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Old 01-28-2019, 10:45 AM   #541
HenryAlan
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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This is a ridiculous question.
Yes, and that was entirely the point. Effective, workable, regional rail does not require amenities, it requires frequency, speed, clock facin schedules, proper pricing. There is nothing wrong with this station that prevents the things that matter.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:51 AM   #542
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Yes, and that was entirely the point. Effective, workable, regional rail does not require amenities, it requires frequency, speed, clock facin schedules, proper pricing. There is nothing wrong with this station that prevents the things that matter.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:31 AM   #543
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Yes, and that was entirely the point. Effective, workable, regional rail does not require amenities, it requires frequency, speed, clock facin schedules, proper pricing. There is nothing wrong with this station that prevents the things that matter.
You are acting like its a trade-off. it is not. Adding amenities does not mean you reduce frequency.

HOWEVER, if you have no plans to add frequency, then those amenities will help your riders since theyre waiting longer.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:57 PM   #544
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

^ Yes. We can and should aspire to have both.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:44 AM   #545
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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^ Yes. We can and should aspire to have both.
Sure, I don't oppose amenities. I just don't think they are something that changes ridership. If you think about other lines, is the presence (or lack) of a coffee cart what leads people to use the service? And how is such a thing remotely profitable on a station platform that attracts customers infrequently, compared to opening a stand up on the street level?

That stuff is nice, but I don't think it has the kind of impact that a useful service has, so I'd rather focus on making it be a useful service. The amenities will come along on their own once that happens.
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Old 02-18-2019, 09:27 AM   #546
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Sure, I don't oppose amenities. I just don't think they are something that changes ridership.
I think one of the reasons people dislike buses so much is because most bus stops are nothing but a sign. People associate rail with shelters and waiting areas and such.

What was the last MBTA commuter rail line to be eliminated completely? Off the top of my head, Id think it was the Lexington branch, a branch where most of the stops were essentially bus stops with no amenities. Thats a lot east to abandon than something like the Worcester Line with real stations.

Same with other rail. It was so easy to discontinue the A and E branch because there were no amenities left behind.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:26 AM   #547
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

Woburn Branch, 1981. And that pretty much was just 2 bus shelters. Lexington Br. ('77) actually had a few really nice station houses, which were also adjacent to squares with retail.


Reasons for those abandonments were equipment shortages on the RDC fleet coupled with lousy track conditions in the very first years after the T bought the northside from bankrupt B&M. *Very* specific to that particular time and place.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:58 AM   #548
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

The Central Mass. Railroad had pretty nice station buildings, and it got eliminated anyway. I'd say the correlation between amenities and ridership, beyond a certain baseline, is tenuous at best.
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Old 02-18-2019, 02:11 PM   #549
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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I think one of the reasons people dislike buses so much is because most bus stops are nothing but a sign. People associate rail with shelters and waiting areas and such.
My anecdotal evidence shows that people don't like buses because they run infrequently and unreliably and get stuck in traffic. I can walk into a t stop and wait on a platform and know a train is coming in less than10 minutes, can't say the same for most buses.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:01 PM   #550
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Found this (probably shown before)... Good stuff. EMU's to South Station and Seaport, and big buildup at the stations on the FL would be awesome.

https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/07/...not-there-yet/
Where they say DMU's only knock off a couple minutes from CR but if they electrify it and run the LIRR metro north style EMU trains it can have 18 min headways while also using the same platforms/tracks as the commuter rail trains it makes sense why DMU's are such a bad idea. Besides the fact that they don't want to electrify it right now, but is it not a matter of time? These look like the perfect middle ground between commuter rail and full on subway cars. This would be perfect for this route and looks like this is what we have to be aiming for in the future, not DMU's. This could be perfect for the Fairmount line reusing the platforms and tracks and adding the 3rd rail to get what is probably the perfect solution for this line. F-Line is this what you are saying to hold out on vs wasting money on DMU's?





One more question I know one of you can answer. How in gods name do these do grade crossings? There is a picture of these crossing a street. Here I found a better picture of how they do a gap in the 3rd rail.... How is this safe?? It looks like maybe they make contact under the rail... but still..

