• Plan to use Track 61 as a Red Line test track

  • 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

  by bostontrainguy
 
Takes many miles of empty running to check out a vehicle prior to acceptance. For instance they test the rehabbed Greenline Type 7 brake system after service hours between Newton Centre and Chestnut Hill stations. The trains have to be taken up to max speed (40 mph) and then the emergency brakes are applied. Takes a bit of running room especially because they usually try to do two tests before reaching Chestnut Hill station. Note that the Redline trains are much longer and travel much faster.

They will also test trains occasionally on the "Test Track" between Riverside yard and the B&A mainline switch in Auburndale but they can't run very fast there.

Then they need to run them extensively through the subway without passengers for many miles usually in four hour blocks.

That very short stretch of track between the Redline tracks and Cypher St. (assuming they aren't going to cross the grade crossing) seems rather useless to me. They won't be able to get up to any speed and they'll spend more time "changing ends" than running. This makes no sense.
  by Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Is there any chance the money they invest into these tracks, can be used later when all the cars have been tested. That way the can convert it easily to passenger use ?

At least that what I hope.
  by Backshophoss
 
Will there be a connection to one of the "Heavy Rail" Transit lines or is this track so isolated that it not connected to anything
except to CSX? :(
  by bostontrainguy
 
Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:Is there any chance the money they invest into these tracks, can be used later when all the cars have been tested. That way the can convert it easily to passenger use ?

At least that what I hope.
Also consider that they will need to add an electrified third rail which will interfere with any future doublestack service to Conley - or single stacks in a well car.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
I doubt service to Conley or anywhere else is expected prior to 2023. There's no reason to keep the 3rd rail after that when they're done testing, unless they use it for storage.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Wouldn't it be better to perform the Red Line car acceptance testing (or whatever it is) at the Springfield assembly plant?
  by jaymac
 
It does seem like an expression of loss for an electric train set of Christmases past.
3.2 times 10 to the 7th power preceded by a dollar sign also seems like Commonwealth money that would be better spent on other DOT projects.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Why do they need to do it there when the Cabot Yard leads give them a 24/7 test track that's longer than Track 61 and doesn't require $32M in upgrades to make usable? They can single-track deadheads out of Columbia Jct. during the day if they need to keep one of the 2 tracks reserved for testing a la the Orange tri-track. Ops-cumbersome...slightly. But there's no shortage of crossovers on the leads for scooting between the end of 3rd rail @ JFK MOW yard and the main yard, and non-revenue traffic isn't that dense that they can't stay out of the way.
  by BandA
 
bostontrainguy wrote:They will also test trains occasionally on the "Test Track" between Riverside yard and the B&A mainline switch in Auburndale but they can't run very fast there.
When did they install catenary there?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Type 8 brake tests. They threw up a few quickie wood telephone poles to hang the overhead, ran the rail grinder to grind the spur to trolley wheel profile. All been dismantled now, so no longer in use.
  by StefanW
 
At least as of the last Google Maps survey there are two wire poles with horizontal arms over the test track north end. They register in the elevation profile, so if you hold down 'Shift' and move this view around they stand out.
https://goo.gl/maps/2eYhqbgVVRJ2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by CRail
 
The Riverside test track still has wire over it and it is currently used regularly to test rebuilt 7s.

Using track 61 to test Red Line cars insane. I can't imagine any reason they can't use the South Shore line after service (which ends prior to Ashmont service) or use the Cabot leads as F-Line suggested. $23m to temporarily electrify a section of track which won't carry a single passenger is an absolute waste and I hope to heaven some taxpayer watchdog group squashes it.
  by Finch
 
CRail wrote: Using track 61 to test Red Line cars insane. I can't imagine any reason they can't use the South Shore line after service (which ends prior to Ashmont service) or use the Cabot leads as F-Line suggested. $23m to temporarily electrify a section of track which won't carry a single passenger is an absolute waste and I hope to heaven some taxpayer watchdog group squashes it.
I suspect they will still use the South Shore line for overnight high speed testing, but they have a pretty aggressive commissioning schedule to maintain. It takes a lot of back-and-forth with the operations and maintenance side of the house to make space for test trains among all the other scheduled activities. Perhaps similar operational concerns on yard tracks and the existing Cabot test track. Put it all together and maybe a 100% dedicated test track is the best bet at maintaining the project schedule.