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Old 08-23-2016, 02:02 PM   #21
FK4
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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having pedestrian draw spans as part of the main draws for the commuter rail's single most mission-critical and necessarily fail-safe piece of infrastructure is an insanely bad idea. If the not-very-tall N. Washington St. bridge sets the ruling height for Charles Basin boats, what is preventing DCR from building an adjacent fixed crossing off the N. Bank Bridge to switchback ramps at the boat landing behind Spaulding? They can even borrow the old Draw 4 support pegs to save a little money, since that one won't ever need to come back.
Why is that a bad idea?

And...

Where was draw 4 and do you or does anyone have any images of Draw 4? Im unclear as to where exactly everything was back in the day... old images just show a massive tangle of road and rail bridges.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:31 PM   #22
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Why is that a bad idea?
Q: What do you do when there are peds on the bridge when you want to raise it?

A: Wait

Q: How long?

A: However long they feel like making you wait.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:41 PM   #23
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Q: What do you do when there are peds on the bridge when you want to raise it?

A: Wait

Q: How long?

A: However long they feel like making you wait.
Wouldn't a couple blasts of a horn send them scurrying real quick?
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:45 PM   #24
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

Not every time. Not the disabled ones. Not the moms with strollers and a stubborn toddler throwing things at ducks. Not the dude who just busted a flat tire on his Hubway. Not the vagrant pissing in the Charles. Not the office worker walking from Kendall who needs to get across before it opens in order to catch the express train to Salem so he can pick up his kids from daycare on time, who makes a run for it before the gates come down.

Not every time. That's the issue. Makes it hard to a railroad
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:00 PM   #25
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Where was draw 4 and do you or does anyone have any images of Draw 4? Im unclear as to where exactly everything was back in the day... old images just show a massive tangle of road and rail bridges.
If you look at google earth, just to the left of the existing bridges, there are 2 sets of 4 pilings, this is where the other two bridges sat. I don't believe I can link directly to it, but if you go to historicaerials.com, select the year 1955 and zoom in on the area, and you can clearly see the 4 bridges.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #26
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Do you think that they can or will align the schedule with the GLX union square branch work? I would imagine that would simplify that part of the GLX if they do not need to complete the work in an active railway.

It is too premature to say right now. As it is, all GLX related projects have either ground to a halt or are at a bare minimum. You could probably count with your fingers the number of construction workers doing GLX-related projects right now, and that was a couple months ago, might be none now.
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forget it ever happening, its too great an idea.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:43 AM   #27
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

Looking at the foundations for Draw 3 and the supports for the pedestrian overpass, it looks like there is a conflict. The support for the pedestrian bridge appears to be smack in the middle of the approach tracks.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:56 AM   #28
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

When the ped overpass was being built, I mentioned on this forum that it's piers weren't spaced far enough apart to accommodate future additional tracks to span the Charles. Looks like I was right.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:00 AM   #29
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Looking at the foundations for Draw 3 and the supports for the pedestrian overpass, it looks like there is a conflict. The support for the pedestrian bridge appears to be smack in the middle of the approach tracks.
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When the ped overpass was being built, I mentioned on this forum that it's piers weren't spaced far enough apart to accommodate future additional tracks to span the Charles. Looks like I was right.
This claim keeps being made over and over again no matter how many times it's been debunked. There's no conflict. The N. Bank Bridge placed its supports parallel with the Leverett Ramp supports. No additional track space was cannibalized over what was there before. The abutment leaves nearly 40 ft. of horizontal slack underneath. And the height of the N. Bank is above the height of the drawbridge counterweights, so there is no pinch in vertical room either when the footbridge starts steeply descending at that end.

Go to Street View and compare with overhead view vs. position of the fence where the driveway pinches at the Duck Boat ramp. Then compare the width of each drawbridge's pairs of lead tracks with the available space next to that jut in the fence. There's plenty of expansion room.


If they decide to tri-track Draws 1 & 2, still need to put in Draw 3 later, and find they're 1 track short on space...they have option to slap a partial overhang on top of that pinch point at the fence and snake up to 2 more tracks around the other side of the abutment for matching tri-track spans. If that amount of re-shaping even proves necessary.