Last edited by stick n move; 02-18-2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:45 PM   #551
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

Buses can also be drastically re-routed on a moments notice. Steel rails in the ground can’t. The flexibility of buses also gives them a feeling of impermanence.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:25 PM   #552
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Where they say DMU's only knock off a couple minutes from CR but if they electrify it and run the LIRR metro north style EMU trains it can have 18 min headways while also using the same platforms/tracks as the commuter rail trains it makes sense why DMU's are such a bad idea. Besides the fact that they don't want to electrify it right now, but is it not a matter of time? These look like the perfect middle ground between commuter rail and full on subway cars. This would be perfect for this route and looks like this is what we have to be aiming for in the future, not DMU's. This could be perfect for the Fairmount line reusing the platforms and tracks and adding the 3rd rail to get what is probably the perfect solution for this line. F-Line is this what you are saying to hold out on vs wasting money on DMU's?
Those Kawasaki M7's are full-on RR cars with all the FRA buff strength and whatnot, and they are very heavy as EMU's go. Nothing remotely subway-like about them, right down to very much commuter rail 3 x 2 seating and luggage racks inside. Both LIRR and Metro-North run co-mingled with freight trains, so they're same as us in having systems that can't avoid mixed traffic. We wouldn't be ordering direct clones of those cars because the somewhat low height is designed to fit in a particularly tight portion of the East Side Access tunnel, and they don't have door traps for low platforms like most other available EMU's do.

Third rail isn't an option here. South Station is electrified to 25 kV AC, while LIRR/MNRR's third rail is an extremely different 750V DC. It takes substations every 3-6 miles to electrify at 750V DC, while the Amtrak AC system only needs subs every 30 miles. It would be too prohibitively expensive to do DC; that's more ideally-suited for subway/rapid transit spanning a compact region (e.g. inside-12. The contact surface of third rail also only allows an uppermost speed limit of ~90 MPH, way too slow for Amtrak's needs.

LIRR has its DC network because it grew up a mostly isolated RR, and it has enough DC power lines spanning the west half of the island that their 750V system is cheaper to keep augmenting rather than changing over. MNRR does it (except on the New Haven Line which power switches from AC to DC) for clearances in the tunnel to Grand Central. Those are the only such installations on this continent.


Quote:
One more question I know one of you can answer. How in gods name do these do grade crossings? There is a picture of these crossing a street. Here I found a better picture of how they do a gap in the 3rd rail.... How is this safe?? It looks like maybe they make contact under the rail... but still..
Whole cars can be off the third rail in the middle of a crossing, but as long as some of the cars on the train are touching it they can power through. Or coast through if it's a short set and particularly long crossing. On their older cars the lights flicker off on the cars that aren't drawing power, but the M7's have batteries to smooth over that issue. "Gapping", however, is still the bane of LIRR's existence. It is possible if the train is short enough and the crossing long enough to get stuck there. The engineer can throw it on battery and crawl at 1 MPH until finding third rail again to escape the situation, but by that point a traffic jam of surly drivers has already backed up at the crossing.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:40 AM   #553
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Those Kawasaki M7's are full-on RR cars with all the FRA buff strength and whatnot, and they are very heavy as EMU's go. Nothing remotely subway-like about them, right down to very much commuter rail 3 x 2 seating and luggage racks inside. Both LIRR and Metro-North run co-mingled with freight trains, so they're same as us in having systems that can't avoid mixed traffic. We wouldn't be ordering direct clones of those cars because the somewhat low height is designed to fit in a particularly tight portion of the East Side Access tunnel, and they don't have door traps for low platforms like most other available EMU's do.

Third rail isn't an option here. South Station is electrified to 25 kV AC, while LIRR/MNRR's third rail is an extremely different 750V DC. It takes substations every 3-6 miles to electrify at 750V DC, while the Amtrak AC system only needs subs every 30 miles. It would be too prohibitively expensive to do DC; that's more ideally-suited for subway/rapid transit spanning a compact region (e.g. inside-12. The contact surface of third rail also only allows an uppermost speed limit of ~90 MPH, way too slow for Amtrak's needs.

LIRR has its DC network because it grew up a mostly isolated RR, and it has enough DC power lines spanning the west half of the island that their 750V system is cheaper to keep augmenting rather than changing over. MNRR does it (except on the New Haven Line which power switches from AC to DC) for clearances in the tunnel to Grand Central. Those are the only such installations on this continent.


Whole cars can be off the third rail in the middle of a crossing, but as long as some of the cars on the train are touching it they can power through. Or coast through if it's a short set and particularly long crossing. On their older cars the lights flicker off on the cars that aren't drawing power, but the M7's have batteries to smooth over that issue. "Gapping", however, is still the bane of LIRR's existence. It is possible if the train is short enough and the crossing long enough to get stuck there. The engineer can throw it on battery and crawl at 1 MPH until finding third rail again to escape the situation, but by that point a traffic jam of surly drivers has already backed up at the crossing.
So if not DMU's or electrification, its commuter rail forever?

