Rockingham Racer wrote:I believe a second platform is part of increased Amtrak service via the Inland Route.
Sort of. Inlands + increasing MBTA service means they're going to reinstate the island platform next to the current platform track. Used to exist there at the old station, which is why the next track is spaced so conspicuously wide from the platform track. That's always been a future necessity once cumulative passenger service exceeded a certain threshold, and with the Worcester Line slated to get increasing reverse-commute schedules as it scales up they'll need the second berth for juggling more simultaneous bi-directional platform arrivals. It's tight scheduling as-is, so a second berth will be non-optional after another 5 years of incremental bumps in frequencies.
^That^ is not related at all to this P&W commuter rail scheme. This service would have to stay entirely on P&W's tracks because this guy almost certainly can't afford to insure himself to cross into MBTA/CSX territory, much less equip his mythical locomotives with the cab signal equipment required to enter the current platform. So staying exclusively on P&W's tracks means building a mini-high or something cheap on the Gardner Branch side of the station, not the Worcester Line side.
The bigger problem is where the Providence platform is going to go.
1) Amtrak owns the station and dispatches the NEC, and there is no way in hell risk-averse AMTK is going to allow a rinky-dink operation like this onto the NEC tracks. They would have to stay exclusively on the P&W FRIP track, which is considered non-AMTK and part of the P&W mainline until it merges in with the NEC at Atwells Interlocking about 3/4 mile south of the station.
2) Even if AMTK did allow him in he most definitely can't afford the insurance there, much less the cab signal + ACSES PTC units in mythical passenger locomotives.
3) The FRIP track passes straight through the station with no possible interface with a station platform or room alongside that track to place a dedicated platform. It was always designed to be a freight passer, not an expansion platform track.
4) There is no other place to let passengers off in Providence that stays entirely on P&W trackage except by the side of the road
on the freight siding next to Atwells Interlocking. Then hoof it to the end of Harris Ave. and some pretty scuzzy industrial property to get on a bus. Or walk 3/4 mile to Providence Place and the station. Which is a compromise that makes this service quite very a lot less convenient.
And the dude is a scammer without any business footprint other than a P.O. Box. So...you know...chances of this ever happening are about 0.0000000000%. But I'm sure a different ProJo or Telegram reporter will get snookered into reprinting his snake-oil sales pitch verbatim once every 4 months until this thing runs its course. With the perfunctory noncommital statement from a P&W spokesflak saying they're always interested in hosting passenger service...while making no specific statement about this
particular proposal other than vague hypotheticals about if in the event it's actually real. Which ignorant ProJo/Telegram reporter-of-the-week will take to mean "IT'S HAPPENING!", even though it's not.
Nothing to see here.