There's no problem here.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:00 AM   #30
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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If you look at google earth, just to the left of the existing bridges, there are 2 sets of 4 pilings, this is where the other two bridges sat. I don't believe I can link directly to it, but if you go to historicaerials.com, select the year 1955 and zoom in on the area, and you can clearly see the 4 bridges.





Draws 3 & 4 became expendable once steam locomotives were retired. Steam engines were strictly unidirectional and were incapable of changing ends on-platform, so every single train had to deadhead to the yard to get its locomotive turned around in the opposite direction. Fully one-half of the moves across the 4 draws were non-revenue backup moves that cycled inbound-facing trainsets for outbound-facing trainsets.

Once the diesel era hit and you either had either double-ended Budd RDC multiple units or standard push-pull trains, majority of those capacity-chewing non-revenue moves disappeared. Theoretically if every single train reversed on-platform 2 draws could have equal capacity to 4 for running the same service at 1928 North Station on 1928 Boston & Maine. Realistically, because many of them still do have to deadhead to the yard for various necessities (crew changes, matching trainset capacity to line/schedule, keeping platform assignments consistent, etc.) each draw in the push-pull era can do about 1⅓ to 1 times the work of each draw in the steam era. Therefore if you maxed out northside service density to the tippy-top a single terminal could dish out to all 4 mainlines and every branch and endpoint present and future/available-for-use...you would never need more than Draw 3.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:47 AM   #31
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

^ I was persuaded in a previous round (probably on railroad.net) that winning a case for future capacity does not conclude with Draw 3 (it points too far upstream) but am happy to see a plan from the T for new spans pointed squarely at the existing platforms (which makes sense).

The need for Draw 3 and added surface capacity near the Duck ramp gets even more remote when you consider that the NSRL will cross the river by tunnel: whether 2, 3, or 4 CR tracks it's going to intercept/deliver a lot of Fitchburg, Lowell, or Newb/Rock traffic far north of any operating congestion you can describe that a Draw 3 might address (and to F-Lines point, you never get to draw 4)

Even in a 6-track draw setup such as draw 1/2 widening gives, a NSRL of 2 tracks is 33% growth. If it is 4-track that's 66%, and if pairs of approaches/branches for 3 lines all cross that is 6 full tracks to/from North Station Under. When the far future arrives future proofing is going to look like having stub tunnels not unused draw pilings
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:58 AM   #32
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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^ I was persuaded in a previous round (probably on railroad.net) that winning a case for future capacity does not conclude with Draw 3 (it points too far upstream) but am happy to see a plan from the T for new spans pointed squarely at the existing platforms (which makes sense).

The need for Draw 3 and added surface capacity near the Duck ramp gets even more remote when you consider that the NSRL will cross the river by tunnel: whether 2, 3, or 4 CR tracks it's going to intercept/deliver a lot of Fitchburg, Lowell, or Newb/Rock traffic far north of any operating congestion you can describe that a Draw 3 might address (and to F-Lines point, you never get to draw 4)

Even in a 6-track draw setup such as draw 1/2 widening gives, a NSRL of 2 tracks is 33% growth. If it is 4-track that's 66%, and if pairs of approaches/branches for 3 lines all cross that is 6 full tracks to/from North Station Under. When the far future arrives future proofing is going to look like having stub tunnels not unused draw pilings
As with South Station, expanding North Station has absolutely nothing to do with NSRL. Same as the southside, NSRL does not have enough space unto itself to replace the surface terminals. Underground is constrained enough at the interlockings that it's at best a lateral match on capacity, so if you want to have access to the complete and full capacity of the New England rail network you must double-barrel the terminal districts.


There's going to be a need to do NSX in the mid-term future, because the service-poorer northside needs major increases on all 5 peak schedules out into 495-land, much denser all-day and off-peak schedules to MA's 4th largest city Lowell, and has 4 potential Indigo candidates to 128. Throw on the future needs for Downeasters topping out at 2-1/2 hour all-day intervals, NH Cap Corridor/Concord service as an additional Lowell schedule layer, and possibility of 5-per-peak Worcester commuter extras over the Grand Junction and you have an overstuffed 20-year bucket list of not-very-expensive projects to choose from that'll saturate everything and then some.

