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Old 09-06-2013, 01:07 PM   #41
Arborway
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by blinkieob View Post
I had been hoping that they'd actually put the stop across from the BCEC, in the location shown in this picture with the Globe story. That'd make it easy for there to be a Silver connection via a pedestrian bridge. But then I realized that it'd have to cross traffic, so I guess that's not going to happen.

The station should absolutely go on this plot of land. Putting it off to the side of the Convention Center denies passengers a direct pedestrian connection to the rest of the Seaport.

Placing it in front of the CC would allow for passengers to step off the train and head to a convention or the World Trade Center / Seaport Square / Fan Pier area.

Seems like a no brainer.

Any shortcomings baked into the design now will outlive us all. This should be done right from Day 1.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #42
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

If they are serious they should start by inaugurating a bus route which duplicates this service and can begin priming ridership. Today.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #43
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
I feel like Davey is reading Crazy Transit Pitches. This really sounds like gimmick transit.

Maybe they want some more listed uses for a potential DMU fleet to "justify" the purchases.

I don't know how thrilled the FRA is going to be with the idea of moving people on yard tracks. Also, are they going to change ends at Back Bay station? That would seem to be a capacity clogger on the NEC.

Perhaps they can install a passing siding somewhere and double the potential frequency by staging meets.
It's not the FRA. It's Amtrak, because they control all the yard tracks and all of the NEC.

Looking at some of the T and Amtrak employee reactions on RR.net, the ops issues with the yard are what's going to kill this. There are so many conflicting movements this thing would have to pause at switch...after switch...after switch...after switch in just those couple blocks between Dot Ave. and Albany St. It's not just that it's slow track like the curve out of SS...it's inside a busy yard. So cab signals do not protect from sub-5 MPH collisions where operator override is in effect. With EVERY Fairmount, Old Colony, and Amtrak/MBCR non-revenue move crossing this one spot by the loop that is going to mean the DMU has to pause at a stop signal at each crossing even if the coast looks clear. And dispatch is going to have to manually verify it's clear before giving a green. So, basically it'll be like waiting at 3-5 multi-minutes long traffic lights to get across 2 blocks of the city street grid.

And lord help us all if one of these revenue runs has a slow-speed 'oopsie' in the yard with an Acela while it's pulling into the Amtrak building between runs to get its dining car reloaded. That may be the end of this experiment right then and there with Amtrak's permission.

Then to get to BBY for a terminal stop they are going to have to use the Worcester platforms (the mini-highs) which require cutting across either 4 of 5 or all 5 NEC tracks from the wye. Meaning there can't be anything moving to/from the NEC on that whole elongated set of crossovers before the DMU is allowed a green from dispatch. Everything stops...Acela, Regionals, Providence, Stoughton, Franklin, Needham...while it crosses. And the DMU stops and waits...and waits...while all 5 of those other services get priority if they're in the vicinity. The max unconflicted moves you could make is maybe a Worcester train to/from SS-BBY on the outermost track simultaneous with this DMU pulling in wrong-rail into the Worcester inbound platform. Who goes last in that queue for a clear track? Amtrak is the dispatcher, remember.


5:00pm...it's going to take 5 minutes to get between the Track 61 switch into Southampton to the wye out of Southampton. Then another 5 minutes at a red signal at the wye waiting for every simultaneous-moving peak hour train to clear. Then you have to change ends at BBY and lay over on the platform ("Fairmounted" Worcester fans, take special note).




There are a lot of things flawed about this, but there is no way this can work on the ops side. It fouls every single train movement through the region's busiest yard and every NEC track. It'll be twice as fast to take a bus in traffic with how much time this is going to chew up at stop signals. And I'm not sure it can be done fail-safe because those 5 MPH yard collisions are the only things cab signals and PTC are not designed to stop. It's human control and extra, extra long stops to be absolutely sure every switch is clear when trains are coming in so many directions and changing myriad directions through switches that line-of-sight is not enough to judge. Slow-speed collisions are the most common kind. There was an infamous oopsie at D.C. Union 2 years ago when a Regional and a MARC commuter rail train exchanging places in the yard bumped each other and derailed at a switch that just happened to be right by the nerve center. It blocked 5 revenue tracks out of the station at 3 o'clock on a Friday and screwed up train traffic on the entire eastern seaboard for 8 hours...for a collision that didn't even cause damage, but fouled a switch in the worst possible location for crossing movements. National media fallout over how extensive and widespread the delays were. That's why 10 minutes at red lights scattered throughout Southampton is not at all unrealistic when the yard is at its busiest.


