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Old 07-25-2018, 11:43 AM   #3341
tysmith95
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I don't think Westwood makes any sense for the red line. Lexington does though.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:20 PM   #3342
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Iím just posting those to give a starting point. My Red Line to Westwood presupposes upgrading the MHSL and thn hopping over to Fairmont. I figure Mattapan isnít a particularly useful terminal if Iím truing to extend each line to 128.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:55 PM   #3343
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Iím just posting those to give a starting point. My Red Line to Westwood presupposes upgrading the MHSL and thn hopping over to Fairmont. I figure Mattapan isnít a particularly useful terminal if Iím truing to extend each line to 128.
I'd make the Orange line past Forest Hills into two branches. To the north you could make another branch towards the Newburyport Rockport line, through Everett and Cheslea.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:43 PM   #3344
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I'd make the Orange line past Forest Hills into two branches. To the north you could make another branch towards the Newburyport Rockport line, through Everett and Cheslea.
A branch to Needham and a branch to Hyde Park?
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:12 PM   #3345
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I'd make the Orange line past Forest Hills into two branches. To the north you could make another branch towards the Newburyport Rockport line, through Everett and Cheslea.
I would, too. But I wanted to avoid discussing new branches.

Crazier idea: instead of running the Red Line down to Westwood through Mattapan, what if it loop back up the Fairmont line in toward the city? Then tunnel back in around Andrew or Broadway? Probably too much of a nightmare for dispatching, huh?

Less crazy: give Westwood 128 to the Orange Line. Run the Ashmont branch down through Dedham, and build a terminal station at Dedham Corporate.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:56 PM   #3346
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Iím just posting those to give a starting point. My Red Line to Westwood presupposes upgrading the MHSL and thn hopping over to Fairmont. I figure Mattapan isnít a particularly useful terminal if Iím truing to extend each line to 128.
Westwood is no-go because Amtrak has laid claim to all 4 track berths that'll fit through the swamp. It was originally under consideration as one of the possible Orange Line trajectories past Forest Hills, but that was well before HSR was in the cards when it was thought 2 NEC tracks would suffice forever. Clearly things have changed big with Amtrak's fortunes, so that's no longer a possibility. Route 128 station can eventually be expanded to 6 platform tracks to accept regional rail and NSRL traffic, but RR is forever going to be the only mode that can physically get out there.

Ditto Dedham Corporate, because the Franklin ROW through the swamp is unexpandable at 2 tracks.

The only remaining trajectory is the Dedham Branch west of Readville to Dedham Mall. You won't reach 128 per se, but it's plenty close enough and Dedham Ctr. was for ages supposed to be the last Orange stop after West Roxbury until that ROW got obstructed. Regional rail should be able to help with the Pn'R crowds directly at 128 by juicing frequencies at Westwood and Dedham Corporate. Indigo-Fairmount has a potential future turning at Dedham Corporate to directly address that need (better terminus than Westwood because it stays all under T dispatch and won't suffer any frequency hiccups from having to occasionally cede to Amtrak priority re-engaging the NEC).


For Red past Mattapan. . .

Yes, you can get between Mattapan Sq. and the Fairmount Line straightforwardly by subwaying under River St. That would hit Fairmount Line at a point where the abutters scatter away (whereas a shorter dig under Cummins Hwy. would have lots of problems with a bad-angle ROW meet and several blocks of dense-abutting residential south on the Fairmount making widening the ROW to 4 tracks iffy to impossible). Once you join Fairmount at a portal under the Poydras St. hillside it's clear sailing from there to quad up a unified ROW. It's all wide open Neponset reservation land by the first two river crossings, then everywhere from present-day Fairmount Station south used to be quad-track back in the day when Readville was a much huger freight node and had extra-long northerly yard leads (see evidence for the former width on Google with the station driveway slack under the Fairmount Ave. overpass and the extra-wide abutments on the next Neponset bridge south). The subway wouldn't be too ridiculously expensive because it would have no stations inside and would be dealing with a nice wide, straight street featuring building foundations set far back from the sidewalk...and nice, hard uniform Neponset bedrock underneath.

