Beacon Park Tracker

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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby BandA » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:11 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...The T is guaranteed a passenger storage yard easement next to the mainline after the Mass Pike straightening project is built. However, it won't be a preservation of any current yard tracks because the big highway project will temporarily obliterate any remaining non-mainline tracks @ BP for necessary staging space. Any rail for that passenger yard-to-be would will ultimately be laid fresh on reshaped clean space.
With no time frame for Harvahhhd's redevelopment, West Station, and the $Pike interchange, and with South Station and yards "over capacity" it would be nice if they could use some existing track for an interim midday layover facility.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:31 am

Just wondering: would a third track between CP 3 and Cove be advisable for moves to/from the yard? Perhaps it's in the plan somewhere?
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:31 am

BandA wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:...The T is guaranteed a passenger storage yard easement next to the mainline after the Mass Pike straightening project is built. However, it won't be a preservation of any current yard tracks because the big highway project will temporarily obliterate any remaining non-mainline tracks @ BP for necessary staging space. Any rail for that passenger yard-to-be would will ultimately be laid fresh on reshaped clean space.
With no time frame for Harvahhhd's redevelopment, West Station, and the $Pike interchange, and with South Station and yards "over capacity" it would be nice if they could use some existing track for an interim midday layover facility.


CSX gets the main yard's rail hardware in the deal, since a bunch of the switches and good-condition rail are reusable elsewhere and the rest has scrap value. They paid for every stick in that yard, so it's only fair to let them harvest their own hardware.

Nothing here is configured for midday layovers because there's no electricity for plugging in locomotives. In fact, a lot of the electrical poles in the yards have been cut and dismantled so there's probably no electricity to be had anywhere on-site. The engine yard, since MassDOT's in no hurry to dismantle with the Houghton relocation negotiations stalled, could have some use to them for work equipment storage and staging area for track panels and whatnot. There's not much site security there so I doubt they'd risk stored revenue equipment getting tagged, but it's perfectly adequate for staging work jobs and storing derelict junk they can't find places for up north. The Pike relocation is still in prelim design and bogged down in community input, so the formerly aggressive schedule MassHighway was pushing for that for 2020 is probably going to be relaxed by a few years (which seems reasonable now that the 2024 Olympic bid is kaput).
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby dbperry » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:58 am

Rockingham Racer wrote:Just wondering: would a third track between CP 3 and Cove be advisable for moves to/from the yard? Perhaps it's in the plan somewhere?


Great idea but the real estate cannot accommodate a third track in that area. Constraints (east to west):

- Only room for two tracks between MassPike & Orange Line;
- Back Bay station & tunnels can only accommodate 2 tracks;
- Only room for two tracks between Cambria Street & MassPike:
- Only room for two tracks between Ipswich Street & MassPike;
- Only room for two tracks between Jillian's building (and all buildings on Lansdowne Street) & MassPike;
- Yawkey station occupies all available real estate with station infrastructure & two tracks;
- Only room for two tracks between Mountfort Street & MassPike;
- Bridge abutments for St. Mary's Street, Carlton Street, and then Comm Ave all restrict the available width to 2 tracks.

So you can't even squeeze in a passing siding anywhere on that stretch.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:05 am

Okay on all that. Wasn't it four tracks though, back when?
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:19 am

Before the Pike ate it all, yes. The only quad preserved post-'65 were the yard leads between CP3 and CP4.


If a layover yard gets sited there the best way to protect traffic fluidity for regular locals, hyper-locals (i.e. Indigo Line-Riverside), semi-expresses, and Amtrak + Worcester super-expresses against all that deadhead traffic is bookending Yawkey with crossovers and West Station with a side passer that forks into a 4th-iron yard lead. TBD based on the still-undecided final configuration of the Pike realignment, but that should probably be adequate for staying out of the way between Cove and CP3.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:47 pm

Seems like "progress" has put a big squeeze for rail growth in Boston. Would it be a good idea for the T to make use of some part of the old yard, or at least have some land available to them to be able to use in the future?
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:15 pm

They have a permanent easement granted to them in the CSX relocation/Pike realignment deal for a layover yard as they see fit. See p.17 of this recent MassDOT presentation: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... ansion.pdf. The easement border is obscured by all the other lines on the render, but basically they have everything south of the theoretical maint buildings to themselves and would only need additional property acquisition if they decide to build those support facilities above-and-beyond the storage tracks.