You can't look at a map of miles and miles of yard tracks and see limitless possibility for revenue tracks. They can't build a flyover to bypass all of this (for one, because Track 61 comes in from underneath the Red Line overpass). You could, maybe, do a straight Convention Ctr.-Fairmount run without problems because that crosses many fewer switches and only requires pausing for the Old Colony...but this is Back Bay, not Fairmount, they want. There's no way to make it fail-safe without being...slow...deliberate...and full of dead stops. You can't look at the schedule and say..."Well, except for 5:00pm we can just cruise right on through!" No. Yards don't work that way. They're arguably busiest at off-peak shift changes like 10:00am, lunch, 3:00pm when the mainlines are emptying or gearing up for the next shift and all the out-of-service equipment is getting moved into place or cleaned or prepped and all kinds of staff are walking along the tracks to get to/from their trains and the breakroom.

This is a total immovable object no amount of Crazy Transit Pitches brainstorming is ever going to solve. There is no alt route. There is no dispatching massaging. The only way from Point A to Point B is across every single active southside terminal and yard track during peak activity. Unless we want to spent $250M on a new flyover and a replacement Red Line flyover for the Cabot Yard flyover that has to get blown up to build this flyover.



I have to wonder because of that if this was just some of the Gov.'s cronies, the Mayor, Sec. Davey, and a bunch of BRA guys doodling on a map without ever asking the T what the traffic modeling would look like. It's very apparent they didn't ask Amtrak given how surprised and kerfuzzled the employees are on RR.net today. And there is the possibility that the additional "oversight" of having the T report to the MassDOT chair is punking them over today much like South Coast FAIL is being forced on them at gunpoint without the agency having any say in the out-of-district towns. Massport owns Track 61, not the T. If they helped cook this up with the pols as a scheme to get more funding money...the T doesn't have a lot of recourse. They'll be forced to run it, but it's runs 50% on infrastructure they don't own at all and 50% on infrastructure they don't control at all because of Amtrak. Nobody told Amtrak before going to the press? "Heyyy, Beverly...this is Davey. Say, could take this call from Amtrak Prez. Joe Boardman down in D.C.? I can't understand some of the profanities he's shouting at me, and I have to go to another ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Berkshires train. K THX BYE!!!"

Nobody's in control of this. The pols who want shiny toys are proposing it, a MassDOT sub-agency in direct sibling rivalry with the T for funding is the host of it, the sad sacks who have to buy the equipment and run it and clog BBY to possible detriment of their own commuter rail schedules have to pay for it and run it, and a wholly unrelated federal third party is being wishful-thinking tasked with making sure it operates smoothly and safely. It is a total perversion of the "accountability" the DOT reorg was supposed to bring about. Divide and conquer...then nobody can tell the Gov. that nice playthings are not so easy. We saw this with SCR. We're seeing this with Berkshire intercity. And now this. It won't be anywhere close to the last time.

Last edited by F-Line to Dudley; 09-06-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:42 PM   #44
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by winstonoboogie View Post
How would the Green Line tunnel from Tremont St. to South Station work? (the non-Essex St. alternative proposal above)
It would have to go under the Orange Line tunnel and the Mass Pike, then go underneath all of the auto tunnels leading from the Pike to the Ted Williams, and than would have to come up to the same level as the Silver Line tunnel under Atlantic Ave. But the Silver Line tunnel is built on top of the northbound artery auto tunnel at the point, and the Green Line tunnel would have to be coming up from underneath the auto tunnel. All of this new tunneling would be in the area where they had to freeze the soil to "shove" the auto tunnels under the existing tracks heading into South Station. The Green Line would be "shoved" underneath all of that and would still have to rise to the Silver Line tunnel level?
Honestly I don't have a whole lot of expertise in the whole shebang. But F-Line plotted out a build timeline a while ago in Reasonable Transit Pitches that I based the map on.

