• TransitMatters Issues Detailed Regional Rail Ideas

  • 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 Pensyfan19
 
There still is the possibility of these ideas being recommended to the MBTA, and these possible proposals can be applied to their system. Some of them are already being carried out, such as the electrification from South Station and the purchase of electric locomotives, or in this case EMUs.
Last edited by CRail on Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed. Do not use the "quote" button as a reply button.
  by RenegadeMonster
 
I believe they are already in the process of updating all the grade crossings in Chelsea as well.
  by rethcir
 
It’s good to put these ideas down in paper but it’s about as likely to happen as the old Urban Ring proposals.
  by Tallguy
 
Actually, it's mostly an action plan to implement the FMCB. Motion of a few months ago, with some added projects.
  by apodino
 
Providence is already Electrified for the most part, and other than some work in the Layup yard, and at the stations south of Providence, this wouldn't take much at all. The issue would be what Amtrak would charge to use the system, as it seems they have fleeced other systems (MARC I believe is going back to diesel mainly over this). If there is some sort of agreement over shared cost of the Sharon Substation (Which powers the Northeast corridor north of Norton), and the Warwick Substation as well, this could work. One immediate issue is the air quality in Back Bay Station, which has been an issue for years (I know a new ventilation system is being constructed, but call me skeptical until its actually working). I know the some of the EMU proposals included dual-mode locomotives similar to what NJ Transit uses, and I think if the T gets these, these should be mandatory on all Needham, Providence, Stoughton, and Franklin trains.

Electrification to Beverly is interesting, as Salem is one of the busiest stations in the system. I can see this working, but you wonder about the wisdom of only electrifying one north side line and only part way at that.

More likely is the high level platform proposals. Readville and Fairmount would really benefit from this route (Why Fairmount was only rebuilt as mini-high I don't get), as that would make the entire line High-Level full length, and would give the T more flexibility in better equipment for the Fairmount Line. I saw Franklin on that list as well, and to me Walpole station would be the challenge, given its at a freight junction. Framingham was also on that list, and if you remember, West Natick and westward were all mini highs due to the CSX need for freight clearance. Now that Beacon Park is not there, is this still an issue and if so can the T rebuild all these stations?

Very good read. I am eager to see what comes of it.
  by BandA
 
Regarding electrification & high-level platforms:

MassDOT & Amtrak had a big fight over Amtrak aggressively wanting more money from the MBTA to use their own tracks, including filing of court actions, and cancellation of agreements without proper contractual notice. Then they announced there was an agreement but I don't remember any details being publicly available, and it hasn't mentioned it in years. Electrification requires agreement on cost of using Amtrak's "electricity distribution system" i.e. catenary. I suspect MassDOT/MBTA would be better off prioritizing the replacement of South Station "Tower 1", and taking over all dispatch, signalling and maintenance, then Amtrak would be just a tenant and would have to negotiate for Acela-grade track maintenance and pay rent for Catenary and for using MBTA stations such as BOS, BBY, Framingham or Springfield (MBTA would have to pay rent at RTE). There is a thread for this.

Isn't Fairmont on a freight clearance route? That would explain mini-high. Entire B&A mainline from Framingham east is no longer a freight clearance route, wide clearance freight have to go the longer slower way down the Framingham Secondary and somehow get to Readville, and stations from Framingham east can be rebuilt with high platforms - BBY nothing stopping them from starting today, three Newton stations supposedly cost $30M each which is ridiculous - (what should a few elevators and a prefab platform & shelter cost?) There was a thread that talked about Framingham Station for which has been discussed for years or decades. West Natick and the Wellesley stations are problems due to difficulty accessing track 1 in a "safe" and HP-accessible way.
  by BandA
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:23 pm
BandA wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:32 am How is this going to be funded?
Considering this is from the MBTA, a publicly-owned public transportation system, I would say Massachusetts taxpayer dollars.
The state has a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall going into FY 21. That and MBTA ridership is down and fares are not being collected on buses or surface Green Line. Schools will face increased costs for COVID19 if they reopen.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
BandA wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:24 pm Electrification requires agreement on cost of using Amtrak's "electricity distribution system" i.e. catenary.
SEPTA and NJT seem not to have the issue, since they are grandfathered PRR legacy commuter
operations on the NEC.


