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Old 07-16-2019, 11:56 AM   #3601
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by jbray View Post
He's going back to Tyson2's conversation starter about replacing C or B with Blue.

I think that Kenmore is the logical hub connection to also get the Blue line to the B&A so that it could head to West Station. Not making the connection would be seen as nearly as foolish as not connecting the Red line to Park once upon a time. It makes the Blue line more valuable to have it go to hubs than to skip them because it's easier. I've always wondered what the impediment was to cut and cover the B&A to replace the local stations and improve Worcester headways. Was not the plan back in 1945 to go all the way to Riverside with a line?
The B&A/Riverside rapid transit line was pre-Pike and would've taken Tracks 3 & 4 of the mainline from Back Bay. All-surface, no tunneling. The Pike Extension wasn't constructed until a decade after the rest of the highway outside 128. The final 1965 Alternative cannibalized B&A Tracks 3 & 4, but other rejected Alts. would've left more trackage intact and possibly kept the rapid transit proposal alive. As is, no ROW width survived except through Beacon Park so we're left with a total-tunneling build way more severe than the all-surface routing of '45 and the mostly(?)-surface routings of the pre-'65 Pike alts.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:19 AM   #3602
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

In the spirit of the new tollway Boston will soon be getting, I thought I'd offer a look at the vast possibility space of using that ROW for something far more useful than providing better road access for thousands of people an hour: Infrequent commuter rail service that doesn't go where people want it to and will only be used by about a hundred people a day:



https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tN...Uj&usp=sharing

An extension of the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail that goes straight down the abandoned ROW to the Airport, providing a convenient airport access to the north shore. Stations at:
  1. Suffolk Downs - Probably a limited busway and 1A pedestrian overpass to provide access to people in Suffolk Downs
  2. Airport Station - Built under the Greenway, provides 90% of the ridership here, as north-shore commuters transfer to the Blue Line.
  3. Terminal C/E - Theoretically with a people mover as has been proposed, a single connection at the Airport station should provide enough access so that we don't need to build this branch. But in what universe would a simple, proven solution be implemented over a vast expansion of the commuter rail?
  4. Terminal B - Tail tracks out under the runway

Build Alternative 1) Skip Terminal B and gobble up the remains of the Revere Beach railroad to provide downtown access to East Boston. Tunnel under Marginal St to the Greenway. No room for tail tracks, so this may impact service.

New stations at:
  1. Terminal A
  2. East Boston - Concourse to Mavericks

Build Alternative 2) The People Mover has been built, and so we don't actually need heavy rail stations for each of the terminals (shock!). Continue down under the greenway from Airport Station to provide direct downtown Access to East Boston. This is the only one of these alternatives that wouldn't be immediately laughed out of the room. However, the impacts to the Greenway would mean deep, deep tunnelling here.


New stations at:
  1. Mavericks.

EDIT: In none of these proposals is there a wye constructed at the mainline connector to provide access from North Station. That would just be Crazy.

Last edited by ulrichomega; 07-17-2019 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #3603
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

^ You've lost me on this one
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Old 07-17-2019, 12:13 PM   #3604
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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^ You've lost me on this one
Tongue-in-cheek proposal to use the proposed Tollway ROW along Chelsea Creek as Commuter Rail instead of road.
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:07 PM   #3605
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I'm sold if you can find a way to fold in crazy guy's Boston Bypass as part of the plan and crown it the North-Lobstahs-South Rail Link...the linkiest link in the land that avoids downtown like it's got cooties and requires slamming the Red Line in Braintree and Silver Line at Logan into oblivion to use it.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:42 PM   #3606
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Shitposting has come to ArchBoston! In all seriousness, that really is a brilliant example of all the things not to do. Reverse branching, suburban rail to airport terminals, and no space for layovers.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:57 PM   #3607
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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suburban rail to airport terminals
Too bad people want to slice Central Station out of the NSRL to make the smart version of this disappear.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:12 PM   #3608
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Too bad people want to slice Central Station out of the NSRL to make the smart version of this disappear.
SL1 out of South Station and Green-Urban Ring out of North Station aren't smart???

