MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

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MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby DJLDRUMS » Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:17 pm

Explained to me this morning from a CSX employee on sight.

There will be a lot of changes that will take place in the next 2-4 years especially between CP-3 and CP-4.

First, the yard will still get torn up as will the engine servicing facility,the loop track the yard leads on both ends, the east and westbound mains through there.

There are plans to install double track where the "dead track' aka "out of service track" is located. The reason that it was not used or connected during the CSX tenure was in the event of a high & wide coming too close to a passenger train. There's portable derailers locked on the rails at different locations. One visible behind the Stop and Shop in Allston a place where numerous photos and videos have been taken and shown over youtube.

Houghton Chemical located just behind the Double Tree Hotel has turned away from any sale of their property. As was said to me they are not budging and will remain at that location indefinitely. By doing that it has brought about a problem where now a dedicated track will have to be built off the "new" westbound track. Double tracking between those to CP's will be necessary to allow inbound and outbound passenger trains to travel through there easier.

Houghton Chemical serves a need at Logan Airport and moving from their present location is not an option, as was said.

Also mentioned was the Grand Junction Branch that serves a very important link between North and South Station could be eliminated, but futher study will be done.

The idea is to provide as much land space as possible for use by Mass Highway where for a mile plus stretch of the Mass Pike close to the Allston-Brighton ramps are located will use land where the lead, east&westbound tracks are currently located and make the highway a straight shot instead of curving to the left. Rebuild on and off ramps where the current tolls are located in that stretch. This would bring the design of the turnpike over the present engine servicing facilites land.

As mentioned this project is to help improve traffic flow into Boston where slow downs and tie ups are an everyday occurance. The plan is in the stake the property lines right now. This also means that a master plan has been drawn up. NONE of which anything to do with Boston University's expansion came up.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby diburning » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:00 pm

The land that Beacon Park sits on is owned by Harvard. What's the deal with them?
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:34 pm

I have also heard strong rumors in regard to re-aligning the Mass Turn pike thru Beacon Park yard, making it a straight way and relieve traffic congestion and ease flow...Harvard may own the land, but I'm sure there will be back door deals to sweeten the pot in allowing the Commonwealth to do this project
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby The EGE » Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:22 pm

Both of the options that MassDOT released the other day show an 9-track, 24-27 trainset layover yard between the mainline and the realigned Pike, so as to get the T out fo Southampton entirely.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:44 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:I have also heard strong rumors in regard to re-aligning the Mass Turn pike thru Beacon Park yard, making it a straight way and relieve traffic congestion and ease flow...Harvard may own the land, but I'm sure there will be back door deals to sweeten the pot in allowing the Commonwealth to do this project


That is one of the projects listed on the current MassDot newsletter, so it looks like it is going to happen.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:45 pm

The EGE wrote:Both of the options that MassDOT released the other day show an 9-track, 24-27 trainset layover yard between the mainline and the realigned Pike, so as to get the T out fo Southampton entirely.


Would you happen to have a link, or be able to direct me to a source?
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby The EGE » Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:30 pm

Globe story is here.

If the two plans don't load for you, PM me your email address and I'll send them to you.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby millerm277 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:35 pm

The EGE wrote:Globe story is here.

If the two plans don't load for you, PM me your email address and I'll send them to you.


Perhaps not directly train-related, but I don't understand why you'd do all that work and not give Storrow Dr/Soldiers Field Rd a proper/direct connection to the Pike there instead of shoving them onto Cambridge St and back again. The current intersection is a mess for that traffic and the new one looks like it would largely be as well.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:40 am

The EGE wrote:Both of the options that MassDOT released the other day show an 9-track, 24-27 trainset layover yard between the mainline and the realigned Pike, so as to get the T out fo Southampton entirely.


That BP layover site is one of the alternatives advanced for further study in the Layover Facility Alternatives Analysis released this spring. Because a few sites graduated to the next round of study, it's not a fait accompli that they are going to set up shop there. But because the easement on that property is 1 of 2 sites (the other being expanding Readville Yard 2) that the T has complete control over the MassHighway prelim designs for the Pike straightening must take the easement into account. If, say, they were successful at getting the city to move its car impound lot from Widett Circle to another site or convince the cold storage warehouse next to their existing southside maint building to relocate...those parcels would instantly be preferred. And in the unlikely event the BRA draws up some grand plan to land-swap the Boston Food Market complex @ Widett somewhere else like Marine Terminal the T would have all its southside storage for the next 50 years set.

So stay tuned. Beacon Park is a candidate because it's easy and they can build it fast, but it's not necessarily the *best*. And if things do shake out with a different solution MassHighway can revise the design further to take a straighter-still path through the easement. The highway is by no means close to final design, and hasn't even had public comment for the 2 prelim realignment options shown.



As for Houghton Chemical, they're driving a hard bargain because they know everyone wants that land and that their rail service is bigtime leverage for them. Don't believe for a second that they won't move the moment they get a price they like and a location they find convenient. Plenty of places to be had that give them all the shipping options they want. Harvard and the state just have to figure out how much they pay up.



