archBOSTON.org

Go Back   archBOSTON.org > Boston's Built Environment > Transit and Infrastructure

Transit and Infrastructure All things T or civilly engineered within Boston Metro.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-31-2019, 07:56 AM   #1681
sneijder
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Cambridge, MA
Posts: 29
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

https://twitter.com/MBTA_CR/status/1134170826578808837

MBTA Tweeted yesterday about 4-miles of double tracking on the Franklin out by 495. Hopefully can allow for some extra express runs.
sneijder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2019, 11:23 AM   #1682
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,983
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneijder View Post
https://twitter.com/MBTA_CR/status/1134170826578808837

MBTA Tweeted yesterday about 4-miles of double tracking on the Franklin out by 495. Hopefully can allow for some extra express runs.

It will extend the Walpole passing siding just past the station/junction/diamond and take it to the foot of the grade crossing adjacent to Norfolk station.

It will NOT increase service levels to Forge Park (need bigger layover yard for that), but will zap the biggest source of delays on the schedule. And since it's such a lengthy installation of DT it cuts the remaining backlog of single on the Franklin Main down to just a few chunks of reasonable length to backfill for full-time Foxboro service (Norwood Central to Windsor Gardens) and RER (WG to Walpole Tunnel, Walpole Station, Norfolk to Franklin Layover).
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2019, 04:04 PM   #1683
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,983
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/f...accessible.pdf

Finally the T is taking a comprehensive look at pounding out the huge number of inequities in the commuter rail Zone system in favor of a distribution that's fairer and more balanced.
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2019, 04:56 PM   #1684
jklo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 331
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/f...accessible.pdf

Finally the T is taking a comprehensive look at pounding out the huge number of inequities in the commuter rail Zone system in favor of a distribution that's fairer and more balanced.
I generally agree with what they are implying, but making the non-1A 128 CR stops cheaper at the expense of making outside 128 stops more expensive is not going to go over well, especially since it's already expensive as it is.
jklo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 07:30 AM   #1685
OneOrangeDoor
Junior Member
 
OneOrangeDoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 13
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/f...accessible.pdf

Finally the T is taking a comprehensive look at pounding out the huge number of inequities in the commuter rail Zone system in favor of a distribution that's fairer and more balanced.

Whether or not significant of a revision to the zone fare structure is eventually made, this could be an excellent opportunity to streamline interzone fares. Simply applying a flat fare matching current local bus pricing for any trip that neither originates nor ends in zones 1/1A would encourage ridership outside the cbd, would be a step toward increased and more equitable service, and could make a meaningful difference in the lives of people dependent on cr for short trips between outlying stops.
OneOrangeDoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 11:09 AM   #1686
jass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,389
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/f...accessible.pdf

Finally the T is taking a comprehensive look at pounding out the huge number of inequities in the commuter rail Zone system in favor of a distribution that's fairer and more balanced.
FINALLY!!!!!!!!!
jass is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 05:02 PM   #1687
Java King
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scituate, MA
Posts: 105
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

I just returned from Melbourne, Australia several weeks ago. I was there on business but I took the time to visit their Metro Tunnel Information Center.https://metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/contact/metro-tunnel-hq

According to a quick Google Search, Greater Boston has 4.6 million people. Greater Melbourne is very similar at 4.4 million people.

I was just blown away with the outreach and information provided in this center. Melbourne is building a rail tunnel under the central city to handle upwards of 500,000 people a day with a "turn up and go" urban regional rail schedule. They are building new trains, new stations with platform screen doors, new signaling systems, and new infrastructure.

Maps, models, and detailed construction information was available for EACH month at this information center. I took two paper fold-up models for a tunnel boring machine and a new train as free souvenirs! I was just so impressed at the public outreach and the detail available for every Melbourne citizen.

Then I come back to Boston. I happened to ride the Red Line this past Monday evening the night before the derailment. Quincy Adams was a disaster with the garage being updated. It could be SO NICE, but the ceiling looks like it was put together with tin and wooden 2X4's. When I returned at 11pm, the escalator area to the garage was SO DARK, I thought it was the scene of some murder mystery. I literally could not see the treads on the escalators because it was so dark.

Then the whole Red Line just melted down the next day. What is wrong with us? Australia is a very car-centric society too! It's certainly not Europe or Japan, but they seem to be investing in regional rail that allows millions of people to cover vast distances in the Melbourne area with ease.

I know I'm ranting, but I think Boston has such an amazing legacy rail system that most cities would kill for. However, we are letting it fall apart and not investing in a modern regional rail system that connects the North, South, and Western suburbs!

Recently, I had to travel from Greenbush (5 minutes walking from my house) to Lawrence (The office I was visiting was across from the train station.) and Google was showing me over 3.5 hours by rail. Of course, I drove right through the city!

