• SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

  • 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 F-line to Dudley via Park
Not only that, but they buried the lede on what NEC improvements are necessary for this. SCR trains were due to skip all the way from Canton Jct. to Back Bay (with one branch expressing from Easton to Back Bay at peak because of the broken schedule). That's unacceptable for the transit loss at CJ, 128, and Hyde Park...and unacceptable for shutting out South Coasters and reverse-commuters from radial access to 128-belt jobs. But they were completely mum on how to address that. No thought to punting Forge Park trains over to the Fairmount Line to carve out the breathing room or reshaping Cleary Sq. buses to loop at Fairmount to load-shift the vacated HP frequencies to service increases @ Fairmount station. No thought to making 128 Station a 4-track/twin-island station (which it is designed out-of-box for!!!) to preserve that access. No thought to any configuration changes to CJ so Stoughton trains are set a few feet back further behind the switch for pressure-free local stops that fit on the platform without fouling the junction. No thought to tri-tracking CJ's Providence side with a center passer between the junction and viaduct approach that shifts the southbound platform onto a single row of parking spots, so Providence locals can backfill any loss of Stoughton frequencies @ CJ without any pressure from Amtrak. No thought to connecting the dependency dots on any of this where maybe that Franklin-Fairmount shift allows Providence to shed a (closed) Hyde Park from the schedule in exchange for extra backfills at CJ.

And, apparently, no thought to telling Amtrak about any of these South Coast-related capacity constraints when MassDOT signed off on the 2010 NEC Improvements Infrastructure Master Plan. They didn't put in a request for extending the planned Forest Hills-Readville quad track all the way to 128, just triple that's already proven itself inadequate for SCR making any local stops. They didn't see a need to ask for a 4th track turnout converting the 128 northbound platform into an island like the SB platform (for heaven's sake, it has room for a total of 5 platform tracks by buffing out all the way to the easterly side of the 128 overpass!!!). They didn't make any changes whatsoever to Canton Jct. They put in for an in-situ rebuild of Hyde Park around the 4th track expansion without saying what services would still be using it (just Providence???). And now NEC FUTURE has released its empire-building scheme assuming every local service on the SW Corridor is going to be stet forever, kneecapping Needham and Franklin frequencies by punting them to a single bi-directional track in the tunnel rather than asking Captain Obvious about the Franklin-Fairmount punt (let alone asking if Needham's remaining problems are solvable with that long-overdue rapid transit conversion).

It's no different from the M'boro Alternative burying the lede on the billion-dollar question of how to double-track the Old Colony in Dorchester & Quincy so the South Shore doesn't get whacked for bigger transit loss and loss of ridership than would be gained by running super-long at M'boro Jct. You can't build anything arse-end-up. None of this stuff is functional without figuring out how to get there from Boston! They have completely abdicated how to even get between Boston and Route 128 in one piece on any routing, let alone how to get between 128 and 495 to these branch splits on any routing without taking a sledgehammer to local stops on the schedule. No transit build ever gets done this way, because it's so freaking self-evident that no transit built ever CAN be done by writing off access to the big city as a Seinfeldian "yada yada yada" that's not their problem to answer with details.

It's not merely a matter of challenging the crippled Stoughton single-track + electric alternative and the DEIS's fraudulent assumptions. They FIRST have to get out of neutral on NEC capacity management before challenging the DEIS for diesel + DT embankment and that minimum $1B in savings even matters. All that stuff about Hyde Park, 128, Canton Jct., quad-tracking, and whither Franklin traffic has to get codified in the next revision of the NEC IIMP. When the MA Congressional delegation gets its crack at the NEC FUTURE pinata (they take a backseat right now to CT's, RI's, NY's, DE's, PA's, and MD's much greater beefs) all of that plus strongarming about Needham's future (and fed funding for the mode change) has to be leverage that the state applies in its favor to ensure that all those HSR improvements bake in every reasonable and necessary commuter rail accommodation for the schedules (i.e. Providence & Stoughton/SCR) that absolutely have to be there. Nobody's giving a shred of consideration to any of that, including where the state has leverage OVER the feds to get the NEC improvements they need, because SCR's toenails are doing all the thinking for its head.

That's how messed up this whole process is. Arse-end-up patently doesn't work. Yet here we are in a second decade of doubling-down on just that. It's completely unserious to the point where South Coast pols and media should be insulted to hell that they're being fed this drivel. Instead they've embraced misinformation as a feature and are contributing to the drivel overdose.
  by MBTA3247
Does that cost estimate include ridership losses from cutting existing service on the Old Colony lines to service this boondoggle?
  by StefanW
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
MBTA3247 wrote:Does that cost estimate include ridership losses from cutting existing service on the Old Colony lines to service this boondoggle?
No. They haven't even re-projected ridership at Freetown, Fall River Depot, King's Hwy., Whale's Tooth, and (if it still exists) relocated Taunton Depot for the extra 25 minutes in travel time. Or said if it's going to be the same number of trains--10 per branch--scheduled via M'boro as it was with Stoughton Electric. In part because they haven't even decided whether things like a time-chewing/slot-chewing reverse at current M'boro station are in or out of this latest, greatest dog-ate-homework proposal.

So we don't even know what the theoretical ridership reductions are for the South Coast stops vs. the FEIR's theoretical projections, because by hear-no-evil/see-no-evil magic of the branches being outside the project area of the NOPC notice's routing change they don't have to supply that info right this second! It could be 10% less...it could be 20% less. It could be anything less. All we know is it's going to be some number boardings less than the last reductions that got published in the FEIR.

Going a step further and tallying up projected South Shore ridership subtractions from the Blue Book due to the destroyed Middleboro, Plymouth, and Greenbush schedules and headways that haven't been published yet? Pffft...slow down, cowboy! We've got a statewide election in 19 months. What you don't know can't hurt us in the voting booth, don'tcha know! :wink:
  by Teamdriver
Taunton officials stressing need for South Coast Rail connections Thursday
Posted at 1:48 PM
Updated at 2:15 PM

http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/2017 ... onnections" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by merrick1
They've got to get this built. New Bedford is going to be a boom town. After he revives the coal industry, the president is going to revive the whale oil industry. Ishmael told me so.
  by BandA
With no traffic, driving from downtown Taunton to Middleborough train station is 16-22 minutes according to Mr. Google. Apparently further if they want to drive to Attledboro.

Didn't the Governator say they were going to fix existing services before they built new extensions? Oh wait, that was before they approved a Foxborough pilot.
  by CRail
South Coast Rail became an obligation long before this gubernatorial administration.
  by BandA
Obligations can be modified. Tracks can be double-tracked. Army Corps can change their mind on electrification.
  by CRail
None of that has anything to do with why the expansion of service is taking place before current service reaches rhetorical satisfaction levels. Let's stick to the topic.
  by Trainman101
merrick1 wrote:They've got to get this built. New Bedford is going to be a boom town. After he revives the coal industry, the president is going to revive the whale oil industry. Ishmael told me so.
Who's Ishmael?
  by BigUglyCat
A character (the protagonist?) in Herman Melville's novel Moby Dick. He introduces himself as, "Call me Ishmael."
  by eustis22
So basically, South Coast White Rail with F-line as...Starbuck.
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