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Old 09-04-2013, 04:26 PM   #1481
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by BussesAin'tTrains View Post
That's probably a decent option.

Also, where would the portal from a subway E be on South Huntington? If it's buried under the Fens to BV would there be an underground junction or would JP-bound trains split to the surface somewhere after Brigham while the subway continues to BV?
It probably wouldn't be on South Huntington, because that's an even more constrained intersection than Brigham Circle that would have to be another crappy Copley Jct. setup. Plus probably a little property taking on that first S. Huntington block because there's so little running space for an incline + portal from underneath the intersection.

More than likely it spits out at BV with a bi-directional wye at a reconfigured Reservoir-like station. Reservoir, BTW, has unused platforms for the C/Chestnut Hill Ave. side and rare short-turns. And used to, in the 70's, semi-flyover configuration to street level before they altered the track layout for pedestrian improvements. So if BV became sort of a full-time superstation in that mode the Heath/Forest Hills trains would probably backtrack down Pearl St. to South Huntington. Probably by splitting between these buildings and taking River Rd. to meet Huntington instead of fighting through the Brookline Ave. traffic light. Or at least that's the most logical way to do it if building a D-to-E connector today. It would also save a shitload of money to do one portal and be a ton easier operationally to spit out and divide tracks at a platform Kenmore-style rather than a stop signal at an at-grade underground junction.


So it's like +2 blocks of street-running and 2 sets of traffic lights to get backwards to South Huntington. But who cares because you skip ALL the other lights and street-running on today's Huntington E for a massive overall time and congestion savings via the tunnel. That's where you get the capacity to fork the lines at Heath without overload, even with the little backtrack move from BV. You'd never be able to do that on South Huntington today.


Hell, if they built the D-to-E connector today bi-directional they could run these service patterns today after Sox games to distribute the crowds the hell away from Kenmore. Loop 'em down the E to downtown and send a few out to Heath to 'em the hell away from Fenway. Doesn't matter if the BV platform on this little connector is just an ADA curbside bus stop on Pearl next to the main station in lieu of touching the main station. It achieves the whole perceived advantages of running such a cheapie connector in revenue service today...Kenmore-Huntington, and Huntington-Reservoir or something to double-up E service on the heaviest-ridership portion during peak hours. If they ever build the tunnel...you use the same surface connection as always, just repurposed in as-is condition as a part of a linear Forest Hills (or FH-plus) branch instead of as a part-time alt route.

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Old 09-04-2013, 08:28 PM   #1482
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Don't the hills cause the exact same problem for elevated rail as they do for subway?
I'm sure there are complications, but my thought would be that elevated structure could level off at the apex of the hill and run street-level for a time, whereas to do something similar with a subway you'd be looking at a deep subterranean station.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:46 PM   #1483
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

If the Fitchburg Line were to be diverted away from the ROW inside 128 (say via the Worcester Line...a worry for another day), would the Red Line be able to occupy that right of way?

As in, let's say magically the Fitchburg Line disappeared from North Station to 128. What would be the biggest hurdles to extending the Red Line through Waltham? Would there be any complications to getting rid of the grade crossings? Are there any areas in which the ROW would be too thin/nearly impossible to widen in Belmont or Waltham? Where would you have to tunnel? I understand the premise is nutty, but I'm curious.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:07 PM   #1484
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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If the Fitchburg Line were to be diverted away from the ROW inside 128 (say via the Worcester Line...a worry for another day), would the Red Line be able to occupy that right of way?

As in, let's say magically the Fitchburg Line disappeared from North Station to 128. What would be the biggest hurdles to extending the Red Line through Waltham? Would there be any complications to getting rid of the grade crossings? Are there any areas in which the ROW would be too thin/nearly impossible to widen in Belmont or Waltham? Where would you have to tunnel? I understand the premise is nutty, but I'm curious.
While I'm sure that Arlington Center and Arlington Heights would love to have stations as alternatives to the 77 Bus, I think that because Lexington is likely to block anything, the Red Line will either have to terminate at the 77's terminal in Arlington Heights or any future Red Line will have to go out Route 2 (its possible, I suppose, you'd see branching).

