F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Pretty much the only trigger for putting that infill on the planning board as a realistically inexpensive possibility is gaining the ability to finally increase end-to-end Haverhill schedules with a full-scale replacement for constrained Bradford layover. Combination of that and more liberal schedule-balancing with increased NH Main-Wildcat use for covering the outer-half Haverhill schedules will do the trick. If you had the layover and sheared Haverhill and Reading entirely off running all Haverhill schedules via the NH Main like its pre-1979 routing you'd probably have the gained oxygen to add both South Lawrence and Ward Hill/Industrial Ave. infills onto a schedule that clocks in at 1 hour to Haverhill. Say:
NORTH STATION <--> West Medford <-->* Winch Ctr. <-->* Anderson <--> Wilmington** <--> Salem St.*** <--> Ballardvale <--> Andover <--> S. Lawrence <--> Lawrence <--> Ward Hill <--> Bradford <--> HAVERHILL
Keep in mind the Worcester Line runs a ton of service with a 4-train layover. Service expansion is certainly not limited by the layover. Double-track from Reading to CPF-Vale would allow for it without moving or rebuilding the layover, and "true" double-tracking would offer more service at more stations - otherwise some would need to be skipped by certain trains much like the Newton stations on the Worcester Line. This would serve more benefit because that track is available 24/7 - not just a layover.
Your timing to Haverhill is off as well. Current 221 makes a 65 minute run (if you ignore the bridge busing and assume the same 13-minute schedule time from Lawrence to Haverhill as 219). With your proposed stops and infill stations, you would cut 1 stop off (Wedgemere) and add 3 (Salem St, S. Lawrence, Ward Hill) - a net increase of 2 stops and about 5 minutes of travel time, for a 70 minute run. Train 208 has similar math at 63 minutes but doesn't make Wilmington, so you cut 1 and add 4. 60 minutes won't happen without significant track speed increases or far fewer stops. 206, which expresses after Ballardvale, is scheduled for 58 minutes.
Rockingham Racer wrote:That's a very good synopsis. And moving the Lawrence station to the middle of nowhere was a very bad move that took away a two-track station operation. Oh, I know: the commuters had to cross an active track to get to the parking lot there. [The tunnel to the old station went away about 40 years ago??] But this occurs elsewhere too, with crossing signals to warn the pedestrians crossing the tracks.
Not anywhere they build new. It happens elsewhere because that's the way it's always been done there. Look at all the infill stations on the Worcester Line (between Worcester and Framingham plus Boston Landing), Fairmount Line, Wachusett - all taking great pains to not have a crossing at grade. It's a simple matter of safety, especially in today's age of people buried in their phones.