• 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: CRail, sery2831

  by mbrproductions
 
Given how most of the right of way on Aquidneck Island still exists, could it be viable sometime in the future for the Fall River Line to be extended to Newport, RI? It seems like it would be a high ridership station, and it doesn't look like a lot of work would need to be done to make it happen. Just a thought
  by Red Wing
 
If you do a search for Newport there were a couple of discussions of extending the T to Newport. To me it seams like a slam dunk but you have a pesky bridge, but with the Cape Flyer running we know the T can play with tourist lines so that isn't an issue anymore.
  by scratchyX1
 
I could see it being an issue for those who bought houses near the ROW, not expecting trains to run on it again.
  by The EGE
 
If the bridge is replaced - and that's a big if - I think a CapeFLYER-type service would do very well. It's a very walkable tourist area, and there's also the ferry to Block Island. I don't think there would be enough demand for commuter rail service, save for maybe a single daily express round trip. That's what it looks like in my 1917 timetable - there's one two-hour commute trip that makes no stops between Taunton and Back Bay, and then 2.5-3 hour locals not timed for commuting.

The ROW between Ferry Street and Tiverton is deliberately out of service - not abandoned - despite the rails being lifted. While restoration would still require environmental review, the NIMBY's stance would be substantially weakened because the line is legally still active.
  by mbrproductions
 
I didn't even know the bridge still existed, from the satellite photos I looked at, there appeared to be nothing there. If such a service could (hopefully) be established, I would expect station stops at Portsmouth and Middletown before finally reaching Newport if it were run as Commuter Rail, but if it were run in a style similar to the CapeFlyer then I would run right through Aquidneck Island with no stops until Newport
  by MBTA3247
 
mbrproductions wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 5:54 pm I didn't even know the bridge still existed, from the satellite photos I looked at, there appeared to be nothing there.
The satellite photos are correct, the bridge was removed in early 2007.
  by mbrproductions
 
Well it wouldn't have made a difference to have an old bridge there anyway, in fact it may have only raise the price to have to demolish it. If a new bridge is constructed and MBTA service does reach Newport, would it be more likely to be run as MBTA Commuter Rail or a MASSDOT/RIDOT seasonal train similar to the CCRTA's CapeFlyer? @The EGE's previous comment made me wonder about this
  by mbrproductions
 
Since the line goes through Myricks, and the original Old Colony Railroad route made a stop in Myricks, how come it was decided that there would be no stop in Myricks? Would it be a low ridership station or was it to minimize travel times?
  by The EGE
 
The whole 2008 station siting report is available here; Myricks is discussed in Part 1. There wasn't enough land available either at the junction or to the northwest, and there's hardly any residential density due to the swamps. East Taunton will better serve both 24 and 140, and has plenty of room for a parking sink; in the event that shuttle trains are used to increase frequency on the branches, East Taunton will have an island platform for easy transfers.

For a variety of reasons, station spacing today is much higher than it was a century ago. There were 4 intermediate stations between Middleborough and Cotley Junction, 4 between Myricks and Fall River, and 6 between Myricks and New Bedford. Many of those stations served very small villages, and likely were more used for freight than passengers. They wouldn't attract the passenger traffic to justify the cost - or the extra running time for other passengers - for modern service.
  by mbrproductions
 
Large Station spacing is possible now thanks to park-and-ride stations, back when there was no such a thing, there had to be as many stations as possible to serve as many people as possible, thanks to park-and-ride stations, this is no longer needed, and trains can now go from Boston to whatever suburb they are bound for much faster than they once did. This is why the park-and-ride station is a great idea, some may not like it and urge for more walkability (which I agree with), but the fact is that it does a great job at decreasing travel times and bringing people to use stations that they would never be able to walk to daily.
  by BandA
 
I keep thinking about how the railroads at one time operated profitably with much lower passenger density than the deficit-ridden MBTA does now (2019)
  by scratchyX1
 
BandA wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:06 pm I keep thinking about how the railroads at one time operated profitably with much lower passenger density than the deficit-ridden MBTA does now (2019)
IIRC, didn't the state use MBTA as a dumping ground for debt, not even remotely related to rail/bus transportation?
  by BandA
 
No, the debt IS transit-related. But I wasn't talking about debt or below-the-wheels capital expenses, I was talking about operating expenses (and capital expenses related to rolling stock) But we are getting into the weeds.https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/201 ... -dig-debt/
The MBTA's debt comes from three sources — $1.85 billion from spending since the 2000 start of forward funding, $1.65 billion that was transferred to the MBTA under forward funding and was related to previous transit projects, and $1.7 billion in funding for projects mandated under a Big Dig-related agreement.
Interestingly, (and OT) I cannot find a list of the $1.7B of projects in the MOU.
  by Trinnau
 
BandA wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:06 pm I keep thinking about how the railroads at one time operated profitably with much lower passenger density than the deficit-ridden MBTA does now (2019)
Because their freight profit offset their passenger losses. Passenger rail has never really been sustainably profitable.
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