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Old 10-22-2013, 06:20 AM   #1
bostoneophyte
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New Red and Orange Line Cars

The day has come! Red and Orange lines to get new cars: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/201...qIJ/story.html

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Governor Deval Patrick will make good on his promise to use new state transportation funding to buy cars for the MBTA’s Red and Orange lines.
...
Patrick is expected to announce the launch of a $1.3 billion procurement for the new cars at a Tuesday morning meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
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The procurement process will identify replacements for the 74 Red Line cars built in 1969, which make up about one-third of the T’s Red Line stock, as well as all 120 of the cars on the Orange Line, which were built in 1981.
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Because the money for the cars is coming from state, not federal coffers, Davey said, the Department of Transportation will require that the cars be assembled in Massachusetts, — a stipulation that will bring more jobs to the region.
...
Though the cars will not appear on the line for several years, state officials will soon begin the process of soliciting input on the design of the cars’ interiors.
...
“We want to make sure we do it right,” Davey said.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

New Orange Line cars are way overdue. Now, if they are really forward thinking they'll consider articulated subway cars like what are already in use in Toronto, Munich and Berlin, among other places. These would be a huge improvement on the Orange Line.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

I just wish there was a way to just reorder a bunch of the Seimens Blue Line cars with orange and red dimensions today and skip the lengthy, expensive, and frought-with-peril procurement. We know that the Blue line cars are pretty good and we also know that opening it up provides opportunity for overt stupidity - see Rotem Commuter Rail Car procurement.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

Have we seen the plans for straightening the pike? I use the Cambridge/Allston exit all the time...
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

As long as they buy from a reputable vendor and the base model is derived off of something else in reliable use on another subway system, HRT orders are pretty hard to screw up. Where the T always, always get themselves into trouble with "generic" orders is by tapping an unproven manufacturer and/or throwing subcontractors at it to fuss around with custom designs on things that don't need to be custom-designed. The Rotem coaches have both mistakes: they took a generic coach design that's been around for 35 years (the Bombardier BiLevel, of which their Kawasaki bi's are carbon copies of), got somebody who'd never built something like that before whose shoddy craftsmanship is showing, and went OCD to an extreme doing new types of custom/proprietary computer controls in the cab cars that don't work right. The GP40MC locomotives were another example of screwing up the un-screwupable: taking bulletproof, universally deployed locos secondhand and then rigging them up with wacky computer controls that still have a mind of their own 15 years and 1 rebuild later.

If they don't pull that shit on this order, we shouldn't have much to worry about. The Siemens Blue cars were actually a bit of a similar risk, using an inexperienced HRT vendor and doing some unorthodox things with (yep) mainly the software. The difference was Siemens is supremely well-experienced building everything else, especially LRV's, so HRT cars weren't too big a reach and they pounced out the problems. As long as the new cars are based on the 0700 design with few modifications other than OL and RL dimensions (the carbody size/shape being the least expensive part of the car and affecting none of the guts or systems), we know what we're getting. But even if somebody else wins the bid, the difference between more Siemens cars and a proven make by somebody else is so small that it'll work equally well.

Just have a look at what the best modern cars are on other legacy HRT systems. NYC Subway, PATH, Chicago L, and several others worldwide that more or less use the same type of cars as NYC. The Orange and old Blue cars from Hawker-Siddeley were based straight off the recently retired PATH PA3's. The Red Line 01500/01600/01700's are about as generic as can be and share a lot of similarities with NYC's famous Redbird cars. Basically anything by Bombardier or Kawasaki adapted from a recently or ongoing order somewhere else should be more than fine. The ongoing NYC R179 order or Chicago 5000 series from Bombardier would do fine here (in pairs instead of the quad- or quint-car sets the MTA is ordering). The Bombardier factories are actively pumping out about 800 units total for those two agencies, so a *lightly* adapted version of those cars would probably fetch the T a very nice unit cost on scale. Kawasaki R160 (NYC) updates would also be pretty nice, especially since they use very similar Siemens traction motors as the Blue Line 0700's. Those NYC cars are the ones with the neat electronic onboard system maps; would be hugely valuable here to tie into the new live train tracking system to potentially estimate arrival times at key stations for onboard passengers.

Lots of good options out there since so many metro systems have been replacing ancient HRT cars over the last 8-12 years and the big boys have been pumping them out almost nonstop and gotten good at stamping out bugs. If the T's falling into the same trap as before, we'll (un)fortunately know pretty early on in the process.



