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Old 10-25-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
HenryAlan
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Federal Funds for South Station Expansion

Seems to be breaking news, can't find any other sources for this, but the news is big!

Quote:
The Federal Railroad Administration today awarded the money to the state to begin planning seven new tracks at South Station to support new commuter-rail and Acela service to and from Boston. The new tracks would terminate at what is now the post office on Fort Point Channel; federal and state officials continue to work on moving that facility nearby.

State transportation officials say a $120 million grant to Connecticut will upgrade the tracks between New Haven and Springfield, which will eventually allow for more service between Boston and New York inland, rather than along the coast. Amtrak recently said it would use this route to dramatically cut travel time between the two cities - over the next 40 years.
http://www.universalhub.com/2010/fed...ation-expansio
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Old 10-25-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Federal Funds for South Station Expansion

Boston.com - October 25, 2010
Quote:
State wins $32.5M grant to plan South Station expansion

By Eric Moskowitz, Globe Staff

The federal government today awarded $32.5 million to the state to plan the expansion of South Station, where officials say more platform tracks are needed to relieve existing commuter rail congestion, accommodate the restored service that Governor Deval Patrick's administration has promised for Fall River and New Bedford, and run more frequent trains on the Worcester line and elsewhere.

The expansion, which would nearly double South Station's existing number of 13 platform tracks, is also necessary for Amtrak and the federal government to pursue their long-term vision of high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor.

The complex project is made even more challenging by the fact that the state would need to relocate the United States Postal Service's General Mail Facility to make room for the expanded South Station along Boston's Fort Point Channel.

The grant awarded today by the Federal Railroad Administration will cover the preliminary design and environmental permitting process, in the process answering questions about how long the project will take, how much it will cost, and where the postal service will make its new home. But state officials said the competitive grant provides a necessary early boost for the project and bodes well for its future.

The project has drawn support from every member of the state's congressional delegation, and Governor Deval Patrick helped make the case for the funding with a direct appeal to US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, officials said.

"We think this is great news and really benefits the entire state," Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray said in a conference call with reporters.

Murray called South Station expansion "a 100-year opportunity," while state Secretary of Transportation Jeffrey Mullan called South Station itself "the most important transportation asset in all of New England."

The station already operates at capacity during peak commuting times, when a train leaves or arrives every 60 to 90 seconds. During the first six months of 2010, overcrowding alone contributed to 7 1/2 hours of cumulative delays on the MBTA's commuter rail, according to the application filed by the state.

The South Station expansion is one of 77 projects in 25 states totaling $8.5 billion that are competing for just $2.4 billion in federal grants. The Federal Railroad Administration will not release the names of the winners publicly until Thursday but has already notified members of Congress in the winning districts, US Department of Transportation spokesman Warren Flatau said.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:32 PM   #3
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Re: Federal Funds for South Station Expansion

Also.....

From http://www.businessweek.com/ap/finan.../D9J2T2J80.htm

Quote:
NH to get $2M from feds to study rail project

By NORMA LOVE

CONCORD, N.H.

New Hampshire is getting more than $2 million in federal stimulus funds to study a $300 million high-speed rail corridor project from Boston to Nashua and on to Concord, U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes announced Monday.

Hodes said the rail project is important to New Hampshire's economy.

"This is the completion of the critical first step in the build-out," he said. "I think it's highly unlikely we would not want to move forward."

Hodes -- a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate -- said the funding source points out the difference between him and his opponent in the Nov. 2 election. Republican Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte opposes stimulus funds.

Ayotte spokesman Jeff Grappone said the United States doesn't need a "bloated, wasteful stimulus package to examine the feasibility of commuter rail."

Grappone said Ayotte believes in strengthening the state's infrastructure but wants to ensure the rail project "doesn't have to be propped up by taxpayers for decades to come."

Mike Pillsbury, New Hampshire's deputy transportation commissioner, said the study will provide answers to necessary questions before moving ahead with the engineering and construction phases of the project.

"It really answers the questions: Is this feasible? Is there enough capacity there? Are there enough riders?" he said.

The project -- called the capital corridor -- calls for train stations in Concord, Manchester and Nashua, as well as at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester.

Pillsbury estimated the study will take 18 months once a consultant is hired. Hiring an engineering firm to conduct the study could take several months, he said. Pillsbury said the study not only should show the benefits of having the high-speed rail connections, it also should show what needs to be done to provide the services.