I don't see Belmont letting you do a Red Line branch. Heck, its hard to even get the Mass Central converted to a bike path.

I think we're most likely to see a tunnel under Route 2, using cut-and-cover from Thorndike Field to the base of the big hill (too steep for a train, but fine for a long, deep, gently-graded tunnel that slowly climbs to the surface).

I'd put a highway-spanning park-and-ride garage at the Mass Highway Division site in/near/across Exit 59 http://binged.it/15AwqHx and run in the median of Rt 2 at the surface the rest of the way.

Next stop would Be Spring St (and, I'd hope, transit oriented development) and then I'd turn in any direction along 128 that would take me to a town that would permit a terminus (either Hanscom AFB, or south to Waltham, or North to a Rt 3 park-and-ride and a Burlington Mall terminus)
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:22 PM   #1485
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
If the Fitchburg Line were to be diverted away from the ROW inside 128 (say via the Worcester Line...a worry for another day), would the Red Line be able to occupy that right of way?

As in, let's say magically the Fitchburg Line disappeared from North Station to 128. What would be the biggest hurdles to extending the Red Line through Waltham? Would there be any complications to getting rid of the grade crossings? Are there any areas in which the ROW would be too thin/nearly impossible to widen in Belmont or Waltham? Where would you have to tunnel? I understand the premise is nutty, but I'm curious.
You don't need to disappear the Fitchburg. The Fitchburg line used to be four tracked through Belmont so you could get rapid transit along side the Commuter Rail up to Waverley (which I believe would need to be expanded for side-by-side CR/RT). You can divert the CR after Waverley to the Central Mass RoW which is still intact, and rejoin the Fitchburg line at 128 in Weston, leaving rapid transit to assume the Fitchburg alignment to Waltham and Brandeis (and some sort of rapid transit/commuter rail super park & ride station on 128 on the Waltham/Weston line at the juncture of Central MA and Fitchburg).

This rapid transit extension could be Red Line or Green Line under certain circumstances. Red works especially if you don't do an Arlington/Lexington/Burlington extension. The main line through Cambridge and Boston might not have the capacity for both extensions. Green works if the Medford GLX gets turned into HRV, leaving more capacity for branches off of a Union-Porter GLX. The grade crossings are better suited to Green than Red. Zapping the grade crossings for HRT really boost the cost versus at-grade Green Line LRV crossings.

Here's the impossible part. The biggest hurdle: How do you get the pearl-clutching fancy pant NIMBYs in Belmont to ever consider allowing dual-mode, side-by-side transit through Belmont Center and Waverley? You're probably not going to. These are people who are against the overhead catenaries for Trackless Trolleys, and who fought against the Commuter Rail stop for years. Effort is better spent getting Arlington on board for a phased expansion from Alewife to Arlington Center and then to Heights, and then figuring out Lexington, rather than tackling Belmont. Could they be worn down? Maybe eventually. 50+ years down the road...

Unfortunately for Waltham, the only feasible way to get real transit there is via the Fitchburg Line through Belmont. The old RoW through Watertown along the river is a huge mess. Their best bet near term would probably be a "Fairmounting" of the Fitchburg to 128 to boost headways through the inner suburbs, and maybe upgrading to DMU/EMU for more rapid transit-like service. Maybe after a few decades of that Belmont will have changed enough to consider a dual-mode corridor through their fair community.

Last edited by BussesAin'tTrains; 09-04-2013 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:43 PM   #1486
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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While I'm sure that Arlington Center and Arlington Heights would love to have stations as alternatives to the 77 Bus, I think that because Lexington is likely to block anything, the Red Line will either have to terminate at the 77's terminal in Arlington Heights or any future Red Line will have to go out Route 2 (its possible, I suppose, you'd see branching).

I don't see Belmont letting you do a Red Line branch. Heck, its hard to even get the Mass Central converted to a bike path.

I think we're most likely to see a tunnel under Route 2, using cut-and-cover from Thorndike Field to the base of the big hill (too steep for a train, but fine for a long, deep, gently-graded tunnel that slowly climbs to the surface).