Then you can just bridge over the NEC and take the Dedham Branch ROW. It's fully grade separated (though missing a couple overpass decks). The only construction consideration is that you'd have to dig a shallow cut at the high school where they've expanded the athletic fields and taken out a driveway easement on the ROW, then cap it so path or driveway can go on top (i.e. just a quick dip-n'-cap like a 2-track version of OL+CR Wellington tunnel).


Wouldn't rate that too high on anyone's Most Wanted bucket list to tackle first, but it is indeed feasible to carve the path that joins ROW's and re-widen the Fairmount for 2 x 2 tracks on the co-running portion. Potential stops:

↕ Mattapan

∙ River St. (spacer stop...outside of the Poydras portal, behind the Price Rite plaza)
∙ Fairmount (superstation w/ Fairmount regional rail)
∙ Readville (superstation w/ Fairmount+NEC regional rail...location of Codman-replacement equipment yard)
∙ East Dedham
Dedham Center
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:59 PM   #3347
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I'd make the Orange line past Forest Hills into two branches. To the north you could make another branch towards the Newburyport Rockport line, through Everett and Cheslea.
Avoid searching far and wide for Orange/Blue branching opportunties, because it's going to be next to impossible to come up with an analogue for Red's dead-on perfect branching that functionally works as well. It took a lot of serendipity for Red to be able to undertake branching elegantly and without kludges.
  • Red starts branching in less than 2.5 miles of the CBD transfer stops.
  • Add up boardings for JFK + Ashmont Branch + Braintree Branch--i.e. everything >2.5 mi. from the CBD to the south. Then add up boardings for New Harvard + the Alewife extension...everything >2.5 mi. from the CBD to the north. They're within +/- 2300 of a dead-on match (slight advantage for JFK-south). So Red is very highly ridership-balanced on both ends of the CBD, which is how alternating Ashmont & Braintree trains end up being a perfect frequency match for Cambridge.
  • This perfect match is not a coincidence, because each branch hosts a major outlying bus hub (Ashmont or Quincy Ctr.), while Harvard hosts a truly monster bus hub about as big as both combined.
  • Red is dead-on easy to dispatch because alternating branch trains fulfill demand so well. There's little to no difference in how crowded each branch's train is by the time it hits the CBD, so they don't differ significantly in dwell time drag while they're on the mainline. It's also easy to dispatch because the degree to which the Braintree Branch is significantly longer is well-counterbalanced by its station spacing being proportionately longer and travel speeds being proportionately faster. Alternating trains on shorter but denser stop-spaced Ashmont can hit JFK fast enough to keep balance.
  • Extension to Milton + Mattapan does not alter the balance fundamentally, because Braintree in turn badly needs a Dorchester infill stop near Port Norfolk. Adding that extra ridership in keeps pace with Cambridge growth and/or Arlington Heights extension, such that in 50 years it'll still be a straightforward dispatching job of alternating southern branch trains keeping the growing north in equilibrium.
This natural equilibrium is why Red is able to survive and recover endpoint-to-endpoint in spite of its failing state-of-repair and extreme downtown overcrowding. If it weren't blessed with superlative north-vs.-south balance you'd see failures routinely kick the legs out from one branch and/or Cambridge more than any other part of the line, and branch(es) or Cambridge having a much harder time getting back up after a failure. As it is, Red gets FUBAR'ed way too often...but once the FUBAR is over all parts recover more or less in-tandem.

Keep all that in mind when evaluating other HRT branch scenarios. Perfect balance is hard to achieve when the lines aren't set up from Day 1 to allow for robust short-turning and alt-routing to square length and demand differences on the balance of the route. That hasn't been the case in Boston ever since the original Main Line El vision for a mini-Chicago spoke-n'-hub HRT network went stillborn in the 1910's and BERy made the pivot from unpopular Els to stitching those routes together as separate self-contained linear subways crossing at transfers. When the postwar burst of extension studying came out, only Red studied out as a serendipitous match for branching. The others were straight-ahead mainline extensions, or Green Line reimaginings where re-fashioned trunk segments could've been sheared off from the trolley feeder network as linear HRT conversions if they chose.