Central Station on the C/AT alignment is all kinds of flawed. Shorter platforms so Amtrak and max-size T rush-hour trains can't stop there, hugely constipated egresses because it's at maximum possible depth, and reduces tunnel throughput. I mean, sure, if we had another billion burning a hole in our pockets we could excavate that part of the cavern. But compared to, say, Back Bay, it's a functionally more limited stop with a lot more surplus-to-requirement. It's not that it's unwanted so much as it's the easiest cut for rationalizing costs.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:15 PM   #3609
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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SL1 out of South Station and Green-Urban Ring out of North Station aren't smart???

Central Station on the C/AT alignment is all kinds of flawed. Shorter platforms so Amtrak and max-size T rush-hour trains can't stop there, hugely constipated egresses because it's at maximum possible depth, and reduces tunnel throughput. I mean, sure, if we had another billion burning a hole in our pockets we could excavate that part of the cavern. But compared to, say, Back Bay, it's a functionally more limited stop with a lot more surplus-to-requirement. It's not that it's unwanted so much as it's the easiest cut for rationalizing costs.
I get the argument as to why it's the easy cut, hell, I even agree with it, but in terms of the alternatives SL1 doesn't cut it and it certainly is not moving people out of their cars to get to Logan. The biggest provision in the focus 40 for SL1/2/3 is that maybe they'll tunnel under D street filed under "Big Ideas We're Imagining". As for the Urban ring, that's not even on the current docket. Will it happen one day? If Boston wants to keep growing, assuredly. But we haven't even returned to that concept yet in the bureaucracy.

NSRL is a present conversation and along with it is a people mover to connect Blue more concretely to the Airport. It is short sighted to not consider the future of the blue line as part of regional rail/connectivity. Transit riders in the city are moving to the blue line, development of parcels such as Suffolk Downs are on the blue line, and the Red/Blue connector makes the Airport stop more attractive than South to SL1 because at least Blue has its own right of way across the harbor. Even in our grand scheme discussions about Blue going to Kenmore, why is keeping Blue out of the full regional network a poor decision by comparison?

And that's all I was really trying to say: The Blue line is the best transit connectivity to the Airport and the poorest connected to the Regional Lines. So yes, Blue to Regional Rail is smarter than the SL1 and the Green Line Urban Ring as we currently stand, at least in my estimation but no, those are not "dumb" solutions either.

I defer to you on the engineering constraints of any and all such builds.
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Old 07-18-2019, 01:50 PM   #3610
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Assuming the T went with the four track NSRL, would a Central Station make sense if it only served two tracks for the Indigo Line/Regional Rail/RER style EMU's? I'm guessing that might limit capacity by dividing the tunnel between EMU's and thru-running Amtrak/whatever dual mode commuter rail abomination ends up shoved down there, but adding a Central Station would be a huge addition to making inner core EMU proposals even closer to being full rapid transit.

Given that a 2 track NSRL would be easier to fund right away, if you had to play flirt, marry, kill with the three service types (Amtrak intercity/high speed rail, dual mode thru running commuter rail, and "rapid transit" Regional Rail/RER style EMU's) which would you kill?

I would marry the "rapid transit" line by building Central Station and mainly using the NSRL for connecting the underserved inner core/95 commuter rail zones, but would flirt with the idea of letting some thru running commuter rail into the tunnel. I'd kill Amtrak using the NSRL entirely, and leave additional intercity Amtrak and outer commuter rail slots for the second tube.

Amtrak stopping at Back Bay, South Station, North Station, and then Anderson feels excessive (Does any other city on the NEC have that many closely spaced stops?), plus losing a 1 seat ride through the link is nothing compared to gaining clockfacing and same platform (more or less) transfers throughout the greater Boston area. That ease of transfer and new express routings would greatly appeal to the outer commuters who would see this compromise as gaining faster trips and easier transfers throughout the city.