Quote:
I'm assuming this would all have to be built in phases, with the Washington branch first.

Build 1, Step 1: Reopen the tunnel. Since it's a SL replacement you pretty much need to have a Tufts Med. Ctr. station connected by longish ped passageway to the OL station on the next block. So your first segment of new construction would be a station bore under the park (not hard, since the park is just earthen fill on top of the old wide wedge-shaped incline). This is a 4-track tunnel, so even if you're only laying 2 tracks at the start you have to leave space for 2 island platforms.

Build 1, Step 2: 2-track bore down Shawmut and under the Pike. Stub the other 2 tracks at the station as a turnback or storage space, because if that's ever built it's going to fork down the Tremont side of the block. That's how the surface lines used to diverge here...City Point down Shawmut, Egleston down Tremont.

Build 1, Step 3: Incline up the Herald St. wall to the Herald/Washington intersection. Leave wall cuts underground before the portal for a flying junction akin to the old Boylston St. portal if the SS leg is ever built. Right-turn onto Washington at the Herald-Washington light for Dudley.

--------------------

Build 2, Step 1: Let's go to BBY. Tunnel tracks 3 & 4 from Tufts GL station down Tremont to Marginal. Cut sideways into the Pike retaining wall underneath Marginal and Cortes to Clarendon St. on the Trinity Pl. side of BBY.

Build 2, Step 2: BBY GL station w/ped passageway connecting to the OL and CR/Amtrak.

Build 2, Step 3: Continue up Trinity Pl. to the Stuart/Huntington intersection on the other side of the Pike WB tunnel wall. Rejoin the E tunnel at Prudential curve outside the station. At-grade junction since prevailing traffic is now straight to BBY with Copley Jct. busted down to secondary status. Note: underpinning around the garage might be a little expensive here, so that's the fuzziest part of the plan. But it's not a new idea...the rapid transit line proposed in 1945 along the B&A took this route, so I don't think the post-Pike construction around here totally precludes subwaying around here...just makes it harder.

--------------------

Build 3, Step 1: Now SS. All of this is dependent on the N-S Link getting at least a bare-bones build: NEC/Worcester-to-NH Main/Western/Eastern Route single portals, no Central station, only provisioning tunnel wall cuts for the other portals, and maybe only doing 2 thru tracks and leaving the other berths empty till later phase. Cut all that stuff and you've easily got the money saved to do 100% of the GL-to-Transitway hookup. And nothing's stopping them from adding on all the do-dads they'd ever want to the Link later on when demand and resources merit.

So take those provisional tunnel wall cuts at the Herald portal, complete the flying junction (SS peeling off to the side, Washington portal up the middle) and build a shallow tunnel under the NEC down to the Harrison intersection. This is all the ex-Boston Herald freight siding space so there's plenty of room.

Build 3, Step 2: Build the N-S Link portal. This emerges at Washington 2 tracks in the open space where the NEC and Worcester Line split. So there's side-by-side room to have the shallow LRT tunnel, the top of the Link incline, and the surface NEC and Worcester tracks all converging in one space.

Build 3, Step 3: When the Link tunnel is far enough below ground somewhere around Harrison, veer the LRT tunnel on top of it. Build double-decker with common slurry walls for about 2/5 mile until the Link tunnel diverges to the Dot Ave. side of SS and the underground station. That gets it around the maze of Big Dig tunnels.

Build 3, Step 4: Cut-and-cover underneath the grassy plaza from the end of the 93 HOV ramp along the Atlantic Ave. side of SS. Shallow enough above ground to steer clear of the much deeper 93 tunnel. The only disturbed surface structure may be the bus terminal elevator shaft underpinnings, which may have to be closed and re-poured during construction.

Build 3, Step 5: Veer under thew Atlantic Ave./SS sidewalk at the end of the grassy plaza. Sharp right turn onto Summer and punch through the Transitway wall. Rails buried in the Transitway pavement, dual-mode overhead, turn trolleys back at SL Way.

