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Old 04-24-2019, 05:44 AM   #1721
tysmith95
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Any plans to grade separate the Cheslea commuter rail stop?
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:05 AM   #1722
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

I'm convinced,thanks (you're talking about connecting to the OL,right?)
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:20 AM   #1723
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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I'm convinced,thanks (you're talking about connecting to the OL,right?)
Is rather just increase frequencies on the Newburyport Rockport and add in some electrification before I'd think of branching the orange.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:19 AM   #1724
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Is rather just increase frequencies on the Newburyport Rockport and add in some electrification before I'd think of branching the orange.
Branching Orange is a bad idea. It can't be done with perfect enough service symmetry like Red's southern branches to not kneecap somebody's existing headways. If you're bringing rapid transit to Chelsea the easiest physical hook-in is Green Line via the Brickbottom carhouse leads anyway, and also the easiest service hook-in because of how the as-built GLX junction can later be scaled to filet both service out of the subway or radially between Urban Ring quadrants.

And yes, of course, Urban Rail frequencies out to Salem are a no-brainer. Not only as a measure until pieces of the Ring get built, but on its own merits as Purple, BLX-Lynn, and Urban Ring rapid transit all serve distinct and only semi-overlapping large audiences.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:24 AM   #1725
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Any plans to grade separate the Cheslea commuter rail stop?
That ship probably sailed when they never considered that in the first place with the SL3 build. With the station stop right there at the crossing Everett Ave. is no longer a concern for the trains, but the locals will grow with each additional Silver and Purple frequency to hate what a carpocalypse it's destined to be. I guess it's their problem now.

Eastern Ave. is still #1 with a bullet the most sorely needed outright crossing elimination on the CR system, because it imposes a painful clock-eating speed restriction and is a very dangerous angled crossing with limited sightlines across a road with heavy gas tanker traffic. It was proposed for elimination road-over-rail way back in '04, with the T throwing it in the file cabinet.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:44 AM   #1726
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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That ship probably sailed when they never considered that in the first place with the SL3 build. With the station stop right there at the crossing Everett Ave. is no longer a concern for the trains, but the locals will grow with each additional Silver and Purple frequency to hate what a carpocalypse it's destined to be. I guess it's their problem now.

Eastern Ave. is still #1 with a bullet the most sorely needed outright crossing elimination on the CR system, because it imposes a painful clock-eating speed restriction and is a very dangerous angled crossing with limited sightlines across a road with heavy gas tanker traffic. It was proposed for elimination road-over-rail way back in '04, with the T throwing it in the file cabinet.
All of the commuter rail crossings and Wellesley are grade separated, but despite being one of the densest cities in the commonwealth Cheslea is poor so it has multiple at grade crossings.
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Old 04-24-2019, 01:17 PM   #1727
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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All of the commuter rail crossings and Wellesley are grade separated, but despite being one of the densest cities in the commonwealth Cheslea is poor so it has multiple at grade crossings.
Quirks of RR competition, 1845-1976.

Note how relatively few the crossings are Revere-Beverly Depot: just two. That's the original Eastern RR mainline. Somerville-Chelsea was actually original Boston & Albany as the east extension of the Grand Junction Branch. B&A built freight docks right next to the Eastern's in Eastie and used the Grand Junction to tie the port into Beacon Park.

Note how the GJ in Cambridge has so many crossings...so did the east extension in Chelsea. B&A later leased 2 of the 4 tracks to the Eastern RR for passenger service, with split ownership lasting until 1976 (then Conrail + Boston & Maine).

Two owners who never could agree on who paid for crossing eliminations, so they stuck around despite blitz after blitz of northside crossing elimination sprees by B&M in the first half of the 20th century.
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Old 04-24-2019, 01:54 PM   #1728
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

If the NSRL is ever built, I think you should extend Acela service up to Woburn (where there's a huge parking lot).
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:47 PM   #1729
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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If the NSRL is ever built, I think you should extend Acela service up to Woburn (where there's a huge parking lot).
Acela will be retired and replaced with Avelia by then. If many of the planned improvements take place, and we see a truly high speed corridor, it would make sense to remove stops and take advantage of true high-speed rail.