--------------------

You're not going to find a Red-like fit for branching scenarios on Blue, because Blue starts off off-center from the CBD with a demand midpoint distended towards the Maverick area. That means Lynn-ho!, Salem-someday! are very bullish extension prospects. And that Red-Blue and that Storrow Drive trade-in Riverbank Subway to Kenmore are attractive prospects to the west (the latter albeit driven by a different kind of politics than your average transit extension).

But take over the D Line??? Or do some westward tunnel-thon under the B&A??? The ridership doesn't scale west of the CBD like it does Revere-north so the frequencies + capacity of 6-car trains are going to weight either way too much for the west or way too little for the North Shore.

Now with a starting point that's already got a mainline geographical skew, what branching could possibly keep that in-balance? Newton Corner + Watertown are semi-thick bus hubs, true, but no such animal exists out on the D Line. Now look at how west end branches demand-balance vs. the North Shore...not simple arithmetic like Ashmont/Braintree staying at near cancel-out level vs. Harvard-north. Much more complicated math, meaning the frequency pairings are likely going to have to be a lot more complicated than just straight-up alternating.

Forget also about branching to Chelsea or the Airport terminals, because Blue doesn't behave like the others at drawing down its ridership neatly right after the CBD. It's got that distended center towards Maverick, a large crater after Logan...but then a steady re-increase towards the end of the line that eventually begats a second North Shore peak screaming bloody murder for extending the mainline to massive Lynn Terminal. That kind of demand layout is unique to Blue on the system. What possible candidate branch could exactly complement those characteristics ying-yang the way Ashmont's and Braintree's do? Such that no one on Blue is going to end up getting service shorted, deal with divergently different dwells downtown, or have to put up with some very inconvenient ops kludges to maintain a near-balance.

It becomes a house of cards.

-------------------

Orange...not much better.

Remember, Amtrak has claim on all 4 tracks south of Forest Hills to Readville and 128 so that route's off-limits. Though even when it was still on-the-board the T was looking at linear extension to Dedham OR linear extension to Readville...not both. W. Rox has similar characteristics to the Ashmont Branch at being shorter/denser-spaced, and Readville 2x longer/faster/wider-spaced. So it's a plausible paper analogue that would be broadly manageable if the ROW were available. Alas, it's not.

Would-be Readville branch has density cavities at Mt. Hope and the area around Metropolitan Ave. caused by the huge expanse of adjacent cemeteries and Sherrin Woods where there's large gaps in the E-W street grid. Hyde Park + Readville have to carry the bulk of the water for that extension vs. the even-keeled ridership curve on the W. Rox branch intermediates, so the Braintree analogue here is sorely lacking its candidate Wollastons at the 'tweeners for aiding the dwell equilibrium downtown. Enough of a wrinkle to give pause at the temptation to scream "Screw Amtrak! Let's subway under their tracks and branch this puppy!" for at-any-cost manifest destiny. At least wait till real-deal regional rail has exerted its full effects on all modes of HP/Fairmount neighborhood transit before waving that particular bloody shirt. FH-W. Rox is a bona fide contiguous corridor, while FH-HP/Readville is more a long-jump between density clusters.

Sullivan-north it's much messier. Where those equilibrium lessons from Red's branching really come into play is when you start trying to come up with Everett/Chelsea branching off Sullivan-north. Bad news abounds there when you throw a major bus hub like Malden Ctr. onto lowered branch frequencies and try to keep the whole works in balance. The bus routes don't pool densely at any one stop on any other fork like they singularly do with Malden, so ops are going to have to scale differently from straight-alternating...at least during times of day when system's bus hubs are slugging highest on transfer crowds. That also affects how neatly the north-of-CBD branches counterbalance the south-of-CBD stops on demand, and which branch train is comparably more crowded by the time it hits the downtown transfer stops. Malden Terminal may be smaller than Sullivan Terminal or FH Terminal south on the mainline...but it behaves like a typical big Yellow Line terminal on ebb-and-flow. The other branch won't have an analogue that matches behavior. Plus, the branch has to have design characteristics that are in equilibrium with Oak Grove on scheduled time (i.e. the Ashmont = shorter/slower/denser-spaced, Braintree = longer/faster/wider-spaced)...which is a pure-luck crapshoot you're unlikely to get perfectly lucky on with the geography up north.

