Cape Flyer Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: Cape Flyer Discussion

Postby TomNelligan » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:40 pm

Arlington wrote:Best guess I've seen is that IP layoffs were a normal seasonal layoff that the media construed as unexpected news.

Discussions on some other rail sites (example below) suggest that Iowa Pacific is having cash flow problems and there have been layoffs all across its system.
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Re: Cape Flyer Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:09 pm

Doubt any of this is going to impact the Cape, as the MassDOT FY17-21 CIP is flush with tons of SGR upgrades to the Middleboro Secondary, Cape Main, Falmouth Branch, and the Yarmouth stub to the transfer station. I can't find it on board search, but somewhere this summer I copypastad a full bullet list of the line items (maybe it's back a few pages???). It's a very impressive and intensive list, much of it freight IOU's that they committed to in the great CSX/Mass Coastal swap of '08 now finally being slotted on the calendar. Basically the whole Cape-related rail network at-large is getting as much TLC over the next 4 years as the main from M'boro to BB got during the first couple Flyer seasons.

Now...who they contract out for the work may be affected by any Iowa Pacific financial issues longer-lasting than one bad fiscal year. They'd be the ideal choice for the track work as they've done a pretty spiffy job helping out with the Framingham Secondary upgrades. It would probably be their track gangs imported from HQ out-of-state as surge forces who'd be on the ground here for the few years this project bundle is scheduled, so watch if any centralized services @ IP get hit with big and/or destabilizing layoffs (if their internal problems trend to the severe...which we can't extrapolate from any of the rumors).
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Re: Cape Flyer Discussion

Postby Arlington » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:21 pm

Is this the list of upcoming work? How much is programmed for 2017?
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:They can't take Falmouth by force, no matter if another Turkington-type troll in the Legislature tries to salt the earth. CCCR/Mass Coastal have federally protected trackage rights, and MC is a common carrier so the loophole is sealed shut for any Adirondack Scenic-type shennanigans. Dinner train had Falmouth excursions each of the past two weekends, so the branch is certainly getting regular use.

From the itemization, looks like most of it is mundane bridge/culvert inspections and repairs. General summary of items:

Cape Main (Middleboro-Hyannis)
Cohasset Narrows Bridge replacement: $8.2M
Track work (cumulative): $7M
Yards and "support facilities": $6.8M <-- ED: Hyannis layover? Rochester Yard/trash train upgrades?
Yard track work (cumulative): $3.7M
Hyannis Yard reconfig (rail + crossing work related to Route 28 reconfig): $2.2M
Bridges and culverts (cumulative): $2.1M
Grade crossing improvements: $1.9M
Siding upgrades (rail, ties, ballast) @ Tremont, Sagamore, Sandwich, W. Barnstable: $1.5M
Station fencing/railing installs @ Hyannis, Wareham: $183K
Other (cumulative) - $558K

Falmouth Secondary
Grade crossing improvements: $1.5M
"Structures": $1.2M
Track improvements (cumulative): $999K
Bridges and culverts (cumulative) - $135K
Other (cumulative) - $73K

South Dennis Secondary
Grade crossing improvements: $588K
Track improvements: $460K
Other: $147K

Middleboro Secondary
Track and switches improvements (cumulative): $12.9M
Grade crossing protection improvements: $3.6M
Bridges and culverts (cumulative): $2.9M
Grade crossing improvements (surfaces?): $1.8M
Other (cumulative): $2.6M

That's a pretty fat menu programmed over the next 5 years for the Cape region.
When I hear the iron horse make the hills echo with his snort like thunder, shaking the earth with his feet, and breathing fire and smoke from his nostrils, it seems as if the earth had got a race now worthy to inhabit it. --H.D. Thoreau, Walden, 1854
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Re: Cape Flyer Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:50 pm

That's the one. The CIP only tracks the payment installment plan across each fiscal year. It isn't a schedule document, and in the minority of cases where MassDOT is paying forward for some project the construction schedule can sometimes lag behind the CIP years (though budget front-loading is a lot rarer for discrete capital improvements and more often employed for 'recharging' a forever-ongoing contract).

It's coming soon. M'boro Secondary freight upgrades are slated immediately after the Framingham Secondary work wraps up because that's #1 on the CSX-owed priority list. Since the Fram. Sec. is pretty much in last stages on the Mansfield end as of ground freeze we'll probably be looking at a kickoff in Attleboro this spring/summer. When the rest is scheduled would be documented elsewhere on the MassDOT website in the project log, contract advertisements, etc. But those entries rarely give useful detail. I guess we'll be waiting for some local news report explainer to get the full story from a spokesflak. Grade crossing renewal and gate installations on the M'boro Sec. are getting a big push, so that'll probably make the Taunton-area news when construction progress gets closer to that downtown crossing cluster.
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