Build 3, Step 6: Way back at Marginal & Tremont, dig a short connecting tunnel--again, shallow and sideways through the Pike retaining wall--connecting the BBY tunnel to the Washington/SS tunnel with a large underground wye. Now you can thru-route BBY-SS on a totally parallel subway. At-grade junctions OK since the traffic directions will be mixed enough to not overclog any one direction.


--------------------

Build 4, Step 1: Bury the E from Northeastern to Brigham Circle under the reservation. This is an easier dig because of the reservation.

Build 4, Step 2: Bury the E from Brigham to Brookline Village. Harder dig because of the narrower street, but not too long. Now you can thru-route the D or a Needham Branch to BBY & Boylston, BBY-SS-Waterfront, or Kenmore. And run full-blown downtown loop service Boylston-BBY-BV-Kenmore-Boylston-etc. and back. And have enough parallel capacity to the Central Subway to handle the Urban Ring on one unified system + 1 or 2 Southie street-running branches off the Transitway.




Yeah, that's rather grand so pick, choose, and space out your stages accordingly. But that's the full universe of what's possible out that tunnel and via the "easy-dig" urban renewal space on the NEC and Marginal sides of the Pike cut + pooling the $B portion of the build with the $B's tied to the Link megaproject. SL Phase 3 under Essex is way more limited and would cost as much or more than any 2 of the above options options done together.
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Old 09-06-2013, 05:36 PM   #45
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Dont' know if it's feasible, but it'd be cool if the DMU's could run to Auburndale (maybe Riverside) eventually. They should also add a stop in Southie somewhere.

Too bad you can't just steal a lane from I-90 EB and add tracks to it.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:38 PM   #46
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by cozzyd View Post
Dont' know if it's feasible, but it'd be cool if the DMU's could run to Auburndale (maybe Riverside) eventually. They should also add a stop in Southie somewhere.

Too bad you can't just steal a lane from I-90 EB and add tracks to it.
That is feasible soon if they short turn it at Riverside, and add a few passing tracks in a few places along the Newton/Brighton corridor.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:46 PM   #47
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Instead of a flyover, whats underneath the offending tracks?

Crazy idea: Sink the line around where it would cross the main lines, then come back up around either where the route curves north, or wait till you get to the Bass River.

Crazier idea: Elevated viaduct running over the Gillette building.

And where there's crazy ideas, there's a crazy map to explain them:
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...k.kKuio0eb9mPA
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:47 PM   #48
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

tl;dr. Joking but serious. F-Line and ExUrb etc., would love to hear ALL you have to say. I spent THE ENTIRE DAY reading/researching this idea. More later. Two things:

1) What has only been mentioned once or twice is that this proposal is apparently part of the Patrick transportation bill that was passed ... wait, not passed? ... by the Legislature two months ago. If it was passed, great; but, given that some of the funding for that package (or, whatever was passed instead by the Legislature) is now in question due to the imminent reversal of the computer services tax, is it likely there will be money to make this happen?;

2) I agree totally about making it go around the corner to the front of the BCEC, based on what I saw today on my journey. (Not, JOURNEY.) Either way, there will have to be an elevator/connection to the BCEC, so why not have it in front of the BCEC where you can connect it - at least by foot - with the Silver Line. In my dreams, I imagine a moving walkway from Summer Street to the Silver Line station at the WTC.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #49
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Play around with street view on Haul Road, there is no room for anything more then that single track after the curve. They would have to tear out and completely rebuild the brand new Summer St and WTC Ave bridges, as well as redo the grades on Haul Road and the railroad itself. It was designed for double stack cargo containers, not passenger trains.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #50
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
tl;dr. Joking but serious. F-Line and ExUrb etc., would love to hear ALL you have to say. I spent THE ENTIRE DAY reading/researching this idea. More later. Two things:

1) What has only been mentioned once or twice is that this proposal is apparently part of the Patrick transportation bill that was passed ... wait, not passed? ... by the Legislature two months ago. If it was passed, great; but, given that some of the funding for that package (or, whatever was passed instead by the Legislature) is now in question due to the imminent reversal of the computer services tax, is it likely there will be money to make this happen?
It was passed, but Speaker DeLeo and Senate Prez. Murray gutted the funding way below what Patrick asked for. He stared them down as long as he could, but you know how politics in this state work: the heads of each Legislative chamber have more de facto power than the Governor at cowing the membership into voting their line. So we have a bill that is physically unable to fund all of the projects it was supposed to fund. And the priority has not been ranked at all as to what must be cut to hit the essentials.

