• Franklin line to Hopedale?

  • 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 railgeekteen
I have heard that it is proposed, but I know almost nothing about it? Is anything going on with it?
  by BostonUrbEx
Milford has been on the radar in the past, but certainly not Hopedale. And even at that, there are no current or active studies, designs, or funding for any extension to Milford at this time. I think there's more value in Woonsocket than Milford, personally.

At any rate, with the Fitchburg Line now extended and supported with a modern, expanded layover, there's three necessary layover replacements at this time. Extending the Haverhill Line to Plaistow and subsequent replacement of the Bradford Layover is no longer on the table. The Lowell Line extension into New Hampshire is also on life support, and only because of the City of Nashua, not the State of New Hampshire. So the Lowell Line likely won't be getting a layover at all just yet. That could mean the Franklin Line is next in line for a new layover, and the issue could be folded in with a feasible extension, as was done with the Fitchburg Line. There's already design work being done for Franklin Branch double tracking, which will be the next major double tracking project on the MBTA system. Perhaps there could be some momentum for further improvements.
  by BandA
You forgot Worcester needs more layover capacity and probably another station platform.

If Providence-Worcester service ever happens, and extension of Franklin Line to Woonsocket, Woonsocket would have service in three directions!
  by nomis
Both lines feature 6 train arrivals before 9:00 am from the end-point of the line. Although Worcester service is constrained by both the 4 track layover, and the terminal station. Franklin line has limited physical plant which prevents reverse-commuting, as well as a 0-dark-30 revenue and two additional dead-head moves every morning to make rush-hour service occur. There is no resilience in Franklin Line service, and a failure at 3:30 am makes a bad morning rush hour for Franklin service.
  by BandA
So the Franklin/Forge-Park Line has some issues with the line not having a layover facility?? So an extension might help?

Looking at openstreetmap.org, Milford, Hopedale, and Woonsocket all go off in different directions. A Woonsocket train would continue straight on the Franklin Line, bypassing Forge Park which is on the "Milford Secondary". Milford & Hopedale are compatible with Forge Park.
  by BostonUrbEx
Letting Forge Park dictate the extension of the Franklin Line would be a bit like having the tail wag the dog, IMO. Forge Park is about as replaceable as MBTA stations come: low level platforms built for a single track and serving a highway rather than a neighborhood. I wouldn't say to completely snub Milford, though. There's always the possibility for a Franklin-Forge Park-Bellingham-Milford shuttle connecting to a fast and frequent Woonsocket Line, and that would probably work just fine.
  by The EGE
Woonsocket is never going to happen - it's primarily connected to the Providence center of gravity, not Boston. (Plus, the Franklin Line never went there - it terminated at Blackstone. Woonsocket would require reactivating part of the old Boston & Pascoag which is very, very dead.) That was pretty firmly established in this 2007 study - direct service to Boston didn't score any more riders than a far cheaper feeder bus to Franklin. That study showed that Worcester and Providence were the main markets for Woonsocket, and that Boston could be served with the feeder bus and/or a transfer to NEC trains at Pawtucket.