• Franklin Line Discussion

  • 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 daybeers
Hello everyone! I'm taking a trip up to Boston in a couple weeks and was wondering if I could get the rundown of what the Franklin Line is like. I've been on the Framingham/Worcester Line before, so I know how the commuter rail works, but just wondering if there's anything special about this line. I'll be traveling from South Station to Norfolk.

Thanks in advance!
  by johnpbarlow
Much of the west end of the Franklin branch between Franklin and Walpole features long straightaways and sustains high speed operation (79mph) - IIRC, the MBTA would test various cars along the route years back.

Re: the MBTA's only diamond at Walpole, up until recently, there used to be a diamond or two where the Grand Junction branch crossed the Fitchburg MBTA line underneath the McGrath Highway but this April 2018 aerial photo suggests that switches are being installed there.
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  by GP40MC1118
The new configuration at Swift Interlocking/Grand Jct has a moveable point diamond switch. Most of it is under the McGrath Highway

  by MBTA3247
There are a pair of diamonds at Orient Heights where the yard leads from the inbound track cross the outbound track.
  by daybeers
Thanks everyone!
  by BandA
I assume on this type of project the construction companies get to keep those beautiful granite blocks.
  by Arborwayfan
Band A, I wouldn't be so sure. When they tore down the embankment through Jamaica Plain to build the new Southwest Corridor, the granite blocks got used in public landscaping projects all over the city. Some make the raised flower beds at Forest Hills Station. Some make vehicle barriers all along the road through Franklin Park from the Arborway to Blue Hill Ave. Some are in the Arboretum at the top of Peter's or Motley's Hill. Some are all through Southwest Corridor Park. I don't know where else. But at least that time -- the last big demolition of old granite railroad walls -- they didn't give them to the contractors or treat them as junk.
  by HenryAlan
@ArborwayFan: that is fascinating, I had no idea that the granite had been repurposed in that fashion. I have frequently interacted with those blocks both at the Arobretum and at Franklin Park, never realizing they were a part of Boston rail history.
  by BandA
How can they run pilot projects when there is a car shortage?
  by Arborwayfan
Henry Alan. Here's a short history of the embankment, which confirms my memory about the granite blocks, but seems to say that the inner, undressed stones were not reused in that way, just the outside ones: https://www.jphs.org/transportation/ora ... kment.html. The embankment was demolished in 1979-80 (while I was taking the school bus to kindergarten right through the demolition zone; I remember one day the demolition had reached the bridge they went under, and they were cutting it down, and then the bridge was gone and they were jackhammering away on the other side of the street) and the stones appeared in those other places over the next few years.
  by CRail
BandA wrote:How can they run pilot projects when there is a car shortage?
The service will run as an extension to existing trains. It will not require additional equipment.
  by AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer
diburning wrote:You'll pass over a diamond in Walpole. I could be wrong, but it might be the only one on the MBTA.
Was the diamond in FX Interlocking removed? It's been over many years since I've been through there.