Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

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Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

Postby NH2060 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:45 pm

Aside from the 30mph speed limit through Everett, the deteriorating draw/swing bridges, and the backups caused by the lack of double tracking at Salem station, are there any other restrictions that keep trip times from going down? Considering the short distance and short number of stations (4-5) between Beverly and North Station shouldn't trains still be able to make the roughly 20 mile or so run in about 25-30 minutes or less or is the line really in that much need of a serious overhaul to get even a slight improvement in trip times?
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Re: Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:14 pm

There is a tie job in progress which does leave slowdowns in its wake...

D
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Re: Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

Postby jbvb » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:47 am

Part of the issue is the number of stops. The few expresses manage it with a Salem stop in 32 min. Almost everything else makes 5 intermediate stops and takes 37 min.

The terminal district has always been fairly slow, something like (away from my ETTs) 15 MPH to the Prison Point bridge, then 30 or so to Everett Jct. when Draw 7 was still in service. However, then the limit went up to 60 MPH and stayed that way to Salem yard, with a restriction over the Saugus draw. So in the 1960s, RDCs were scheduled for 17 min. Lynn - Boston. The combination of the Chelsea stop for almost all trains and the speed restriction all the way out to Eastern Ave. has upped that to 20-23 min. Also, current locomotive-hauled trains can't accelerate like RDCs, let alone EMUs that practically every other 1st world country would be using for a service this dense. IMO, speeding this route up is a much better application of transit capital than extending the Blue Line, but the political establishment is not paying attention to it.
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Re: Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

Postby boblothrope » Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:01 pm

jbvb wrote:Part of the issue is the number of stops. The few expresses manage it with a Salem stop in 32 min. Almost everything else makes 5 intermediate stops and takes 37 min.
...
The combination of the Chelsea stop for almost all trains and the speed restriction all the way out to Eastern Ave. has upped that to 20-23 min.


Just one additional minute per stop?

Why was the speed restriction extended?

jbvb wrote:Also, current locomotive-hauled trains can't accelerate like RDCs, let alone EMUs that practically every other 1st world country would be using for a service this dense. IMO, speeding this route up is a much better application of transit capital than extending the Blue Line, but the political establishment is not paying attention to it.


Thank you -- I wholeheartedly agree. Since the commuter rail service exists today, all it would take to vastly improve mass transit to Lynn (and beyond) would be some DMUs with good acceleration, operating in short consists more frequently.
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Re: Eastern Route Speed Restrictions

Postby jbvb » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:39 am

The stops don't cost so much time if there are other restrictions through the station, or nearby. Chelsea has a restriction, IIRC, Lynn has one too, RiverWorks is next to the Draw, Salem has a restriction. If timings were important, several could be reduced or eliminated.

The Chelsea grade crossings are relatively dangerous - quite a lot of truck traffic on most of them, with a significant fraction of petroleum tankers. The B&M had a tragic accident at one of them, with passenger & crew fatalities and the RDC incinerated. I don't know if the longer speed restriction was put in place due to a later accident, or just management taking a closer look at it; I believe it was done in the 1990s.
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