• Southcoast 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

  by Trinnau
 
If there is any additional traffic Braintree-Boston it may only be 1-2 trains per day. They are simply extending the existing Middleboro service, half the trains to Fall River, the other half to New Bedford. So yes, capacity is tight and delays can cascade, but in theory it works because the trains just use the same slots they do now. We'll see what happens in reality.

I don't think people are aware how tight the NEC is either. The situation over there is the same, you simply extend the existing Stoughton trains and can maybe add a few. Don't let the 3 tracks fool you, they are very busy as it is. The people who originally looked at that routing and proposed service did so in a vacuum, and never accounted for reality on the NEC.
  by charlesriverbranch
 
But the NEC doesn't funnel three lines into a single track , unlike the Old Colony lines.
  by OldColony
 
And designs for full build SCR include extension of a third NEC track down from Readville, through Route 128 station (where the elevated platform already exists to accommodate the additional track) and on to Canton Junction, where the Stoughton route diverges.

As planned, the NEC route is not nearly as constrained as the Middleborough route to Boston.

All moot, of course. I expect the phase 1 service provided via Middleborough will be poor enough to not attract a high ridership. Gov. Baker and Rep. William Strauss will claim a great victory for ts opening and will either be gone from office or otherwise absent for the push for phase 2. Hope I'm wrong on that. I suspect I'm not.
  by BandA
 
And if they had not destroyed the Washington St EL, the NEC would have plenty of room and Roxbury would have better Rapid Transit.
  by mbrproductions
 
And designs for full build SCR include extension of a third NEC track
Actually this was a requirement for the now dismissed Attleboro routing, SCR Full Build service will not require adding another NEC track because it will just be an extension of current Stoughton train slots, the same way that Phase I is just an extension of current Middleborough/Lakeville slots
Gov. Baker and Rep. William Strauss will claim a great victory for ts opening and will either be gone from office or otherwise absent for the push for phase 2. Hope I'm wrong on that. I suspect I'm not.
If the Full Build is ever to happen, there has to be some drastic changes to the plan, it is too expensive the way it is now because of how it tries to pacify environmentalists and will likely do the same with NIMBYs.
And if they had not destroyed the Washington St EL, the NEC would have plenty of room and Roxbury would have better Rapid Transit.
The original plan was to have the Orange Line run alongside the Southwest Expressway, the Orange Line was going to be rerouted over that route anyway. It wasn't until the Southwest Expressway was cancelled that it was decided the Attleboro Main (NEC) would be built there instead.
  by Red Wing
 
FYI the NEC was always there it was just put in a canyon.
  by BandA
 
State got "free" federal money to build a new orange line, saving maintenance costs. I think they purposely let the EL fall apart. Towards the end stuff was falling on cars it was very unsafe and rusty.
  by BandA
 
I was reading about the full build. Vernal ponds and endangered species found on the ROW. Where did these critters come from? The surrounding swamp of course. These are all new in the ROW since after 1958, after whenever freight was discontinued. They want the MBTA to hand-pick any invasive plants along the ROW. This isn't happening today, why should it be a requirement? I get that the Hockomock Swamp is endangered and under pressure and should be preserved. But it is already bisected by roads and high-voltage power line ROW, the existing railroad ROW (which was built for two tracks I think) should be treated similarly. Underpasses for wildlife and fencing can be used to guide the critters under the tracks. Mitigation areas can be purchased and restored as wetlands.
  by CRail
 
I can't find where I read the plan, but the 3rd track to Canton Junction is supposed to happen anyways. I wish I could reference it but it definitely seemed to be beyond the "discussions" phase. Rte 128 is quite obviously designed for it.
  by Trinnau
 
The 3rd track extension from Transfer to Junction is not part of the Stoughton/Phase II routing officially, but between Amtrak's future service plans and the MBTA's desire to improve upon the existing Stoughton service slots under Phase II (30ish trains improved to 40) and also potentially improve PVD service it's being discussed in conjunction with Phase II. CRail, what you are looking for is likely in some NEC planning or Amtrak documents that aren't related to SCR.
charlesriverbranch wrote:But the NEC doesn't funnel three lines into a single track , unlike the Old Colony lines.
It's a single track with a spot to pass - not pure single track. There is a difference in terms of capacity which results in the train volume per track being roughly equivalent. Again, resiliency is another factor and having more flexibility certainly can improve reliability. I'm just trying to demonstrate that the capacity on the NEC is utilized in the same way it is on the OC. Here's a comparison of revenue train volumes pre-COVID (Fall 2019):

OC combined: 72 trains on 1 track with a siding. Each of the 3 lines had 24 trains on a weekday. Depending on how you count the siding this can be the equivalent of anywhere from 1 to 1.5 tracks because it does add some capacity. Using 1.25, you get just under 58 trains per track through that part.

NEC combined: 177 trains on 3 tracks from 5 different services/routes, all with higher volumes that the OC routes. This is 59 trains per track. Weekday volumes over the NEC near Boston (ignores Dorchester and South County trains).
-Needham: 32
-Franklin/Foxboro: 39
-Stoughton: 28
-Providence: 40
-Amtrak: 38

To break it down a bit further with round numbers, 60 trains in a 20 hour service day (5am-1am) is 3 trains per hour or 20 minute headways on average, with obvious spikes and dips in 2019 due to the rush hour focus of service.
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Just adding these documents to the discussion as I used them at work last week. A student was looking for information about the future track connection between Stoughton and Canton Junction and documentation on it.

2002 https://archive.org/details/executive-s ... unction%22

2013 https://archive.org/details/final-envir ... unction%22

2017 https://archive.org/details/south-coast ... unction%22

2017 https://archive.org/details/record-of-d ... unction%22

Also there is a cool book about Canton Junction for anyone's perusal https://archive.org/details/historyofcantonj00galv
  by HenryAlan
 
Red Wing wrote: Sat Apr 09, 2022 5:53 pm FYI the NEC was always there it was just put in a canyon.
Yes, it was there before the South West Corridor project, but the original plan was for it to not be there once the highway and Orange Line replacement service were built. Trains out of South Station were slated to exclusively use the Dorchester routing, as they did for the 8 years of construction. The expectation was that commuter rail would be scaled back significantly, with rapid transit lines replacing it as far as Route 128, which would serve as transfer stations for a truncated CR service.
  by mbrproductions
 
About the crossings on this line, are they being built to match quiet zone requirements or are they just going to be regular crossings?
- Thanks
  by Trinnau
 
I believe MassDOT worked with the communities and incorporated what was required, but it is up to the communities to apply for and maintain their quiet zone status.
  by Commuterrail1050
 
I still don’t know how phase 1 will be successful at all. It’s still not going to be a lot of trains with the current middleboro schedule. I understand that and stoughton approximately has the same amount of trains, but I think it’s better for a direct route versus the indirect route. Plus the stoughton route has 2 major stations it stops at before south station which are ruggles and back bay. Middleboro only has Braintree, Quincy, and jfk which aren’t as major as the northeast corridor ones.
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