BTW...articulated cars are not a good idea here until somebody else with a legacy system proves they work bulletproof. NYC is strongly considering those for its 700+ car R211 order that'll go out to bid in a couple years. But I want to see how the articulation joints hold up to wear and tear on some of their tightest B-division curves before throwing similar vehicles at Harvard curve. I'm sure it can be done, but let somebody else be that trailblazer. Those are maybe an option for when the 01700's are retired in about 10 years and CBTC re-signaling may be on the table for substantially tighter headways.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
BTW...articulated cars are not a good idea here until somebody else with a legacy system proves they work bulletproof. NYC is strongly considering those for its 700+ car R211 order that'll go out to bid in a couple years. But I want to see how the articulation joints hold up to wear and tear on some of their tightest B-division curves before throwing similar vehicles at Harvard curve. I'm sure it can be done, but let somebody else be that trailblazer. Those are maybe an option for when the 01700's are retired in about 10 years and CBTC re-signaling may be on the table for substantially tighter headways.
Berlin's U-Bahn isn't proof enough? The U8 turns 90 degrees to hit Moritzplatz from Kottbusser Tor. Adtranz's Type H worked so well for the Großprofil trains (wider body - U5-6-7-8-9), that they were even able to adapt a Kleinprofil model of Type H to fit on the historic U1-2-3-4 lines with ridiculously small widths, though the Kleinprofil trains are only articulated 2 cars each.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Berlin's U-Bahn isn't proof enough? The U8 turns 90 degrees to hit Moritzplatz from Kottbusser Tor. Adtranz's Type H worked so well for the Großprofil trains (wider body - U5-6-7-8-9), that they were even able to adapt a Kleinprofil model of Type H to fit on the historic U1-2-3-4 lines with ridiculously small widths, though the Kleinprofil trains are only articulated 2 cars each.
Oh, I know it can be done. But I want to see a dysfunctional U.S. transit agency like the MTA successfully pull it off first before the T potentially bites off more than it can chew. This country is nowhere near Germany's league at transit efficiency and nailing their procurements correctly. We may use nearly the same generic cars, but purchases are still a sausage factory of dense bureaucratic compromises with all the extra chefs stirring the pot. Let the MTA, which is hardly a model of efficiency itself, show it can manage the chaos of an artics order successfully first. They have the scale of a 750-car order hanging like a sword over their heads if they go articulated, so they have a lot more pressure to get it fucking right the first time than the T does with its far smaller procurement. The micromanaging and customization potential is way too great and way too fraught with peril. With the T's customization track record we might end up single-handedly ruining it for everyone else considering artics.

And let's face it, NYC needs it a whole lot more badly with their passenger loads than the Red Line does. We need headways, headways, headways. Not more people per train that the overstuffed Park St. platforms can't possibly swallow. I'd rather buy more cars at a good unit price now and accelerate studies and prelim design for an eventual CBTC rollout than buy the world's most expensive per-unit cars and have that bogart funding sources for other improvements that get more to the core of the problem.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by F-Line to Dudley View Post
The ongoing NYC R179 order or Chicago 5000 series from Bombardier would do fine here (in pairs instead of the quad- or quint-car sets the MTA is ordering). The Bombardier factories are actively pumping out about 800 units total for those two agencies, so a *lightly* adapted version of those cars would probably fetch the T a very nice unit cost on scale. K.
The NYC R160 (of which the now on order R179s are a slight update) is a 60-foot long, 10-foot wide car that weighs 85,000 pounds empty. The MBTA's spec calls for a 65 foot by 9 foot Orange Line car to weigh no more than 75,000 pounds empty while the Red Line car will by 69 feet by 10 feet and weigh no more than 83,000 pounds. Those are the heaviest weights allowed by the MBTAs infrastructure. NYC, as is their tradition, still uses heavy outboard bearing trucks on their subway cars. Just about every other system other than NYC (including Boston) uses lighter weight inboard bearing trucks. If Kawasaki or Bombardier bid a slightly modified version of their NYC cars on the Boston order, it would get tossed for coming nowhere near meeting the spec (neither would do that though, they know how to read bid documents)

CTA in Chicago uses little 48-foot long cars with all-electric braking systems. Every other North American systems uses air or hydraulic brakes. CTA has bought nothing but all-electric brake cars for 60 years, but its unique to them, and results in a basic car design that isn't used anywhere else.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:13 PM   #9
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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The NYC R160 (of which the now on order R179s are a slight update) is a 60-foot long, 10-foot wide car that weighs 85,000 pounds empty. The MBTA's spec calls for a 65 foot by 9 foot Orange Line car to weigh no more than 75,000 pounds empty while the Red Line car will by 69 feet by 10 feet and weigh no more than 83,000 pounds. Those are the heaviest weights allowed by the MBTAs infrastructure. NYC, as is their tradition, still uses heavy outboard bearing trucks on their subway cars. Just about every other system other than NYC (including Boston) uses lighter weight inboard bearing trucks. If Kawasaki or Bombardier bid a slightly modified version of their NYC cars on the Boston order, it would get tossed for coming nowhere near meeting the spec (neither would do that though, they know how to read bid documents)

CTA in Chicago uses little 48-foot long cars with all-electric braking systems. Every other North American systems uses air or hydraulic brakes. CTA has bought nothing but all-electric brake cars for 60 years, but its unique to them, and results in a basic car design that isn't used anywhere else.

