• Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

  • 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

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  by nomis
 
TomNelligan wrote:
BandA wrote:So the station should be called Foxborough, unless the railroad spelled it the other way before.
Just as a historical note, both the New Haven and Penn Central identified the station as "Foxboro" when they owned the line. Football specials began running there in the early 1970s under PC.
And by ETT today, it is Foxboro.
  by ohalloranchris
 
If I'm not mistaken, the current special event trains to Foxboro crawl at around 20mph from Walpole to the Stadium. Is the track being upgraded for higher speeds?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Yes. The whole line from Framingham to Mansfield is being upgraded right this second to Class 2 standards. Go spotting the line and you'll see Iowa Pacific-contracted crews out there right now doing track work on the southern end of the line (after doing the north end last year). These upgrades will allow for 30 MPH passenger MAS and 25 MPH freight MAS, and also a much smoother and quieter ride now that the shot trackbed and crossing surfaces are getting a long overdue full renewal. Crossing protection is also being upgraded to full gates, meaning Boston trains won't have to slow up at formerly flashers-only crossings like Summer St. in South Walpole and the Providence game-day trains won't get slowed up on the 7 flashers-only public crossings in Foxboro coming up from the Mansfield end.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
FCMB published its Response to Questions summary about the pilot: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 4-2017.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


Nothing terribly interesting, but they detailed the methodology they used to evaluate the pilot...including how it would fit in with the stretched-thin equipment pool.
  by mgdemarco
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Yes. The whole line from Framingham to Mansfield is being upgraded right this second to Class 2 standards. Go spotting the line and you'll see Iowa Pacific-contracted crews out there right now doing track work on the southern end of the line (after doing the north end last year). These upgrades will allow for 30 MPH passenger MAS and 25 MPH freight MAS, and also a much smoother and quieter ride now that the shot trackbed and crossing surfaces are getting a long overdue full renewal. Crossing protection is also being upgraded to full gates, meaning Boston trains won't have to slow up at formerly flashers-only crossings like Summer St. in South Walpole and the Providence game-day trains won't get slowed up on the 7 flashers-only public crossings in Foxboro coming up from the Mansfield end.
About how many minutes will the above upgrades shave off on the Boston to Foxboro game trains?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Probably not a whole lot when ~20 miles of the game train trip is on the main + NEC, and only 3.5 miles are on the Framingham Secondary itself. The modest increase in max speed won't shave enough time to get out of the schedule padding margin-of-error. The running track uprate is more about smoother ride quality and lowered noise impacts; you won't ker-plunk up and down with a bang on every shot rail joint like before on the new rail and renewed trackbed. Where you may indeed see the game trains pick up a couple minutes is with the grade crossing rebuilds and Lewis Wye renewal. The wye won't be as excruciating a slow walk with the interlocking due to be rebuilt before the pilot, and both Summer St. Walpole and the Walpole Station pedestrian crossing on the wye are getting full gates as part of their renewal. That does meaningful good at taming speed restrictions across those 3.5 miles.


The full-build feasibility study called for Class 3 (60 MPH MAS) track on the Framingham Secondary from Lewis Wye to Gillette Stadium (no Class 4/79 MPH MAS necessary since trains on the Framingham Sec. would only top 60 for an inconsequential handful of seconds before hitting the brakes at station or wye approach, at zero difference in schedule time). That study schedule took 10 minutes to go from Windsor Gardens to Foxboro (6 miles) without a Walpole stop (omitted from the scoping study since it's a separate TBD how an ADA'd Walpole Station would be configured), whereas today's Forge Park schedule takes 5 minutes from WG to Walpole (2.5 miles). Splitting the difference, that probably means 5 min. WG-Walpole + 5 min. Walpole-Foxboro if the full-build included a Walpole platform. I guess you can do some math and extrapolate from there how much of an improvement the much zippier Class 3 full-build uprate is from the game trains, as 60 vs. 25 MPH is a much starker difference than 30 vs. 25.
  by troffey
 
For what it's worth, I took the train to a game last year and according to GPS, we topped out at 9 miles an hour between the wye and the stadium. We also missed the scheduled/published arrival by about 15 minutes, so the upgrades might just translate to meeting the published times.
  by Diverging Route
 
The pilot has been approved by the MBTA FMCB. From the Boston Globe today:
The board on Monday also approved a one-year pilot service on the commuter rail to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Partially subsidized by the Kraft Group, which owns the stadium and the New England Patriots, the service would launch in spring 2019.