They would much prefer to use Widett Circle (p.19) with the Boston Food Market and cold storage warehouse relocated to Marine Terminal (which would be a superior location for them), but that requires cooperation from Massport, City Hall, and the ever-flaky Boston Redevelopment Authority to pull off. That would be the dream site, but it can only happen by herding cats with those other institutions. Beacon Park is the fail-safe option they have certain chances of using without institutional interference from others, but if they are able to score Widett they can opt not to use the BP easement, use it for something else like work storage, or just bank the empty land for future considerations.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:59 am

Colorful grappling machines (purple, blue, etc) were pulling stuff with gusto at 8:30AM Wed. On return I think I spied from Storrow Drive piles of ties in the dying twilight under the Pike overpass.

In order for Worcester line trains to reach proposed Widdet Circle yard they will have to foul the South Station crossovers? If they store Worcester-Framingham-Riverside sets at Beacon Park there is no interline interference, uncapping Worcester line capacity. Which leads me to the question, how did the NYC store & service their passenger equipment between 1962 and 1968 (roughly opening of the $Pike extension until the Penn Central merger).

Besides being yard leads, Ryerson Steel was where Dutch-owned Stop & Shop is now.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:45 am

No, Widett wouldn't foul anything because any storage yard is considered a Phase II to the big South Station expansion project. The MassDOT PDF I linked to earlier doesn't show the whole nitty-gritty of the track schematic, but Cove and Tower 1 interlockings are both getting huge makeovers with the station expansion to eliminate most conflicting movements. It won't be as completely symmetrical a layout like the South Station of 60 years ago, but it'll tremendously more fluid and prevent cross-cutting movements from the Cove direction from blocking other directions. Widett and Southampton will be very easy to get to. While Worcester-specific trainsets don't foul anything today, the issue that makes BP somewhat less palatable a choice than Widett is everybody else who has to store trains there: Providence, Needham, Franklin, Old Colony...everyone except Fairmount and Stoughton. For that it's always going to be better to travel 3000 ft. and have a pick-'em of crossovers for avoiding conflicting movements vs. having to go 3 miles on a 2-track mainline and dance around conflicting movements. Either site meets the basic goals, but one is a whole lot juicier than the other on raw upside.
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby boatsmate » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:05 pm

A check on Beacon Park last night, the Gon cars have been loaded with used ties, and the track has been removed right almost right up to the cars. the rest of the yard has had all the rail and ties removed. there are neatly piled piles of Rail and a large pile of Joint plates in the area of the old shed. it looked like they might be just about done just final clean up
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:26 pm

I haven't been by in awhile. Have all the remaining sheds in the center been leveled yet?
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby boatsmate » Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:47 pm

yes all the buildings have been razed
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby boatsmate » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:27 am

A check on Beacon Park on Monday, all the gon's that were along the Pike are gone as is all the track, ties etc. the pile of ties are gone and so is the pile of tie plates. all that appears to be left is stacked jointed rail. and a couple of machines
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Re: Beacon Park Tracker

Postby dbperry » Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:54 am

The 2nd mainline track is now complete from CP 3 to near Boston Landing station. It won't be tied in until the Boston Landing tracks are put into service. Maybe late this year, probably 1Q17. Boston Landing station stops don't get added to CR schedule until May 2017.

The seven tracks closest to the mainline have been 'saved' for the MBTA and will not be demolished / removed during the current demo project. That's not necessarily a long term plan - they're just being left in place until something larger happens with the West Station / Pike realignment.

The freight lead from near CP 4 into Beacon Park was severed quite some time ago - the only way to get to the Grand Junction and the Houghton Chemical lead is via CP 3 now. That is NOT the permanent configuration - once Boston Landing is complete there will be a 'third' track with a switch somewhere near present day CP 4 from the mainline. Unclear how that will connect all the way to the Grand Junction, but probably through the 'saved' 7 storage tracks.

Slightly off topic from Beacon Park, but CP 6 will replace CP 4. We're not getting an additional crossover.
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