Hence, the #1 most ludicruous shiny thing in the original bill...Pittsfield-Danbury rail on the freight line that's had 3 derailments this year and which even Patrick's proposal likely underestimated by one-third in cost. That's probably the first to go by any logic, because there is no conceivable path forward that'll fund it. And yet...last month Patrick and a bunch of dignitaries raided the T's newest locomotive (which broke down on the way home) and some coaches for an overnight dignitaries visit to Great Frickin' Barrington and Caanan, CT. And now this. All these logistical question marks, plus...we have to buy all of our new Red and Orange Line vehicles through this greatly reduced spending bill. And now we're doing a dog-and-pony show about buying an all-new vehicle type when we haven't figured out how to divide a much smaller pie on the essentials???

I know we've discussed...fought...debated...fought...called names...fought about the merits of buying DMU's on the T now. But is anyone prepared to hit the purchase button on anything now if no one has answered the question about where those Red and Orange cars are going to come from before one of the old ones crumbles to aluminum dust with you in it? Because the commuter rail does have some brand new equipment bought and paid for, but our 2 busiest subway lines...the ones you're going to take from this would-be Seaport dinky...do not. I think we can agree while disagreeing that there are some structurally...premature...elements in this cunning plan such as that little rub that kind of need to be answered definitively before we hold another ribbon-cutting ceremony about shiny things.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:46 PM   #51
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by davem View Post
Play around with street view on Haul Road, there is no room for anything more then that single track after the curve. They would have to tear out and completely rebuild the brand new Summer St and WTC Ave bridges, as well as redo the grades on Haul Road and the railroad itself. It was designed for double stack cargo containers, not passenger trains.
I don't see why they couldn't just drop in a siding on the BCEC side, lay a concrete slab, put up a metal roof and call it a day.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:09 PM   #52
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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I don't see why they couldn't just drop in a siding on the BCEC side, lay a concrete slab, put up a metal roof and call it a day.
Aside from the shitty service it would provide...
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #53
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Help. Who does what when and how.

Back Bay, parallel from Mass Pike Extension.

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Old 09-06-2013, 08:47 PM   #54
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

FWIW...first MBCR employees have chimed in on RR.net about how this would fare ops-wise.

-- Routing tricky but doable. Probably will require a whole new signalized interlocking for revenue service because letting it make the run totally as yard limits (i.e. human controlled / honor system) is not real fail-safe and it's hitting the absolute toughest part of the yard. Technical stuff I don't understand shifted around and yada yada.

-- [GOOD news] Trip time around the loop not bad. Slow, but probably not too much standing still if it arrives consistently on-time from BBY or Southie.

-- [GOOD news] Turning at BBY not a huge problem IF and ONLY IF they use the Worcester platforms. There's usually not so much simultaneous traffic on Worcester (I'm guessing because the whole antiquated line inside 128 just doesn't allow for much packing) that both platforms have to be needed at once during the same slot. The high platforms on the NEC side...definitely verboten. Never ever ever will be allowed to use those, way too busy. Which means, raising the Worcester BBY platforms to full highs is an immediate project dependency.

-- [maybe good news] If a DMU turnaround time on-platform can be pretty brisk. But depends on what kind of DMU, and how many in a trainset. Possibilities vary widely. Today in push-pull can be done in about 8 minutes if they hustle, and they know how to hustle. But every turnaround has mandatory brake checks, system checks, signal checks, etc. It's not instantaneous on the Green Line either. Probably looking at 5+ mins. in any vehicle. Dispatch can manage it.

-- [BAD news] There is almost no way this service can run at rush hour. Too many revenue trains on all 3 mainlines. The schedule would have to cluster to late morning, late afternoon, evening, and off-peak with large gaps. No ideas how to avoid.