Impossibly narrow target to make work without induced inefficiencies galore. As long as northeast-quadrant Urban Ring is available on LRT mode hookable to Green, it's not time to be overthinking HRT force-fits for the Everett/Chelsea side of the river. Odds are too underwhelming that they'll play nice with the characteristics of rest of Orange.

--------------------

Just avoid the temptation to start digging in for hole-in-one perfection. The T is cromulently anti-perfect, so it's just not going to work unless you find candidate branches that are as BROADLY agreeable as Ashmont v. Braintree v. Harvard-north are at maintaining equilibrium across the board. There's nothing perfect about Red, but its branches have the plus columns on how they balance each other stacked to the nines with demand and ops pro's so the end-to-end balance is robust enough to behave predictably, even in disrepair. Everything else on the HRT map--with possible exception of that Forest Hills fork you can't do anyway because of the spoken-for NEC--requires too much hoping and praying that it'll never hiccup while running...instead of running in broad balance under hiccups like Red manages to do.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:55 AM   #3348
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

F-Line, that is some great food for thought. Good to have you back, you bring a level of detail to these conversations that few can match.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:06 AM   #3349
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

^ Agreed.

My pitch: Blue line to Brookline Village via Kendall & Cambridgeport / Cottage Farm
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Old 07-26-2018, 03:03 PM   #3350
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

F-Line,

your posts are incredibly appreciated.
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Old 07-26-2018, 03:26 PM   #3351
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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F-Line, that is some great food for thought. Good to have you back, you bring a level of detail to these conversations that few can match.
Another wrinkle to consider specifically for Red extensions. . .

  • Braintree Branch has an unused turnback pocket at Quincy Ctr., the major bus hub.
  • Ashmont Branch fans into into triple-track for Codman Yard after the Ashmont platforms, meaning that in a track reconfig for absorbing the Mattapan extension this branch's major bus hub will also have capability for a turnback pocket.
  • Alewife Yard is set up so that if the mainline extends to Arlington Heights or further, Alewife station will have an operable pocket turnback.


Note how these pockets frame the most important segments detailed in my last post re: that Harvard-north vs. JFK-south demand/ops balance for keeping the alternating branch trains matched to downtown demand. So if you see a future past Mattapan into Hyde Park or Dedham via a quadded-up Fairmount Line, the Ashmont pocket can be deployed as a throttle-down for outer-zone headways or a run-as-directed starting spot for gap-plugging downtown headways. Alewife pocket can go into service as throttle-down for off-peak Lexington headways, or throttle-up for headway gaps into downtown so the southern branches aren't 100% dependent on hitting a hole-in-one on-time schedule all the way from Hanscom. Quincy pocket would then go live to work in-tandem with one of the other extensions' headway throttle points, even though the Braintree Branch itself has no feasible means of further extension due to all Old Colony ROW space being spoken for.

It's a modicum of additional ops complexity, yes, but the firewall for keeping alternating downtown frequencies fail-safe over longer originating distances already exists with the provisions for these throttle points at Quincy, Ashmont, and Alewife. Don't get any notions of branching the Cambridge end or anything because it's definitely not set up for that...but study away to your heart's content at linear extension past Arlington Heights to Lexington and past Mattapan to HP/Dedham because the mechanism does exist to make those extras play nice with Red's core balance.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:42 PM   #3352
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Another wrinkle to consider specifically for Red extensions. . .

  • Braintree Branch has an unused turnback pocket at Quincy Ctr., the major bus hub.
Cool, never realized that. Looking at a satellite map, is that the third track that looks like it extends from the Q. Center station down to about the Stop and Shop parking garage?
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:44 PM   #3353
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Cool, never realized that. Looking at a satellite map, is that the third track that looks like it extends from the Q. Center station down to about the Stop and Shop parking garage?
Yes. That was the end-of-line yard from 1971-80 when the branch opened. Quincy Adams and Braintree were delayed by nearly a decade because the municipalities were at loggerheads over station sitings, so the two main tracks and the pocket between the QC platforms and the air rights garage offered Alewife-like tail storage in those early years when that was the terminus.