Transit advocates and planners will undoubtedly see this compromise as losing full thru running potential and capacity upgrades, and I know the NSRL is (rightfully) pitched in transit circles as really being about upgrading capacity; but politicians and the media only get excited for connectivity to their area and building "shiny" things like expansions/ new lines. Throw them a brand new "subway" network which not only connects north and south station, but adds a brand new Central Station and infill throughout the inner burbs, and they'll be blown away. Then, once they're comfortable with the NSRL "subway" lines, you introduce pilot programs for more thru running CR and a couple Amtrak slots too, which can be logically pitched into a 2nd tunnel for expanding this wildly popular service (and much needed capacity increases). The pilots and 2nd tunnel could be explained away as skipping Central Station because it's only for the rapid transit line, and you could have your second tube built to skip Central and follow whatever shitty grade is required by the dual-mode commuter rail/intercity stuff like Regionals going to Maine.


From a ops and transit planning perspective it feels insane to build the NSRL with Central, potentially hamstring future capacity by using separated two track set-ups instead of four tracked optimization of all services, and most importantly to "ignore" the growing capacity nightmare with outer CR and all Amtrak stub ended at the current terminals. From a marketing perspective however, it seems like a no brainer to pitch the NSRL as an entirely new system of rapid transit lines that will not only transform the inner core/95 burbs, but save billions compared to the per mile cost of new transit by utilizing existing tracks/stations except for a tiny tunnel downtown and can be cheaply expanded upon by gradually electrifying more lines and stations.



Sidenote, adderall and archboston just destroyed my whole lunch break, so I apologize if I got kind of rambly but I'm curious if others think it's worth pivoting the NSRL pitch in this direction. Or if they have F, M, K's of their own for the NSRL potential services.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:11 PM   #3611
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

So, the recommended path(Congress St) gives you RL conectivity at SS and BL, OL and GL connectivity at the State st/Haymarket Station. And, actually, better placement than NS/SS presently. The two stations have a nearly maximum ideal catchment locations
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:24 PM   #3612
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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So, the recommended path(Congress St) gives you RL conectivity at SS and BL, OL and GL connectivity at the State st/Haymarket Station. And, actually, better placement than NS/SS presently. The two stations have a nearly maximum ideal catchment locations
Congress St alignment is maximum 2 tracks while the C/AT is 4. Also I think that F-Line debunked the NS placement as the entrance would be across the street from Haymarket. Find it on this page.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:49 PM   #3613
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I understand F-Line's opinion, I just don't agree with it, and in my opinion, un-debunked his debunking. But this is America, and we can disagree.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:33 PM   #3614
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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I understand F-Line's opinion, I just don't agree with it, and in my opinion, un-debunked his debunking. But this is America, and we can disagree.
The secondary entrance being a block from Haymarket isn't an opinion though. It's part of the build. Nor is it an opinion that Congress street is a 2 track build only. Nor does it solve the issue of non thru-train transfers as not all trains will use the new tunnel.

The only way to fix the catchment issue and have quality RER service is to rebuild Haymarket as North Station (as in surface station as well) and what a non-starter that is.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:02 PM   #3615
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

But congress for one tube doesn't preclude a second tube in the C/AT alignment
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:44 PM   #3616
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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But congress for one tube doesn't preclude a second tube in the C/AT alignment
^This^ is a highly disingenuous statement, and you know exactly why from the previous threads.


The big...#1 with a bullet...problem with the Congress St. alignment plan is that the expansion to 4 tracks requires building the CA/T alignment all the same as a wholly separate and disconnected project that duplicates all infrastructure and makes a royal mess out of the routings by going completely different places. That is icepick-through-head stupid planning. They acknowledge that frequencies are the highest-leverage feature and thus acknowledge that 4 tracks are aspirational, but then choose a preferred Alt. that is the single most novelly wasteful possible way to do it. And cripple wayfinding in the process because if you aren't paying attention to your paper schedule you don't even know if your train is going to get a stop at that Haymarket superstation.