The Foxborough proposal had drawn opposition along the Fairmount Line, where riders worried that extending the train service along their tracks to Foxborough increased the risk of delay. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack argued the pilot could help boost ridership and increase parking options along the commuter rail. As part of the Foxborough service, the Krafts will provide 500 parking spaces at the stadium for T commuters.
  by BandA
 
The Herald articlehttp://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_ ... _t_service was very negative, played up the Bob Kraft benefits and that the service was racist:
“They are all-star, hall-of-fame caliber when it comes to screwing things up,” state Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) said of the MBTA. “The fact that they’re willing to sacrifice more taxpayer dollars to make their argument (for this pilot) possibly work is beyond me. It just shows a total disregard for the public trust.
Apparently the Conservation Law Foundation is now a "civil rights" organization:
“That means the folks riding from Foxboro will be sitting and the folks getting on board on the Fairmount Line will be standing,” said Rafael Mares of the Conservation Law Foundation. “And if you know the demographics, that means that most white people coming from Foxboro will be sitting while black people will be standing, which is a terrible image.”
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
 
Current Temporary Speed Restriction on the Framingham Secondary for passenger trains is 10 mph for the entire branch. As someone mentioned, MassCoastal has been very busy this summer replacing ties, and the last 3 weeks, dumping stone, and having the track tamped and surfaced. Stone dumping will be wrapping up in a few weeks, and then the rail will be replaced before the speed is brought back up. Along with x'ing upgrades, etc. that is also needed
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/loc ... bc6bf.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mark your calendars. . .
The MBTA has chosen a tentative start date of May 20, 2019 for their commuter rail pilot program in Foxboro, according to Planning Director Paige Duncan.
Next steps involve the town finalizing the feeder bus routes to Gillette that will debut with the pilot CR service and working out the arrangements with GATRA. Track work on the Framingham Secondary is substantially complete and in mop-up now, with Lewis Wye construction and Franklin Main PTC install on-tap for the 2018 construction season.

The extra slack to 5/20/2019 is likely for getting that PTC actually live and activated. Franklin is NOT one of the demonstration lines being held to a 2018 go-live date, and is in the same boat as Needham's just-completed installation: the field equipment gets hooked up and debugged right away for FRA reporting deadlines, but it does not get turned on for real revenue service until they go back later and install the missing cab signal layer required for interfacing with the southside back-office. They'll need the extra construction season for that last step...though cutting in conventional cabs here probably isn't going to require bustitutions and doesn't have as much onerous FRA bureaucracy governing each step in the schedule (other than final drop-dead date when the whole shebang has to be revenue-live) like there is with the PTC-specific equipment and all that radio testing. Thus, that brings us to Spring '19 for projecting a "fail-safe" date for service starts to Foxboro.
  by The EGE
 
Duncan will also be working on Operation Lightsaber, an MBTA program committed to ensuring public safety around train tracks.
I have nothing more to add.
  by BandA
 
The lightsaber is for cutting through red tape.
  by rethcir
 
Should the Fairmount Line be a traditional commuter rail service, running from the city to a distant suburb and back again during rush hours?

Or is it better used as a rapid-transit service that provides a faster-paced link to downtown for Boston’s minority neighborhoods?
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/ ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by BandA
 
So, Fairmont at 7.9 Miles is Zone 1A $2.25 (28¢/mi), while Readville at 9.2 is Zone 2 $6.75 (73¢/mi). Talk about unfair fares...
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