The pocket's fully operational and recently got a full switch and third-rail replacement during the winter resiliency construction, but it's only functionally used today if a train dies or if they're bustituting QA & Braintree for track work.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:50 PM   #3354
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

FWIW...these are my HRT extension builds. Maximal builds are logical but deferrable, and in some cases not guaranteed because they project two steps ahead and will need all due-diligence on study refinement.

Nothing too original or controversial. With exception of maybe Red-HP they're all either officially studied proposals or stuff many, many people have been pitching for a very long time.

Blue
Mandatory builds: westbound to Charles/MGH, northbound to Lynn. Stops (* = routing-dependent): . . .
  • Charles/MGH (Red-Blue as proposed; Bowdoin demolished to straighten loop)
  • <--GC-Wonderland-->
  • *Oak Island (if BRB&L ROW used or if jump-over to Eastern Route ROW is at Oak I. Park instead of Diamond Creek wetlands)
  • *Point of Pines (BRB&L ROW only)
  • Lynnport (ex-River Works; displace commuter rail)
  • West Lynn (optional; ex-B&M stop @ Commercial St, maintains rapid transit stop spacing, closest walking-distance stop to Market Sq., trail head for Bike to The Sea)
  • Lynn (superstation w/commuter rail)

Maximal builds: Storrow trade-in to Kenmore, north extension to Salem. Stops. . .
  • Kenmore (Note: tail tracks point at Brookline Ave. so has future-proofing option of banging a right under the Pike/B&A for shooting to Allston or absorbing the D portal. I do not think there's any foreseeable fit that gels with the rest of Blue traffic management, but all 100-year options are covered if that picture happens to change.)
  • Beacon (@ Mass Ave. bridge)
  • Esplanade (@ Berkeley/Mugar Way block)
  • <--Charles-Lynn-->
  • Swampscott (displace commuter rail...little bit snug a fit over the Burrill St. overpass to attempt a superstation)
  • Hawthorne Crossing (optional; @ Essex St./Danvers Rd. for equitable stop spacing, < 2000 ft. proximity to Swampscott Mall & related TOD)
  • Salem State University (@ Jefferson Ave. per CR stop proposal, connected to Marblehead Trail head; displace CR stop if that gets built first)
  • Salem (south-of-portal CR superstation @ Mill St. Equipment yard at derelict Castle Hill freight yard. Peabody is NOT in the cards for Blue because of no non-destructive options for doing more tunneling under downtown.)

Orange
Mandatory build: southwest to W. Roxbury in Needham Line commuter rail trade-in for NEC congestion mitigation (Green Line swallows Needham Heights-Junction, ROW from Needham Jct. to Millennium Park becomes Boston extension of Medfield rail trail). Stops. . .
  • <--Oak Grove-Forest Hills-->
  • Roslindale (stet, convert portion of parking to busways)
  • Bellevue (possibly re-center 500 ft. closer to the rotary for ease of bus transfers)
  • Highland (possibly re-center 700 ft. west @ Centre St. for ease of walk-up/bus)
  • West Roxbury (relocate 1000 ft. west behind Star Market for busway installation; storage yard by Home Depot on VFW Pkwy.)
I would not expand to 128...at least not until this and other area transit enhancements have matured enough to give a clearer picture. Green Line @ Highland Ave., Fairmount/Indigo service extension to Dedham Corporate will plug a lot of the gap and crossing the swamp to a TOD-less stop in a quiet residential area solely for the sake of hitting a Pn'R lot becomes one of those long-jumps across density cavities that I warned about in the post about the Forest Hills-Readville proposal. It's very incongrous to the characteristics of the rest of the corridor, so whether there's truly an unmet need here meriting a 128 stop won't be knowable until you get a good decade-plus long look at how the New World Order of southwesterly transit sets itself in-practice with all the new parts cooking along. If there is an unmet need...then yes, study a +1 to Greendale Ave. in Needham for a Hersey analogue (but NOT a Green transfer @ Junction...the demand most definitely is not there for plowing twice the distance west). I much doubt it'll come to that, but I'll acknowledge there's a possibility that could show itself in future studies.