OK. You have a lot of intimate knowledge of this and can clearly contribute a lot to the froum's knowledgebase on these matters.

So why don't you try contributing that stuff proactively for a change instead of only showing up on these forums to pick nits with one of my posts. You've made 55 career posts on AB. About two thirds of them are playing "gotcha" games with one single poster. Do you think this game of...whatever it is...isn't transparent enough by now?
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:23 PM   #10
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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OK. You have a lot of intimate knowledge of this and can clearly contribute a lot to the froum's knowledgebase on these matters.

So why don't you try contributing that stuff proactively for a change instead of only showing up on these forums to pick nits with one of my posts. You've made 55 career posts on AB. About two thirds of them are playing "gotcha" games with one single poster. Do you think this game of...whatever it is...isn't transparent enough by now?
Do you not see the trend in front of your own eyes? You are the most prolific and knowledgable transit poster on this board. Winston happens to be the second in line in terms of actually being able to have a conversation with substance about this topic. Most of us on here don't understand half of what you and him are posting about. (I will say that the two of you do a decent job at really explaining what you're talking about) You are essentially the only other person that Winston can actually have a conversation about this with. I don't think he's playing gotcha games at all. He's genuinely trying to add to the conversation.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Do you not see the trend in front of your own eyes? You are the most prolific and knowledgable transit poster on this board. Winston happens to be the second in line in terms of actually being able to have a conversation with substance about this topic. Most of us on here don't understand half of what you and him are posting about. (I will say that the two of you do a decent job at really explaining what you're talking about) You are essentially the only other person that Winston can actually have a conversation about this with. I don't think he's playing gotcha games at all. He's genuinely trying to add to the conversation.
This has been my take-away from their conversations, for what its worth.

Though I am convinced that the whole "assembled in MA" thing is utterly pointless at best, and a waste of time and resources most likely.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Do you not see the trend in front of your own eyes? You are the most prolific and knowledgable transit poster on this board. Winston happens to be the second in line in terms of actually being able to have a conversation with substance about this topic. Most of us on here don't understand half of what you and him are posting about. (I will say that the two of you do a decent job at really explaining what you're talking about) You are essentially the only other person that Winston can actually have a conversation about this with. I don't think he's playing gotcha games at all. He's genuinely trying to add to the conversation.
I started coming to this board to read about development projects. I don't pretend to be an expert on land use and development, but I am interested in reading about it. I do happen to know something about rail and bus operations, so when I see an opportunity to provide information on the topic to others than might be interested in reading about it, I pass along accurate information as best I can. I try to pass along links to original source data if I can, or at least give people enough information so they can do more research on their own if they want.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #13
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Though I am convinced that the whole "assembled in MA" thing is utterly pointless at best, and a waste of time and resources most likely.
While in the end it might be a positive, there is a possibility that some qualified builders might not think its worth the cost and effort to set up a facility in Mass, and might choose not to bid. All of the established builders already have U.S. assembly facilities to meet the "Buy America" requirement for U.S. orders. Bombardier, Kawasaki, Alstom, and CAF all have facilities in New York state, Kawasaki also builds shells in Lincoln Nebraska. Nippon-Sharyo just built a facility in Illinois. Siemens has a facility in California, and Kinki-Sharyo is building a new facility in California.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Do you not see the trend in front of your own eyes? You are the most prolific and knowledgable transit poster on this board. Winston happens to be the second in line in terms of actually being able to have a conversation with substance about this topic. Most of us on here don't understand half of what you and him are posting about. (I will say that the two of you do a decent job at really explaining what you're talking about) You are essentially the only other person that Winston can actually have a conversation about this with. I don't think he's playing gotcha games at all. He's genuinely trying to add to the conversation.
Let me clarify...

I WANT all second sources out there. Because I'm not a railroader, not an expert, do not have inside sources, and have not spent time in the Transportation Library. I do what I can with th' Google to voraciously comb for information, and try to keep it sorted in memory. Years and years of it piling up in brain is all I'm going on here...and yes, that's years and years of being corrected where I'm wrong. There is absolutely no warranty on accuracy for that. There's fine print not available to the public, studies to be done on everything, experts who have to do what they're paid to do.