Yes, it was all a naked ploy to tank the project. But it was also the height of irresponsibility to stake a data-driven study to such patently absurd conclusions. "Don't build the CA/T alignment because it's too expensive, but build the CA/T alignment as building the project twice because we need capacity." That's a dangerous perversion of public process that is/was actively chewing taxpayer money to produce the study.


As for the supposed utility of the Haymarket station: again, offered for evidence, the proposed North Station Under south egress: hi, Haymarket!!! It's the same exact catchment. And doesn't cost building the same project twice to get maximum throughput to the same catchment.

The only splitting-hairs argument left is about the Blue Line...but before stanning for Blue you need to hang a price tag on exactly how much that one direct transfer matters to the integrity of the project. Is it the $1B commitment to building Central Station on the max-frequency C/AT alignment...or the $6B commitment to building the project all over again AND building Central Station so Blue's accessible to the half of the trains that won't even sniff State St. because of all this build-twice pretzel logic. Further study has to answer this. And you had better believe that the money at stake comes with a cutoff point where too much is too much.

This also requires putting the valuation in context of the vertical transportation issues NSRL is going to have: super-long concourse walks and Porter-esque escalator ride from the depths to get up to the rapid transit level. These are not at all 'good' rapid transit transfers on-the-clock because of the super-extended pedestrian trips out of the caverns. Far inferior to the surface terminals, though obviously that's not NSRL's attraction or any strike against doing it. But it does mean a significant percentage of time-limited commuters are probably going to opt to make their rapid transit transfers at Back Bay or at CR stops just outside the CBD to mind their total trip-time minutes (and that's fine, because we've got to load-spread anyway to make this work). But that underscores that the 2D view of the alignments is really misleading. "Oh, but the Haymarket main entrance today is here but the North Station entrance is way over there" is simplistic Google Maps scrolling. That's not at all where the NSRL stations are going to spatially be, and not at all indicative of how many footsteps it's going to take you to get from a Link platform down under to a rapid transit platform or a surface landmark.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:53 AM   #3617
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Assuming the T went with the four track NSRL, would a Central Station make sense if it only served two tracks for the Indigo Line/Regional Rail/RER style EMU's? I'm guessing that might limit capacity by dividing the tunnel between EMU's and thru-running Amtrak/whatever dual mode commuter rail abomination ends up shoved down there, but adding a Central Station would be a huge addition to making inner core EMU proposals even closer to being full rapid transit.
That would be a nice thing if it didn't gunk up traffic, because the Urban Rail/"Indigoes" trains are the audience making quick-on/quick-off local trips who'd most utilize Blue. I think for some of the suburban 9-5'ers carrying suitcases the time chewed by getting down sprawly concourses and steep escalators gets them more strategically plotting how to make their transfers before the CBD (hello, Urban Ring!) or just outright preferring the multi-seat transfer at the shallower concourse so they don't have sweat stains on them when they walk into the office. It'll be a slightly less attractive prospect to that audience, so there is some question about how much the transfer is truly going to matter at the money it would cost which in turn is going to heavily influence what the cutoff $$$ is for attempting Central Station. The vertical transportation challenges will induce some *minor* distinctions in rider behavior down in the Link.

Problem with making it Indigoes-weighted is that everything else is still passing through single-file, and with CS being a more constrained station at the absolute depth-of-Hades bottom of the grade the need to time overtakes at crossovers way down there is going to complicate dispatching and make it an even more excruciatingly slow climb back up the grade to SS/NS. It's a much simpler and less conflict-prone operation if everyone just stays on their track and not switch at all until they're at SS or NS and some trains *miserly* may need to jump to a different platform slot to get their trajectory out of the tunnel. So I'm not sure split ops at CS would do more good than harm.