Maximal build: north to Reading. NSRL forces tough questions about suitability of inner Western Route for pair-matching tunnel schedules. $$$ & disruption on the RR side for doing double-track through Medford-Malden, zapping grade crossings in Melrose-Wakefield starts approaching cost of just doing it all solo-Orange and expunging CR altogether (e.g. steeper grades + narrower clearances = cost savings for HRT when doing the same grade crossing eliminations...and no need to piss off abutters widening the ROW footprint in Medford-Malden). Alon Levy, who is usually at his best when crunching sane-world construction numbers, argues for going all-Orange and no-Purple here because the upgrade costs for doing mainline regional rail right don't scale nearly as well as doing HRT right. Stops. . .
  • <--West Roxbury-Oak Grove-->
  • Wyoming Hill
  • Cedar Park
  • Melrose Highlands
  • Greenwood
  • Wakefield
  • Reading (storage yard behind 128 Marketplace plaza)


Red
Mandatory builds: Braintree Branch infill stop at Neponset/Pt. Norfolk in Dorchester. Mattapan conversion. North extension to Arlington Heights (subway under Minuteman until Russell Pl., surface rail-with-trail 1.5 mi. Mill St. to Park Ave.). Stops. . .

1.
  • <--Alewife-JFK/UMass-->
  • <--N. Quincy-Braintree-->

2.
  • Mattapan
  • Milton
  • <--Ashmont-Alewife-->
  • Arlington Center
  • Arlington Heights (storage yard behind Arlington Lumber, bus depot)


Maximal builds: Ashmont/Mattapan Branch extension to Readville & Dedham Ctr. via River St. subway from Mattapan to Fairmount ROW + 4-track restoration of southern Fairmount Line + Dedham Branch ROW. North extension to 128 if and only if Lexington allows the Minuteman to be scrunched into rail-with-trail. Stops. . .
  • Hanscom/Route 128 (stop @ Hartwell Ave., storage yard in Lexington DPW yard)
  • North Lexington
  • Lexington Center
  • East Lexington
  • <--Arlington Heights-Mattapan-->
  • River St. (optional; spacer stop upon joining Fairmount ROW, behind Price Rite plaza)
  • Fairmount (CR superstation)
  • Readville (CR superstation, Codman Yard relocated to new/bigger branch yard here)
  • East Dedham (@ River St./Whiting Ave.)
  • Dedham Center

NOTE: Theoretically you could grab a flat and wide power line ROW at Hanscom behind Hartwell Ave. and ride it 2 miles to Burlington Mall for a +1 that plunks a stop on South Ave. next to the cinemas (10.5 running miles past Alewife vs. 8.2 mi. to Hanscom). But no frigging clue what wetlands that'll entail or whether the extra running miles outstep Red's systemic balance or the abilities of the Alewife/Quincy/Ashmont turnback throttles. Selling Lexington on rail-with-trail is going to be hard enough to begin with, so Burlington is far too many steps ahead in the game to guesstimate actionable decisions. Just FYI it as something to give full due-diligence study if you get that far.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:11 AM   #3355
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Yes. That was the end-of-line yard from 1971-80 when the branch opened. Quincy Adams and Braintree were delayed by nearly a decade because the municipalities were at loggerheads over station sitings, so the two main tracks and the pocket between the QC platforms and the air rights garage offered Alewife-like tail storage in those early years when that was the terminus.

The pocket's fully operational and recently got a full switch and third-rail replacement during the winter resiliency construction, but it's only functionally used today if a train dies or if they're bustituting QA & Braintree for track work.
Good to know! What other turnbacks are there along the various lines, if you donít mind me asking? Iím assuming the Red Line has one at JFK, right?