I'd put a highway-spanning park-and-ride garage at the Mass Highway Division site in/near/across Exit 59 http://binged.it/15AwqHx and run in the median of Rt 2 at the surface the rest of the way.

Next stop would Be Spring St (and, I'd hope, transit oriented development) and then I'd turn in any direction along 128 that would take me to a town that would permit a terminus (either Hanscom AFB, or south to Waltham, or North to a Rt 3 park-and-ride and a Burlington Mall terminus)
I think that Lexington is a tough call. The East Lexington and Lexington Center crowd would be a tough one, especially if their scenic bike trail ends up alongside a rail road with frequent trains. The town would probably require it to be buried near the center if they made a deal to let it in. The development near Hanscom along 128 is going to need a connection to Red at some point, and businesses will start calling for it eventually. Alewife is too full and traffic is too bad around the end of Route 2 for the status quo to handle much further growth. It's interesting that Lexington was the town asking for the line in the 80s and Arlington thwarted it, and now things have changed enough (sprawl along the RoW and the Bike Trail itself) that Lex would probably be a bigger obstacle at this point. Of course, Red Line extension has not been discussed since it was killed in the 80s so who knows what the reaction would be. Lexington is a growing town.

Honestly, I don't see a Route 2 running line being very productive, unless you're only using it as a direct connection between Hanscom/128 and Alewife/Cambridge. There're not a whole lot of places to do TOD around Mass Highway nor around Spring Street. The sprawl is established. Lots of private homes, or conservation land, or office parks, or country clubs. All closely abutting the highway. If Lexington turns out to be as impassible as Belmont is it might be the only option, but a Minuteman routing would have much better ridership than a Route 2 routing, in my opinion. Particularly nabbing Arlington...
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:34 AM   #1487
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Whats the rail line running through the seaport used for? Quick map of the routes. Would it be able to support light rail?

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...k.kKuio0eb9mPA
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:52 AM   #1488
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Whats the rail line running through the seaport used for? Quick map of the routes. Would it be able to support light rail?

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...k.kKuio0eb9mPA
Pretty sure it's a freight siding. Probably not going to be used for transit.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #1489
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Pretty sure it's a freight siding. Probably not going to be used for transit.
Thought as much.
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:42 PM   #1490
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Pretty sure it's a freight siding. Probably not going to be used for transit.
That's known by the sexy name "Track 61" and goes to Marine Terminal Industrial Park. The little turnout at Cypher St. used to go to street-running track down E. 1st St. that served Conley Terminal. It's been inactive since the last customer at Cypher went away about 3 years ago. And other than some test runs to Marine Terminal by CSX a couple years ago that's been idle (including the brand new track where they relocated it around the Convention Center) for about 10 years. With not exactly hoppin' business when it was active.

Only thing it's used for now is the T storing some work equipment near Southampton and using the small A St. yard near Cypher to assemble track panels for various upgrade projects. Massport owns it now since it came under state control in the CSX sale of the Worcester Line, and their grand plans for Marine Terminal have it being reactivated by decade's end for boat-to-rail container traffic. CSX would scoot in from Readville via the Fairmount Line after the last passenger train of the night, pick up the day's deliveries at a new yard on the currently barren north side of Marine Terminal, and then scoot back down the Fairmount and Franklin to Framingham in the wee hours. When this actually happens is dependent on Massport and the BRA actually getting shit built and businesses to move in there.


There never was passenger service on it. That area was well-covered by trolley lines back in the days when it was a busy seaport, and the Silver Line + Broadway stop duplicates virtually all of it today.


It's the same deal with the also-idle Mystic Wharf branch on the northside that goes to Moran Terminal under the Tobin...also bought by Massport with (further off) plans for reactivation. That crosses Rutherford Ave. and Main St. right next to Sullivan, never veers more than a half-mile walk from Sullivan or Community College on the OL, and is paralleled 2 blocks away by the 93 bus its entire length. Absolute zero passenger potential.
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #1491
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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You don't need to disappear the Fitchburg. The Fitchburg line used to be four tracked through Belmont so you could get rapid transit along side the Commuter Rail up to Waverley (which I believe would need to be expanded for side-by-side CR/RT). You can divert the CR after Waverley to the Central Mass RoW which is still intact, and rejoin the Fitchburg line at 128 in Weston, leaving rapid transit to assume the Fitchburg alignment to Waltham and Brandeis (and some sort of rapid transit/commuter rail super park & ride station on 128 on the Waltham/Weston line at the juncture of Central MA and Fitchburg).

