• Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

  • 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 BandA
 
Oops, more parking creates more traffic! We can't allow them to build more parking. Maybe people will bicycle over unsafe clogged roads to the Commuter Rail stations that have no bicycle locking facilities. Or we can add more subsidized bus trips that nobody will use. Maybe people will work from home.
  by Lentinula
 
Or they could build more transit-oriented development.


Here in Worcester we've added a couple hundred new units of housing within a Two minutes walk of Union Station. There's plenty more space for walkable development right around the station still. And these apartments are renting fast, we need more.
Last edited by CRail on Fri Jun 29, 2018 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by Arlington
 
They are raising rates garages that fill at times they fill--this unlikely to deter ridership, but definitely win higher revenues and induce some spillover to less-full parking facilities. And lowering rates at times (weekends) they don't fill. That's how supply-and-demand are supposed to work.

IIRC, Salem is famously under-utilized, so it makes sense they're not raising rates there.

Meanwhile at Alewife, all 3 bike cages also fill during nice biking weather. Happily, bike cages are way more capital-efficient (cheap) ways of "building more parking" to attract new riders.

Ideally, they'd then take the $ from the price hikes and build more garages at those or nearby stops
  by Komarovsky
 
Lentinula wrote:
BandA wrote:Oops, more parking creates more traffic! We can't allow them to build more parking. Maybe people will bicycle over unsafe clogged roads to the Commuter Rail stations that have no bicycle locking facilities. Or we can add more subsidized bus trips that nobody will use. Maybe people will work from home.
Or they could build more transit-oriented development.


Here in Worcester we've added a couple hundred new units of housing within a Two minutes walk of Union Station. There's plenty more space for walkable development right around the station still. And these apartments are renting fast, we need more.
And plenty of space in the garage, and bike lockers at the station too!

IMHO moving the stations out of the town centers and into dedicated park and rides has been a double edged sword. In the beginning it was great, lots of cheap parking for few users. Now that ridership is up and parking is getting scarce, the lack of walkability of these stations is choking their growth.
  by harshaw
 
Framingham seems to have some interesting bike lockers. Not so in Ashland, Southborough, Westborough AFAIK.
  by dbperry
 
Framingham Station is now managed my MWRTA, so they put the bike lockers in and they manage them.
  by harshaw
 
As a daily rider I have a hypothesis that the schedule for semi-express trains could be tightened up *before* Boston Landing. It seems that the express and semi-express trains frequently slow down a couple of miles before Boston Landing. In the cases of trains that stop at Boston Landing, it seems that they are slowing down to arrive at Boston Landing on time. Why not move up the schedule so we can all get to our destination faster? The same seems true of trains that run express from Natick. The trains seem to slow down unecessarily to avoid getting to Yawkey early.
  by nomis
 
It seems you are catching signals of the train ahead of you. With the removal of CP-4, you are left with a nearly 3 mile block from Auto 6 to CP-3. There is also a speed change happening near the duck under of the Pike.
  by Disney Guy
 
"... subsidized bus trips that nobody will use ..."

Reminds me of a test question for an engineering course I took in an early lifetime. The object was to put together a transportation scheme using rail and bus as well as car.

I proposed a rail line with a park and ride with some road improvements to get to the parking lot. The professor was expecting a solution with a rail line and shuttle buses going further out. I was already skeptical about how well buses or even the rail line would be used if passengers had to wait significanly at a transfer point for a bus that did not bring them to their front doors.

A park and ride station in the middle of the town or city has the problem of assimilating large numbers of cars into the streets in the afternoon as each outbound train pulls in. This problem was publicized pertaining to one of the stations in or near Quincy. A picture showed commuters racing for their cars in an effort to be earlier in the queue to the garage exit.

Even roads to a station away from the city center could be considered at overcapacity if it is not easy to provide safe bike lanes from the city center to that station.
  by Trinnau
 
harshaw wrote:As a daily rider I have a hypothesis that the schedule for semi-express trains could be tightened up *before* Boston Landing. It seems that the express and semi-express trains frequently slow down a couple of miles before Boston Landing. In the cases of trains that stop at Boston Landing, it seems that they are slowing down to arrive at Boston Landing on time. Why not move up the schedule so we can all get to our destination faster? The same seems true of trains that run express from Natick. The trains seem to slow down unecessarily to avoid getting to Yawkey early.
Boston Landing is an "L" stop for inbound trains, meaning the train is allowed to arrive and depart AHEAD of schedule along with the stations at Yawkey and Back Bay. Pretty clearly identified on their PDF schedule. They are certainly not waiting to get into the station on time. What you are witnessing is proper scheduling taking into account the various nuances of the line. Nomis is correct to point out signals and track speed changes can affect how a train operates in this area.
  by BandA
 
I'm speculating that we are many years away from the needed rip-out-and-replace for the signal system. Which really should be done now as part of the PTC upgrade
  by MBTA3247
 
I don't think PTC can be installed without ripping out the existing signal system.
  by CRail
 
There is no reason to replace the signal system to install PTC. PTC is simply an overlay to the existing system. The system is also not responsible for the delay being encurred approaching Boston landing. Removing CP4 before installing and activating its replacement, CP6, is the culprit here. The distant signals to CP4 are now the distant signals to CP3. That means you need to begin preparing for CP3’s condition WAY sooner than you did when the distant to CP3 was CP4.
  by Trinnau
 
But CP-6 is only about 1/4 mile closer to CP-3 than the automatics that currently serve as the distant. Makes a little difference but not a game-changer. But it doesn't matter because for those who didn't know, the PTC project is installing ATC on the remaining South Side lines that do not have it which includes the section of the Worcester Line between Framingham and Boston, so there will be an upgrade to the system.
  by dbperry
 
harshaw wrote:As a daily rider I have a hypothesis that the schedule for semi-express trains could be tightened up *before* Boston Landing. It seems that the express and semi-express trains frequently slow down a couple of miles before Boston Landing. In the cases of trains that stop at Boston Landing, it seems that they are slowing down to arrive at Boston Landing on time. Why not move up the schedule so we can all get to our destination faster? The same seems true of trains that run express from Natick. The trains seem to slow down unecessarily to avoid getting to Yawkey early.
Not to beat a dead horse, but there is a more lengthy and discussion about the AM schedule and how it is 'max-ed' out under item #2 here:
https://framwormbta.weebly.com/blog/fin ... 7-schedule" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The bottom line is the same: the blocks are too long and express trains very frequently 'catch up' to the locals ahead of them. For inbounds this frequently happens at automatic 6 (near CP 6) and for outbounds it frequently happens at automatic 18 (near Lake Cochituate).

Although a previous post is correct in that PTC is an overlay on top of the existing signal system, the section from Framingham to Boston has never had cab signals, so there isn't 'enough' existing infrastructure to overlay on top of (for the type of PTC being installed). PTC installation includes the addition of cab signals from Framingham to Boston, and I think I heard they are putting a cab cut section between CP 6 and CP 3, which will help with this problem by essentially making the blocks more numerous and shorter.
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