Also, love your mandatory/maximal build outs list. Very good transit porn.
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Old 07-27-2018, 03:04 PM   #3356
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Good to know! What other turnbacks are there along the various lines, if you donít mind me asking? Iím assuming the Red Line has one at JFK, right?

Also, love your mandatory/maximal build outs list. Very good transit porn.
Red can reverse at JFK and pull onto the Cabot Yard leads, but it's awkward in a non-bustitution situation. You'd have to install a pocket south of each platform to do regular-service short-turns. Not a big ask the way everything sprawls out around the branch flyovers, but not a capability that exists right now.

Blue and Orange of course have the midpoint yards at Wellington and Orient Heights where things go in/out of service. No other turnbacks on either. Forest Hills, in event of extension along the Needham ROW, would have flanking side pockets around each mainline track. That's how a +1 extension to Roslindale would work: deadheads to reworked (i.e. pockets lengthened) Forest Hills Yard for equipment supply. I guess in event that West Roxbury gets a proper storage yard they'd just disuse FH. Oak Grove and Wonderland would be straight-on extensions with no pockets.

Red-south has a couple of maintenance-of-way pockets that are unpowered and strictly there for loading ties/rail/ballast onto work equipment trailers. Nothing usable for revenue service, but that's how they get track materials trucked in from the outside world brought onto the ROW for the work shift.
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Old 07-27-2018, 04:51 PM   #3357
jklo
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Selling Lexington on rail-with-trail is going to be hard enough to begin with, so Burlington is far too many steps ahead in the game to guesstimate actionable decisions. Just FYI it as something to give full due-diligence study if you get that far.
Even cut-n-cover is a pipe dream really. I think it would have to be a tunnel with no intermediate stops and that seems unrealistic even with an unlimited budget.

I really do think that quadrant needs something... just not sure what that should be.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:47 PM   #3358
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by jklo View Post
Even cut-n-cover is a pipe dream really. I think it would have to be a tunnel with no intermediate stops and that seems unrealistic even with an unlimited budget.

I really do think that quadrant needs something... just not sure what that should be.
Well, get to Arlington Heights and the ability to stage functional buses out to 128 improves tenfold. You can hit Hanscom, Burlington, and some of the office parks on the quadrant between the Fitchburg and Lowell Lines out of AH with express routes, and those routes wouldn't run excessive risk of getting stuck in traffic if they fanned out up Mass Ave., Lowell St./Middlesex Tpke., MA 4/225, or down to MA 2 . That might be as far as you get, but it's still a Really Big Thingô to get that far because it's an ideally situated fan-out point for functional (maybe not world-beating, but eminently functional) transfers.

The 1.5 miles in Arlington that would have to be rail-with-trailed on the surface are abutted by 3000 linear feet of various town parks or school athletic fields, so one third of the 'sensitive' re-trailing can be moved a couple dozen feet and offset from the tracks by a tree buffer to keep same rustic feel. While everything from Alewife to Mill St. of course is going to be reinstated as-is once the subway (same as the 1970's plan) is cut below.

Arlington can probably be sold on a plan where only ⅓ of the trail from Alewife to AH would suffer any sound/visual impacts from trains running on the other side of a chain-link fence. Lexington I agree is such a brutally hard sell that unless they get positively green with envy at Arlington's new HRT toy there's extremely little chance they'd allow trains next to their uniformly prettier Minuteman leg. And that would be a legit choice on their part. But Arlington Heights is no consolation prize; it's mega in its own right and definitely something they'll have to shoot for someday.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:48 AM   #3359
DominusNovus
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Slightly tangental, but are there any studies on the effect of mass transit on property values, in general? I know Somerville is expecting property value to go up by a solid amount once the GLX is finally done.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:20 AM   #3360
bakgwailo
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Crazy Idea: CR Infill station between Canterburry St & Cummins Highway. Crazy as it would probably need land taking (doesn't look like enough in the ROW, but maybe with a center platform for 2 tracks and the third moved). I would envision it probably as part of a Regional Rail like roll out with EMUs. Just seems like an ideal spot for public transit especially if headways are good.
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