• Blue Line Extension ROW

  • 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

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  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
FatNoah wrote:
Anyone's rail dreams for the Everett-Chelsea-Airport Urban Ring have just been set back:
I argue that this is actually a step TOWARDS rail version of the Urban Ring. Most of the work being done to widen the ROW, shore up walls, improve drainage, etc. would all have to be done for rail anyway on this stretch of dedicated ROW. When the time comes to implement later phases of the Urban Ring, less work will be required in this area.
I would agree. The design schematics of the Haul Road show this thing could be widened into a 4-lane road if need be if the Urban Ring ever comes through. Which makes sense because this had to have been at least a 4-track ROW some decades before 1A and Logan got built up. They shift around the embankment fill in this build, but don't get rid of it entirely. Widening the 1A-era Bennington St. and Saratoga St. overpasses and doing a full retaining wall in lieu of the embankment fill lets them put whatever bus lanes or later tracks they want traffic-separated from the trucks. It's also a scant 3-4 blocks of ROW length that the Haul Road uses, and it doesn't join the ROW at all until south of the Curtis St. overpass. Not a big deal, not too expensive to widen if/when they ever do go ahead on the UR, and a very beneficial environmental justice project for getting the trucks away from the residences on those critical 3 blocks of Eastie neighborhood. The Haul Road was designed at the same time as the UR when it was last a front-burner project, with the current road design unchanged from then for accommodating the future full-blast Phase II BRT and Phase III rail plans.

I wouldn't have any concerns about mode compatibility. If anything, in the year 2400 or whenever they do actually try to build the UR I'd be worried that they cheap out by abandoning the widening and doing a stupid truck/bus single file at 10 MPH speed restricted like in the Transitway. Or perhaps give the same mob outfit the pavement contract as the Transitway. But there are no compromises to it as a transit route of one mode or another if they someday execute on their own plans as intended.
  by sery2831
 
Slightly off topic here...
  by MBTA3247
 
Looks like the middle point in that switch is just the end of a restraining rail for the diverging track. If you look at the tie plates, there's only spaces for holding rails going in two directions, with the space for the diverging route being wide enough for a restraining rail.
  by newpylong
 
I count 13 people (just in the picture) replacing the switch. Where can I get a job like that?
  by bluelinetolynn
 
With the suffolk downs casino project looking for as a reality it has started me thinking the fact that if lynn had the bue-line as a intermodal transfer between the CR people coming from the north as far as New-Hamshire sea coast or maybe even as far as maine to park and ride at Newburyport or rock port stations could take CR to lynn transfer to the blue-line and continue to the casino. I really think the casino could be a huge gain for the resurrection to the blue-line to lynn project..
Not sure if it will actually happen but i have heard from a very good source that lynn and it's state reps are going to try to get part funding for the extension project included in the casino's transportation improvements that they are going to obviously have to do to have a casino in that area. because i really think it would take a huge amount of traffic off the roads if coming from the north could take the T.
Lastly i have just finished putting together a petition for the extension to lynn so will anyone that supports the project esp. if they live in the north shore please visit the site and sign it. Thank you for the support.
  by Elcamo
 
Hopefully the extension will also mean a new CR and bus station for Lynn, as central square station is falling apart right now. To be honest I don't think expanded blue line service will really be that big of a deal for the casino, as I can't understand why anyone would want a 3 seat ride to get to and from the casino, especially with luggage.
  by Charliemta
 
A station on the CR line at the casino could be built, when and if the casino opens.
  by wicked
 
Charliemta wrote:A station on the CR line at the casino could be built, when and if the casino opens.
Where? No commuter rail ROW there.
Elcamo wrote:Hopefully the extension will also mean a new CR and bus station for Lynn, as central square station is falling apart right now. To be honest I don't think expanded blue line service will really be that big of a deal for the casino, as I can't understand why anyone would want a 3 seat ride to get to and from the casino, especially with luggage.
The facility isn't that old, ~20 years or so. From what I recall, it was pretty much neglected from Day 1.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
If we see anything, they'll take the cheap way out... A Wonderland CR station, with a moving walkway over to Wonderland Blue Line station. A stretch, but maybe you could see a train from Worcester going to North Station, then going to Wonderland. A stretch, but a potential attraction for metro-west. Especially with Murray in there at the moment.
  by bluelinetolynn
 
How come the Blue line to lynn was over looked and not included in the big dig lawsuit? i mean there could be a reasonable explanation but i really just don't see it. There must be more to why it seems to be always pushed aside then that it has to do with mbta's a bunch of racist because lynn is a lower income minority community? Maybe the marsh lands? Could it be an environmental thing the state doesnt want to touch it?
  by Elcamo
 
BostonUrbEx wrote:If we see anything, they'll take the cheap way out... A Wonderland CR station, with a moving walkway over to Wonderland Blue Line station. A stretch, but maybe you could see a train from Worcester going to North Station, then going to Wonderland. A stretch, but a potential attraction for metro-west. Especially with Murray in there at the moment.
What about the casino going in to Springfield? Wouldn't it be easier for Worcester train riders to go that casino?

If they build a wonderland CR station, the ride going to Boston on those lines will become even more brutal, as it will take the train even longer to go that final stretch into Boston. I guess you could just switch to the blue line at that point, but it's still kind of crazy. With all the renovations at wonderland, have they included said walkway into the construction proposals? I don't mean they have to build the walkway with the current station construction, but it would be really nice to get have space for it to easily connect.
  by Elcamo
 
Rereading through the thread, and I saw lots of posts regarding terminating CR at Beverly and having the Blue line take over the ROW. This would require a new bridge into Beverly, as I cannot see operating a drawbridge under a transit line. I regularily fish in the area, and the rail bridge is opened pretty often. The grades for getting the bridge up to a height big enough for most ships to get under would be impossible, as there are road bridges over the ROW right before the rail bridge into Beverly, and said bridges cannot be removed.

Now if the T wanted to get really crazy, could they operate commuter and blue line trains on the same track? What if the blue line switched onto the CR past wonderland, and then the current CR line was electrified until Salem, with a yard for the blue line at the current freight yard there. With this line electrified for the blue line, you now have the option of fully electrifying that CR line in the even further future, for when you decide to electrify other lines and buy a EMU roster and build facilities to maintain them.
  by MBTA3247
 
Elcamo wrote:Now if the T wanted to get really crazy, could they operate commuter and blue line trains on the same track? What if the blue line switched onto the CR past wonderland, and then the current CR line was electrified until Salem, with a yard for the blue line at the current freight yard there. With this line electrified for the blue line, you now have the option of fully electrifying that CR line in the even further future, for when you decide to electrify other lines and buy a EMU roster and build facilities to maintain them.
No. The FRA will only allow rapid transit equipment to share tracks with regular railroad equipment if the two are time-separated, i.e. rapid transit runs during the day, and freight trains at night. This is obviously impossible with commuter trains.
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