• 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 daybeers
 
Why does this alert always exist?
Please board all peak inbound Worcester Line trains on the outbound platforms at Wellesley Farms through Framingham stations weekdays from 3:30 pm until 7:45 pm.
It's the same for the peak outbound trains: please board on the outbound platforms.
  by johnpbarlow
 
At Wellesley Hills and West Natick T stations, the only egress to parking or nearby streets are via the "inbound" platform adjacent to track 2 requiring detraining passengers to cross tracks 1 and 2 at grade as there are no pedestrian overpasses at these 2 stations. And at Wellesley Farms, while there is a passenger exit from the outbound platform, it is a very long walk on to get to the commuter rail parking lot. Years back, outbound rush hour trains formerly used track 1 but as there was always the possibility of inbound traffic on track 2 (eg, the eb Lake Shore Limited if it was operating OT), it was a dangerous situation for commuters (esp those listening to music on headphones!) I remember W Natick was particularly dangerous as the outbound train stopped on the pedestrian crossing meaning potentially hundreds of commuter queued up to sprint across the tracks once the train departed west for Framingham. I suspect the T wisely decided to route evening outbound rush hour trains on track 2 to minimize the need for commuters to cross the tracks.
  by jaymac
 
A little OT and mebbe TMI, but the excess-height detector at CP21 in Framingham was to make certain that excess-height EBs -- TrailVans and others -- were on 2 before getting to Natick. 2 had been lowered at Natick to permit excess-height moves under the highway bridge/s. The lowering also made 2 a catch-basin during heavy rain, making 1 the default passenger track in both directions during such events and making excess-height EBs -- and WBs -- hold clear until drainage had happened.
Dag! Pigs east of Worcester! Ancient history!
  by Trinnau
 
I suggest you check out this blog post from a few years back which is still applicable. Keolis actually runs the outbound trains on the "inbound" track (track 2) all the way from Back Bay to Framingham. This is in part because the Newton stations also only have platforms on track 2.

They could run "normally" but it would add crossover moves at both CP-3 and CP-11 to access the Newton stations. This is done in the middle of the day, in the evening and on the weekends but it is a lot more reliable to keep the trains on the same track consistently. It also removes any potential conflict with inbound trains which would also have to crossover.
  by bostontrainguy
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:27 am Bumping this thread with news that the Natick Center T station will get a serious $36M makeover that will take about 30 months to complete (ie, mid-2022):

https://www.mbta.com/news/2019-11-04/fm ... er-station
I know there are serious drainage problems there. So they intend to raise the tracks? I believe the tracks were lowered many years ago for TOFC service to Beacon Park.

Interesting that the raising of tracks would reduce clearance but perhaps that is allowed if no new bridge construction is part of the project. If they were replacing the bridges wouldn't they be required to provide 23' DS clearances? I wonder if the new pedestrian bridges will be 23' above the rail.

UPDATE: Found some info on the project. Note that there appears to be three tracks through the station in some renderings. https://www.mbta.com/projects/natick-ce ... provements
  by The EGE
 
I believe the project will include substantial drainage improvements. Initially it will be two tracks serving the two side platforms, but a space will be reserved for the third track in the middle, which will be added when needed.
  by jaymac
 
bostontrainguy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:08 am
...Interesting that the raising of tracks would reduce clearance but perhaps that is allowed if no new bridge construction is part of the project. If they were replacing the bridges wouldn't they be required to provide 23' DS clearances? I wonder if the new pedestrian bridges will be 23' above the rail.
UPDATE: Found some info on the project. Note that there appears to be three tracks through the station in some renderings. https://www.mbta.com/projects/natick-ce ... provements
The 2 track was lowered for TrailVan clearance to and from Beacon Park, the 1 having a turnout to the Saxonville Branch/IT. If there was flooding at Natick, TVs would be held until water was gone to prevent traction motor damage. The 2 could be raised to keep it from serving as a rain-event sump since high-clearance IM gets -- hopefully -- no further east than Worcester. Depending on what happens with the possibility of electrification and the overhead clearance issues presented by that, perhaps both tracks would get lowered and high-capacity pumps with back-up power would be installed. A skateboard-ramp profile for the roadway OHB seems unlikely.
In the high-traffic/pre-CTC period, it was a 4-track ROW to just shy of Concord Street/Rte. 126 in Framingham, so there is room for a 3rd track to permit wider loads access around high-levels.
  by bostontrainguy
 