My trip on the Red Line on Monday evening was because the Greenbush schedule had 2 hours gaps from 6:30pm to 8:30pm to 10:00pm as return options. I had a presentation downtown scheduled for 6:00pm. Surly, I'm not the only one that travels outside of the traditional commuting hours?

I'm a huge transportation advocate, but I'm getting to the point that I should just drive everywhere like everyone else because there are no reasonable transportation options!

OK..........thanks for my letting me rant. I'm sure I'll continue to take the Greenbush line and Red Line until they just disintegrate.
Java King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 03:03 AM   #1688
vanshnookenraggen
Moderator
 
vanshnookenraggen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 6,241
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Java King View Post
I'm a huge transportation advocate, but I'm getting to the point that I should just drive everywhere like everyone else because there are no reasonable transportation options!
And the cycle continues. When gas prices started getting high about a decade ago you saw calls for better transit. Now that it's cheaper again everyone forgot about it. This country still prioritizes cars over transit and until a new generation of leaders steps in to make the right policy changes then everything will stay the same.
__________________
http://www.vanshnookenraggen.com | http://futurembta.com | http://hyperrealcartography.tumblr.com
brivx: well, my philosophy is: as designers, we make a good theater, we dont direct the play
vanshnookenraggen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 06:22 AM   #1689
tysmith95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: North Shore
Posts: 2,435
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Traffic is getting so f-ing terrible though. Without transit, the region can't grow.
tysmith95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 10:47 AM   #1690
JeffDowntown
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Cove
Posts: 2,755
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Traffic is getting so f-ing terrible though. Without transit, the region can't grow.
The problem is that most drivers cannot make the connection between better transit and improved traffic conditions. The messaging just does not seem to get through.

The concept that: every passenger on the T is a potential car that is not sitting in front of me, does not compute.
__________________
Jeff H.
Downtown, South Cove
JeffDowntown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 11:20 AM   #1691
Java King
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scituate, MA
Posts: 105
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
Traffic is getting so f-ing terrible though. Without transit, the region can't grow.
I agree 100 percent! We must invest in transit. Using my example above about needing to travel from Scituate to Lawrence in the morning, it was STILL less time to drive in massive traffic vs. the T. It took me 2 hours mid-morning to drive and using the T was estimated at 3.5 hours. However on my way back, I stopped at Assembly Square for late afternoon lunch. When I departed Assembly at 3pm, it took me 1.5 hours to get to dinner appointment in the South End. That was pretty bad, and I'm sure the Orange Line would have been much better.
Java King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 11:42 AM   #1692
FK4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,270
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

It's frustrating to see the Globe attack Baker again and again over the MBTA problems, and always, time and again, let Robert DeLeo off the hook. DeLeo is a paragon of what's wrong with Massachusetts politics, and more importantly, a major historical obstructionist to both direct as well as indirect solutions to the T's problems. Not that Baker doesn't hold repsonsibility, it's just annoying how the state legislature is basically always left alone... basically unless the federal government is investigating.
FK4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2019, 11:06 AM   #1693
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 783
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDowntown View Post
The problem is that most drivers cannot make the connection between better transit and improved traffic conditions. The messaging just does not seem to get through.

The concept that: every passenger on the T is a potential car that is not sitting in front of me, does not compute.
Any time you think the problem is that the people you disagree with 'just don't get it' its likely that you're not correct. Commuters look at the options and have decided that, even with as bad as traffic is in the Boston area, driving in is marginally better than taking the T. And when you get such high profile problems as the T is continually having, can you blame them?

My wife and I would prefer to use the train, but it is marginally slower (either way will take about 40 minutes to get from door to door), more inconvenient, and less comfortable than driving in together at the moment. Even with traffic as bad as it is. So, we continue to drive in.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2019, 02:02 PM   #1694
jklo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 331
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
My wife and I would prefer to use the train, but it is marginally slower (either way will take about 40 minutes to get from door to door), more inconvenient, and less comfortable than driving in together at the moment. Even with traffic as bad as it is. So, we continue to drive in.
Just kind of curious, does (either?) employer offer free parking?

South Side ridership is up quite a bit.
jklo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #1695
Riverside
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 283
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Neither here nor there, nor related to the above discussion, but I must admit that I am charmed by the T's name for supplemental Old Colony service to Braintree during the Red Line repairs: "South Shore Limited."
Riverside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2019, 12:57 PM   #1696
JeffDowntown
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Cove
Posts: 2,755
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Any time you think the problem is that the people you disagree with 'just don't get it' its likely that you're not correct. Commuters look at the options and have decided that, even with as bad as traffic is in the Boston area, driving in is marginally better than taking the T. And when you get such high profile problems as the T is continually having, can you blame them?