This rapid transit extension could be Red Line or Green Line under certain circumstances. Red works especially if you don't do an Arlington/Lexington/Burlington extension. The main line through Cambridge and Boston might not have the capacity for both extensions. Green works if the Medford GLX gets turned into HRV, leaving more capacity for branches off of a Union-Porter GLX. The grade crossings are better suited to Green than Red. Zapping the grade crossings for HRT really boost the cost versus at-grade Green Line LRV crossings.

Here's the impossible part. The biggest hurdle: How do you get the pearl-clutching fancy pant NIMBYs in Belmont to ever consider allowing dual-mode, side-by-side transit through Belmont Center and Waverley? You're probably not going to. These are people who are against the overhead catenaries for Trackless Trolleys, and who fought against the Commuter Rail stop for years. Effort is better spent getting Arlington on board for a phased expansion from Alewife to Arlington Center and then to Heights, and then figuring out Lexington, rather than tackling Belmont. Could they be worn down? Maybe eventually. 50+ years down the road...

Unfortunately for Waltham, the only feasible way to get real transit there is via the Fitchburg Line through Belmont. The old RoW through Watertown along the river is a huge mess. Their best bet near term would probably be a "Fairmounting" of the Fitchburg to 128 to boost headways through the inner suburbs, and maybe upgrading to DMU/EMU for more rapid transit-like service. Maybe after a few decades of that Belmont will have changed enough to consider a dual-mode corridor through their fair community.

Waltham works much better as a Green branch because of the grade crossings. Especially Waltham Ctr. which is a brutally hard elimination with the closeby overpasses (makes a rail overpass difficult) and adjacent Charles (makes sinking it in the groundwater virtually impossible). And since Red to--at minimum--Arlington Ctr./Heights is highly desireable and wouldn't fuck with Minuteman as a subway there's the issue of what forking a new RL branch off Alewife would do to the already kinda dire crush load on the mainline. But a Union-Porter branch extension would definitely work since the north end of the GL is so under-capacity and the reasonable-length E is the designated thru-route destination serving Union. It is ex- 4-track out to Beaver Brook, and the commuter rail can be relocated onto the Central Mass to meet back up with the mainline at a Route 128 superstation.


Of course, nobody's proposed it because of the Belmont NIMBY's. The same NIMBY's who want the TT wires on Trapelo Road cut down because it obstructs their view of Venus (Cambridge and Watertown said "Fuck you!" to that plan also killing their electric routes, so that will not happen). There is so much money there they will be able to laugh in the face of Peak Oil 50 years from now when everyone else is 5x as transit-dependent as they used to be. So this will never go on the table unless the state finds itself with power to wield a bigger hammer against NIMBY obstruction than it has ever since the end of the highway construction era. But it wouldn't necessarily be a hard project to undertake despite its length because the Fitchburg is so over-wide and the Central Mass 100% duplicates it on the only portion that isn't wide enough for CR + rapid transit. Maybe some kvetching in North Waltham about the Central Mass going active again through their backyards, but goddamn does that downtown bus terminal and Brandeis need rapid transit...and has no other options for getting it (the west half of the ex-Watertown Branch is grade crossing hell and much more cannibalized by encroachment than the half east of H2O Sq...nonstarter).


I agree Lexington's going to be hard. But it wouldn't cut the Minuteman...that ROW is well-padded enough that the trail can run alongside like the GLX Somerville Community Path extension. But it would destroy the bucolic nature of the trail out there, and that is a legitimate concern. As noted, Arlington is no big deal because the shallow Davis-Alewife subway would continue under the trail to about Grove St. halfway between Center and Heights. With the remaining distance to Heights finesse-able with shifted trail around at the 3 different city parks and lots of back driveways on that stretch. It's not squeezed for space here, so they can make it work. Especially if they stage this build subway/Ctr.-first, Heights-second. Heights will start pounding the me-too drumbeat when Center takes the lead.


