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Old 05-18-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
matredsoxfan
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Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

The Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line improvement project will upgrade the entire 50 Mile rail line from Fitchburg to North Station in Boston. Work includes track and signal replacement work, double-track work, upgraded crossing gates at 30 Grade-Crossings, repairs/replacement to 7 rail bridges, 13 upgraded railroad crossings, elimination of Waltham control tower and other incidental work to improve service along the MBTA's longest line.

Starting Saturday June 1st, 2013 thru July 28th there will be no service on weekends at South Acton and Fitchburg Stations.

August 3rd thru November 17th on weekends there will be no service between Fitchburg and Brandies/Roberts.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

At South Acton and Fitchburg stations, or between them?

That's prime bicycling territory, so I'm displeased.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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At South Acton and Fitchburg stations, or between them?

That's prime bicycling territory, so I'm displeased.
Between. Service will short-turn at SA those dates. No replacement buses. July 4 weekend will have normal service to Fitchburg.


Aug. 3 to Nov. 24 the signal replacement advances to the midsection of the line and weekend service will terminate at Brandeis/Roberts except for Labor Day weekend, which will have normal Fitchburg service.


I would imagine next spring this means there's going to be 100% weekend suspension for a couple months when they work the Waltham-Somerville portion.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:55 PM   #4
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

Why no bustitution? Leaving aside the recreational cyclists (who won't benefit from shuttle buses), many people depend on these trains to get to work or school.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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Why no bustitution? Leaving aside the recreational cyclists (who won't benefit from shuttle buses), many people depend on these trains to get to work or school.
It's weekend service cuts, so no school conflicts. I suppose people working on weekends will need to find alternate means of travel.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

What alternate means of travel are there, if there are no MBTA substitute buses? Greyhound and Peter Pan do not serve this area. I'm sure some people are going to and from weekend classes of various kinds.
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:30 AM   #7
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

Silly Ron, they can drive of course.

Everybody owns and can operate a car.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
George_Apley
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

Yes there will be people for whom driving/ZipCar/carpooling isn't an option. Unless people organize and convince the T to use shuttles they're going to be stuck. They should of course, provide busses without political pressure, but they aren't. People who care need to organize, or find some way to get to South Acton.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:30 AM   #9
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

They're not high level platforming any stations?
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #10
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

South Acton will be I believe.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:03 PM   #11
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

As part of a separate project South Acton station is being redone. That work starts this summer.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

From agenda for this month's MassDOT/MBTA Board of Directors Meeting:

14. Authorization to award and authorize the General Manager and Rail & Transit Administrator to execute MBTA Contract No. G67CN03 entitled “Fitchburg Commuter Rail Improvements, Track, Civil and Signal Project Somerville to Fitchburg”, with J. F. White – L. M. Heavy, JV, for a sum not to exceed $57,737,500 with a completion date of one thousand sixty-three (1,063) days from Notice to Proceed.


15. Authorization to ratify the General Manager and Rail & Transit Administrator’s prior authorization and to execute MBTA Contract No. D40CN02 entitled “Wachusett Extension Project, Wachusett Station and Layover Facility, Fitchburg and Westminster, MA”, with S&R Construction Enterprises, for a sum not to exceed $22,895,425.00 with a completion date of six hundred and nine (609) days from Notice to Proceed.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:57 PM   #13
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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They're not high level platforming any stations?
New South Acton and New Littleton are both highs. Wachusett is going to be full-high because it's being built on a passenger-only track turnout. Littleton's an island platform and will become the new short-turn station for formerly SA-terminating trains since center platforms are much easier for reversing direction.

Anything else inbound Porter-W. Concord will go full-high if ADA'd. Fitchburg can also go full-high if renovated since it's on a passenger-only turnout (like Lawrence). Also like Lawrence it will remain a single-platform station with crossovers configured to quick-scoot across from the double track. Dwell times aren't long enough 1 stop from the end of the line for the lone platform to hold anything up.

Shirley and N. Leominster are the two that must remain mini-high forever because of the wide freights (and they are wide...the Pan Am intermodal train smacks the living crap out of N. Leominster's collapsible mini-high edge). Ayer *might* be able to be raised if they reconfigured that 3-track section to keep the freights away from the platform edge, but since it sits smack in the middle of a complicated N-S-E-W junction that's gonna be awkward and probably protested by Pan Am.

If they got everything up-to-spec inbound they might someday be able to use the automatic door coaches out to Littleton, then simply switch them off on the departure to Ayer. All it takes is a continuous bloc of highs from the terminal to be able to use them, even if the outer stops can't.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:05 AM   #14
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
I would imagine next spring this means there's going to be 100% weekend suspension for a couple months when they work the Waltham-Somerville portion.
Yep, see page 14 of this document.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/Ab...ate%205913.pdf

May-June 2014 and the entire summer of 2015 are scheduled to have no Fitchburg weekend service.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #15
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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Silly Ron, they can drive of course.

