http://www.mbta.com/uploadedFiles/Docum ... 1x17_1.pdf
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Thankfully those very design docs for a Peabody-side Salem platform have been sitting in a file cabinet for 13 years!
450-footer (5-car max) on a slight curve coming out the portal's Peabody turnout, cannibalizing the small auxiliary lot
. Grade crossing at the hook in the driveway. Easy-peasy. They actually did a MUCH better job provisioning for the Peabody platform in the station rebuild than they did leaving a space allowance for the 2nd mainline platform. They have to eat away a bunch of hillside fill to shiv a sharp and slow-speed turnout for the northbound main platform because they put the new full-high so damn close to the portal. The way the Peabody wye + platform easement is graded leaves it almost lovingly provisioned. What a baffling choice of project management blindspot.
Since the Peabody switch was/is several dozen feet inside the tunnel free movements are possible onto that platform (w/ adequate buffer for a 6-car train that can't platform the 6th car on the 450-footer) while the mainline platform is occupied, allowing for very close-packed meets of a Peabody vs. a Rockburyport not currently possible with the two branches that have to use the mainline platform. This build actually becomes the easiest vector for service increases on the whole Eastern Route, because to do more Rockburyports you not only have to dig out that hillside for the northbound platform but add more passing sidings to the Newburyport branch and/or go to war with the Rockport NIMBY's over expanding Rockport layover. Here you just have to build that 450-footer and throw down the switch. It's too easy to just keep on going to Peabody Square and rework the municipal parking lot on Railroad Ave. for single side 800-footer, but theoretically you could just stub out at Salem if add'l frequencies now/soonest/cheapest was the only goal. Layover yard can be at North St. freight yard, Pan Am accommodated for its loss by constructing a second runaround track on the South Peabody Branch between the Allens Ln. and Summit St. grade crossings (3000 ft.) for canning the Rousselot job. That's equivalent storage to the 3000 ft. of operable track currently at North St.
This is why the locals want the branch so bad. They know from the studies that this wasn't just a linear extension, but a substantial service increaser at Salem that also makes the existing bus lines a hell of a lot more useful, interzone commutes a hell of a lot more useful, and downtown Salem a hell of a lot more useful a hub. Compelling other complimentary investments like the South Salem/Salem State U.
So I guess this study bill can be useful for forcing the issue that's been tabled ever since the '04 North Shore Transit Improvements final recs all went unimplemented (except for the slovenly parking garage expansions). Pretending it's going to be an RDC shuttle is a crude, but not necessarily ineffective, attention-getting scheme to finally get someone at MassDOT to return their phone calls after 13 years. Could've been worded a whole lot less cumbersomely, but the intent is completely consistent with the loud advocacy for the branch + associated service increases that's amped up to fever pitch last couple local election cycles.