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Old 05-14-2014, 06:43 AM   #1
stellarfun
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Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Two stories, one from today's Globe on Federal monies.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/...B5H/story.html

And one from last year, on the need for deeper channels.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/e...mbK/story.html

A question I have is whether there are ways to readily offload these containers in Boston so that they can be shipped by rail?
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:35 AM   #2
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

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A question I have is whether there are ways to readily offload these containers in Boston so that they can be shipped by rail?

There are three ports within Boston which could do this, but none of which are immediately ready. Also, there is no rail line out of Boston capable of handling double-stacks of containers due to bridge clearance issues.

1) Moran Terminal, Charlestown: the line still exists, for the most part, but the area where it crosses under I-93 would have to be worked out. The diamond crossing over the commuter rail tracks was cut out (simple fix) and clearance under the offramp to Sullivan Sq may be too low (not so simple fix). The track bed is likely in no condition and needs upgrading. But the right-of-way is preexisting and waiting for reactivation. The terminal currently receives cars only, and road salt in the Fall/Winter.

2) Fid Kennedy Terminal, Seaport: this former Naval/Army annex area isn't quite a terminal right now, but it would be relatively simple, and the BRA and MassPORT are both ready for the possibility. There are plans to extend Track 61 from Drydock Ave and up Tide St to the Fid Kennedy area in order to enable a terminal or entice industries shipping by rail.

3) Conley Terminal, South Boston: this terminal is already receiving containers and shipping by truck. MassPORT had plans to extend Track 61 from Drydock Ave over a bridge paralleling the Summer St Bridge and then entering an expanded Conley Terminal, which would expand as far west as M St. This would be a bit costly, I'd imagine, but there were preliminary planning documents recently.
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Thanks BostonUrbEx. I'm glad that its with the realm of possibilities.
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:19 PM   #4
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

It looks like the line to Moran had some ballast dumped on it when I rode by the other day. However there are jersey barriers blocking where it crosses 99, so it may have just been "landscaping" to keep down weeds.

The old rail line to Conley used to street-run down 1st, correct?
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

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The old rail line to Conley used to street-run down 1st, correct?
Yes. MassPORT would rather build a new bridge than lay down street-running on E 1st again. If they eliminated parking, they could run it in a traffic-separated median, but apparently that is not [politically?] feasible.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Is MassPort planning on expanding Conley into those abandoned lots next door? And if they do go about expanding rail to Conley wouldn't that just be a great thing to have along side a growing community at Seaport Sq!
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:16 PM   #7
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

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Is MassPort planning on expanding Conley into those abandoned lots next door?
Planning, yes. Actually doing it? Not so sure.
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:39 PM   #8
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Massport is in the process of expanding Conley. When the legislature set aside funding for purchasing the old Coastal Oil parcels Jack Hart put a provision in the funding that said Massport couldn't expand Conley until they removed container traffic off East First Street. So they designed a new haul road that comes off the Summer St bridge, cuts across the Excelon parcel (power plant), cuts across some MBTA land and goes runs into the terminal. It will be set back a minimum of 100LF from East First St and separated from East First by a new ribbon park with vegetative screens and a soundwall.
They're phasing the new haul road project because they're still negotiating with Excelon on where (and how much $) the easement will run. The first phase (soundwall, utilities, eastern half of the road) went out to bid a couple months ago but I don't think it's been awarded yet.
More info here.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #9
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

^ yeah I remember F line mentioning in one of his posts a while back about the T potentially using this new road to send Silverline vehicles to city point from Silver Line Way.

I wonder if we'll ever hear from F line again...
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:19 PM   #10
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

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^ yeah I remember F line mentioning in one of his posts a while back about the T potentially using this new road to send Silverline vehicles to city point from Silver Line Way.

I wonder if we'll ever hear from F line again...
Yeah, he went dark back in January.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:12 PM   #11
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Wasn't there some talk awhile back about the Ted Williams tunnel being so close to the Harbor Floor? If I remember, they didn't go deeper because of cost factors. How can they dredge without potentially harming the structure?
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:06 PM   #12
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

^Conley is outside the tunnel, so it's not an issue for the terminal.
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Old 05-24-2014, 01:42 AM   #13
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

I think Moran Terminal is a non-starter for rail since the Green Line Extension
Project will forever limit and hinder any future freight rail service.

-the MBTA doesn't really want that diamond crossing at FX restored.

-GLX is killing any long stretches of freight track in Somerville. The
remaining through track from Mystic Jct to 3rd Ave will be abandoned due
to GLX. Apparently PAR is resigned to the fact they will lose this connection,
settling for a rather untenable new track from Mystic along New Washington
Street to Innerbelt Road. However, where to you go from there without great
difficulty to even get to Salem? (Due to the Orange Line flyover, numerous
I-93 infrastructure, height restrictions)

Dave
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #14
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

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Originally Posted by GP40MC View Post
I think Moran Terminal is a non-starter for rail since the Green Line Extension
Project will forever limit and hinder any future freight rail service.

-the MBTA doesn't really want that diamond crossing at FX restored.

-GLX is killing any long stretches of freight track in Somerville. The
remaining through track from Mystic Jct to 3rd Ave will be abandoned due
to GLX. Apparently PAR is resigned to the fact they will lose this connection,
settling for a rather untenable new track from Mystic along New Washington
Street to Innerbelt Road. However, where to you go from there without great
difficulty to even get to Salem? (Due to the Orange Line flyover, numerous
I-93 infrastructure, height restrictions)

Dave
IIRC, CSX still has rights to the Moran Terminal line, so freight would still be going out via the Grand Junction, which is entirely doable, even if the MBTA goes with the most freight-crushing alternative for the GLX facility. Likewise, it is just as easy for PanAm to go via the Fitchburgh Line, although Lowell would be preferable for height clearance. I'm not sure if the Cobble Hill Track can make a straight shot across FX to the Moran Terminal line or not (as you said, the flyover, I-93, etc).
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:53 AM   #15
GP40MC
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Since when does CSX have rights to Moran Terminal?
That was solely a B&M line. Conrail never went down
there. The only trackage rights CR ever had on the
B&M in the Boston Metro area was over the Eastern
Route to Revere to access Global on the B&M East
Boston Branch. Whether those rights passed to CSX
is unknown or simply given up when the branch went
out of service. I know CSX never went to Revere.

There plenty of height restrictions at Swift(McGrath
Highway) and elsewhere on the Grand Jct, so no racks
and you'd have to fillet any stack cars. Operationally,
you'd be severely limited time slot wise - like 1AM to
4AM. One could only imagine the hackles those folks
in the People's Republic of Cambridge would raise to
overnight freight traffic beyond what they put up with
now!

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Old 05-24-2014, 12:42 PM   #16
GP40MC
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

I also forgot to note that PAR & NS/PAS would
never let CSX on there, since its remains PAR
(via B&M) trackage.

Dave
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:34 PM   #17
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Re: Dredging Boston Harbor to Increase Shipping

Just wanted to post an update on this, three years after the most-recent.

Dredging under way in Boston Harbor
NorthEndWaterfront.com

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Dredging is underway in Boston Harbor, day and night, as part of a federally and state-funded $350 million, 3 1/2 year project aimed to bring bigger container and industrial ships through the harbor shipping channels.

The first phase is to make space for new sediment near Charlestown (shown above) and then deepen the Main and Outer Harbor shipping channels in the harbor to depths of 47-51 feet. Barges are being used to transport excavated material in and out of the harbor.

After the dredging, Conley Container Terminal will be able to handle 12,000 TEU-vessels up from 8,500 today. MassPort is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contracted with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock.
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