Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby ceo » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:19 pm

[quote="BostonUrbEx"]Now, in terms of total cost, is it more? You bet it is. A tunnel from South Station to Back Bay isn't cheap - but it sure as hell is the cheapest tunnel in terms of per mile cost in comparison to any other possible tunnel in this city![/quote]

Tunneling under the NEC and/or I-90? I rather doubt it. Getting under the South Station lead tracks was one of the most complicated parts of the Big Dig. Oh, and don't forget that the Orange Line is down there too.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby ns3010 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:44 pm

Although the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, and honestly shouldn't be built at all, if they REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to build this thing, this would be my plan:

-Run out of South Station for the sake of simplifying things. Not having to go to Back Bay would be slightly less of a hassle.
-Run all the way to Design Center, enabling the discontinuance of SL2 service. The extra dual-mode buses could be used for increased SL1 service.
-Dedicate two tracks at SS for this shuttle service. Separate them from the rest of the station with faregates, and (if possible, which I would image it would be pretty easy) build a direct passage to fare-paid Red/Silver level.

Of course, I have other thoughts that could be added to the plan, but those are even more unlikely, so I won't even bother mentioning those. :)
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Arborway » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:55 pm

The whole point is to go to Back Bay for the hotel access and nobody is going to pay for another South Station > Seaport line.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby ns3010 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:08 pm

If they want to make it easier to get to Back Bay, make the SL4 loop around to hit BBY on the way to and from South Station. That one transfer isn't going to kill anyone. (This was actually part of my plan, which I forgot to mention BTW).

The thing is, I feel like people would be happy if they were getting a train to the Seaport instead of a bus, even if there isn't actually any advantage over the current system (which most people don't/wouldn't realize).

These are only my recommendations if they REALLY wanted to build this thing; I still never said it would be a good idea though! ;)
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:43 pm

OK...somebody who does know Southampton ops or is a railroader who can layman's terms about terminal ops:

-- How many switches and signals do they have to cross on this batty routing?
-- How long would they have to stop-and-protect at a signal with all the crossing traffic here? Not just Fairmount and Old Colony revenue moves, but typical level yard moves?
-- Can this be done fail-safe? Yard limits are where the highest number of accidents happen because there's not much a signal system is going to do to help you at 5 MPH human override. How much extra do those stops have to be padded cutting across the gut of yard limits to ensure the all-clear on track that was never designed to be revenue track?
-- Is the pause at the wye before crossing 3-5 NEC tracks going to be an even longer wait than crossing the yard?
-- What hours of the day beyond simple rush hour is this going to be constrained. I doubt midday shift changes are a real picnic either because that's a spike in yard activity coming or going.
-- How fast can a train be reversed at BBY? I realize depending on DMU model the engineer may be able to switch ends without exiting the vehicle and possibly do it faster than in a push-pull set. But how many minutes is a safe turn for the regulations?
-- Related...how much would this reduce the throughput at BBY turning on-platform. I don't know the avg. # of trains per minute, but I don't see how some line isn't going to pay the price on headways. And it would be really amusing if it were Worcester given all the hype from Beacon Hill about the expanded schedule.


. . .and,

-- Fairly safe assumption that Amtrak is nonplussed about this. Possibly even livid. But is there a way to quantify how much more difficult this makes their dispatcher's lives? And what parts of Southampton-BBY ops are most "sacred" to their control that they will put their feet down about. Is it the NEC crossovers at the wye? Is it the cutting across their Southampton tracks and possible safety concerns therein? Is it exacerbating an already bad storage crunch? What factor is most likely to get them saying "AW, HEEEEL NAW!"
Last edited by F-line to Dudley via Park on Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:45 pm

"Arborway" got it right. The whole idea is to swiftly move conventioneers and commuters between the District and Back Bay without subjecting them to snarled, time wasting, expensive vehicular traffic and slow, confusing multi-color T line transfers.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Fred Rabin » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:25 pm

If this planned route is done, it should be extended to Yawkey. That would avoid turn-arounds at Back Bay and also be useful for Red Sox games as an alternative to Kenmore.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:30 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:OK...somebody who does know Southampton ops or is a railroader who can layman's terms about terminal ops:

-- How many switches and signals do they have to cross on this batty routing?
-- How long would they have to stop-and-protect at a signal with all the crossing traffic here? Not just Fairmount and Old Colony revenue moves, but typical level yard moves?
-- Can this be done fail-safe? Yard limits are where the highest number of accidents happen because there's not much a signal system is going to do to help you at 5 MPH human override. How much extra do those stops have to be padded cutting across the gut of yard limits to ensure the all-clear on track that was never designed to be revenue track?
-- Is the pause at the wye before crossing 3-5 NEC tracks going to be an even longer wait than crossing the yard?
-- What hours of the day beyond simple rush hour is this going to be constrained. I doubt midday shift changes are a real picnic either because that's a spike in yard activity coming or going.
-- How fast can a train be reversed at BBY? I realize depending on DMU model the engineer may be able to switch ends without exiting the vehicle and possibly do it faster than in a push-pull set. But how many minutes is a safe turn for the regulations?
-- Related...how much would this reduce the throughput at BBY turning on-platform. I don't know the avg. # of trains per minute, but I don't see how some line isn't going to pay the price on headways. And it would be really amusing if it were Worcester given all the hype from Beacon Hill about the expanded schedule.


. . .and,

-- Fairly safe assumption that Amtrak is nonplussed about this. Possibly even livid. But is there a way to quantify how much more difficult this makes their dispatcher's lives? And what parts of Southampton-BBY ops are most "sacred" to their control that they will put their feet down about. Is it the NEC crossovers at the wye? Is it the cutting across their Southampton tracks and possible safety concerns therein? Is it exacerbating an already bad storage crunch? What factor is most likely to get them saying "AW, HEEEEL NAW!"