-- Amtrak. They are the money question. The Southampton space sharing is a legit BIG issue with them that gets bigger now. If they don't get a satisfactory answer on mitigation, that could be the end of it right here. And they never tolerate T moves that make them late or make them need to hurry up between the yard and SS platform to stay on-schedule. They retaliate vs. too much of that. Pretty much all the source of conflict between T and Amtrak is in those two areas with Southampton as ground zero, with Amtrak not giving an inch on accommodation. So...no amount of political pressure or wooing gets their buy-in until 1) they see traffic modeling that says they will never be late to the platform because of a DMU crossing their yard, and 2) new layover space is signed, sealed, funded, permitted, and delivered before any service is allowed to start. Or they will say no, and this project does not proceed.




Fatal flaw here is the schedule. If this thing has to be absent from running at 7-10am and 4-7pm because the mainlines are firing on-peak...that kills the whole market for it. Those are when conventions start and let out. Those are when the roads are most clogged with buses. I don't see how this works if they have to give up headways while the rest of the world is running at peak headways. Or not run at all during peak. It even loses a lot of luster never ever having possibility of increased service at-peak...and that's the theoretical but unproven "best-case" we can hope for.


And Amtrak. But we knew they'd be a problem. The concerning thing here is announcing it with fanfare today while not saying a peep about their future storage options are. Yeah, working on it...working on it. Well, commit to an aggressive 2-year rollout of this and you gotta be more than working on acquiring a site. Permits have to be getting applied for and collected right this second to make a 2-year window, because it's pretty clear Amtrak will give no consent to running this service until the T is OUT of Southampton. As of today's pomp and circumstance...no layover site. "We're workin' on it" means the clock doesn't start ticking on the paperwork that lets them put a single shovel in the ground until they have a signed deed for the new land. And logic would dictate that you probably shouldn't be telling the public the date with which that first Seaport DMU is going to start rolling until you have a title deed and construction schedule to take to Amtrak and say "Let's talk."


This is starting to look suspiciously like Tim Murray's surprise announcement of Worcester-over-Grand Junction before bothering to tell the City of Cambridge before he stepped in front of the mic. Eminently viable plan derailed by stakeholder heavies none-to-pleased that Beacon Hill did an end-run around them...leaving everyone with a sour taste when that instead should've been a first step in a long partnership. That's where this goes with Amtrak if the dog ate the layover yard homework and they're supposed to accept this on blind faith that it won't delay them.



But really...oof, that's just a brutal schedule if it has to take a siesta during rush. Lethal. How do you even spin that to bigwigs who have interest in hosting a convention here?
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:24 PM   #55
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
Instead of a flyover, whats underneath the offending tracks?

Crazy idea: Sink the line around where it would cross the main lines, then come back up around either where the route curves north, or wait till you get to the Bass River.

Crazier idea: Elevated viaduct running over the Gillette building.

And where there's crazy ideas, there's a crazy map to explain them:
https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ed...k.kKuio0eb9mPA
It is a ridiculously constrained area: http://goo.gl/maps/kkBwM.

1) Red Line tunnel runs directly under Dot Ave. Can't sink Track 61 there.

2) Red Line yard leads run directly over Track 61 at the junction. Can't raise it there.

3) Widett Circle passes under Southie Haul Road. Can't raise it there.


RR grades have to be <2.2%. New-construction overpasses above a state road have 16 ft. clearance above the pavement for truck clearances (and as this whole area is a truck route...). New-construction overpasses over a RR have to have 18 ft. clearance to clear a trailer-on-flatcar (which is what any Southie port freight would be), 22 ft. if it's going to be future-proofed for double-stack trailers. So, a 2% grade means it takes 50 ft. of running space to incline or decline 1 ft. elevation...a severe grade, BTW. 1% is usually the most that's reasonable for construction unless there's a mountain that has to be climbed or if a drawbridge is being replaced with a high fixed bridge...so, 16-18 ft vertical rise = 1600-1800 ft. horizontal running room on each side of the rise. More if there's tight curves, like a loop. Now, take a survey of all the other surrounding structures to see how pinned in you are from rising/falling at all.

