Worcester Union Station

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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Cannonball » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:53 pm

Worcester seeks regional summit on rail service reports local newspaper Feb. 7, 2017.

WORCESTER - The City Council wants the city to convene a regional transportation summit to look at how MBTA commuter rail service to Boston and Amtrak service to New York City can be expanded.

The council Tuesday night asked City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. to work with U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, the Central Massachusettes Regional Planning Commission and representatives from the governor's office on putting together the summit.

The order, introduced by Mayor Joseph M. Petty and Councilor-at-Large Khrystian E. King, also suggests that representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and members of the state and federal legislative delegations be invited to participate as well.

...many people in the city want to see additional rail service options out of Union Station.

...Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes said the scope of any summit needs to look beyond Central Massachusetts and also include representatives from other states in the Northeast.

...We really should have representation from Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and Washington, D.C.


Source: http://www.telegram.com/news/20170207/w ... il-service
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby BandA » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:35 pm

Maybe their Regional Transportation Authority - the WRTA should sponsor some rush hour shuttle trains north & south instead of just buses.

Political power in MA is concentrated in the east; Worcester traditionally has little influence. But the current Lt. Gov. is from the adjacent town, and they will probably be reelected.

All commerce is supposed to flow east-and-west in MA: Can't allow Worcester to become a bedroom community for Providence or Hartford, only for Boston!

Favorite quote from the article was we need more trains to places like NYC, and a commenter's note "there are exactly 0 trains presently from Worcester to NYC".

The rail options are: Moar train to Boston. Train BOS-SPG + NH-Hfd-SPG = Inland Regional. WOR-PVD. WOR-New Haven. State sponsored BOS-SPG CR, using Keolis/MBTA or Amtrak. Extending existing MBTA trains to the north.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby charlesriverbranch » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:40 pm

BandA wrote:Political power in MA is concentrated in the east; Worcester traditionally has little influence. But the current Lt. Gov. is from the adjacent town, and they will probably be reelected.

All commerce is supposed to flow east-and-west in MA: Can't allow Worcester to become a bedroom community for Providence or Hartford, only for Boston!


Worcester is the second largest city in New England; it's bigger than either Providence or Hartford.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:48 pm

Remember: the Boston Surface Railroad is on the horizon. That takes care of Providence. :wink:
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:33 pm

What Worcester needs NOW is a second platform for the 2nd Mainline,hopefully an Island platform to allow for a 3rd station track,
it will be needed when the Inland route service returns. :wink:
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby BandA » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:32 am

charlesriverbranch wrote:Worcester is the second largest city in New England; it's bigger than either Providence or Hartford.
PVD is almost as large. Worcester has lost many of the employers that were formerly located there, has a high property tax rate with a commercial tax rate much higher than residential. All that seems to have driven employers away. And the local transit system is not robust enough for people to go carless. Hartford has high state taxes that is causing major employers to consider moving, but to Boston not Worcester.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:19 am

Backshophoss wrote:What Worcester needs NOW is a second platform for the 2nd Mainline,hopefully an Island platform to allow for a 3rd station track,
it will be needed when the Inland route service returns. :wink:


The 2nd platform will be an island between the existing track and the second track...not Tracks 2 & 3. That's the station's historical platform configuration, and why there's such a large gap between tracks. The extra space is where the old island used to be, and there's even a long covered-over stairwell beneath that space. CSX controls Track 3, as it's used for the locals to/from Framingham handling the P&W and Pan Am-Barbers interchanges. They take a hard line on the T using that one for anything and indemnified their control in the big agreement to relocate there from Beacon Park, so unfortunately fanning out the station is a bit too big a reach for the foreseeable future.

This won't be a problem for service so long as the T can get a less-constipated layover yard setup than the current one requiring a reverse move blocking a bunch of mainline switches. An upgraded station with the added island platform and the current side platform extended to a full T-regulation 800 ft. would allow up to 9 cars to open all doors on Tk. 1 and substantially shorten the dwell times there to get the terminating trainset off the platform. Whereas Tk. 2 would have very generous platform space with the island. The only thorny aspect is where they're going to get the expanded or relocated layover space to fluidly clear that platform. It would probably have to be somewhere near the P&W yard where they can proceed straight-ahead down the Gardner Branch ramp through the yard and clear the platform fast with a departing/arriving empty instead of having to burn several additional minutes reversing on-platform and/or through the current yard switches. The T really should've acted sooner on that before so much of the Southbridge St. & Quinsigamond Ave. real estate bookending the yard got gobbled up by new development. They now would have to look 1-2 miles away for that space...either down by the capped city landfill by the P&W autorack yard or way west on the B&A near Curtis Pond/Stafford St. where the environmental permitting and residential impacts are a lot thornier and less-certain.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby BandA » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:09 am

They could extend the Worcester line by one stop, thereby spreading out parking to a more suburban area.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:02 am

BandA wrote:They could extend the Worcester line by one stop, thereby spreading out parking to a more suburban area.