Route 2 is an awful place to put a transit line. Got bus routes using the frontage roads because the frontage roads are so convenient and uncongested, but the Arlington-Belmont town line is such a no-man's land the native ridership would be pathetic. There is no way you can make that case above hitting Arlington Ctr. + Heights and/or Belmont Ctr. + Waltham Ctr.
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Old 09-05-2013, 03:15 PM   #1492
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
That's known by the sexy name "Track 61" and goes to Marine Terminal Industrial Park...
What's the destination of the freight runs that currently utilize Fairmount?

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Of course, nobody's proposed it because of the Belmont NIMBY's. The same NIMBY's who want the TT wires on Trapelo Road cut down because it obstructs their view of Venus (Cambridge and Watertown said "Fuck you!" to that plan also killing their electric routes, so that will not happen). There is so much money there they will be able to laugh in the face of Peak Oil 50 years from now when everyone else is 5x as transit-dependent as they used to be. So this will never go on the table unless the state finds itself with power to wield a bigger hammer against NIMBY obstruction than it has ever since the end of the highway construction era. But it wouldn't necessarily be a hard project to undertake despite its length because the Fitchburg is so over-wide and the Central Mass 100% duplicates it on the only portion that isn't wide enough for CR + rapid transit. Maybe some kvetching in North Waltham about the Central Mass going active again through their backyards, but goddamn does that downtown bus terminal and Brandeis need rapid transit...and has no other options for getting it (the west half of the ex-Watertown Branch is grade crossing hell and much more cannibalized by encroachment than the half east of H2O Sq...nonstarter).
Would the rich NIMBYs rather diesel busses or just no transit whatsoever? It's so damn arrogant and dismissive of the many middle-class families and fairly impoverished post-grads who set up shop in Belmont, actually use the transit, and aren't as hoity-toity as the Blue Bloods who seem to have a stranglehold on town government...

Quote:
I agree Lexington's going to be hard. But it wouldn't cut the Minuteman...that ROW is well-padded enough that the trail can run alongside like the GLX Somerville Community Path extension. But it would destroy the bucolic nature of the trail out there, and that is a legitimate concern. As noted, Arlington is no big deal because the shallow Davis-Alewife subway would continue under the trail to about Grove St. halfway between Center and Heights. With the remaining distance to Heights finesse-able with shifted trail around at the 3 different city parks and lots of back driveways on that stretch. It's not squeezed for space here, so they can make it work. Especially if they stage this build subway/Ctr.-first, Heights-second. Heights will start pounding the me-too drumbeat when Center takes the lead.
I'm very pessimistic that Lexington will ever allow an at-grade subway through the historic center, particularly with the dense grade crossings between Woburn Street and Hancock street - only Grant Street is grade separated. They would probably insist on it being sunk under the trail if they're to allow it at all. The huge gaps between Heights, Lex Center and Hanscom/I-95 is whole lot of sprawl for NIMBYs to whine both about the noise, and not getting anything out of the line. You could plop a station at Maple Street, call it East Lexington or Follen Heights or something, but there's no real opportunity for TOD around there. There's the gas station/used car dealer and lots of homes, both historic and McMansion that would either be protected, or sold off and redeveloped with a good bit of community opposition to increasing the density. The only non-residential things around there are the National Heritage Museum, the Waldorf School, a a few small commercial spaces near to the school. Wilson Farms is a little farther away.

I don't think it's insurmountable, but as you've noted, Lexington would have to be a wait-and-see expansion after Arlington is tackled. Get the businesses around Hanscom start pressing for it once it's "within reach" in Arlington.