jaymac wrote: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 am In the high-traffic/pre-CTC period, it was a 4-track ROW to just shy of Concord Street/Rte. 126 in Framingham, so there is room for a 3rd track to permit wider loads access around high-levels.
Yeah there won't be any wide or high loads through there. That third track will be for more express or limited trains going further west.
  by QB 52.32
 
jaymac wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:04 am A little OT and mebbe TMI, but the excess-height detector at CP21 in Framingham was to make certain that excess-height EBs -- TrailVans and others -- were on 2 before getting to Natick. 2 had been lowered at Natick to permit excess-height moves under the highway bridge/s. The lowering also made 2 a catch-basin during heavy rain, making 1 the default passenger track in both directions during such events and making excess-height EBs -- and WBs -- hold clear until drainage had happened.
Dag! Pigs east of Worcester! Ancient history!
jaymac wrote: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:26 am

The 2 track was lowered for TrailVan clearance to and from Beacon Park, the 1 having a turnout to the Saxonville Branch/IT. If there was flooding at Natick, TVs would be held until water was gone to prevent traction motor damage.
The High Car Detector at MP 20.1 was good for 17'3" on track 2 and 17' 2.5" on track 1 with Trailvans 17' or less.
  by jaymac
 
QB 52.32 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:34 am
...The High Car Detector at MP 20.1 was good for 17'3" on track 2 and 17' 2.5" on track 1 with Trailvans 17' or less.
I don't have clearance charts, but mebbe the reason 2 was lowered at Natick was for issues on the south side of the bridge(s) at North Main, Walnut, and/or Washington Street(s).
  by charlesriverbranch
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:37 am At Wellesley Hills and West Natick T stations, the only egress to parking or nearby streets are via the "inbound" platform adjacent to track 2 requiring detraining passengers to cross tracks 1 and 2 at grade as there are no pedestrian overpasses at these 2 stations. And at Wellesley Farms, while there is a passenger exit from the outbound platform, it is a very long walk on to get to the commuter rail parking lot.
Tell me about it! This afternoon I was waiting at Wellesley Farms for an inbound train, which showed up unexpectedly on the outbound track. Several other passengers and I had to sprint up the stairs to Glen Road, cross the bridge, and run down Hundreds Road to the platform entrance, which I barely managed to reach in time to make the train. I cannot imagine what an older or less abled passenger in my place could have done to make that train.

Inbound trains should run on the inbound track; outbound trains should run on the outbound track, and if someone has to cross tracks to reach a train, then install some crossbucks and warning lights!
  by CRail
 
There is no "inbound" or "outbound" track. Trains can run in either direction on either track, and they need to when opposing trains are serving stations with platforms on only one track.
  by johnpbarlow
 
CRail wrote: Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:33 am There is no "inbound" or "outbound" track. Trains can run in either direction on either track, and they need to when opposing trains are serving stations with platforms on only one track.
From a RR ops perspective, this is true as on Monday-Friday, both AM rush hour inbound trains and PM rush hour outbound trains stopping at stations between Framingham and Boston Landing run on track 2. However from a patron perspective, MBTA says there are indeed an "inbound platform" and an "outbound platform" as indicated in the alerts on the MBTA commuter rail web site:

For example:
Track Change UPCOMING
Please board all peak outbound Worcester Line trains on the inbound platforms at Wellesley Farms through Framingham stations weekdays from 3:30 pm until 7:45 pm

and

Track Change UPCOMING
Please board all peak inbound Worcester Line trains on the outbound platforms at Wellesley Farms through Framingham stations weekdays from 3:30 pm until 7:45 pm.
https://www.mbta.com/schedules/CR-Worcester/alerts
  by CRail
 
Going by the terminology typed in by a public information person who likely doesn't even use the train is what leads to your confusion. Clear this up for yourself, there is NO inbound or outbound platform. Any train can approach from either track in either direction.
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