My wife and I would prefer to use the train, but it is marginally slower (either way will take about 40 minutes to get from door to door), more inconvenient, and less comfortable than driving in together at the moment. Even with traffic as bad as it is. So, we continue to drive in.
I was not so much talking about choice of transportation options. There are a lot of personal factors that go into one's choice of transportation mode.

I was more talking about choice of public investment options. What get poorly sold is that an investment in public transit improvements (particularly ones that change the calculation you are describing, and cause more people to use public transit) is also an investment in better car commuting. More people using the T (because of investment, better service) means less people driving. T riders and drivers both win.

This is not broadly understood.
__________________
Jeff H.
Downtown, South Cove
JeffDowntown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2019, 02:41 PM   #1697
Riverside
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 283
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

I was looking at some CTDOT schedules the other day, and noticed that there is a surprising amount of cross-fare honoring with Amtrak on the Hartford Line and on the Shore Line East. How did this come about and would there be any possibility of similar cross-honoring on Northeast Regional, Lake Shore Limited and Downeaster service?

Would have the greatest impact on Providence Line riders, especially during the PM rush, when there are a few gaps in the MBTA schedule caused by Amtrak taking those "slots". Cross-honoring would give those riders more flexibility and of course would reduce crowding on the Commuter Rail trains. With a bit of clever scheduling and fare management, you could potentially even scoop up a few South Attleboro riders (and Pawtucket/Central Falls, once it opens) who could express to Providence and then double back northbound on a Commuter Rail train, and still be arrive as soon or sooner than they would on an MBTA train. If/when Amtrak starts serving TF Green, the same benefits would apply there as well.

There would be benefit for Amtrak as well, though, especially in the morning, when there's one train that runs from Providence to Boston during commuting hours -- but it's an overnighter from Washington, and often is delayed, which makes it much less appealing for commuters who need reliability. Cross-honoring would give would-be Amtrak pass holders more reason to purchase, since they'd get the speed and comfort of the Amtrak on good days, and workable alternatives on the T on bad days (without having to double pay as they do now).

The Lake Shore Limited runs through Worcester outside of commuting hours, but the Downeaster could supplement service at Haverhill with its 7am southbound departure, and 5:48pm and 7:02pm northbound arrivals. That 7am departure in particular would plug an existing 55-minute gap in the Commuter Rail's schedule there. The problem with the Downeaster, as I understand it, is that it's already overcrowded. Maaaaaaybe cross-honoring would encourage some Exeter commuters to drive to Haverhill and Newburyport on some days, to have the extra flexibility of the MBTA schedule while maintaining the option for express direct service to Exeter, but I doubt it would relieve the influx of Haverhill commuters from the Commuter Rail.

All of the above basically assumes that commuters on both railroads are using monthly passes, as opposed to single- or multi-ride tickets.

Also, unrelated to this topic, but on the topic of the "Shore Shore Limited", that service now has its own page on MBTA.com, damn.
Riverside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2019, 03:41 PM   #1698
F-Line to Dudley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 4,983
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverside View Post
I was looking at some CTDOT schedules the other day, and noticed that there is a surprising amount of cross-fare honoring with Amtrak on the Hartford Line and on the Shore Line East. How did this come about and would there be any possibility of similar cross-honoring on Northeast Regional, Lake Shore Limited and Downeaster service?
It's because of the AMTK Springfield Shuttles. Hartford Line does not yet have much of a schedule north of Hartford to Springfield, so ConnDOT (which has always subsidized the Shuttles) is temporarily chucking more money out for ticketing parity until their homegrown schedule grows to fill the gaps. It is wholly temporary and not a model for cross-ticketing elsewhere because they're paying a pretty premium to eat the difference in pricing for the interim.

Quote:
Would have the greatest impact on Providence Line riders, especially during the PM rush, when there are a few gaps in the MBTA schedule caused by Amtrak taking those "slots". Cross-honoring would give those riders more flexibility and of course would reduce crowding on the Commuter Rail trains. With a bit of clever scheduling and fare management, you could potentially even scoop up a few South Attleboro riders (and Pawtucket/Central Falls, once it opens) who could express to Providence and then double back northbound on a Commuter Rail train, and still be arrive as soon or sooner than they would on an MBTA train. If/when Amtrak starts serving TF Green, the same benefits would apply there as well.
Since the NE Regionals are a large profit center for Amtrak, this is not an advisable move since the T would get dinged for huge overages paying the ticketing difference. And that difference is MUCH larger on a Regional than it is on a little Springfield Shuttle. RER is what will level the Providence Line schedule much more equitably.

