Easy North Station Capacity Fix?

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Easy North Station Capacity Fix?

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:10 pm

With Tower A teetering on capacity at times, couldn't some more capacity be added by having crossovers south of the Charles River Draw? With four tracks over the draw, each track branches into either two or three platforms. What if instead, every track covered 2 "and a half" platforms (ie: each track over the draw has access to three platforms)?

See the attachment for an example, where black is existing conditions and red is what I propose. Does this help at all? At the very least, it would certainly solve those silly conflicts such as having trains depart from both Track 8 (or 3) and Track 10 (5) at the same time only to end up having one delayed. I would imagine it could also put an end to some of those delays where inbounds get caught up waiting for an outbound to clear the several platforms it is blocking.
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Re: Easy North Station Capacity Fix?

Postby CRail » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:23 pm

The track capacity issue becomes more of a problem on the other side of the draw. Part of which being that the Eastern and Western routes (Rock/Newburyport and Haverhill lines) don't split until East (North) of Sullivan station. Both Fitchburg tracks funnel in together with both New Hampshire Route (Lowell) tracks. As it is, only 3 trains can leave simultaneously. The weekday's second to last Haverhill train leaves 5 minutes before the rest of the lines' second to last, and although all four last trains are scheduled to leave together, one always gets held up at Tower A for track clearance.
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Re: Easy North Station Capacity Fix?

Postby MBTA3247 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:39 pm

What's preventing them from using the second track between Reading Junction and Tower A?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Easy North Station Capacity Fix?

Postby CRail » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:34 pm

While I've observed the practice above (the 12:10 departures) many times, I've not actually studied the exact reason until now. Looking at a timetable track map of Tower A interlocking, the bottle neck situation really exists at the back ladder (set of crossovers furthest from the station). With two of tracks 6-10 being used for the Fitch and Lowell trains (tracks on the western draw bridge), there is no where for a train from the lower tracks to go except to track 2 (the track second from tower A) up to the back ladder. Beyond the back ladder then both tracks can be used again, but by that point someone already had to stop and wait. If there were a crossover from the second to the third main (outbound direction) between the ladders, or if the first main were extended to just beyond the back ladder, then it would be possible.

I doubt this makes any sense without the diagram in front of you, but I did the best I could to explain it.
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