Very highly doubt the Grand Junction would ever get a recommendation for closing. The Worcester Branch hospital route is a 3-hour trip. Do they really want to wing it on that alone when towing a dead engine with a duct-taped hose or coach with balky wheel that needs to make it to the shop ASAP? I can't see that ever happening until the southside gets a maint facility of equal capability to BET and north-south swaps only become necessary like once a week for load-balancing healthy equipment or trading work equipment. Then it's probably safe to consider trading in the GJ for the Urban Ring or something. But not until then. If anything, the bigger the southside fleet gets the more need there is to keep a constant BET pipeline going through Cambridge.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby Teamdriver » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:59 pm

DJLDRUMS says :''Houghton Chemical serves a need at Logan Airport and moving from their present location is not an option, as was said.''

F says : '' As for Houghton Chemical, they're driving a hard bargain because they know everyone wants that land and that their rail service is bigtime leverage for them. Don't believe for a second that they won't move the moment they get a price they like and a location they find convenient. Plenty of places to be had that give them all the shipping options they want. Harvard and the state just have to figure out how much they pay up.''

I know Houghton , but not what exactly they were hauling. As D says , Logan bound , I am assuming it is de-icer . So you would think Massport has some juice here. They cannot haul this through Boston because of the tunnels on the X-way, so if they relocated , it would have to have a feasible overland route to the aerodrome.Plus , they want the rail too. So wouldn't the area proximate to the Chelsea Produce Market make sense? The anti-ethanol crew might tolerate the amounts of rail cars . Otherwise , off to the creek and get your de-icer by barge. Just a supposition , lads.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby DJLDRUMS » Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:04 pm

That's a fact about Houghton Chemical staying put. They manufacture and distribute de-icer, de-ionized water and a few other necessities that's used at Logan. Their present location allows them easy access to the airport.
Today Houghton has 4 tank cars to be spotted, probably by B-721 when they return from Chelsea and Everett late this afternoon.

The CSX 6230 still sitting at B P is d/d (dead and drained) for three days and will most likely be picked up and worked west for repairs.

Any member that's following this thread and has not read the whole article from Boston.com in it's entirety is missing out on alot of good information for what will begin in a couple of years and be completed in 2012. The whole area will see a huge transformation.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:08 pm

Teamdriver wrote:DJLDRUMS says :''Houghton Chemical serves a need at Logan Airport and moving from their present location is not an option, as was said.''

F says : '' As for Houghton Chemical, they're driving a hard bargain because they know everyone wants that land and that their rail service is bigtime leverage for them. Don't believe for a second that they won't move the moment they get a price they like and a location they find convenient. Plenty of places to be had that give them all the shipping options they want. Harvard and the state just have to figure out how much they pay up.''

I know Houghton , but not what exactly they were hauling. As D says , Logan bound , I am assuming it is de-icer . So you would think Massport has some juice here. They cannot haul this through Boston because of the tunnels on the X-way, so if they relocated , it would have to have a feasible overland route to the aerodrome.Plus , they want the rail too. So wouldn't the area proximate to the Chelsea Produce Market make sense? The anti-ethanol crew might tolerate the amounts of rail cars . Otherwise , off to the creek and get your de-icer by barge. Just a supposition , lads.


Houghton does primarily antifreeze, water treatment products, and heat transfer fluids. Doesn't say anything specific on their website about de-icer, but that would be pretty logical given the types of chemicals they specialize in. Doesn't seem to be anything remotely explosive, so if that's true their tankers would have a straight shot to Logan through the Pike/Ted.

They do get served at least once a week by CSX tacked onto the Everett Terminal job out of Framingham. Not a big number of loads, but a rocksteady customer.


Again, I have a hard time believing that they are so very very hard-wedded to that location that no price is too high to get them to relocate. There is always a price for a for-profit business. Always. But of course they are going to take a hard line and not show their cards until they get that price. That's just good business sense. There are other locations with similarly convenient rail and highway access to all points they currently serve...Everett Terminal, Southie Haul Rd./Track 61, Route 1A/East Boston Branch, etc. etc. Or if worst comes to worst...eminent domain, since if the capital cost of building all that highway infrastructure around them exceeds the cost of relocating them that's appropriate use of the statute. But it's extremely unlikely it'll come to that, or come as legally messy as that. Somebody's just going to have to pay up and pay up a lot to make it happen.
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby Teamdriver » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:26 pm

F , Hazmat placarding is a very complicated art. ( http://www.hazmatfc.com/Documents/Chart%2014.pdf ) Not all their products are delivered by truck tanker ,but I bet whatever goes to Logan is bulk. I am pretty sure their tankers are placarded , thus surface routes, no Ted. That would restrict where they would or could re-locate , if such a thing were to happen. On a fluke ,I found a picture of one of their tankers , and it has a red label placard. That is just my inclination to believe , and I have been through their complex over there as well many times , just my own $.02 .

( http://www.houghton.com/wp-content/uplo ... llston.jpg )
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby wicked » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:26 am

I don't know precise land values in Chelsea and Allston, but I would imagine they could come out ahead if they made the move to Chelsea, and it'd be a bit closer trip to Logan (assuming that's their main business concern).
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Re: MBTA's CP-3 to CP-4 in Allston

Postby jaymac » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:34 am

Given the lack of popularity and the surplus of resistance for locating the ethanol transload where it might have made some sense, Houghton may have made the decision just to wait and let others fight the battles.
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