The EGE wrote:
electricron wrote: How many stations between Boston and D.C. have low platforms?
Currently, I believe it's down to Mystic, Westerly, and maybe one of the Delaware stations. Mystic and Westerly are due to be raised.
East of NYP it's New London (mostly), Mystic, Westerly, South Attleboro, Attleboro, Mansfield, Sharon, Canton Jct., Readville, and Hyde Park. Kingston is under construction. Westerly is widely expected to be next. Mystic's a simple one, albeit not high priority because of its limited schedule. Sharon is in final design for highs + a center passing track because it's the last non-ADA Providence Line stop, and the Amtrak NEC Infrastructure plan puts every MBTA platform on-notice for raisings. South Attleboro and Mansfield would also get modified for passing tracks, and Hyde Park would get reconfigured when the 4th iron gets installed from Forest Hills to Readville to traffic-separate slow Franklin Line trains.
Of course none of those are regular Acela or Regional stops, so the only consideration is emergency stops in the event of a service disruption. The T, if it can get out of its acute short-term funding crisis, is amply motivated to get all the Providence Line up to full highs so it can use its automatic door coach fleet on its busiest line. The stations getting mods for passing tracks would get ample amounts of fed funding because Amtrak is in control of all track work in MA and it's their cap improvements plan calling for this. I would not be surprised if there's a steady stream of stimulus starting as early as next year to chip away at the backlog.
New London is the only desirable station to add to some of the schedule, and that of course is a tough, tough, and expensive one to modify. And modifications will be needed if Shore Line East intends on running a full schedule there on highs-only M8's. But every other station is a pretty simple proposition. Maybe save South Attleboro for last because the passing tracks and generally poor structural condition of the walkways necessitate a fairly substantial rebuild (but probably not overly expensive because it was a real quick-and-dirty job when it opened in 1988, hence its decrepit condition after only 25 years).
It's an achievable goal if funding for even small stuff isn't totally gridlocked to get all of east-of-NHV at level boarding by 2020 with possible exception of expensive New London. Again, not that it matters much for the Acela schedule, but there are definitely additional schedule slots to be had if the commuter rail dwell times drop en route and those passing tracks around the MBTA stations get built.