T electrics on NEC?

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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby AEM7AC920 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:27 pm

Difference is Amtrak does not own the B&A line and does not run as many trains over it.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby CSX Conductor » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:13 pm

PLain and simple: Electrifying any additional lines would co$t way too much money.

With some tweaking of the trainset turns, I'm sure they could use a few sets for strictly BOS-PVD, but even then, I doubt that it would be worth it.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby MBTA1016 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:44 pm

If the T gets electric power they could electrify the needham line and fairmount line since it's the shortest lines off the nec not counting the stoughton branch.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby ferroequinologist » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:46 pm

Mbta fan wrote:If the T gets electric power they could electrify the needham line and fairmount line since it's the shortest lines off the nec not counting the stoughton branch.


The Fairmount Line doesn't actually share significant trackage with the NEC, so that wouldn't take advantage of the NEC's electrification. Though the Needham line would be a decent candidate due to its short length and frequent stops, putting high-voltage wires through the grade crossings in Needham Center along with NIMBYs might make that a non-starter.

The only route really practical would be the Providence/Stoughton line (electrifying the Stoughton branch). But if the Stoughton branch gets extended south, that might become much less practical. Either way, having a dedicated fleet for one route of several would be inefficient.

It might work to phase-in dual-mode locomotives (running electric on the NEC, diesel elsewhere) if they work well for the NJT. Though that is more practical than using pure electric locomotives, it'd be expensive enough to question whether the savings on fuel and extra speed would be worth the cost. It might not end up being cheaper than buying electric locomotives and using them on only one route.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby MBTA3247 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:25 pm

ferroequinologist wrote:
Mbta fan wrote:If the T gets electric power they could electrify the needham line and fairmount line since it's the shortest lines off the nec not counting the stoughton branch.


The Fairmount Line doesn't actually share significant trackage with the NEC, so that wouldn't take advantage of the NEC's electrification.

Not necessarily. If Amtrak ever gets around to building new shops at Readville, the Fairmount Line would be the obvious route for accessing them from South Station/Southampton Street. Also, since it avoids the more heavily used section of the NEC north of Readville, at some point in the future there might be some value in sending revenue trains (besides the current handful of Franklin Line trains) over it instead of through Back Bay.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby ferroequinologist » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:50 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
ferroequinologist wrote:
Mbta fan wrote:If the T gets electric power they could electrify the needham line and fairmount line since it's the shortest lines off the nec not counting the stoughton branch.


The Fairmount Line doesn't actually share significant trackage with the NEC, so that wouldn't take advantage of the NEC's electrification.

Not necessarily. If Amtrak ever gets around to building new shops at Readville, the Fairmount Line would be the obvious route for accessing them from South Station/Southampton Street. Also, since it avoids the more heavily used section of the NEC north of Readville, at some point in the future there might be some value in sending revenue trains (besides the current handful of Franklin Line trains) over it instead of through Back Bay.


I thought the plan was for the MBTA to have a yard there. Interesting. Is there a plan in place to electrify when they build those shops? If that happens, the Fairmount line would be the logical choice then, especially with all those stops (even more so with the stations under construction). However, I'm not sure it'd make sense to route much CR that way. Quite a lot of commuters get off at Back Bay, and for them losing that stop would be inconvenient. It'd be even worse if those CR trains stopped at the Fairmount Line stations. I think it'd make more sense to send Amtrak that way and let the T have the excess capacity north of Readville.

Anyway, if Amtrak were to electrify the Fairmount Line the T could electrify the Needham Line and Stoughton Branch, and then you'd get a reasonable electric division. It'd be really great to have electrics thundering up and down the NEC carrying commuters at high speeds.. But seeing as the T just bought a new set of diesels, I'm not holding my breath.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby boblothrope » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:50 pm

ferroequinologist wrote:It might work to phase-in dual-mode locomotives (running electric on the NEC, diesel elsewhere) if they work well for the NJT.


Dual-modes generally have worse performance than either diesels or electrics.

The only reason not to get electrics (assuming the line is already electrified) is having to maintain another type of equipment. Dual-modes wouldn't eliminate that problem.

The only reason to get dual modes is to provide one-seat rides on routes that are partially electrified, and don't allow diesels on the electric part (like routes into Penn Station). That doesn't apply to the MBTA.

So what's the point?
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:25 pm

ferroequinologist wrote:
MBTA3247 wrote:
ferroequinologist wrote:
Mbta fan wrote:If the T gets electric power they could electrify the needham line and fairmount line since it's the shortest lines off the nec not counting the stoughton branch.