East on Track 61: W. 5th, W. 4th, and W. Broadway overpasses. The South Bay ramps on 93. Buildings: huge Cabot Yard for Red Line + bus, the Amtrak building just south of Haul Rd., the MBCR maint building where the loop pinches, the Food Market and cold storage buildings in the middle of the loop, and the Boston DPW headquarters at the top of the loop on W. 4th. Water: Ft. Point Channel is covered over between the end of it at W. 4th and the Mass Ave. Connector before it fizzes out underground...the DPW building, west half of the Widett loop and South Bay interchange are all on top of it.


"Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. . ."
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:56 PM   #56
DominusNovus
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

What are the grades on the subway lines, for comparison?
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #57
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by DominusNovus View Post
What are the grades on the subway lines, for comparison?
Much steeper. Trolleys climb hills better than buses do, so look at Comm Ave. up the hill, Beacon around Coolidge Corner, or any of the portals (including brand-new Science Park...that is hella steep). Orange has that sudden mid-tunnel descent between DTX and State where it dips under the Blue level. Red makes that outbound rise into Harvard where the platforms are at different levels...you can feel some G forces there those last few moments of full-speed before it hits the brakes. I don't know what the official figures are, but if it's on a subway line and you can feel yourself lifting up as you go through a portal or through one of those quirky underground changes it is well steeper than the max possible steepness you can do on a RR. The tallest grade on MBCR is the Mystic River Bridge on the Eastern Route. That's slightly below 2%, and is almost negligible compared to some of the stuff right downtown on each subway line.


If you want an official comparison, 6% is the steepest allowable on an Interstate highway. So you would not be able to snake an HSR line onto the Pike in the Berkshires to bypass the slow Boston & Albany because that easily goes as high as 5% with long stretches not dipping below 3% But this more commonly rears its head around urban/suburban grade separation instead of high elevations. If you don't have a good 2800-3200 ft. of running space to play with you're not snaking above or below much of anything. Much less above and below many things.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #58
Nexis4jersey
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
Much steeper. Trolleys climb hills better than buses do, so look at Comm Ave. up the hill, Beacon around Coolidge Corner, or any of the portals (including brand-new Science Park...that is hella steep). Orange has that sudden mid-tunnel descent between DTX and State where it dips under the Blue level. Red makes that outbound rise into Harvard where the platforms are at different levels...you can feel some G forces there those last few moments of full-speed before it hits the brakes. I don't know what the official figures are, but if it's on a subway line and you can feel yourself lifting up as you go through a portal or through one of those quirky underground changes it is well steeper than the max possible steepness you can do on a RR. The tallest grade on MBCR is the Mystic River Bridge on the Eastern Route. That's slightly below 2%, and is almost negligible compared to some of the stuff right downtown on each subway line.


If you want an official comparison, 6% is the steepest allowable on an Interstate highway. So you would not be able to snake an HSR line onto the Pike in the Berkshires to bypass the slow Boston & Albany because that easily goes as high as 5% with long stretches not dipping below 3% But this more commonly rears its head around urban/suburban grade separation instead of high elevations. If you don't have a good 2800-3200 ft. of running space to play with you're not snaking above or below much of anything. Much less above and below many things.
There are some German High Speed Lines that are 6-10% , so its possible.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #59
Sicilian
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

Maybe asked and answered, but...

Why aren't there big honking signs at South Station and BCEC promoting a one-stop ride to Back Bay on the Commuter Rail, that those in-the-know take every day? Secondly, is the Commuter Rail compatible (or planned to be) with Charlie Card to make this even easier? Conventioneers could be handed a Charlie Card for this trip.

PS. Props to F-Line et al. for your posts here... appreciated.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #60
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Re: Track 61 (Seaport - Back Bay DMU)

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Originally Posted by Sicilian View Post
Secondly, is the Commuter Rail compatible (or planned to be) with Charlie Card to make this even easier? Conventioneers could be handed a Charlie Card for this trip.
T management has all but abandoned plans to bring Charlie to the commuter rail.

It's kind of astounding than in the year 2013 commuter rail conductors are still tasked with collecting fares.
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