Everybody owns and can operate a car.
Most people in this area (I'd say Belmont Center eastward) drive because we're accustom to the T not operating well in this area. There's no alternatives when things break down and it's a long wait between buses. Now would be a good time to push those tracks underground and leave a nice quiet linear park/bike trail above. That would be a nice ride straight to North Station through the busy city. If those tracks were covered the neighborhood of Cambridge and Belmont would be better knitted together.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #16
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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Most people in this area (I'd say Waverely Eastwards) drives because we're accustom to the T not operating well in this area. There's no alternatives when things break down and it's a long wait between buses. Not much loss.
They do have a lot of work to do on the Fitchburg in this stretch, so I'm not surprised Brandeis-inbound has such a drawn-out set of closures scheduled next year. Nearly all of the crossovers have to be replaced because they are too short and tight to switch tracks at high speed, and most of them are still hand-throw so passing isn't done in practice (problematic when they're moving some piece of work equipment between the Alewife maint shed and BET and it forces all trains in the area to hold). They'll be ripping out some superfluous switches that haven't been needed for decades, relocating some like the Blanchard Rd. set to the other side of the grade crossing so they can lengthen for high-speed passing, and ripping out the still-active switches to abandoned lines like the Central Mass, Watertown Branch, and West Cambridge Yard. And removing the Somerville freight siding being cannibalized for GLX, and redoing a few grade crossings like the 3-track Park St. Somerville one to get rid of the abandoned freight siding. Plus trenching for the new bi-directional signal system. Unlike the double-tracking project where the new infrastructure can switch online in one day's work one track only needing to go out-of-service, physically removing an obsolete existing crossover knocks out both tracks at once.


The good news is you get real 80 MPH speed after that on the longer stretches like Porter-Belmont Ctr. And ability to do real passing which'll allow them to pack the schedule with a locals + expresses mix. Only thing they aren't doing is fixing the itty bitty 1/3 mile of single-track in Waltham Ctr. since they've got to go fishing for more money to re-do the station for 2 platforms before they can. But they'll basically have all their infrastructure in full spec to start moving on ADA'ing and platform-raising all those non-compliant stations, and finding funds to build that sorely needed 128 park-and-ride to replace the useless trio of no-parking Weston stops. And possibly studying a future "Fairmounting" of it to give Waltham and that congested and fast-developing quadrant of 128 some real and badly-needed quasi- rapid transit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #17
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

http://www.rtands.com/index.php/pass...ml?channel=280

Quote:
MBTA opens Littleton commuter rail station

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) celebrated the opening of the Littleton commuter rail station June 21 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
While on the topic, South Acton has relatively high ridership: 1.5 times Lynn's ridership in the latest Blue Book for comparison. Many have speculated that once the double tracking and short turns are extended through Littleton that it will take a lot of the South Acton riders.

My question is, where are these riders coming from mostly, in terms of municipalities? Using Lynn as a comparison, Lynn has much more frequency, much more density around the station, as well as cheaper and shorter rides into Boston, yet has significantly lower ridership than South Acton. I am less interested in why Lynn has lower ridership (more, cheaper options like buses, driving to Wonderland, higher unemployment, yadda yadda), but rather where are these Fitchburg Line riders (Concord, West Concord, South Acton, soon to be Littleton) coming from?
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #18
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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http://www.rtands.com/index.php/pass...ml?channel=280



While on the topic, South Acton has relatively high ridership: 1.5 times Lynn's ridership in the latest Blue Book for comparison. Many have speculated that once the double tracking and short turns are extended through Littleton that it will take a lot of the South Acton riders.

My question is, where are these riders coming from mostly, in terms of municipalities? Using Lynn as a comparison, Lynn has much more frequency, much more density around the station, as well as cheaper and shorter rides into Boston, yet has significantly lower ridership than South Acton. I am less interested in why Lynn has lower ridership (more, cheaper options like buses, driving to Wonderland, higher unemployment, yadda yadda), but rather where are these Fitchburg Line riders (Concord, West Concord, South Acton, soon to be Littleton) coming from?
South Action is only a couple blocks from where the western 2 expressway ends. Get off on Route 27 and you're there. Those are park-and-riders who cherish their sanity enough to never ever ever drive through the Concord Rotary. Concord and West Concord are more "AAAGH!!! I'm trapped between the Concord Rotary and Crosby's Corner and can't get out!" commuters. Concord has one of the few natural 'captive rich suburbanites' transit constituencies out there.

Ayer is the one I'm a shocked is so high. I didn't think there were that many Devens reverse commuters to sustain nearly 500 daily boardings. It outslugs Fitchburg by a little bit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:17 PM   #19
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

I see. I see. So, do you think that a lot of the South Acton commuters are coming from Leominster, Fitchburg, Garder?
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:41 PM   #20
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Re: Fitchburg Line Improvement Project

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I see. I see. So, do you think that a lot of the South Acton commuters are coming from Leominster, Fitchburg, Garder?
No...those folks use the outer stops. Maynard, Hudson, Stow, Harvard, and Littleton feed into South Acton via 495, 2, 27, 111, and 117. Location's very convenient for that swath at or just inside 495 at about the 9 o'clock to 10 o'clock positions on the map. It's why they need a less-crappy reboot of Littleton station to take some load off.
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