Quote:
Given that a 2 track NSRL would be easier to fund right away, if you had to play flirt, marry, kill with the three service types (Amtrak intercity/high speed rail, dual mode thru running commuter rail, and "rapid transit" Regional Rail/RER style EMU's) which would you kill?
Amtrak is not going to be using the tunnel with much regularity because of their need for downtime between runs to change crews, restock food service, and (in case of all non-Acelas) loop the train around because they run pull-only and not push-pull in reverse like commuter trains do. That means all Acelas, all Inland Route services, all LD's (if there's more than just the Lake Shore Ltd.), and most Northeast Regionals are going to be surface-bound for the access to Southampton Yard. You may see the Downeaster run thru the tunnel so it can access Southampton (if they have dual-mode locos by this point), and you may see just a handful of Portland NE Regionals super-extended through the tunnel like the Virginia Regionals (though fewer because Portland<NoVa). You're not talking many tunnel trains at all, and DEFINITELY not the oft-repeated daydream that all Regionals are going to run to Woburn; they have zero interest in dividing their bases like that.

The other throttles will probably be rapid transit expansions. We know Needham has to go Orange/Green because the SW Corridor can't handle the traffic. Orange Line to Reading may seriously have to go on the table because the inner Western Route's single-tracking and grade crossings + the busy Reading Jct. split with the Eastern Route are big capacity crimps. We already know if you do Urban Rail to Reading that Haverhill has to get the heave-ho back to the Lowell Line. Pair-matching amidst those kind of constraints is going to be very difficult, and doubly so when the Eastern Route is ready to accept a motherlode of new slots through that shared Western junction in Somerville.

Ultimately it comes down to a choice. Make very substantial upgrades to CR: reworking the entirety of the Medford-Malden stretch for double-tracking, zap half or more of the Melrose-Reading crossings, quad-track Reading Jct. somehow even though the I-93 decks are going to wreak havoc. Or...extend Orange to Reading with total grade separation and extending Track 3 to Oak Grove on the retired CR track, then retire Reading Jct. so the Eastern Route has all available capacity to load up for bear.

Alon Levy's crunched some numbers on this dilemma, and says hands-down Orange would be cheaper. Mainly for the grade separations. Doing partial but "meaningful" grade separation on RR requires such extended inclines that it bloats the project areas for each individual targeted crossing. Orange, being rapid transit, can handle such steeper grades and much lower-profile crossing eliminations that the project areas for each are very compacted vs. RR and that ends up saving more $$$ than the increased number of total eliminations. Whether the powers that be will see it this way is up for debate, but we know the corridor has rapid transit-level demand. And if it's going to be real-world cheaper and clean up NSRL by solving a lot of fugly pair-matching underperformance...why the hell not?


Quote:
I would marry the "rapid transit" line by building Central Station and mainly using the NSRL for connecting the underserved inner core/95 commuter rail zones, but would flirt with the idea of letting some thru running commuter rail into the tunnel. I'd kill Amtrak using the NSRL entirely, and leave additional intercity Amtrak and outer commuter rail slots for the second tube.
You know, if they don't do the stupid "build the same thing twice for twice the price" thing and pool the resources on the CA/T alignment, you do have a Congress alignment that has been ID'd as a corridor you can tunnel on. The Alts. they're backing are weapons-grade stupid, but that doesn't mean you can't find something worthwhile for Congress.

A few years ago we debated on here the concept of the "Red X"...taking the Red Line Cabot Yard leads, feeding them through the ex-trolley Broadway upper level, then descending into NSRL for a 2-track RR/2-track HRT side-by-side. Ashmont and Braintree would switch off between the old Andrew-Cambridge alignment and the new Broadway-North Station/etc. alignment at double the frequencies so everyone was mainline-grade, and use the Columbia Jct. grade separation to make it conflict-free. The North Station platforms would be built on the second floor above the Orange level, it would travel out a doubled-up Community College portal, and then you could choose your adventure on which of the northside rail ROW's you wanted to take it...possibly tucking in a Community College stop before diverging. GLX-Medford at the time seemed like the most ideal HRT takeover because of the grade separation, ample demand, and fact that it would free up Green for Urban Ring and other branches.