Quote:
Route 2 is an awful place to put a transit line. Got bus routes using the frontage roads because the frontage roads are so convenient and uncongested, but the Arlington-Belmont town line is such a no-man's land the native ridership would be pathetic. There is no way you can make that case above hitting Arlington Ctr. + Heights and/or Belmont Ctr. + Waltham Ctr.
It would definitely be proposed to stave off an expansion in either direction by resident NIMBYs though. It's one of those "grand bargain" compromises that I could just see DOT going for someday and patting themselves on the back for their ingenuity. My guess is we won't have to worry about that though. Arlington Center will seriously begin clamoring for the Red Line before anyone considers pushing Belmont to step aside for Waltham, and once Red makes it there, Route 2 median routing will be out.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:19 PM   #1493
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

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What's the destination of the freight runs that currently utilize Fairmount?
Nothing currently uses Fairmount except occasional runs to the food market at Widett Circle after CR service hours, where one of the businesses takes refrigerated perishable loads. Irregular schedule...like once every 1-2 weeks. They also go with increasing rareness to the Boston Globe to deliver rolls of newsprint. Not much more than once a month. That's probably going to fall to a point where the Globe switches to truck delivery soon...rail rates are too high for such infrequent, irregular shipments. Their nightly Old Colony job comes bottom-up from Mansfield-Attleboro-Middleboro to Braintree because they hit way more customers on that routing. So they don't venture any further south than the Globe from Readville. That may change if the Marine Terminal daily comes online. They're keeping Readville active for a reason despite the yard's very meager current utlization.


Quote:
Would the rich NIMBYs rather diesel busses or just no transit whatsoever? It's so damn arrogant and dismissive of the many middle-class families and fairly impoverished post-grads who set up shop in Belmont, actually use the transit, and aren't as hoity-toity as the Blue Bloods who seem to have a stranglehold on town government...
They want the undesireables out of their bedroom community, so they don't give a flip about transit of any kind. The patronage on the 73, 74, and 75 is almost entirely outsiders getting in from Cambridge and elsewhere. The townies couldn't care less if they went away forever. For the first 10 years of T operation of the commuter rail the Fitchburg Line and Central Mass both skipped Belmont Ctr. and Waverly outright and went straight from Porter to the first Waltham stop at Beaver Brook. Belmont was the only full in-district town at the T's inception that refused state funding for their CR stations. They didn't relent until the 1974 oil embargo and gas shortage that got the two stops reopened on an emergency basis, and since then the district charter has changed so they no longer have the right of first refusal on whether existing stops stay open. If they did, both probably would've been closed all over again.

I mean, look at the transit coverage...it's all either Cambridge- or Waltham-originating buses taking the shortest possible in-Belmont paths to reach Belmont Ctr. and Waverley for neighboring-town commuters who have to get to the centers of business there. Those towns' insistence on not having their access cut is the only reason why there is frequent bus service to the 2 major squares and why Watertown and Cambridge bust out the nukes every time Belmont starts bitching about the wires on Trapelo. Every one of those routes takes an almost amusing path skirting right on the Watertown/Cambridge/Waltham town lines to stay between the margins and outside of "hostile" territory for as long as they can avoid it. The only contiguous crosstown transit in the whole community are the 2 Fitchburg stops they had to be dragged kicking and screaming against their will to reopen, and the lone 73/554 transfer at Waverley...which few people take because the 71/70 transfer in Watertown Sq. has vastly more frequent service than the 554.

Except for weird little Dedham they have the skimpiest transit coverage of any inside-128 'burb. And Dedham is not so much hostile as it is...weird...so Belmont is without a doubt the district's single most transit-hostile community. The only reason they are in the district at all is that they're so close to Boston they were--by Legislative fiat--not allowed any opt-out option at the T's creation (there's your Cambridge/Watertown/Waltham pols playing defense again vs. their hostile neighbor). Otherwise they would've said "Screw off!" and built a picket fence around their borders to keep the buses out and the Fitchburg platforms under lock-and-key.

This has been going on for 50 years. It'll go on for 50 more. It really is a very hard problem to solve because they will never change...they don't have to with the old money they're awash in. It only gets better if the state gets a better hammer to bust through the opposition for the common good.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #1494
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

It's funny that Brownsberger is from Belmont, because he's a very strong transit/bike proponent. Must be the only one.