He was optimistic the study would be the first step to winning future funding to complete the project.

The rail line being studied currently is a freight line.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:44 AM   #4
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Couldnt NH pull a study they surely did in the 80s?
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Full story about all the money from the MBTA...

Quote:
Governor Patrick, Congressional Delegation Announce More than $160 Million In Federal Rail Grants
$32.5M Grant Funds Design of South Station Expansion to Boost Amtrak, MBTA Commuter Rail Service; Other Grants Awarded to Connect Western MA to CT, Boston to NH & ME

Start Date: 10/25/2010
Email: Adam.Hurtubise@state.ma.us

MassDOT South Station 215
View larger image

BOSTON - Monday, October 25, 2010 - As part of the Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network, Governor Patrick and members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation today announced more than $160 million in federal funding for rail expansion in the Commonwealth, including a $32.5 million grant to support the design phase of the Boston South Station expansion project.

Awarded through a competitive process, the Federal Railroad Administration High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail grant will fund the environmental permitting and design phase of the South Station expansion project, which includes constructing seven new tracks at South Station. The expansion will support a significant increase in Amtrak Acela Express High Speed Rail service to Boston along with planned MBTA commuter rail service expansion.

"We are committed to expanding commuter rail service and improving high-speed rail in the Commonwealth, and this successful grant application will put real designs behind a visionary plan to expand South Station," said Governor Deval Patrick. "Taken together with additional awards to further plans to connect western Massachusetts and Boston rail service to other New England states, this is an exceptional day for commuters, local economies and our state's long-term strength. I am grateful to our partners in the Obama Administration and the Congressional delegation for working with my team to deliver for Massachusetts time and time again."

The Patrick-Murray Administration and the Congressional delegation also celebrated today's award of $120 million to the Connecticut Department of Transportation for the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Corridor, including restoration of double track on the line to improve travel times, to serve western Massachusetts and provide a foundation for increased service between Boston and New York via Springfield and Worcester on the Inland Route.

Additionally, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation received a $2.24 million planning grant for the Capital Corridor between Boston and Concord, New Hampshire, a 73-mile rail corridor that would connect the two state capitols. Maine and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority received a $600,000 planning grant for improvements to the Downeaster service between Boston and Portland, Maine. The South Station Project, New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Corridor, and the New Hampshire and Maine planning studies clearly indicate the hard work New England states are doing together to advance a regionwide vision for passenger rail.

Massachusetts and eleven other states from Maine to Virginia and the District of Columbia were also awarded a $10 million multi-state planning grant to study the role that intercity and high-speed passenger rail can play in helping improve the region's transportation network, expand capacity, relieve highway and aviation congestion and stimulate sustainable economic growth along the Northeast Corridor.

"This grant funding marks a major milestone in the planning for the South Station project and commuter rail expansion, which will better serve residents and enhance economic development opportunities in the Central, Metrowest, Southcoast and Western regions of the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "We thank the Obama Administration for providing states with resources to improve transportation infrastructure and also our Congressional delegation for their continued advocacy and support."

"This is a big deal for South Boston and a big step forward towards making Massachusetts the nation's leader in high speed rail," said Senator John Kerry.

"Today's announcement of $32.5 million in federal funds is a victory for Massachusetts commuters that will position our transportation system for the future and put people to work on a critically needed infrastructure project. Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and our delegation in Congress teamed to make the case for federal funding for the South Station expansion, and I look forward to the increase in convenience and ridership that it will produce in the future," said Congressman Ed Markey.

"The importance of this project cannot be overstated for rail passengers throughout the Northeast. South Station is a once in a century project that is central to expanding the region's passenger rail network," said Congressman John Olver. "This funding ensures that future generations of Northeast passengers will continue to have access to efficient rail service."

"South Station is an integral part of the public transportation system in Massachusetts with many commuters passing through on any given day. These federal funds will be used to upgrade this asset by adding tracks to accommodate more trains and further enhance the station. As a result, commuters will have more options to reach their jobs, homes and other destinations," said Congressman Mike Capuano.

"Improving our high-speed rail system is essential to improving our economy," said Congressman Jim McGovern. "I'm particularly pleased that we're continuing to make progress on improving service to Worcester."