No formal proposal...just a Crazy Transit Pitches debate point. I was sort of enamored with it at the time (before RER was on anyone's brain), but since then I've tilted hard to all 4 tracks being necessary for Purple.

However!...build the not-stupid Alt. with 4 tracks on the CA/T alignment, and Congress still beckons. So how about another "Red X" variant that goes:
  • JFK & outbound [Braintree, Ashmont, Alewife, Community College/TBD]
  • [split to Cabot leads]
  • Broadway Upper [RL Under]
  • South Station Under [RL Upper, SL/GL, CR, AMTK]
  • Post Office Square
  • State (northerly access) [OL, BL]
  • Haymarket [GL, OL]
  • North Station [GL, OL, CR, AMTK]
  • Community College [OL]
  • [choose your adventure]
Probably too expensive to be worth it, but something to play around with in the imagination.

Quote:
Amtrak stopping at Back Bay, South Station, North Station, and then Anderson feels excessive (Does any other city on the NEC have that many closely spaced stops?), plus losing a 1 seat ride through the link is nothing compared to gaining clockfacing and same platform (more or less) transfers throughout the greater Boston area. That ease of transfer and new express routings would greatly appeal to the outer commuters who would see this compromise as gaining faster trips and easier transfers throughout the city.
In addition to the between-run needs detailed above, this is exactly why they have no interest in stopping at Anderson. Amtrak doesn't even hit both ends of the D.C. Capital Beltway, so there's no logic that they would put Route 128 on a higher pedestal. There will be Portland Regionals because that's already a bucket-list item for NNEPRA...albeit on the Inland Route, not NEC. But Portland has a finite audience down the coast so that's not going to be a major player amongst the schedules.

Quote:
Transit advocates and planners will undoubtedly see this compromise as losing full thru running potential and capacity upgrades, and I know the NSRL is (rightfully) pitched in transit circles as really being about upgrading capacity; but politicians and the media only get excited for connectivity to their area and building "shiny" things like expansions/ new lines. Throw them a brand new "subway" network which not only connects north and south station, but adds a brand new Central Station and infill throughout the inner burbs, and they'll be blown away. Then, once they're comfortable with the NSRL "subway" lines, you introduce pilot programs for more thru running CR and a couple Amtrak slots too, which can be logically pitched into a 2nd tunnel for expanding this wildly popular service (and much needed capacity increases). The pilots and 2nd tunnel could be explained away as skipping Central Station because it's only for the rapid transit line, and you could have your second tube built to skip Central and follow whatever shitty grade is required by the dual-mode commuter rail/intercity stuff like Regionals going to Maine.
This is, in a nutshell, why the messaging on NSRL has been hopelessly bad. TransitMatters is doing yeoman's work cleaning up the talking points, but even they've got to put down their SSX pitchforks because stray stimuli aren't helping keep a laser-like focus. "It's the frequencies, stupid!" is the one talking point that resonates with citizens. And, yes, there is a capacity argument there...but you don't have to even say the word to ram home the point. "Frequencies, frequencies, frequencies!" Ask anyone why they hate their Red Line commute this month and that word is the one difference between a regular commute and the blinding rage we're seeing now. Our pols are literally being clubbed over the head that frequencies are the root of all functional transit. The other elements of NSRL pivot effortless off that or are achieved through it. But put somebody paid to speak about this in front of a hot mic and they'll seemingly eat their own shoe rather than say the word. Out-of-touch doesn't begin to describe it.