I guess there's that bike store on Trapelo too. They have enough cachet that my dad decided to make a special trip by himself out there on the 73, just to see it.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:38 PM   #1495
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

I'd love to hear the definition of 'weird' insofar as it regards Dedham.
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:30 PM   #1496
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
I'd love to hear the definition of 'weird' insofar as it regards Dedham.
They have their own town bus system apart from the T. It sucks, and is uselessly infrequent...but the town gov't prefers being their own little fiefdom instead of springing for more Yellow Line service. So that's why the 34 terminates at the literal Boston-Dedham line except when it runs express to Walpole and everything else (40, 52, 35) stops at the Mall without making any intermediate stops past the city line.

They also passed on subsidizing the first incarnation of Dedham Corporate Ctr. station on the Franklin Line in the late-70's and let it close...but fought to keep tiny Endicott and got real pissy every time the T monkeyed around with Providence and Stoughton trains skipping Readville. The extension of the Fairmount schedule to Readville in the late-80's was a bone to throw to them. And then the T just up and decided of its own volition to bypass the town pols altogether and reopen the 128 park-and-ride in '91 or so using its own right of first refusal, after years of being totally confused by the town's disinterest.

Like I said...weird, insular place that doesn't mind transit (buses to the Mall are nice and frequent, Franklin schedule not bad), just is weirdly selective about where it wants it and doesn't trust outsiders to run it.



Belmont Blue Bloods are just assholes who want to build a border fence to keep the smelly Cantabrigians and Watertowners and Walthamers out of their gated community.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:39 AM   #1497
winstonoboogie
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Some comments on transit in Belmont and Dedham:

Belmont:
"They want the undesireables out of their bedroom community, so they don't give a flip about transit of any kind. The patronage on the 73, 74, and 75 is almost entirely outsiders getting in from Cambridge and elsewhere. The townies couldn't care less if they went away forever. For the first 10 years of T operation of the commuter rail the Fitchburg Line and Central Mass both skipped Belmont Ctr. and Waverly outright and went straight from Porter to the first Waltham stop at Beaver Brook. Belmont was the only full in-district town at the T's inception that refused state funding for their CR stations. They didn't relent until the 1974 oil embargo and gas shortage that got the two stops reopened on an emergency basis, and since then the district charter has changed so they no longer have the right of first refusal on whether existing stops stay open. If they did, both probably would've been closed all over again."


The Boston and Maine Railroad ended service at Belmont station in the late 1950s before there was an MBTA or any public subsidies for commuter rail. The B&M was given permission by the DPU to discontinue any service in a community served by the MTA. So stops at Chelsea, Everett, Belmont etc were dropped. By the 1970s, the MBTA had full control of the system and began restoring some stations including Belmont, Waverley, and Chelsea. Belmont had nothing to do with the stop closing and did not have any battle about the MBTA reopening the stop. In fact, if I recall from the time, Belmont had lobbied for the stops to be restored.

Belmont was not forced into the MBTA by the legislature. Belmont was already one of the 14 original MTA communities, and had been paying assesments for service since the Public Control Act of the Boston Elevated in 1918. The Route 73 has always been a very busy route, including as a streetcar line, used primarily by people from Belmont. The services that remain go to Cambridge and Boston because that's were the greatest demand has been. There was a local private carrier (M&B) route from Watertown to Arlington Center via Waverley and Belmont Center that was discontinued in 1969 after the MBTA discontinued subsidies because of poor ridership. After Alewife station opened in 1984, Belmont approached the MBTA about restoring service on the route, but the MBTA was not interested.


Dedham:
"They have their own town bus system apart from the T. It sucks, and is uselessly infrequent...but the town gov't prefers being their own little fiefdom instead of springing for more Yellow Line service. So that's why the 34 terminates at the literal Boston-Dedham line except when it runs express to Walpole and everything else (40, 52, 35) stops at the Mall without making any intermediate stops past the city line."

