• Second Ruggles CR platform

  • 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 The EGE
 
Not sure why this hasn't gotten a topic yet. The T is apparently planning to add a side platform to track 2 at Ruggles, thus allowing all CR trains to stop there without crossover moves. Looks like a standard 800' x 12' high-level platform with a pedestrian tunnel under the busway. No mention of repairing the island platform, but hopefully that will occur as well.

There is an open house TODAY at Northeastern from 4:30 to 6:30pm. It's a stop-by-anytime deal.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Cabral Center
John D. O’Bryant African American Institute
Northeastern University
40 Leon Street, Boston
MBTA project page

Open House flyer

Powerpoint with design drawings
  by BostonUrbEx
 
Heh, I hadn't heard about this until the other day when I was gong through 'the universe of MassDOT projects'. I thought it wouldn't happen without Amtrak scoffing at it. Trying to prove me wrong, MassDOT, eh?
  by Commuting Boston Student
 
Two things jump out at me immediately when I look at this.

#1) That platform looks like it's going to lock us out of 4-tracking between Ruggles and Forest Hills permanently, assuming that nothing else already has.
#2) That they want to connect it to the existing platform with a pedestrian tunnel as opposed to a bridge/staircase/ramp/elevator up to the existing station infrastructure built out over the tracks worries me.

I'm not sure if I can make the open house. There are going to be more meetings, right?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
BostonUrbEx wrote:Heh, I hadn't heard about this until the other day when I was gong through 'the universe of MassDOT projects'. I thought it wouldn't happen without Amtrak scoffing at it. Trying to prove me wrong, MassDOT, eh?
No, it's happening because Amtrak is the one pushing it. MBCR inbounds having to switch tracks to reach the current platform is a major traffic clog. Amtrak would much prefer an extra side platform to shove incoming MBCR's so intercity can stay on the center track the whole way through town while slow locals bogart the outer tracks. Means the current island wouldn't see too many inbounds any longer with most of that traffic shifting to the new one, but it significantly simplifies ops and is on Amtrak's cap improvements shortlist along with tri-tracking Readville-Canton for most-meaningful Boston area NEC congestion improvements. The state probably wouldn't be moving on this at all without being prodded by Amtrak.
  by The EGE
 
And PR-wise, it's perfect for MassDOT. They get to point out how now 500 people will get off at Ruggles and not have to take the Orange Line back - which is a lot easier to sell than "Amtrak wants to minimize crossover moves".
  by MBTA1016
 
This makes sense since mbta wouldn't need to run the center track from readville and throw amtraks and commuter trains onto the other tracks.
  by CSX Conductor
 
Besides, Amtrak can't really bitch about it because it's the MBTA's property.
  by The EGE
 
I went to the meeting today around 6:00. It was me and about 7 people from the project teams at that point. Nothing spectacular that wasn't in the powerpoint, though there were some neat ground-level renderings. They're funded through 100% design and will be looking at federal grants after that.
  by jonnhrr
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: Means the current island wouldn't see too many inbounds any longer with most of that traffic shifting to the new one, but it significantly simplifies ops and is on Amtrak's cap improvements shortlist along with tri-tracking Readville-Canton for most-meaningful Boston area NEC congestion improvements. The state probably wouldn't be moving on this at all without being prodded by Amtrak.
Wouldn't inbounds from Needham and Franklin continue to use track 3 where schedule permits? Seems like that would be advantageous otherwise then they have to cross over to 2 which then adds crossover moves which is what they are trying to avoid.

Jon
  by wicked
 
What is the commuter rail ridership like at Ruggles?

About 20 years ago, it was barely existent.
  by The EGE
 
wicked wrote:What is the commuter rail ridership like at Ruggles?

About 20 years ago, it was barely existent.
The MBTA claims 500 riders per day have to use the Orange Line from Back bay because their trains don't stop. I've been at Ruggles at rush hour and the platform is pretty crowded - so I would guess it's substantial. Remember, Ruggles gets a lot of Longwood ridership.
  by Diverging Route
 
The EGE wrote:
wicked wrote:What is the commuter rail ridership like at Ruggles?