Quote:
From a ops and transit planning perspective it feels insane to build the NSRL with Central, potentially hamstring future capacity by using separated two track set-ups instead of four tracked optimization of all services, and most importantly to "ignore" the growing capacity nightmare with outer CR and all Amtrak stub ended at the current terminals. From a marketing perspective however, it seems like a no brainer to pitch the NSRL as an entirely new system of rapid transit lines that will not only transform the inner core/95 burbs, but save billions compared to the per mile cost of new transit by utilizing existing tracks/stations except for a tiny tunnel downtown and can be cheaply expanded upon by gradually electrifying more lines and stations.
It's not that Central is a *bad* idea, it's that the geometric constraints are what they are and the price tag is what it is. Even with less-than-full usage because of the shorter platforms it can still be used to a lot of benefit. But it's going to cost a fortune, and I have to wonder how useful the transfers really are going to be from max depth because it's well below Blue while Aquarium is already the deepest station in the system. If it takes 5+ minutes to get to the surface, that's going to throw cold water on its utilization and preferences for direct to Blue vs. two-step to Blue with less footwork. Which then pivots you right back to the cost conundrum because...yeah, it's Blue and you want Blue, but it's something a bit less than 'killer feature' Blue.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:12 PM   #3618
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by dmdogs900 View Post
Is it possible to build a pedestrian tunnel connecting the Somerville community path to the alewife linear path crossing mass ave or are the red line tunnels too shallow.
Between the Red Line tunnel and the utilities under Mass. Ave, I'm guessing not, at least for any reasonable expense.
The dedicated bike signal is an improvement, but I wish they would rearrange the cycles so that it was concurrent with the Walk signal across Mass. Ave, or at least was right before the Walk instead of right after it. Right now about 80% of cyclists cross on the Walk instead of waiting for the bike signal.
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Old Yesterday, 04:05 PM   #3619
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Gonna ask this one from the opposite direction we usually approach crazy pitches:

What steps would be necessary before it made sense to run the commuter rail/regional rail from Boston to Springfield?
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Old Yesterday, 05:19 PM   #3620
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Gonna ask this one from the opposite direction we usually approach crazy pitches:

What steps would be necessary before it made sense to run the commuter rail/regional rail from Boston to Springfield?
We wouldn't be running it under the Purple Line flag. There's already a strong proposal and completed study about doing New Haven-Springfield-Boston as a permanent reassignment of the Amtrak Springfield Shuttles. At those distances and travel times, commuter rail accommodations just become unwieldy. You need bigger seats, better cushion, more legroom to be sitting that long. You need more charging ports for gadgets. You need bigger luggage racks because that's going to be a longer day. You need easier restroom access. You need more intensive staff assistance. On the ops side you need efficiencies in crew rotations that are segmented fundamentally different from the 1:00-1:25 system-average of trip increments. And it even helps to be running locomotives ordered in the larger intercity-configuration fuel tank size to keep the number of duty cycles before refueling par.

The T doesn't have those; to customize a subset of its equipment and organize a subset of its crews apart from the rest would make the route a steep loss leader. Amtrak does have the right capabilities and right organization today, up to and including the existing staff base in Springfield and (if MassDOT stops ducking its funding responsibilities) a bigger maintenance base to come at the planned combo- ConnDOT Hartford Line + Amtrak layover yard in Springfield. With the Shuttles being a state-sponsored train still subsidized to commuter fares by CT until the Hartford Line's north-of-Hartford schedule fills out more, it's also easy to make fares commuter-friendly. At Zone Umpteen or whatever Springfield would otherwise be from Boston, you pretty much are already in Shuttles price range...and certainly have justification for paying a little extra for the less ass-hurty interior livery at those differences. Therefore, MassDOT taking up its subsidy share of what ConnDOT has long been doing with Amtrak ends up a much easier reach to begin with and a much better bet for building ridership.


We could be advancing this right now since the NNEIRI study concluded this was the slam-dunkiest of slam dunks. But for whatever reason MassDOT is flooding the zone with more studies like that Albany-Pittsfield train and--worse--that "Berkshire Flyer" Boston-North Adams via Fitchburg extreme longshot. Instead of just pulling the trigger already, Baker/Pollack have some nervous tic about really really wanting to do it but forever hesitating.
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