I could see some Northeast Regional runs being extended to Woburn (and maybe Portland), like the trips to Norfolk and Newport News via Franconia-Springfield
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:48 PM   #1730
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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If the NSRL is ever built, I think you should extend Acela service up to Woburn (where there's a huge parking lot).
I don't believe Acela is seeking additional passengers. It is selling out as-is, no?
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Old 04-24-2019, 04:15 PM   #1731
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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If the NSRL is ever built, I think you should extend Acela service up to Woburn (where there's a huge parking lot).
No, no, no. That will never happen. Acela is a CBD-to-CBD premium-tier business service. Its market out in beltway suburbs is negligible. It stops at 128 Station like all Amtrak trains do as a sort of 'pacemaker' mechanism for dispatch before hitting peak NEC congestion into Boston, but Back Bay and South Station are where its real market is. Anyone who asks this Woburn question should first be forced to ask themselves, "Why doesn't the Acela first stop at the Capitol Beltway?"

Further, Amtrak has between-run chores that the T does not have. They crew-change every time. They have food service and amenities to restock. And NE Regionals, being single-ended trains that run pull-only without any cab car, have to reverse directions between every trip at Widett Circle Loop so the locomotive is always facing the travel direction. They have a whole consolidated facility at Southampton Yard to do these chores quickly and efficiently, and have dispatching control of South Station for staging them.

There is no way the Woburn Town Dump affords them a big enough exclusive facility for the employee and consumables needs, and there is no place around the landfill cap to snake a turnback as quick as Widett Loop. They'll have Z-E-R-O interest in sending Acela schedules through the NSRL because +1 more stop would not offset the increase in operating costs in using inferior digs in Woburn vs. what they have at Southampton, and they would not have dispatching control of the whole process out on the northside like they do at SS/Southampton. And there will probably be likeminded zero interest in turning any standard NE Regionals or Inland Route trains in Woburn when the same is true.

What you'll probably just have is a number of Portland and/or Concord NE Regionals doing run-thru via the tunnel and possibly engine-switching to diesel at Woburn (can be done from a pocket track). And then the Downeaster (which will probably be extended out to Augusta, Waterville, and Bangor by this point to make it a more distinct service from the Portland Regionals) will simply engine-switch and use the tunnel for purposes of it simply being easier to have those trainsets consolidated out of Southampton with everything else Amtrak.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:44 PM   #1732
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Iím sure it would be too far, but with NSRL, would it at all make sense to extend Acela to Portland?
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:00 AM   #1733
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Iím sure it would be too far, but with NSRL, would it at all make sense to extend Acela to Portland?
It would make sense to extend the Northeast regional. For a more premium high speed service i'm not sure that Portland has a large enough business market.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:44 AM   #1734
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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It would make sense to extend the Northeast regional. For a more premium high speed service i'm not sure that Portland has a large enough business market.
Plus Acela/Acela II would require electrification all the way up to Portland.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:08 PM   #1735
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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Plus Acela/Acela II would require electrification all the way up to Portland.
And that's likely not possible on the PAR freight main, which will be cleared for double-stack loads by this point and will need 22'6" clearances to run those freights under 25 kV wires. It's going to be hard enough just getting between Andover and Haverhill with wires for RER the way some of the overpasses between Lawrence and North Andover will be utterly maxed-out of further space. It's not a much prettier picture in New Hampshire, either. Besides, it's not an intrinisically very fast route with 80 MPH or less being the geometric max sustainable...far too clunky to attract flies for a premium service. The Eastern Route was always the faster of the two BOS-POR schedules back in the B&M era. It's just that since the Western Route carried all the profitable freight it got better maintenance than the Eastern, and then when finances got tight the Eastern was the easier one to drop.


