Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter Rail

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby dowlingm » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:53 am

Ridgefielder wrote:They appear to have fixed the website- it now references the Connecticut countryside instead of the Connecticut River Valley.
They didn't catch "Wooonsocket" in the route diagram yet, it seems.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby lakest101 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:04 pm

Okay did anyone else ride but me?

The wife and I bought ticket's early at $50 each but then I got an email from MBRRE with a discounted trip price of $40 for members. She called up and left a voicemail and got a call back within 15 minutes from a Pascal Gangi who refunded the $100 and charges us $80. Speaks well for future customer service.

We got to Worcester Union Staion at 8:15 and were checked in right away and given red wristbands which I later found out determined whether we got to sit in the lounge cars initially and whether we had open bar. Apparently this was a company outing of sorts and if you had a yellow wristband you got complimentary lunch or even a coveted GREEN wristband which got you open bar. Neither here nor there since I don't drink but for $3.50 the sausage sandwich was a bargain and the wife says the pasta was better than what we get a Via's on Shrewsbury St.

We have taken the MBRRE Fall Circle tour before and it this went a little quicker with no stops for photo ops and on a reverse route than the Circle which normally heads out SOUTH down the Northeast Corridor and returns via Putnam.

I didn't get to chat with Vincent Bono myself but I spent a good fifteen minutes with one of their board members an "Arthur Smith" who is president of a DC defense contractor while waiting in line at the cafe. Googled: http://www.mainet.com/about/president.html

He seemed like a pretty astute guy, very friendly and while he was pretty careful of his phraseology he did drop that they were absolutely looking to start in 2017 and that it's not secret that they are looking to start from Woonsocket southbound sooner than later for a few reasons. I got the impression that this was actually one of the major reasons for their board meeting - the trip was a sideline. Reasons I can remember:

1. There is a need for a 2 mile long passing siding to make the Worcester southbound piece play nicely with morning freight windows and that they are trying to work the location and construction such that there will not need to be an environmental impact study done - and this is delaying things.

2. The PWRR is comfortable handling all the construction needed south of Woonsocket in house which will remove a lot of Union and bidding headaches. Also almost 2/3 of their projected capital expenditure were north of Woonsocket

3. Since the State of Massachusetts has been more or less neutral to the project and the State of Rhode Island anything *but* neutral it makes sense to focus where the interest is - I'm not sure why this matters so much personally but I ran into a state rep Robert Phillips from Rhode Island also on the train with his wife who said that all level of RI Government were supportive of this

4. He said there is a focus on generating revenue sooner than later because of the mix of investment and loan money they have lined up.

He begged off questions about rolling stock and PTC - I take it he's not a railroader.

About halfway through the day I was taking pictures of the Sub Base at Groton from one of the vestibules while two PWRR guys were standing nearby - one apparently their safety officer. They were totally unwilling to comment at first but finally the safety guy says that the PWRR has put an awful lot of effort into this so far and they don't waste money on things that don't happen.

Ok that's it so we rolled back into Worcester at close to 5:40 and that was it. I'm clearly not real investigative reporter material but it was a good afternoon at a pretty discount price if nothing else.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:14 am

Providence seems like it has more going on than Worcester. Although Worcester has decent number of college students.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:14 am

Based on the lack of media coverage after the BS RR's charter trip this past weekend, I'm guessing the press were not in attendance on the train? The only article I can find via Google search this Tuesday AM is in the Woonsocket Call which was actually published on July 27, three days before the July 30th trip.

http://www.woonsocketcall.com/news/commuter-rail-will-start-with-woonsocket/article_0d751496-55cc-11e6-842e-7345b9926c1c.html

But Trains Magazine Newswire has quite a bit more detailed info in yesterday's on-line TM (I can't tell if TM reporter, Scott Hartley, was actually on the train): http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2016/08/01-ne-passenger
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby lakest101 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:45 am

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby cloudship » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:22 am

I wonder how this merger between the P&W and the Genesee and Wyoming will affect the project?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/providenc ... 00646.html
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby Jeff Smith » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:39 am

Just as a heads up, the acquisition/sale of P&W is discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=179&t=163237

Thanks,

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby dbperry » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:48 am

A senior MBTA official confirmed with me last night that BSRY has been pursuing leasing MBTA rolling stock but the MBTA has turned them down due to capacity issues. Full report here:

viewtopic.php?f=65&t=84242&p=1397641#p1397641
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby dowlingm » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:05 am

with the Talgos going to California, it looks like every nook and cranny is being scraped for viable equipment. TRE's RDCs could be a possibility in a similar way to how Denton leased them pending the arrival of their own equipment. Hey if all else fails maybe the Turb#%*¥€!_NOCARRIER
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:25 pm

So the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm cars that have been removed are going to be re-animated and return to service on the T commuter rail?
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby CRail » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:06 am

No. It seems MassDOT has other ideas for them.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby Cosmo » Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:10 am

Care to elaborate, speculate, elucidate?
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:29 am

The STB has decided in agreement with BSRC's filing that it can be implemented and regulated as if it were an operation like American Orient Express (ironically a defunct operation for the past 8 years!).

https://www.stb.gov/decisions/readingroom.nsf/9855c1fb354da09b85257f1f000b5f79/5093d909e1b298488525802e006bd66f?OpenDocument

Question: Regarding BSRC's access to Providence station, the decision text says:

BSRC further states that the route would begin in Worcester (MP 43.38 from Providence), make a single stop in Woonsocket (MP 16.1), and continue to Providence via the “Boston Switch” (MP 4.9), where it would enter a non-corridor track (known as AMTRAK – Track 7) for the remaining 4.9 miles to Providence Station (PVD – MP 0.0). (Id. at 2.)[4]


Footnote [4] says:

BSRC states that AMTRAK – Track 7 is not a “corridor track” and that this proposed service would not interfere with Northeast Corridor traffic.


When I look at Google Maps aerial view of the trackage just east of Providence station, I don't see how a train on the P&W track (is this called "track 7"?) can gain access to either of the 2 island platforms without accessing a NEC track. MBTA trains that I believe turn/dwell on the tracks that access the island platform not used by Amtrak are only accessed by turnout off the NEC mainline. I must be missing something...
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:45 am

When I look at Google Maps aerial view of the trackage just east of Providence station, I don't see how a train on the P&W track (is this called "track 7"?) can gain access to either of the 2 island platforms without accessing a NEC track. MBTA trains that I believe turn/dwell on the tracks that access the island platform not used by Amtrak are only accessed by turnout off the NEC mainline. I must be missing something...


This is one of the unanswered questions we've been pondering since this was first announced - they need to either build a switch connecting the freight track to the NEC and negotiate with Amtrak for track and station access, or they need to build their own station platform somewhere. And they've yet to say anything about how they're going to fund this, where it's going to be, or when it's going to get built.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby dowlingm » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:31 pm

If this outfit could get hold of Bombardier bilevels to go with the F59s then presumably the platform issues become a bit easier. One thought I had was that if it was going to cost a lot to put the service into PVD initially, there are some large commercial/employment parking lots which back onto the track. Though none are ideal as a host to platforms, it does seem doable at least. If commuters to nearby operations like the USPS were successfully targeted then at least some parking in adjoining lands could be developed, which would produce an uptick in property tax revenues to Providence.
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