"The Governor deserves credit for his strong advocacy on behalf of this grant application. He personally called US DOT Secretary LaHood to discuss the benefits of South Station's expansion," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan. "This round of funding is a great validation of the Governor's and Lieutenant Governor's commitment to rail and vision for the future. The coordination that they have championed is reaping benefits for all of New England."

The South Station High Speed Rail Project will construct seven new station tracks, expanding South Station capacity from 13 to 20 tracks and reconfigure three critical track interlockings.

In the long term, the South Station project will provide for excess capacity to allow further service expansion beyond those currently planned for Amtrak and commuter rail. The project has received strong support from Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.

The successful South Station Project application under the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program follows earlier successful grant applications by the Patrick-Murray Administration and other New England states.

In January 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Massachusetts $70 million for final design and construction of the "Knowledge Corridor" along the Connecticut River rail line in western Massachusetts. The project will rehabilitate the existing Connecticut River rail line which runs from Connecticut, through Massachusetts to Vermont. Once completed, Amtrak Vermonter service will be rerouted to the line providing a more direct route, faster service and restored access to the cities of Northampton and Greenfield. The Vermonter will make stops at the former Amtrak station in Northampton and the new ARRA-funded intermodal transit center in Greenfield.

The Knowledge Corridor award was part of $485 million in stimulus funds from grants announced prior to today that will be invested to improve rail lines in the Northeast Corridor through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program. A total of $160 million was given to Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut to improve rail service between New Haven, Springfield and St. Albans, $35 million was awarded to Maine to restore rail service between Portland and Brunswick as part of the popular Downeaster service which begins in Massachusetts and $112 million to fund improvements along the Boston to Washington DC corridor.

In July 2009, Governor Patrick and all New England Governors announced plans to work together on a coordinated regional vision for high speed rail that will connect major cities and airports, and support economic growth throughout the region. The Vision for the New England High Speed and Intercity Rail Network lays out key projects to strengthen passenger and freight rail service along new and existing rail corridors, with the goal of doubling passenger rail ridership in the Northeast by 2030.

MassDOT is the new, unified transportation organization created in 2009 under the historic reform legislation passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick. MassDOT's four divisions are focused on delivering safe and efficient transportation services across the Commonwealth.

For transportation news and updates, visit the MassDOT website at www.mass.gov/massdot, the MassDOT blog at www.mass.gov/blog/transportation or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot.
plus this rendering which one assumes is South Station:



I particularly like the see through people.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

I like the bicyclist yelling at the car. A nice realistic touch.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:19 AM   #7
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

um...if this is facing south on Dot Ave...(is that?) why is the Hancock in the background? and/or the Pru?? in the rendering...

I work at 245 summer i.e. that building to the right...which the building is about 10 feet away from the road - which means no room for a little park....


apperently any rendering of boston should ahve the hancock in the background right??? no matter what angle lol its like the Eiffel Tower Effect..
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

these renderings (this and the one in the globe article) have to be among the worst i've ever seen.... i get it that it's not a "design", but I can't help but think they are hurting more than helping. Rather than giving an intern free reign on sketchup for 30 minutes, why not just put a stock photo of an acela train or something? Isn't that essentially what this is? No thought has gone into how the station works in the city (or on earth), but we get the hyper realistic train and signboard from 3D Warehouse no doubt. The zero-gravity, suburban wasteland does nothing but distract.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:38 AM   #9
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

With all the new capacity on the possible horizon, they should already begin planning for full electrification and rapid transit EMUs on the Indigo Line as well as the Worcester Line out to Riverside.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

I don't think it is the Hancock; it is the vent building for the Big Dig tunnel under the basin.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:49 PM   #11
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

I can't say I'm excited about this grant. All we're going to get is more commuter rail extensions to nowhere.

There have been far too many CR extensions and no Rapid transit extensions over the last 20 years. More people ride the red line than all of the commuter rail lines combined. What is the reasoning behind all of these worthless cr extensions???

If all of the subway lines were extended to 128 I guarantee we would have the 2nd highest ridership in the country. We would completely blow DC out of the water. This makes me furious...
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
I can't say I'm excited about this grant. All we're going to get is more commuter rail extensions to nowhere.
You aren't totally wrong to be tepid about this. But it isn't just about "extensions to nowhere". The only extensions which would use this are to Fall River and New Bedford, which I think most people can agree could really use the service. Also this will allow for more trains on the existing lines, including the Fairmont Line (which will allow for more rapid-transit like headways), and of course more Amtrak trains.