The 34E makes multiple stops in Dedham include Dedham Sq. Some rush-hour outbound trips run express from Forest Hills to LaGrange St. in West Roxbury, but they run express within Boston, not Dedham. The 34 only goes to Dedham Line because it is an ex BERy/MTA route, and Dedham was not a member of the MTA. The 34E is an Eastern Mass route. It is true that the MBTA very briefly ran a couple of local routes in Dedham in the 1970s after the private carrier running them (the M&B again) shut down. At that time, towns did pay an assessment based on the service they got, and Dedham decided it would be cheaper to have a private company (Hudson Bus Lines) run the local route at a cheaper cost than the MBTA assessment. But with forward funding in 1999, towns no longer are billed by the MBTA based on the service they get. They are billed on a formula based on how far from Boston they are and population. So it would no longer cost Dedham more to have the MBTA run more service. However, the ridership on the Dedham Local Bus is very low, mostly the elderly going shopping, and the MBTA would have no interest in taking over the service


"They also passed on subsidizing the first incarnation of Dedham Corporate Ctr. station on the Franklin Line in the late-70's and let it close..."

I assume you are talking about Rustcraft station. Rustcraft was not a traditional commuter station, it was a reverse-commute station established by the New Haven Railroad in the 1950s to get workers to the Rustgraft Greeting Card company plant. Only a couple trains a day stopped there. It was closed in the 1970s after the plant closed. Dedham had nothing to do with the station closing. The present Dedham Corporate Center station was built as a commuter park and ride stop at just about the exect site of the old Rustcraft stop.


"but fought to keep tiny Endicott and got real pissy every time the T monkeyed around with Providence and Stoughton trains skipping Readville. The extension of the Fairmount schedule to Readville in the late-80's was a bone to throw to them."

The extension to Readville was no "bone throw" to Dedham. The trains had to continue to Readville to change ends after Fairmount and the MBTA decided they might was well run in service and pick-up some more riders at Readville
.

"And then the T just up and decided of its own volition to bypass the town pols altogether and reopen the 128 park-and-ride in '91 or so using its own right of first refusal, after years of being totally confused by the town's disinterest"

No, as stated above, Rustcraft was not a park and ride, it was there to service reverse commuters to a plant that closed.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:48 PM   #1498
Riverside
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
That's known by the sexy name "Track 61" and goes to Marine Terminal Industrial Park. The little turnout at Cypher St. used to go to street-running track down E. 1st St. that served Conley Terminal. It's been inactive since the last customer at Cypher went away about 3 years ago. And other than some test runs to Marine Terminal by CSX a couple years ago that's been idle (including the brand new track where they relocated it around the Convention Center) for about 10 years. With not exactly hoppin' business when it was active.

Only thing it's used for now is the T storing some work equipment near Southampton and using the small A St. yard near Cypher to assemble track panels for various upgrade projects. Massport owns it now since it came under state control in the CSX sale of the Worcester Line, and their grand plans for Marine Terminal have it being reactivated by decade's end for boat-to-rail container traffic. CSX would scoot in from Readville via the Fairmount Line after the last passenger train of the night, pick up the day's deliveries at a new yard on the currently barren north side of Marine Terminal, and then scoot back down the Fairmount and Franklin to Framingham in the wee hours. When this actually happens is dependent on Massport and the BRA actually getting shit built and businesses to move in there.


There never was passenger service on it. That area was well-covered by trolley lines back in the days when it was a busy seaport, and the Silver Line + Broadway stop duplicates virtually all of it today.


It's the same deal with the also-idle Mystic Wharf branch on the northside that goes to Moran Terminal under the Tobin...also bought by Massport with (further off) plans for reactivation. That crosses Rutherford Ave. and Main St. right next to Sullivan, never veers more than a half-mile walk from Sullivan or Community College on the OL, and is paralleled 2 blocks away by the 93 bus its entire length. Absolute zero passenger potential.
Whoa: http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...TodaysHeadline
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:11 PM   #1499
BussesAin'tTrains
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

^ And note F-Line's reaction to this plan... lol
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:48 PM   #1500
DominusNovus
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Re: Crazy Transit Pitches

Clearly, I'm psychic. Might I suggest that you all send me a few hundred dollars and I'll make some sure fire wagers?
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