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Old 02-08-2018, 02:15 PM   #1041
Arlington
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Re: North-South Rail Link

If you think NSRL should be "worked on" between now and 2040, please submit this as a comment to the Mass State Rail Plan 2018, which is now taking comments.

Attn: Jennifer Slesinger - State Rail Plan
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4150
Boston, Ma 02116

or

Email: Planning@dot.state.ma.us


Visit the site: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rail-plan
Read the draft plan: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents...8PubComm_1.pdf
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:09 PM   #1042
DominusNovus
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Re: North-South Rail Link

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSTH View Post
...and if you squint you can see Brophy Park on Jeffries Point in Eastie
Iím more intrigued by the two dozen or so households living on the Logan runways...
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:48 PM   #1043
dwash59
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Re: North-South Rail Link

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
And also it's interesting that they only included Boston numbers but half of their dotted map includes locations outside of Boston. I'd say that income inequality is worse if you only look inside of Boston boarders then it would be if you included the inner suburbs. Boston itself includes both the richest (Beacon Hill, Back Bay) and the poorest (Roxbury, Mattapan, etc) parts of the region. It doesn't include places like Malden, Medford, Quincy, Watertown, etc that are mostly middle class.
Just to add to this, the Brookings data shows that the metro area inequality ratio is 10.5 rather than 17.8 for just the city. And we become ranked 6th instead of first.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:33 AM   #1044
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

In looking at an article discussing the Senate Launch System and Clipper, I found myself thinking that these space exploration projects probably cost in the ballpark of what the NSRL would. Asking either/or is probably wrong because we could probably both build NSRL and explore Europa (although I don't think we should keep funding SLS), but at the same time, it seems like if we're only going to have one, NSRL would be more useful than Europa exploration.
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:00 AM   #1045
RandomWalk
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Re: North-South Rail Link

ďSenateĒ Launch System? Very nice Freudian slip.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:35 PM   #1046
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

People were calling it the Senate Launch System in 2011 http://www.competitivespace.org/issu...launch-system/ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-..._b_843607.html
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:15 AM   #1047
tangent
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Re: North-South Rail Link

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Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
In looking at an article discussing the Senate Launch System and Clipper, I found myself thinking that these space exploration projects probably cost in the ballpark of what the NSRL would. Asking either/or is probably wrong because we could probably both build NSRL and explore Europa (although I don't think we should keep funding SLS), but at the same time, it seems like if we're only going to have one, NSRL would be more useful than Europa exploration.
Well, the Federal budget is mostly fake money... ie invented money borrowed from the Federal Reserve with any profit made by the Federal Reserve on interest legally required to go back to taxpayers... So borrow away and stop being stingy on projects that would actually build infrastructure that will improve people's lives. State governments actually have to tax people and balance budgets, so the state matching money is the real issue.

The downsides to Federal borrowing for stupid spending is the potential for inflation, asset bubbles, and a general shift in power from individuals being able to save and cobble together capital for local investment to all the economic power being in the big banks and investment firms that are hooked into the Federal Reserve System and more geographically focused on just the big cities. The Federal Reserve System is the real "trickle down" economic system.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:29 AM   #1048
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Re: North-South Rail Link

^ Very intelligent post.

So long as the Fed is doing its job of not allowing the US currency to be devalued, and so long as the dollar remains a major world reserve currency, then yes - money can and should be "created" for value-added projects like these. Reaganist mantra of 'government bloat' and 'no-can-do' and 'we can't afford anything' are what's really taken a toll on this country.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:36 AM   #1049
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Re: North-South Rail Link

I think the fed should wait until the next recession to launch a big infrastructure initiative on the national level. Deficit spending during good economic times is not wise, but it makes sense during poor economic times.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:20 AM   #1050
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

From about the 28 minute to 30 minute mark, this video argues that the thing people often call the federal debt would be better thought of as national savings that happens to be invested in treasury bonds.

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Old 04-24-2018, 10:23 AM   #1051
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Re: North-South Rail Link

I'm not sure if we really have a good thorough understanding of where inflation actually becomes a problem, but it seems that inflation may tend to be caused by resource shortages, and if that's the case, we ought to be investing in projects which will reduce the shortage of housing near high quality transit.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:25 PM   #1052
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Re: North-South Rail Link

Is the North South Rail Link about to be enacted as an emergency law??

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/...nts:newsletter

"Emergency Preamble: Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for the immediate capital improvement needs of the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience."


redacted email bulletin;

Chesto; Governor Charlie Baker may have to make a decision about the North South Rail Link after all.

The Legislature sent a bonding bill today to Baker that includes a long wish list of earmarks. Among them: $10 million for the controversial project that would connect the North Station and South Station via a tunnel below downtown Boston.

Donít get too excited, Rail Link fans.

This bill just authorizes borrowing for the costs of environmental permitting work. Itís up to Bakerís administration -- or his successor's -- to decide whether to spend the money. Many public officials in Massachusetts, particularly those from cities north of Boston, endorse the tunnel link. But Baker, like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

We should know more later this month, when the state is expected to release the results of a Rail Link feasibility study. But the report from consultant Arup probably wonít quell the debate about the projectís multibillion-dollar cost, or whether it would be a smart investment in the first place.

Senator Jamie Eldridge says he secured the earmark with the hope it can better position the project should the federal government start spending big money again on large train projects. He sees the tunnel as a crucial missing link, one that could give North Station commuters better access to the Seaport and provide more flexibility for the entire system.

At the very least, the earmark could provide Rail Link supporters with more political leverage in their quest. Until Baker and Walsh climb on board, the proponents will need all they can get.

