• 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 diburning
 
Or how about moving the pedestrian crossing and/or having one at each end of the platform? At North Leominster on the north side, for example, if the inbound train arrives on Track 1, the train usually stops short of the pedestrian crossing, allowing passengers to cross the tracks to board the train. If they moved the pedestrian crossings so that each one is on the opposite ends of the platform, regardless of the direction of travel and track used, the train can always stop clear of the "second" one so that people can cross over safely once the train has stopped.
  by troffey
 
Current MBTA policy is not to build pedestrian crossings within stations, so I'm not sure you'd get them to move existing ones without putting them outside the station. The distance that one has to travel to change sides of the tracks is part of the reason it can be problematic to not know which track the train will arrive on.
  by diburning
 
An even better idea would be to have the engineer spot the train so that a set of doors is on the (existing) crossing if there is one, to let people board there without having to go around.

I'd suggest a mid-platform bridge, but I'd imagine that it would have to be ADA accessible, which means either a long ramp or an elevator on both ends.
  by dbperry
 
New blog post about change to operations in the AM. Although I frame the blog post as speculation, my 'guess' at the operational change is accurate. It didn't work perfect on the first few days, and then Thursday AM was a complete AM meltdown, but the couple of days when the operational change worked properly it did mitigate some delays of P586.

https://framwormbta.weebly.com/blog/p58 ... get-better
  by rethcir
 
I got out at Newtonville last night and had a realization. The distance between the two “heads” (the bridges with stairs) are so far apart at this station, why would you bother building elevators, or even stairs for that matter? Make high level middle platforms and a long sloping ramp down from each bridge suitable for able bodied and differently able persons alike.

I know that moving tracks and excavation to gain more space aren’t cheap, but taking this basics approach could save millions of dollars (eliminating 4 elevators, etc) and it would probably apply to the other newton CR stations as well.
  by The EGE
 
Long ramps are very far from ideal for accessibility. They're a lot of effort for people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices (walkers, for example), and can be dangerous because of the possibility of slipping and rolling. That's doubly true for outdoor ramps, where even with roofs it's difficult to prevent snow and ice. Long slopes are difficult on the knees and ankles - many people who can handle short ramps, and even some stairs, have problems with long ramps. For any vertical distances about ~8 feet, elevators + stairs is the proper way to provide accessibility for all.
  by QB 52.32
 
Elevators (and stairs) may provide the best solution, but, hopefully any future elevators put in place will be designed for outdoor use with as much shelter from the elements as possible, unlike the elevators put in place at the Framingham station. These elevators were not designed to be exposed to the elements, are vulnerable to the corrosion of moisture and salt, and, consequently, have had reliability issues.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Bumping this thread to ask about the magnitude of the PTC signal work on this line east of Framingham.
Previously, per T alerts if I remember correctly, trains were to be annulled with limited bustitution on this line on weekends up to June 28. Today T alerts say:
The Worcester Line PTC implementation work has been extended through at least July 5. Buses will replace all train service between Framingham & S Station. No service at Lansdowne & Boston Landing. We will provide additional updates as work progresses.

and
Weekends through July, buses replace Worcester service between Back Bay & Framingham to connect with regular train service while PTC is installed. No service at Auburndale, W. Newton, Newtonville, Boston Landing, Lansdowne or South Station.
A Keolis guide at Wellesley Farms station told me today that this service curtailment could extend into August? Why is the T extending this outage which their alerts indicated should have been finished by now so dramatically?

On the other hand judging by observing only 2 cars at the Wellesley Farm parking lot today (ie, a weekday), running buses is probably adequate for the duration of the pandemic as "commuters" work from home.

On a related note, Amtrak 448/449 had been cancelled/bustituted on the days when the T trains weren't running east of Framingham. I wonder what the operating status of the Boston extension of the Lake Shore Ltd is through July? Amtrak web site no longer has a service alert posted for these trains so maybe they're running?
  by troffey
 
I've seen reports that the PTC/ cab signal cutover was not completed successfully, and trains can't run east of Framingham under the current conditions. Presumably, the bustition will remain in place until the signal system gremlins have been solved.
  by apodino
 
The EGE wrote: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:40 pm Long ramps are very far from ideal for accessibility. They're a lot of effort for people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices (walkers, for example), and can be dangerous because of the possibility of slipping and rolling. That's doubly true for outdoor ramps, where even with roofs it's difficult to prevent snow and ice. Long slopes are difficult on the knees and ankles - many people who can handle short ramps, and even some stairs, have problems with long ramps. For any vertical distances about ~8 feet, elevators + stairs is the proper way to provide accessibility for all.
Blue Hill Ave station is one of the newest stations in the Commuter Rail system, and it was designed with a long ramp on either end (One to Cummins Highway and the other to Blue Hill Ave). Furthermore, Elevators are not frequently used outside of Downtown Boston save for a couple of big Park and Ride stations. (Route 128, Anderson, and Framingham all come to mind) and in most locations you see ramps as the way Handicap access is provided. I am also of the belief that even if you do provide elevators as you suggest, you will still need the ramps as a backup so that in case the elevators do fail, you still have some accessibility.

