• Commuter Rail to Rhode Island 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 MBTA3247
The question is not whether a battery-powered locomotive can move one of today's trains at track speed, but rather how long it can do so between charges and how long it takes to charge.
  by BandA
You could connect the battery powered locomotive to a diesel generator car, keeping it continuously charged :-D
  by bostontrainguy
daybeers wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:15 pm. Have you been to Back Bay recently? The MBTA is spending tens of millions on a new ventilation system expected to be complete in 2022 when they should just switch to electrics (slowly, over time of course). They've even done studies about the dangerous air quality as far back as 2006! The 18,000 commuters using that station every day are quite literally, slowly but surely, getting lung cancer. Electrics aren't really that much more expensive than diesels, and the more of them you have to maintain, the less it costs. Not to mention how much positive press the MBTA could get for electrification, which is surely needs.
The B&A is not electrified and that runs though Back Bay Station.
  by BandA
According to the T website, the BBY ventilation project isn't slated to be finished until 2023. And they mention Tracks 1,3 & 2 (NEC), but not Track 5, 7 (B&A line). Problem is they shouldn't have built the new station or sold the air rights (Copley Place) without having a valid ventilation system. I believe the ventilation problems affect all 5 tracks. The T isn't going to electrify the B&A within the next 15 years, and there are off-NEC branches like Franklin & Needham that use BBY, so I don't see how they can avoid fixing the ventilation. I can imagine some lawyers launching a class action for anybody that gets cancer & uses BBY...
  by HenryAlan
BandA wrote: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:02 am CR should only be electrified where it will save money. If the issue is emissions, retire locomotives like the ones the MBTA is rebuilding & replace with Tier IV or switch them to cleaner-burning fuel.
A third reason to electrify would be to improve service levels. I'm happy to save money and reduce emissions, but for me, electrification has always been about faster acceleration/deceleration enabling shorter trips and more frequent headways.
  by BandA
Saving money is the most important. Increasing capacity through improved acceleration (or braking) would be important on the NEC. Note that the T is spending extra to replace Red Line cars because the increased performance of the new Red China cars will increase capacity.
  by CRail
Please keep this discussion related to Commuter Rail operations to and within the state of Rhode Island.
  by Trinnau
There are already plenty of express trains running between the cities, the problem is the cost of the fare and all-reserved trains on Amtrak.

A round-trip taking 66 PVD-BOS ($27) and 177 back to PVD ($15) results in a $42 commute but you can only take those two trains. An MBTA round-trip fare to Zone 8 is $24.50 and you can take any train pair you want. Seems like they need to figure out a way to create some cross-honored tickets on both services, where the states maybe add some subsidy. I'm sure there are some number of seats available on those trains for the short haul which Amtrak could make money on if the partnership was done correctly. Since they are all-reserved trains Amtrak probably has that data if the states approach them. Maximize the existing capacity before trying to add additional trains.
  by BandA
Why would [MA | RI] voluntarily subsidize Amtrak fares? Just because CT does (on the NHHS line)?

If the MBTA figures out "how to run an express train", it will cannibalize some Amtrak service, so the MBTA should increase their fares on this line!
  by CRail
You run an express train by skipping stops, and we don't need to figure out how... we already do it.

If the state(s) want Amtrak to cross honor commuter rail fare media, the state(s) need to chip in to cover the difference. Why should Amtrak subsidize state services? 66 sells out nightly as it is, and with the reservation system it's pretty unfair to intercity travelers that they can't buy a ticket from Penn to South Station because all of the seats are reserved from Providence and/or 128. That's also costly to Amtrak as a lower fare is taking the place of a higher fare and leaving a seat empty for most of the trip. This is why the Downeaster doesn't allow for travel between North Station and Anderson/Woburn (for example).

I don't have a problem with premium trips being extra fare, though I'd be shocked to see it. I'd also like to see on board services provided for such trips. If the name of the game is getting cars off the highway, all measures which give rail travel an advantage over the automocar need to be considered.
  by troffey
SOCO11 wrote: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:07 pm There has been all kinds of talk in the news in the last week about express Boston-Providence service using electric locomotives. Any real action action being explored with Amtrak?

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2019/08/28/ ... rail-plan/
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/ ... story.html

In short, they've talked but no publicly disclosed developments...
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