That said, this an urban planning forum about improving our urban experience...we are all spitballing potential solutions. That does not mean we have the engineering schematics laid out in front of us for why every building needs to be built like it does, or every piece of constrained transit infrastructure has to be just so. We talk about it anyway...learn something...adjust...talk some more. Nobody should take an AB post or poster as gospel as long as second sources exist.


Now...some of the more heated exchanges of late over, particularly, the Seaport DMU plan, seemed to be a lot more a reactive dragging the threads off-topic with some sort of mutual footnote-ing tit-for-tat contest. Which I was guilty of getting drawn into too. But I can't not notice after that episode that a poster in possession of valuable info you probably can't find unless you know exactly where to look in the Transportation Library...only seems to show up in threads in joyless fact-checking reply to the same internet asshole (*cough*) he was fighting with weeks prior.

Make sense? I would love it if winston would just share this stuff...because it's GREAT stuff...out in the open. I don't want those exchanges to get all constipated with reactiveness. But understand all I've got to go on here is...tense...posting history, and being wary of that tenseness sending another thread off the rails (especially in light of the, err...issues...the main board is having with that lately). Maybe I am totally misreading his personality, but that is all I have to go on.


By all means...please, keep the information coming. And understand that, yes, I am insane and probably come on a little too strong. I bang out these posts way fast...all that verboseness pretty much is an insta-snapshot. Bang-bang, brain to keyboard...that's why it reads intense. Don't be offended by that or feel that anyone is jockeying for "expert" alpha-dog here. And furthermore, if it's getting too technical to follow...say so. I don't understand half the ultra-arcane jargon that gets thrown around on RR.net, but the difference between that place and here is that here you can say so here and the burden is on a poster like myself to bottom-line it better...there you just get told "STFU, newbie foamer!" by a bunch of surly railroaders. These are brainstorming sessions and trying to expand the knowledgebase. Don't anyone get the mis-impression that this needs to be reactive. I want the info spigot flowing freely. In a torrent if it needs to.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #15
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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This has been my take-away from their conversations, for what its worth.

Though I am convinced that the whole "assembled in MA" thing is utterly pointless at best, and a waste of time and resources most likely.
That's a Patrick "spread the wealth" thing -- I'll bet when the RFP is finally written it will require assembly in the Taunton, New Bedford, Fall River Triangle
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:13 AM   #16
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Originally Posted by winstonoboogie View Post
While in the end it might be a positive, there is a possibility that some qualified builders might not think its worth the cost and effort to set up a facility in Mass, and might choose not to bid. All of the established builders already have U.S. assembly facilities to meet the "Buy America" requirement for U.S. orders. Bombardier, Kawasaki, Alstom, and CAF all have facilities in New York state, Kawasaki also builds shells in Lincoln Nebraska. Nippon-Sharyo just built a facility in Illinois. Siemens has a facility in California, and Kinki-Sharyo is building a new facility in California.
Will it actually be a net positive? Would the company hire local employees or just bring some of their current staff over for this project? Are they going to build/substantially rehab their own facility that will be vacant when the order is over or is there an existing facility that gets used for these types of short term transit assembly?
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #17
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

Where would they put such a facility, anyway? Not eastern Mass. for sure. You would need a lot of space. Pittsfield? That would be pretty close for those that have NY plants.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:23 AM   #18
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

Since this is a final-assembly deal just like the other buy-local contracts, they can pretty much buy up a plot of land wherever. If they're shipping the cars in by rail then the'll want somewhere usable for that, but if they're trucking them in they can just buy a random plot like AnsaldoBreda did in Littleton.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:31 AM   #19
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

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Since this is a final-assembly deal just like the other buy-local contracts, they can pretty much buy up a plot of land wherever. If they're shipping the cars in by rail then the'll want somewhere usable for that, but if they're trucking them in they can just buy a random plot like AnsaldoBreda did in Littleton.
Edge ---again because there is no "Go on the South Coast rail" -- I'll bet that the Patrick Admin requirement is to build the facility somewhere in the Triangle of Taunton, New Bedford, Fall River

This would allow Patrick a face saving to that area as well as be affordable due to the much less frenetic real estate sales in that area

The model is the push the Patrick Admin applied to Cape Wind to force them to build a foundation installation work pier in New Bedford for the Wind Turbines when a perfectly well suited facility was already available in Rhode Island
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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Re: New Red and Orange Line Cars

The Mass Pike straightening plans are on Boston.com here:
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/...mass_pike.html

I'm actually quite impressed. They've managed to simplify that whole mess of ramps quite well, and actually have them intersecting surface streets at right angles, like an actual street grid!
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