The Fairmount Line doesn't actually share significant trackage with the NEC, so that wouldn't take advantage of the NEC's electrification.

Not necessarily. If Amtrak ever gets around to building new shops at Readville, the Fairmount Line would be the obvious route for accessing them from South Station/Southampton Street. Also, since it avoids the more heavily used section of the NEC north of Readville, at some point in the future there might be some value in sending revenue trains (besides the current handful of Franklin Line trains) over it instead of through Back Bay.


I thought the plan was for the MBTA to have a yard there. Interesting. Is there a plan in place to electrify when they build those shops? If that happens, the Fairmount line would be the logical choice then, especially with all those stops (even more so with the stations under construction). However, I'm not sure it'd make sense to route much CR that way. Quite a lot of commuters get off at Back Bay, and for them losing that stop would be inconvenient. It'd be even worse if those CR trains stopped at the Fairmount Line stations. I think it'd make more sense to send Amtrak that way and let the T have the excess capacity north of Readville.

I was in fact thinking of routing Amtrak trains via Fairmount, I just didn't make that clear.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby novitiate » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:55 pm

I would have guessed Amtrak would prefer not to route trains via Fairmount because it would make things more difficult for passengers transferring to/from the Downeaster.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby CSX Conductor » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:11 pm

ferroequinologist wrote:Anyway, if Amtrak were to electrify the Fairmount Line the T could electrify the Needham Line and Stoughton Branch, and then you'd get a reasonable electric division. It'd be really great to have electrics thundering up and down the NEC carrying commuters at high speeds.. But seeing as the T just bought a new set of diesels, I'm not holding my breath.

Why would Amtrak electrify the Dorchester Branch?!? They don't own it, the T owns the Dorchester Branch between west of South Bay & Transfer.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:36 pm

Does electrification prevent double stacks?

ie: would an express run BOS-WOR-SPR work? Though I imagine CSX would *NEVER* let it happen between Worcester and Springfield.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:23 am

The "top" container would hit the wire/or be close enought for "arcing" to happen,if well cars are moved under the wire,
they are mty or only have 1 container loaded on.

If memory serves,CSX terminates intermodel trains at Worcester to begin with,with local truckers making final delivery(drayage),
Tri-racks made it as far as Framingham to an auto assembly plant(not sure if GM or Ford).
Tri-racks are also too tall to run under the wire as well.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby diburning » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:49 am

Double stacks CAN run under catenary if the catenary is high enough, BUT bridges are a problem. The catenary has to be lowered to go under bridges, and with bridges that can barely fit double stacks as they are now, it would require considerable cost and effort to raise the bridges or undercut the tracks to accommodate catenary AND double stacks at the same time.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Aug 04, 2012 2:32 pm

CSXT just went through a huge bridge project to allow taller double stacks between Selkirk & Worcester. I doubt that they even considered leaving room for catenary.

FYI, autoracks haven't gone to Framingham in years, since East Brookfield opened and Westboro & CP Yard (Framingham) operations were ceased.

The furthest east autoracks can be seen nowadays on The B&A is Worcester for interchange with The P&W, who ironically runs them under Amtrak's catenary between Packard Interlocking & Malcolm Interlockings on the NEC.
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Re: T electrics on NEC?

Postby ferroequinologist » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:35 pm

boblothrope wrote:Dual-modes generally have worse performance than either diesels or electrics.


Is that just because of the extra weight/lower power to prevent excessive weight?

boblothrope wrote:The only reason not to get electrics (assuming the line is already electrified) is having to maintain another type of equipment. Dual-modes wouldn't eliminate that problem.

The only reason to get dual modes is to provide one-seat rides on routes that are partially electrified, and don't allow diesels on the electric part (like routes into Penn Station). That doesn't apply to the MBTA.


Well it doesn't help the issue of maintaining multiple types, for sure. But isn't that a problem for any new locomotive order? I guess it'd be a bigger problem for dual-modes. Getting dual-modes would reduce the problem of having a sort of locomotive that can only run on one line--it could be pressed into service elsewhere. It could also switch back and forth for lines that share some trackage with the NEC, such as Stoughton, Needham, or Franklin.

So it definitely wouldn't make electric locomotives practical for the T (since they're expensive and maintenance would be a pain), but it would give some flexibility to use them outside the Providence line without large-scale electrification.
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