-tracks at Worcester. Elevators are far apart, so if one goes out of service good luck if you are handicapped. The pedestrian bridge is extra long, obviously for future stub-end tracks. Old Amtrak station is marked Keolis building - is that new? And importantly, the old layover stubs are missing, where are trains supposed to lay-over & is it near the Keolis building?

Would be nice if there was a pocket-track west of the station to park Worcester "locals" to keep one or both station tracks clear for through-trains.
  by MBTA3247
 
The layover stubs are still there, they're just mostly hidden under a bullet point on the one overhead drawing that shows them.
  by Trinnau
 
BandA wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:24 am That's good that they are going ahead with two through-tracks at Worcester. Elevators are far apart, so if one goes out of service good luck if you are handicapped. The pedestrian bridge is extra long, obviously for future stub-end tracks. Old Amtrak station is marked Keolis building - is that new? And importantly, the old layover stubs are missing, where are trains supposed to lay-over & is it near the Keolis building?

Would be nice if there was a pocket-track west of the station to park Worcester "locals" to keep one or both station tracks clear for through-trains.
Not sure what you're looking at, but the Ped bridge connects the lower parking lot to the upper parking lot to the platform. It bridges the upper parking lot as well as the track. There isn't enough length for stub tracks given the vertical difference.

Pocket track is not a bad idea, but anything west of the station requires cooperation from CSX. In the short term, it's better to get the station built and do what needs to be done on the MBTA/MassDOT side, East/West can handle anything further west.
  by CRail
 
The existing layover facility is unaffected by this project.
  by BandA
 
It's been several years since I visited the gorgeous & largely empty Worcester Union Station. There is plenty of room in the ROW to the west of the station for a pocket track; I assume that part of the ROW is either P&W or B&M. Would require moving track around, perhaps reinforcing bridges?

Creating stub tracks east of the station is certainly feasible, but would require fill and widening the railroad bridge over Grafton St. The existing "layover" facility is well east of the station and lower in elevation, and obviously requires awkward switching moves to get to the station track. Here is an old public-domain layout of the station from page 90 of "Passenger Terminals and Trains", McGraw-Hill, NY, 1916, by John A. Droege. As you can see the station was built for three tracks on the Boston east-west line and five tracks on north-south line, all accessible without walking across any tracks.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... r_plan.jpgImage
  by west point
 
A point that is often forgotten is the location of layover facilities. It is always better for layover tracks to be beyond the last station. That prevents the extra time required for an engineer to change ends both after end of trip and originating a trip. I have no idea how often delays occur and with PTC it could be substantial time. Then for layovers that are minimum a delay stowing a train may cause delays going on duty next time.
For end stations that have inbound and outbound platforms a pocket track(s) between the platforms are desired. That way the terminating train can get a signal into the pocket track before arriving at station . Then depart last station as soon as terminating train is verified clear of passengers.
  by Trinnau
 
BandA wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:27 pm It's been several years since I visited the gorgeous & largely empty Worcester Union Station. There is plenty of room in the ROW to the west of the station for a pocket track; I assume that part of the ROW is either P&W or B&M. Would require moving track around, perhaps reinforcing bridges?
Not questioning a pocket track's potential usefulness, but you have to talk to someone else - either CSX or P&W to get access (B&M/Guilford/Pan Am sold to P&W long ago). The ROW for the 5 tracks on the Northwest side of the building can still be seen from an aerial. The problem is a pocket track needs to be west of CP-45, it's not really any good on the Northwest side of the building for East/West service.
BandA wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:27 pm Creating stub tracks east of the station is certainly feasible, but would require fill and widening the railroad bridge over Grafton St. The existing "layover" facility is well east of the station and lower in elevation, and obviously requires awkward switching moves to get to the station track. Here is an old public-domain layout of the station from page 90 of "Passenger Terminals and Trains", McGraw-Hill, NY, 1916, by John A. Droege. As you can see the station was built for three tracks on the Boston east-west line and five tracks on north-south line, all accessible without walking across any tracks.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... r_plan.jpgImage
From the lower lot stairs just West of the layover tracks to the building is just over 600ft. Not worth filling in the existing layover and building new bridges to get 600ft closer. The out-and-back switch move from the layover to the station track would still exist - and it exists at several other MBTA layovers including those built more recently (Newburyport, Greenbush). As west point mentions ideally a layover is just past the station, but there is certainly nothing wrong with the switch move.
  by nomis
 
Some of the notes of the Worcester station slides mentioned a new crossover at CP-44 (east of the station & layover switch). I haven't seen more details of what that entails though. Once the new platform is in place, you could have 2 concurrent movements to/from platforms at CP-44, as a straight move from the current station track through the interlocking towards the stub track will hold a typical 4-6 car train, but not the 508-521 superset. The 2nd movement can be lined 2 to 1 east or 2 to 2 west for another train coming or going from the new platform.

MassDOT had an idea a couple of years ago to have a pair of layup tracks west of CP-45 somewhere along the P&W, but that plan seemingly fizzled out, most likely DOA at CSX's doorstep.
  by Trinnau
 
Without a new crossover the current crossover at CP-44 would present a single-track "pinch point" between the two tracks inbound of CP-44 and the two station tracks, which are shifted 1 track over. This would not allow a train to arrive and depart at Worcester at the same time and force one train to have to wait for the other. The new crossover allows a parallel move through CP-44, making the passenger side truly double-track.
  by Red Wing
 
That has happened to me on the Lake Shore stuck outside of the station because of a commuter train in the station. Then you get stuck behind the commuter rail all the way to Boston. So the platform will be a great addition in my book.
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