If *fast* service to Portland is desired then re-routing via the Eastern out of Portsmouth is the way Amtrak service will need to be restructured. Wires are feasible the whole way, no freight interference, most of the ROW Revere-Beverly, Beverly-Ipswich, Ipswich-Newburyport, and Salisbury-Portsmouth is arrow-straight, and the grade crossings are few and far between and mostly limited-concern. Not to mention a stop roster that swapped out Woburn + Haverhill + Exeter + Durham for Salem + Newburyport + Portsmouth would be a net-gain on population densities served.

To do it you'd first have to have a commuter-only plan in place to extend Newburyport service back to Portsmouth. Not an overly involved undertaking since the trail segments are mostly out in wide-open marsh areas where relocation to the side is negligble-concern...while the shortie downtown Newburyport trail can be relocated a couple blocks east next to a traffic-calmed Route 1. You'd have to rebuild the derelict swing bridge, though an engineering survey done about 15 years ago found the approach spans to be in good condition for refurb-n'-reuse framing a replacement bascule or lift span. It's mainly that NH is such a hot mess for transpo planning that no one realistically expects them to be able to tackle this one before the heat death of the universe (they're having enough trouble even getting a train across the border into Nashua). The T from its own standpoint would probably have this one stuck to a long-range wishlist by now were it not for the NH build dependency making that a futile gesture.

Get to Portsmouth and rather than crossing the rail/road bridge into Kittery on the old Eastern alignment, continue west on the active Newington Branch to where it ends at the Piscataqua River. The remainder of the branch to Dover was torn up 5 decades ago to build Route 16, which runs on the old railbed from the river to Exit 7 (NH 10. You'd have to build a new river crossing, then construct about 5 miles of new ROW on the highway shoulder (ample room on either side). Widened overpasses, etc...but since NHDOT loves to bankrupt itself on add-a-lane projects that's right up their alley. At NH 108, transition back onto about 1 mile of legacy ROW to the old junction at Dover station. Or, if downtown Dover has some NIMBY's...continue along the highway for another mile and meet up with the Western Route a little further downstream from Dover Station.

Dover-north you probably *can* tackle electrification of the Western Route to Portland owing to the relative scarcity of overhead structures. Some tricky ones, but for the most part just overpasses where the trackbed can be undercut to gain the extra headroom. There are 2 more excellently well-preserved abandoned segments of the Eastern Route (North Berwick-Biddeford, 16.5 miles + Saco-Scarborough, 7.5 miles) that pull off then back onto the Western. They're each arrow-straight, crossing-few, more-or-less a wash on same ridership catchments served (with exception of Saco-Scarborough bypassing Old Orchard Beach), and capable of sustaining >100 MPH speeds. But I doubt the Maine economy would sustain restoration jobs of that scope where Amtrak would literally be the only user. Those are going to have to be much deeper future considerations, with nearer-term focus being just ramping up the speeds through MA/NH with the route relocation and then doing what you can do in ME to make a wired-up Western good enough on its existing alignment.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:55 PM   #1736
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

For MBTA parking lots, charge a weekend rate for persons who enter past 3 PM (as long as they leave before the last train).
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:28 PM   #1737
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

Make the Lynn commuter rail garage free. The Lynn garage sees some of the lowest utilization rates in the MBTA. Making it free would encourage more people to use it versus driving down to Wonderland, and would be a decent concession for the Tobin Construction.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:53 PM   #1738
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Re: Reasonable Transit Pitches

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For MBTA parking lots, charge a weekend rate for persons who enter past 3 PM (as long as they leave before the last train).
Never understood why they haven't done this yet. I don't park at MBTA lots if I'm only there for 3-4 hours for an evening; even though something like Alewife is a lot closer and more convenient to get to, I can get much cheaper (sometimes free) at Assembly.
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