Last edited by stick n move; 02-19-2019 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:18 AM   #554
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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So if not DMU's or electrification, its commuter rail forever?
I don't understand the question. 25 kV AC overhead is the electrification scheme for all new-construction RR electrification in North America, and what already exists on the Providence Line and at South Station. Why would we ever do something at a different voltage and current collection like LIRR's kooky 750V DC third rail??? Expanding off what's already there is the best value proposition for the T hands-down for both lineside infrastructure and vehicle purchase.

How did this turn into "A) copying LIRR verbatim = electrification; B) fossil fuel self-propelled; C) nothing at all"? That was never the set of choices here.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:10 AM   #555
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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My anecdotal evidence shows that people don't like buses because they run infrequently and unreliably and get stuck in traffic. I can walk into a t stop and wait on a platform and know a train is coming in less than10 minutes, can't say the same for most buses.
My anecdotal evidence from when I went to BU was that the students would take the B line even though the 57 was faster and came at the same frequency.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:02 PM   #556
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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My anecdotal evidence from when I went to BU was that the students would take the B line even though the 57 was faster and came at the same frequency.
At least in my experience, BU students who lived off campus (so the ones who would be using 57/B daily) would would be well aware that the 57 was faster, but those who lived on campus (with some exceptions) would be largely unaware that public buses even existed.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:59 PM   #557
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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At least in my experience, BU students who lived off campus (so the ones who would be using 57/B daily) would would be well aware that the 57 was faster, but those who lived on campus (with some exceptions) would be largely unaware that public buses even existed.
Right, and Im arguing that amenities and station design plays into that.

Spend a little extra at construction and get a lifetime of free added exposure.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:26 PM   #558
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

I think there is some truth to that regarding buses. Nice shelters make waiting for the bus look more appealing and serve the dual purpose of suggesting permanence. I don't think this is the case for rail, however, where the tracks make the case for permanence. See the same example, of BU students taking the trolley rather than the bus. You can't argue that very many B Line stops have attractive amenities. They are functional at best, and yet huge numbers board at many of them.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:15 PM   #559
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Right, and Im arguing that amenities and station design plays into that.

Spend a little extra at construction and get a lifetime of free added exposure.
I think the issue is much deeper than just how visible the station is. Buses are inherently confusing for someone unfamiliar with the street grid (an accurate description of most BU underclassman). Combine that with the fact that most BU students grew up in wealthy suburbs where buses are basically unheard of.
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Old 02-19-2019, 11:00 PM   #560
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Re: Fairmount Line Upgrade

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
25 kV AC overhead is the electrification scheme for all new-construction RR electrification in North America, and what already exists on the Providence Line and at South Station. Why would we ever do something at a different voltage and current collection like LIRR's kooky 750V DC third rail??? Expanding off what's already there is the best value proposition for the T hands-down for both lineside infrastructure and vehicle purchase.
Finally. This is what I was looking for. Now I can look in the right direction. So which rolling stock fits the requirement here with our platforms and overhead lines, something like the NJT arrow 3? Is that this lines future?


Edit: Aaand nevermind. Looking back to Odurandias article it said:

“One of the reasons the MBTA’s plans to increase frequency are stuck is controversy over rolling stock. The state wants to buy diesel multiple units (DMUs), which accelerate faster than locomotive-pulled trains.

There are no plans to electrify the Fairmount Line, even though electric trains would be faster, DMUs have tended to come at a high price for American transit agencies, and one of the Greater Four Corners Coalition’s original complaints was diesel fumes from trains (which higher frequency would only make worse).”

“Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration ordered the new vehicles, but the purchase was scuttled by Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration, with officials saying that the investment is now on hold indefinitely.”

.. So the answer is to electrify the line, but the state wont. So instead the state was looking into DMU’s, but that was cancelled and now theyre not...

So essentially the plan for the forseeable future of the Fairmount line is to finish these new stops and try to run the commuter rail more frequently. Thats it.

Alright then.


Edit edit: Apparently they are currently right now in the process of studying what to do with the line and a decision on what to do will come of this in the not too distant future:

“An 18-month state-funded Commuter Rail Vision study launched last year is underway and considering many of the suggested options to improve the rail network — like full or partial system electrification; a change in vehicle technology to EMUs or other lower emitting and more flexible rolling stock; double or triple tracking, including any associated right of way acquisition; and new facilities and infill stations — as well as an assessment of modern rail networks in comparable urban areas.”
https://www.dotnews.com/2018/report-...fairmount-line

So I guess right now the answer is just wait until the vision study is over and they come to a decision... Cool.

Last edited by stick n move; 02-19-2019 at 11:44 PM.
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