Quote:
There would be benefit for Amtrak as well, though, especially in the morning, when there's one train that runs from Providence to Boston during commuting hours -- but it's an overnighter from Washington, and often is delayed, which makes it much less appealing for commuters who need reliability. Cross-honoring would give would-be Amtrak pass holders more reason to purchase, since they'd get the speed and comfort of the Amtrak on good days, and workable alternatives on the T on bad days (without having to double pay as they do now).
Again, Amtrak is likely to have nil interest in this because they're already making money hand-over-fist on the Regionals. The extra customer service overhead of cross-honoring on their tickets isn't worth the negligible revenue gains when they're already sold out so often they've got a backlog of much bigger revenue gains to tame on their own turf (e.g. next-gen coach fleet letting them run longer trains with more seats, south-of-NY upgrades speeding things up and allowing schedule backfill, etc.). With what seats they've got, MBTA commuters filling the empties heading to Providence means they have to waitlist more folks Providence-New Haven who might not make the buy if the seat availability can't to 100% accuracy be accounted for by Providence. If they have to regularly use the waitlist to guarantee they don't get stuck being oversold, then that's going to limit how much they can raise prices in the future. Amtrak would much rather be able to raise prices reflecting whole-Corridor demand rather than have to hold up because they got caught in a trap spot-plugging seats at the behest of an individual commuter agency. They're a multibillion dollar corporation with shareholders; it's their fiduciary responsibility to think bigger than that.

For that reason they're never going to offer up themselves as an exploitable local resource down to the very last breadcrumb. Price-managing the whole NEC is going to heavily override any chances at tiny-scale cross-leveraging...because at their scope that is their best deal.

Quote:
The Lake Shore Limited runs through Worcester outside of commuting hours, but the Downeaster could supplement service at Haverhill with its 7am southbound departure, and 5:48pm and 7:02pm northbound arrivals. That 7am departure in particular would plug an existing 55-minute gap in the Commuter Rail's schedule there. The problem with the Downeaster, as I understand it, is that it's already overcrowded. Maaaaaaybe cross-honoring would encourage some Exeter commuters to drive to Haverhill and Newburyport on some days, to have the extra flexibility of the MBTA schedule while maintaining the option for express direct service to Exeter, but I doubt it would relieve the influx of Haverhill commuters from the Commuter Rail.
Unlike the Springfield Shuttles underwritten by ConnDOT, the Downeaster is sponsored by NNEPRA, not MassDOT which is only a third-wheel appendage on the whole operation. NHDOT doesn't even subsidize it at all, so federal subsidy gets gerrymandered to handle the NH stops increasing NNEPRA's overall burden for operating the corridor. That route is fundamentally NOT in the business of backstopping MBTA service at all, and NNEPRA would rightfully howl if MassDOT tried to insert itself there. Haverhill probably wouldn't be a stop at all on that route except that it acts as a timing mechanism to clear freights off the single-track switch in Plaistow for traffic management's sake.

Quote:
All of the above basically assumes that commuters on both railroads are using monthly passes, as opposed to single- or multi-ride tickets.
Amtrak has monthlies, but it also has its own airline-like Guest Rewards with points that can pay back to trip tix. There isn't a level of parity in Amtrak's ticketing structure that translates down to commuter land without leaving problematic remainders behind.
F-Line to Dudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2019, 04:38 PM   #1699
Riverside
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 283
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Good points, I hadn't considered the impact that the uncertainty of whether seats would be filled would have.

Makes sense about the Springfield corridor, but hasn't the Shore Line East arrangement been much more long-standing?
Riverside is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2019, 07:16 PM   #1700
DominusNovus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 783
Re: Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jklo View Post
Just kind of curious, does (either?) employer offer free parking?

South Side ridership is up quite a bit.
Nope - though hers does offer free after hours parking. Its not really relevant in my current situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDowntown View Post
I was not so much talking about choice of transportation options. There are a lot of personal factors that go into one's choice of transportation mode.

I was more talking about choice of public investment options. What get poorly sold is that an investment in public transit improvements (particularly ones that change the calculation you are describing, and cause more people to use public transit) is also an investment in better car commuting. More people using the T (because of investment, better service) means less people driving. T riders and drivers both win.

This is not broadly understood.
Agreed.
__________________
The Goal of Mass Transit should be to get you from Bed to Boss to Bar and back again.
DominusNovus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amtrak / Regional Rail Discussion Thread F-Line to Dudley Transit and Infrastructure 148 Yesterday 11:42 PM
North-South Rail Link: DOT Public Hearing BostonUrbEx Boston Architecture/Urbanism Related Events 0 11-10-2018 07:46 AM
TransitMatters Regional Rail Plan shmessy Transit and Infrastructure 134 05-22-2018 12:10 PM
Regional Rail tysmith95 Transit and Infrastructure 1 04-10-2017 10:33 PM
North Station-South Station Rail Link stick n move Design a Better Boston 103 11-03-2014 09:04 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.