The challenge with the Newton stations is that the distance between the cross streets where the stations are located (save for possibly West Newton) is such where you need the long ramps in order to have a proper platform length. I do think island platforms would be great in this area (And would be easier to pull off than you realize because for all intents and purposes the line is single tracked in the area anyways since the outbound track does not platform). One other possibility is that you can add a bridge over the center of the platform and have elevators and stairs from there. At Newtonville this would work great because you can keep the stairs from both Walnut and Harvard Streets and build the overpass and elevator from Washington Street across from the Jeep dealership. This would also work at West Newton where there is a parking lot next to the tracks serving the station. And it would also work at Auburndale where there is also a parking lot. The challenge at Auburndale is its on more of a curve than the other stations. But other stations have overcome this.
  by WorldwideRailfan (Youtube)
 
Komarovsky wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:27 pm 3. Speaking of improvements, the 3 or 4 times I've taken the P508 train for job interviews its been hauled by one of the new MPI locomotives. Has this just been a coincidence or is the P508 always pushed/pulled by one of the MPI locos?
Trains 508 and 521 (the only two 9 car trains on the system at the time) are powered by HSP46s because they're the only engines on the fleet with a powerful enough HEP generator to power all 9 cars.
  by chrisf
 
troffey wrote: Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:48 pm I've seen reports that the PTC/ cab signal cutover was not completed successfully, and trains can't run east of Framingham under the current conditions. Presumably, the bustition will remain in place until the signal system gremlins have been solved.
Trains are running weekdays, so this report doesn't seem to be completely accurate.
  by chrisf
 
WorldwideRailfan (Youtube) wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:47 pm Trains 508 and 521 (the only two 9 car trains on the system at the time) are powered by HSP46s because they're the only engines on the fleet with a powerful enough HEP generator to power all 9 cars.
In 2011, when the original question was asked, 508 probably wasn't 9 cars, and the new MPI power back then was the 2 MP36s the T got from Utah.
  by johnpbarlow
 
chrisf wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:51 pm Trains are running weekdays, so this report doesn't seem to be completely accurate.
Actually MBTA rains are not running east of Framingham on weekdays or weekends at this time - Yankee buses are. Nor are Amtrak 448/449 running - here is the Amtrak Passenger Advisory for 448/449:
Lake Shore Limited Trains 448 and 449 Track Work Affects Service
Effective June 20 - July 12, 2020
Track work being performed by MBTA will affect Trains 448 and 449 between Albany and Boston, as follows:

Train 448 Albany – Boston Service, Daily: June 22 - July 5, and July 10 - July 11
Customers who are traveling to Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and Boston (South Station) will get off the train at Albany on the dates above. At Albany, bus service will be provided to and from all stations listed above. No alternate transportation will be provided for missed stop of Framingham. Passengers traveling to Back Bay will be bussed to Boston and then may take an MBTA or Amtrak commuter train between Boston and Back Bay.

Train 449 Boston - Albany Service, Daily: June 20 - July 6, and July 11 - July 12
Train 449 will not operate between Boston (South Station) and Albany on the dates above. Passengers boarding at Boston (South Station), Worcester, Springfield and Pittsfield will be provided bus service to Albany. No alternate transportation will be provided for missed stops at Back Bay and Framingham. Passengers traveling from Back Bay will have the option of boarding at Boston or traveling on alternate dates.

Boston (South Station) and Worcester
Passengers at Boston South Station should go to the Amtrak Information Desk for instructions on boarding the buses.
Passengers at Worcester will board the bus at the main entrance in front of the station. Boarding will not occur at the Bus Terminal.
There will be no Business Class or sleeping car during this time.
  by chrisf
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:03 am Actually MBTA rains are not running east of Framingham on weekdays or weekends at this time
Well I sure did read that advisory too quickly. Thanks for the correction.
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