BandA wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:17 am Fares are not being collected on buses or surface Green Line.
Would be a good time to implement
POP on surface travel west of Kenmore.
  by BandA
 
Apodino just reminded us viewtopic.php?p=1546706#p1546706 that MARC is de-electrifying allegedly due to Amtrak electricity fees. Amtrak presumably charges cost-plus to NJT & SEPTA for electricity and maintenance of the infrastructure. NJT pays $93M rent annually plus maintenance according to https://www.nj.com/traffic/2017/04/can_ ... _rent.html, no idea if that includes "utilities". http://nec-commission.com/has something to do with setting policies.
  by Pensyfan19
 
[*]
BandA wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:04 pm Apodino just reminded us viewtopic.php?p=1546706#p1546706 that MARC is de-electrifying allegedly due to Amtrak electricity fees. Amtrak presumably charges cost-plus to NJT & SEPTA for electricity and maintenance of the infrastructure. NJT pays $93M rent annually plus maintenance according to https://www.nj.com/traffic/2017/04/can_ ... _rent.html, no idea if that includes "utilities". http://nec-commission.com/has something to do with setting policies.
It is also key to remember that the NEC between Perryville and DC sees much more service with LDs and other regional trains than between Kingston and Boston, so that would explain why the electricity and maintenance fees for that region might be more than in MBTA territory. Maybe MBTA can set up their own catenary and run their own electricity on two outer tracks of the NEC, as well as their own electricity from North Station.
  by jbvb
 
Installing double track in the existing space at the Northey Point end of the Salem Tunnel and building a second platform at the current Salem station would add a lot of capacity at a fraction of the cost of re-digging the west 3/4 of the tunnel.
  by troffey
 
CRail wrote: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:29 pmYes. Transit matters boasts radical ideas with a complete disregard for logistical and real world factors. They want to change how the sausage is made without any interest in knowing how the sausage is made.
i find it unlikely that an organization run in part by a former Secretary of Transportation doesn't have any idea of the "logistical and real world factors" that impact how the sausage is made
Last edited by CRail on Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Nesting quote removed.
  by apodino
 
Pensyfan19 wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:40 pm It is also key to remember that the NEC between Perryville and DC sees much more service with LDs and other regional trains than between Kingston and Boston, so that would explain why the electricity and maintenance fees for that region might be more than in MBTA territory. Maybe MBTA can set up their own catenary and run their own electricity on two outer tracks of the NEC, as well as their own electricity from North Station.
The issue here is the line is double tracked between Readville and Attleboro, so at some point you are going to have to use the Amtrak system. Furthermore, unless a fourth track is added north of Readville, again you are going to have share the system with Amtrak.
Last edited by CRail on Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Nesting quote removed.
  by apodino
 
BandA wrote: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:24 pm Regarding electrification & high-level platforms:

MassDOT & Amtrak had a big fight over Amtrak aggressively wanting more money from the MBTA to use their own tracks, including filing of court actions, and cancellation of agreements without proper contractual notice. Then they announced there was an agreement but I don't remember any details being publicly available, and it hasn't mentioned it in years. Electrification requires agreement on cost of using Amtrak's "electricity distribution system" i.e. catenary. I suspect MassDOT/MBTA would be better off prioritizing the replacement of South Station "Tower 1", and taking over all dispatch, signalling and maintenance, then Amtrak would be just a tenant and would have to negotiate for Acela-grade track maintenance and pay rent for Catenary and for using MBTA stations such as BOS, BBY, Framingham or Springfield (MBTA would have to pay rent at RTE). There is a thread for this.

Isn't Fairmont on a freight clearance route? That would explain mini-high. Entire B&A mainline from Framingham east is no longer a freight clearance route, wide clearance freight have to go the longer slower way down the Framingham Secondary and somehow get to Readville, and stations from Framingham east can be rebuilt with high platforms - BBY nothing stopping them from starting today, three Newton stations supposedly cost $30M each which is ridiculous - (what should a few elevators and a prefab platform & shelter cost?) There was a thread that talked about Framingham Station for which has been discussed for years or decades. West Natick and the Wellesley stations are problems due to difficulty accessing track 1 in a "safe" and HP-accessible way.
I don't believe Fairmount is on a freight clearance route. Every other station on the line is a full length High Level platform, save Readville. I am also unaware of any facility between Fairmount and Blue Hill Ave where a freight train would service.
  by CRail
 
troffey wrote: Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:40 pmi find it unlikely that an organization run in part by a former Secretary of Transportation doesn't have any idea of the "logistical and real world factors" that impact how the sausage is made
I don't know why you would, gubernatorial appointees for public policy typically do not have backgrounds from within a public agency. The last General Manager that came from within the system was Mike Mulhern. So for the last 15 years they've been political appointees with backgrounds other than running a railroad or transit system, and that's regarding a position far less removed from the operation itself. There's no reason for a Sec of Transp. to know the nitty gritties of public transportation, they've got people for that.