I would argue this would do more than if the state were to extend the Red Line. The T has many issues, yes, but I would argue that this is a much better project in terms of economy for the entire region.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:56 PM   #13
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shepard View Post
With all the new capacity on the possible horizon, they should already begin planning for full electrification and rapid transit EMUs on the Indigo Line as well as the Worcester Line out to Riverside.
They should be planning that for every line at least as far as Rt. 128. If they need to phase it in, I'd add Needham and Fitchburg to the initial list as both have quite a few urban stops.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:00 PM   #14
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

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Originally Posted by Marley View Post
There have been far too many CR extensions and no Rapid transit extensions over the last 20 years. More people ride the red line than all of the commuter rail lines combined. What is the reasoning behind all of these worthless cr extensions???
Around the early '90s politicians realized they could use the commuter rail as a political tool to garner votes. That's why you see project after project to drop a billion or so here, a billion or so there for 1,000 daily riders. Every completed commuter rail project has a follow-up that is immediately backed, and pushed through the approval process.

We have fewer miles of rapid transit service than at any point since the Titanic was under construction. The central subway is overburdened, and there are a number of areas where bus service just ain't cutting it. But you won't see projects like the Red / Blue Connector advanced in any meaningful way. It's just not what politicians want.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:01 PM   #15
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

A bone for a hungry dog, a pre-election ploy; conveniently timed to get the lazy but reliably Democratic voters of Bristol and Worcester counties to the polls next Tuesday.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:42 PM   #16
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

I can understand how the CR is used as a political tool. It makes me angry that our mass transit is basically hijacked from us though. I think maybe the NIMBY's need to know that if the RT lines are extended to 128 it will prevent CR lines from entering their towns. People in Easton and Raynham and the other towns that don't want to see the South coast extension go through the swamp(which 138 already goes through) then their best bet is to support an orange line extension to Dedham or Westwood.

I live in Easton, and it takes me just as long to drive to Canton Jct.(which gets more trains than Stoughton) as it does for me to drive to Quincy Adams(which provides a far better service). We need to start building these RT lines into the highways too. These CR lines are too expensive for the amount of people they serve. Also, they don't address the actual problem which is to take as many people off the roads as possible.

Are there any other big anti CR nimby movements outside of the southcoast extension corridor?
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #17
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Construction and financing cost of the 23 mile Metro Silver Line from West Falls Church VA to Dulles Airport and two stations beyond Dulles is $5.25 billion ($225M a mile). A lot of the cost is being financed by jacking up the highway tolls on the toll road which runs from the DC Beltway out to Dulles. The subway is pretty much using an existing right-of-way, so no big land takings.

And that is why Boston is not extending the subway lines to the exurbs. (Plus subways don't do well in snow storms on ground level trackage.)
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:22 PM   #18
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

OT RANT

If Republican Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte wins, I'd like to see the Feds pull all his state's highway funding. ASS MONKEY.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #19
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbfen View Post
OT RANT

If Republican Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte wins, I'd like to see the Feds pull all his state's highway funding. ASS MONKEY.
Kelly Ayotte is a she, not a he.
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Old 10-28-2010, 01:54 AM   #20
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Re: Fend Funds for South Station Expansion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley View Post
I can't say I'm excited about this grant. All we're going to get is more commuter rail extensions to nowhere.

There have been far too many CR extensions and no Rapid transit extensions over the last 20 years. More people ride the red line than all of the commuter rail lines combined. What is the reasoning behind all of these worthless cr extensions???

If all of the subway lines were extended to 128 I guarantee we would have the 2nd highest ridership in the country. We would completely blow DC out of the water. This makes me furious...
But this allows for rapid commuter rail lines, like the Fairmount/Indigo line, and a similar shuttle on the Worcester line.

South Station
Back Bay
Yawkey
Allston
Brighton
Newtonville
Riverside

Running every 20 minutes. Wouldnt that be nice?


Remember, South Station will be at capacity once the Worcester line service gets increased in 2012 and Fairmount comes online. Meaning zero (peak) room for anyone else.

If we want an Inland Acela, Worcester Shuttle, Fairmount at 15 minutes instead of 20 etc....we need more tracks.
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