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Old 06-07-2018, 04:45 PM   #1053
tysmith95
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Re: North-South Rail Link

The NSRL will help the property value of bakers Swampscott home. He should be championing it.
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Old 06-07-2018, 11:17 PM   #1054
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

This is a Boring video with some thoughts on things that might reduce tunneling cost, like using the dirt to make bricks instead of treating it as a worthless waste product, and building concrete reinforcing sections on site. 15:07 has a video clip of a mining train powered by a pair of Tesla Model 3 motors and batteries.

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Old 06-08-2018, 08:18 AM   #1055
CSTH
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Re: North-South Rail Link

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
This is a Boring video with some thoughts on things that might reduce tunneling cost, like using the dirt to make bricks instead of treating it as a worthless waste product, and building concrete reinforcing sections on site. 15:07 has a video clip of a mining train powered by a pair of Tesla Model 3 motors and batteries.

That all has minimal credibility. Consider: Bricks made from Boston Blue Clay would also be a nearly-worthless waste product. Does anyone really believe that failure to extract value from the dirt is the reason tunneling is expensive?

I think this probably indicates that the top of the current tech-hype cycle is upon us, or nearly so.
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Old 06-08-2018, 08:33 AM   #1056
Semass
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Re: North-South Rail Link

Quote:
Originally Posted by odurandina View Post
Is the North South Rail Link about to be enacted as an emergency law??

https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/...nts:newsletter

"Emergency Preamble: Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith for the immediate capital improvement needs of the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience."


redacted email bulletin;

Chesto; Governor Charlie Baker may have to make a decision about the North South Rail Link after all.

The Legislature sent a bonding bill today to Baker that includes a long wish list of earmarks. Among them: $10 million for the controversial project that would connect the North Station and South Station via a tunnel below downtown Boston.

Donít get too excited, Rail Link fans.

This bill just authorizes borrowing for the costs of environmental permitting work. Itís up to Bakerís administration -- or his successor's -- to decide whether to spend the money. Many public officials in Massachusetts, particularly those from cities north of Boston, endorse the tunnel link. But Baker, like Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

We should know more later this month, when the state is expected to release the results of a Rail Link feasibility study. But the report from consultant Arup probably wonít quell the debate about the projectís multibillion-dollar cost, or whether it would be a smart investment in the first place.

Senator Jamie Eldridge says he secured the earmark with the hope it can better position the project should the federal government start spending big money again on large train projects. He sees the tunnel as a crucial missing link, one that could give North Station commuters better access to the Seaport and provide more flexibility for the entire system.

At the very least, the earmark could provide Rail Link supporters with more political leverage in their quest. Until Baker and Walsh climb on board, the proponents will need all they can get.
I don't think you understand how bond bills work. The bill simply sets out a series of things that the state may legally spend money on. The bill itself has no value. The earmarks are worth precisely the paper they are printed on. If you look at the rest of the bills you will see billions of dollars of projects that will never happen. Because the bill is not connected to actual spending, legislators can put in whatever they feel like to demonstrate their support of something. Ultimately the governor has to file a capital spending plan that includes items from the bill and this is fiscally constrained by borrowing conditions and the budget. The treasurer needs to sell bonds to fund it.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:02 PM   #1057
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

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Originally Posted by CSTH View Post
That all has minimal credibility. Consider: Bricks made from Boston Blue Clay would also be a nearly-worthless waste product. Does anyone really believe that failure to extract value from the dirt is the reason tunneling is expensive?
IIRC they may have said that hauling dirt away is normally 15%-20% of the total tunneling cost.

They seemed to be describing a slightly different brick making process than what is typically done, which may result in a higher quality product.

I've seen something claiming that asphalt is basically a waste product of gasoline production, and if that turns out to be true, asphalt for resurfacing roads may end up being a lot more expensive 10 years from now than it is today as demand for gasoline declines.

They didn't say anything that would lead one to believe that their bricks are likely to be especially good insulators, and I think for future construction of high quality homes in New England, insulation is going to be the key criterion in selecting building materials.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:08 PM   #1058
Joel N. Weber II
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Re: North-South Rail Link

They also said something about minimum tunnel depth to avoid surface disruption being a function of tunnel diameter; I think it may have been a requirement to go two tunnel diameters down. I'm not sure if that's two tunnel diameters from the top of the tunnel to the bottom of the existing utilities, or something else.

Alon Levy has been simultaneously arguing for very large diameter tunnels that can accommodate two tracks in a single tunnel bore, while also complaining about the inconvenient access to deep tunnels, and it sounds like if we want to minimize the depth, perhaps we should be choosing a single track per tunnel bore.
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Old 06-08-2018, 10:22 PM   #1059
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Re: North-South Rail Link

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel N. Weber II View Post
They also said something about minimum tunnel depth to avoid surface disruption being a function of tunnel diameter; I think it may have been a requirement to go two tunnel diameters down. I'm not sure if that's two tunnel diameters from the top of the tunnel to the bottom of the existing utilities, or something else.

Alon Levy has been simultaneously arguing for very large diameter tunnels that can accommodate two tracks in a single tunnel bore, while also complaining about the inconvenient access to deep tunnels, and it sounds like if we want to minimize the depth, perhaps we should be choosing a single track per tunnel bore.
I don't think it particularly matters - the depth and the path of the tunnel is pretty much already set in stone (pun possibly intended) and provisions were (supposedly) made for it during the Big Dig.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:41 AM   #1060
orulz
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Re: North-South Rail Link

I think the provisions made in the big dig mean that you can dig out whatever you want from under the Central Artery tunnels without worrying about what happens to the soil above, since the roadways are all supported by the slurry walls on the side, rather than by the dirt underneath them. So at least for the segment under the Central Artery, neither diameter nor depth is important.

That is my understanding, anyway.
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