We're not even talking wild fantasies like Newburyport-Portsmouth, or reanimating the Central Mass and Manchester & Lawrence. These are just service increase and layering initiatives that are badly-needed enough that the bucket will be half-emptied before NSRL even proceeds to a final EIS. We don't need to conflate NSX with SSX, either. SSX has a lot of moving parts to it: relocation of major mission-critical real estate, wholesale reconfiguration of the interlockings to solve an entirely different capacity choke vs. north (i.e. too many cross-cutting movements to the platforms), a major storage component, and development development development of new real estate. NSX is just razing one expendable building, installing one additional drawbridge and widening the approach span, hooking the new draw tracks up into the 100% pre-existing/non-expanded Tower A leads on the other side of the N. Bank overpass, and dropping 3 or 4 new island platforms onto a bare asphalt parking lot. The add-a-draw and approach span work is probably $100-150M tops, the platforms $25-40M depending on how fancy they want to get about hooking the egress-end into the Garden building/station waiting room.

That's it. Don't conflate the price points with SSX, and--if I can't repeat this enough--don't conflate these surface expansion projects with NSRL because they're much shorter-term and have no relation to what NSRL attempts to accomplish. NSX is a pretty dirt-simple proposition: if you want 25-minute headways (push-pull, DMU, whatever) to Waltham, Salem/Peabody, Reading, and/or Woburn and want the state to pick that fantasy 2024 Indigo map off the floor...you're gonna build Draw 3, and be agitating for the construction barge to be set up in the Charles by 2024. No abstract fantasies required to justify that bang-for-buck.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:25 AM   #33
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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Looking at the foundations for Draw 3 and the supports for the pedestrian overpass, it looks like there is a conflict. The support for the pedestrian bridge appears to be smack in the middle of the approach tracks.
This is no Draw 3. This will be two spans which together will be centered on the same centerline as we have presently.

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When the ped overpass was being built, I mentioned on this forum that it's piers weren't spaced far enough apart to accommodate future additional tracks to span the Charles. Looks like I was right.
There is room. A Tower A signal bungalow and the Tower A structure have to be demolished for one track, and there's plenty of room on the other side for the other track.

Also note that the former Spaulding Building (now MGH overflow space as I understand) is not in the way unless they want a longer platform for tracks 11 and 12.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:31 AM   #34
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

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This is no Draw 3. This will be two spans which together will be centered on the same centerline as we have presently.




Also note that the former Spaulding Building (now MGH overflow space as I understand) is not in the way unless they want a longer platform for tracks 11 and 12.
Not sure I get this. If the two new draws are on the same center line then the two new tracks will be on the outside adjacent to the current four (new inbound on the west side, new outbound on the east side). If there's an additional track on the west side there will be a conflict with the building. What am I missing?
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:51 AM   #35
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

Here's the spitball plan for threading in the new tracks from the document F-line linked earlier. It requires shortening platform E a bit to give the room required to snake in the lead track for the new platform past Spaulding.

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Old 08-24-2016, 11:54 AM   #36
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

I was just eyeballing it, so I'm happy to hear that there is no conflict.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:54 AM   #37
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

^^ Thanks
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:04 PM   #38
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

^ And a short platform on the 11/12 side is acceptable because Amtrak Downeaster is a short train anyway, and so would Indigo DMUs to Lowell or Waltham (or any all-day short headway train)
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:00 PM   #39
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

If it's 450 ft. it can take 5 cars. Good enough for the Downeaster and a Fitchburg rush hour consist if it were 100% bi-level.

The lack of 800-footers is one reason why Spaulding's going to eventually get razed to spread the lead tracks out a smidge after exiting the draws. Too few platforms capable of handling six-packs for the 5:00pm sardine cans, so they have to carve out some space to lengthen platforms best they can. But it's not something they have to address until they complete the coach replacement procurements and are running all- bi-level. That's when they have to assess their per-line peak car apportionments and how fast the extra seats are going to fill up at maximum crowding.

Not quite there for taking stab at those projections because north's stuck with disproportionate single-levels vs. south.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:20 AM   #40
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Re: North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

Bidding process has started to replace the two North Station drawspans with two three-track drawbridges.

Per the Globe:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...wBM/story.html
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