About 20 years ago, it was barely existent.
The MBTA claims 500 riders per day have to use the Orange Line from Back bay because their trains don't stop. I've been at Ruggles at rush hour and the platform is pretty crowded - so I would guess it's substantial. Remember, Ruggles gets a lot of Longwood ridership.
There's another segment as well, that I'll bet the MBTA hasn't considered. I often come in from the south on the PVD line and if I can get off at Ruggles, connect to the CT2 or 47 to get to Cambridge. If I'm on a train that doesn't make Ruggles, I keep going to South Station and use the Red Line. I have many colleagues that do the same thing, and getting us off the RL during morning rush hour on to a bus route that has good capacity and service would be a win-win.

(A bit off topic, but in the PM I always go to SS. The CT2 and 47 from Cambridge have highly variable travel times, and so it's hard to gauge the arrival to make a particular train. And if you miss, there's no shelter on the platform and the mezzanine has no seating. Plus, it's nearly impossible to get a seat on a PVD train outbound at Ruggles during the afternoon. At least South Station's waiting room is weatherproof, has seats, and you're assured a seat on the train.)
  by diburning
 
The EGE wrote:
wicked wrote:What is the commuter rail ridership like at Ruggles?

About 20 years ago, it was barely existent.
The MBTA claims 500 riders per day have to use the Orange Line from Back bay because their trains don't stop. I've been at Ruggles at rush hour and the platform is pretty crowded - so I would guess it's substantial. Remember, Ruggles gets a lot of Longwood ridership.
And assuming that not all of the riders have monthly passes, the MBTA is spending money to not collect that fare revenue from people riding the orange line from Back Bay to Ruggles...
  by CSX Conductor
 
jonnhrr wrote:
Wouldn't inbounds from Needham and Franklin continue to use track 3 where schedule permits? Seems like that would be advantageous otherwise then they have to cross over to 2 which then adds crossover moves which is what they are trying to avoid.

Jon
Not all Needham inbounds stop at Ruggles, and cross from either Track 5 or Track 3 over to Track 2 at Plains. If there was an inbound platform on 2 things would be fine. As for Frnklin trains not stopping at Ruggles, they would cross from the Franklin Branch to track #2 at Read Interlocking. Inbounds from Franklin Branch during the evening rush hour usually go into Boston via the Dorchester.

Btw, in my opinion I don't think having locals stopping on track 2 at Ruggles will reduce delays to Amtrak trains......in fact they would increase delays inbound.
  by Commuting Boston Student
 
CSX Conductor wrote:
jonnhrr wrote:
Wouldn't inbounds from Needham and Franklin continue to use track 3 where schedule permits? Seems like that would be advantageous otherwise then they have to cross over to 2 which then adds crossover moves which is what they are trying to avoid.

Jon
Not all Needham inbounds stop at Ruggles, and cross from either Track 5 or Track 3 over to Track 2 at Plains. If there was an inbound platform on 2 things would be fine. As for Frnklin trains not stopping at Ruggles, they would cross from the Franklin Branch to track #2 at Read Interlocking. Inbounds from Franklin Branch during the evening rush hour usually go into Boston via the Dorchester.

Btw, in my opinion I don't think having locals stopping on track 2 at Ruggles will reduce delays to Amtrak trains......in fact they would increase delays inbound.
I have to disagree with this - unless you propose eliminating Ruggles as a stop entirely, there will always be trains stopping there. Adding the new platform means that trains have to spend the least amount of time actually stopped there, especially since all doors could be used at the new platform (they can't at the existing one for as long as it's 'closed for repairs.')

I would go as far to say that the best thing we could do for Ruggles in terms of streamlining service is ripping out the existing Island Platform, since all signs point to its state of disrepair being permanent. Getting rid of it should create space to fan out to 4 tracks around Ruggles, and have the outside tracks served by two side platforms. That would leave two center platforms open for Amtrak trains to cruise down at some speed (if perhaps not max speed due to the new switches) - and because Amtrak handles all dispatching there, they can easily hold trains at Ruggles longer so said Amtrak trains can pass in front of them, if need be.