No, they can't.

1) There's no room for a parking lot anywhere west on the B&A to the Auburn town line because the ROW is closely-abutted, the residential streets are busy enough, and there's no nearby highway access.

2) They can't put one on the P&W next to the city dump, either, if a layover yard were situated there. The grade difference between the Mass Pike/MA 146/US 20 interchange + frontage roads and track level is so severe that there's no way to get down there despite that already having a P&R lot for car-to-bus. The water treatment plant access road can't reach trackside because of the evaporation pools. The whole expanse of the dump has no road access across because of the still-settling hills on the landfill cap. The Blackstone River Rd. exit off 146 used for access by P&W to the autorack yard isn't equipped for the volumes to a northerly P&R, and misses too much highway access. So despite 90/146/20 being a juicy, juicy P&R location in two dimensions the 3D topography doesn't cooperate in any way that you could work around, and diminishing returns take a severe toll the wider a net you cast around the landfill. The next-nearest place where a P&R could go is further down 146 in Millbury at the Mall...too far for a Worcester +1, and well into the realm of next-to-last intermediate stop on a future Providence-Worcester commuter run.

3) There is no more accessible place in Greater Worcester for a station than Worcester Union. It's right off the highway smack in the middle where 290/190/146 all converge. It's the bus depot for all of WRTA. And it's got a 500-space garage...far more than you'll ever get at any/all possible sites in the trajectories on #1 & #2. And since it's right downtown where there's a lot of new building development going up, garage capacity in the general area is likely to increase over time leaving other options in a few-block radius when the main garage is full.


You physically cannot do better. And any other physical location near enough that it wouldn't totally tank the schedule has fatal flaws with site access and capacity that make them absolute no-go's.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby markhb » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:22 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:[The 2nd platform will be an island between the existing track and the second track...not Tracks 2 & 3. That's the station's historical platform configuration, and why there's such a large gap between tracks. The extra space is where the old island used to be, and there's even a long covered-over stairwell beneath that space. CSX controls Track 3, as it's used for the locals to/from Framingham handling the P&W and Pan Am-Barbers interchanges. They take a hard line on the T using that one for anything and indemnified their control in the big agreement to relocate there from Beacon Park, so unfortunately fanning out the station is...

Who controls the P&W track through the station area, them alone or does CSX have some say in dispatching even for routings that use the cutunder from the Barbers line to the New London line?
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby Sprinter611 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:35 pm

Keolis Worcester Mainline Dispatches the controlled siding (station track up to CP-45) as well as track 1 & 2 on the B&A east of the CP-45 signal.

CSX NB dispatches west of CP-45 to Selkirk.

CSX East Worcester Yardmaster is in charge of all the CSX tracks in Worcester Yard between 42 & 45

P&W Train Dispatcher handles the Gardner Branch/Worcester Main north of CP-45
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby east point » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:51 pm

So are any plans either proposed or shovel ready or Under construction for another platform at Worcester ?
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:42 am

east point wrote:So are any plans either proposed or shovel ready or Under construction for another platform at Worcester ?


No. Worcester platform takes a deep backseat to fixing the signaling issues east of Framingham and figuring out their layover yard situation. Platform on Tk. 2 is not going to be enough of a value-added by its lonesome unless you can physically get more running trains out there...and out there on-time. It doesn't make much sense to front-load it until they've put a dent in those thornier issues.


Worcester Redevelopment Authority owns/operates the station and thus would be responsible for the revived down-and-under egresses to that additional island platform. So when the time comes it'll be a split funding pot to do up the platform. It's not 100% dependent on the T's construction calendar, but obviously WRA has no reason to jump the gun too far in advance of service increases.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby BandA » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:35 pm

There is also some kind of water leak in the platform area? Supposed to cost millions to fix, which I don't understand. Fix the leak and add new platform at the same time would make sense.
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Re: Worcester Union Station

Postby east point » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:37 am

F line:: Know MBTA is short of funds but what schedule of time is the signaling work on ? Where, what, when ?
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