Ok, deep breath aaannnddd here we go! Just like Highgreen wrote, the whole point of this project is to make it easy to go from the booming seaport district to downtown Copley plaza in a matter of 20 minutes vs. sitting in God awful traffic in Boston. Most of us know what traffic is like at 3pm on a Friday afternoon, think about sitting back on a quick shuttle service to Boston.

From the initial drawings in the Globe today, it looks like they are going to put 2 diamonds on the Middleboro Mainline on Trks 1&2. There is already and electric lock switch located at MP 1.2 providing North access from Trk 2 to Trk 61. A whole new Interlocking is going to have to be constructed within SHSY, unless, the train somehow gets to operate YL for this short distance to access the Loop. This can be a tricky area in SHSY, but tracks would have to be adjusted just a wee bit. Once on the Loop, it's a quick trip over Widett Circle and past the Amtk wash facility on the Dry Loop, then sneak over the WYE and across NEC trks 2,1,3,5/7. I can't see these moves happening at rush hour, but more of a late afternoon/evening, late morning moves, due to high frequency of trains on both mainlines and the DOT branch. If an engineer really hustles, we can have the train changed ends in a matter of minutes, remember, the Commonwealth is talking of DMU's, so I'm assuming 2 cars, 3 at most long, doesn't take long. Also, both tracks at BBY on 5&7 are rarely used at the same time, even when both tracks were in service before the Yawkey expansion project began. BBY trks 5 or 7 are the only platforms this can happen on, Trks 2, 1, 3 handle way too much traffic. Dspr's will get used to it, because that is what they do best, dispatch trains (when they are trained and think properly of course). Like F-line mentioned, IDK how this is gonna fly with Amtrak because they have wanted the T out of SHSY for YEARS, and now they want to make things more complicated. It is going to be interesting indeed to see what happens. AMTK will not tolerate late moves of their equipment from the Big Yard to South Station, they will get priority as they always have. Slow and steady wins the race when you are dealing within Yard Limits...........I personally like the idea, quick easy service from the Convention Center to BBY, lovely. Good points Fred, I can see that happening when needed, seeing as the Kenmore/Fenway area is blowing up right now
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby djimpact1 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:39 pm

Please forgive me if this is a naive question, but doesn't such a connection already (loosely) exist? What's wrong with taking the Commuter Rail one stop from Back Bay to South Station, then get on the SL1/SL2 from South Station to World Trade Center followed by a short walk to the Convention Center? Doesn't such a trip not take much longer than the time period estimated for the trip via the Track 61 project?

On a side note, the idea of DMUs on the Commuter Rail is a cool one. For some reason, I'm not a fan of commuter coach travel / I always thought the Commuter Rail should look less like Amtrak and more like the subway, and I think having many DMUs implemented would do just that. Just an opinion!
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:38 pm

I saw this in my Globe this morning and thought, that's a very circuitous route. They cant find a way to connect it with out that big wide turn?

If there so concerned with rail, then why the Silver Line. Oh wait... :wink:
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:51 pm

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:I saw this in my Globe this morning and thought, that's a very circuitous route. They cant find a way to connect it with out that big wide turn?

If there so concerned with rail, then why the Silver Line. Oh wait... :wink:


See...we have to spend money on DMU's to get from the Seaport to Back Bay. Because when the entire Orange and Red fleets disintegrate before very our eyes because we didn't replace them we'll need a new route to between South Station and Back Bay.

Hence, the money spent on all-new DMU's instead of very old subway cars is money well-spent!


(This is how Massachusetts pols really think. :wink: )
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby highgreen215 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:33 pm

Let's say you are attending the annual United Undertaker's convention which, for the first time, is being held at the Boston Convention Center. You are staying at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. You have never been to Boston before and so you have no idea how the T works. To get from your hotel to the convention center on the first day, would you prefer to 1) take a commuter rail train from Back Bay to South Station, then carefully follow directions to the Silver Line to get on a bus which will deposit you at a station which is a good walk to the convention center? But wait! First you have to get a Charlie Card and figure out how to load the card with enough money for fares before you board the bus. Or would you prefer to 2) board a frequent DMU shuttle at Back Bay that will deposit you directly to a stop near the convention center, no changes required? Presumably the fare collection system would be streamlined too. The new DMU route could be reason enough to attract more conventions to Boston, a huge economic benefit to local businesses and collected taxes.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:46 pm

highgreen215 wrote: But wait! First you have to get a Charlie Card and figure out how to load the card with enough money for fares before you board.


Would that no also happen with the DMU plan??? How would that be any different.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:12 pm

It's a good thing we have Charlie Cards that work on the commuter rail as a total one-source fare collection! And that they've been putting so much effort the last several years into seeing that this is so! Because the only thing more annoying than having to memorize the pretty colors on a transit map to get anywhere I may need to go is having to memorize all the incompatible differing means of paying for it.



Seriously. I can poke a hole in that convenience argument faster than you can say "Zone 1A". This is never truly going to work smoothly until the whole CR mode gets Charlied interoperably with every other mode. Creating a special fare for this would be almost worse for the confused out-of-towner. Must...be...one-source...farecard. Full-stop. Anything requiring one step or one extra translation layer to sync up with disconnected fare systems undoes the supposed "any idiot could find their way on this worry-free" advantages.
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Re: Seaport District to Back Bay DMU Plan

Postby rethcir » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:37 am

I bet they'll brand this either just as a Shuttle Line or a colored T line to drive home the point that this is a rapid transit solution.
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