Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

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

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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby nomis » Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:15 pm

TomNelligan wrote:
BandA wrote:So the station should be called Foxborough, unless the railroad spelled it the other way before.


Just as a historical note, both the New Haven and Penn Central identified the station as "Foxboro" when they owned the line. Football specials began running there in the early 1970s under PC.

And by ETT today, it is Foxboro.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby ohalloranchris » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:20 pm

If I'm not mistaken, the current special event trains to Foxboro crawl at around 20mph from Walpole to the Stadium. Is the track being upgraded for higher speeds?
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:19 pm

Yes. The whole line from Framingham to Mansfield is being upgraded right this second to Class 2 standards. Go spotting the line and you'll see Iowa Pacific-contracted crews out there right now doing track work on the southern end of the line (after doing the north end last year). These upgrades will allow for 30 MPH passenger MAS and 25 MPH freight MAS, and also a much smoother and quieter ride now that the shot trackbed and crossing surfaces are getting a long overdue full renewal. Crossing protection is also being upgraded to full gates, meaning Boston trains won't have to slow up at formerly flashers-only crossings like Summer St. in South Walpole and the Providence game-day trains won't get slowed up on the 7 flashers-only public crossings in Foxboro coming up from the Mansfield end.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:00 am

FCMB published its Response to Questions summary about the pilot: http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About ... 4-2017.pdf


Nothing terribly interesting, but they detailed the methodology they used to evaluate the pilot...including how it would fit in with the stretched-thin equipment pool.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby mgdemarco » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:26 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Yes. The whole line from Framingham to Mansfield is being upgraded right this second to Class 2 standards. Go spotting the line and you'll see Iowa Pacific-contracted crews out there right now doing track work on the southern end of the line (after doing the north end last year). These upgrades will allow for 30 MPH passenger MAS and 25 MPH freight MAS, and also a much smoother and quieter ride now that the shot trackbed and crossing surfaces are getting a long overdue full renewal. Crossing protection is also being upgraded to full gates, meaning Boston trains won't have to slow up at formerly flashers-only crossings like Summer St. in South Walpole and the Providence game-day trains won't get slowed up on the 7 flashers-only public crossings in Foxboro coming up from the Mansfield end.


About how many minutes will the above upgrades shave off on the Boston to Foxboro game trains?
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:56 pm

Probably not a whole lot when ~20 miles of the game train trip is on the main + NEC, and only 3.5 miles are on the Framingham Secondary itself. The modest increase in max speed won't shave enough time to get out of the schedule padding margin-of-error. The running track uprate is more about smoother ride quality and lowered noise impacts; you won't ker-plunk up and down with a bang on every shot rail joint like before on the new rail and renewed trackbed. Where you may indeed see the game trains pick up a couple minutes is with the grade crossing rebuilds and Lewis Wye renewal. The wye won't be as excruciating a slow walk with the interlocking due to be rebuilt before the pilot, and both Summer St. Walpole and the Walpole Station pedestrian crossing on the wye are getting full gates as part of their renewal. That does meaningful good at taming speed restrictions across those 3.5 miles.


The full-build feasibility study called for Class 3 (60 MPH MAS) track on the Framingham Secondary from Lewis Wye to Gillette Stadium (no Class 4/79 MPH MAS necessary since trains on the Framingham Sec. would only top 60 for an inconsequential handful of seconds before hitting the brakes at station or wye approach, at zero difference in schedule time). That study schedule took 10 minutes to go from Windsor Gardens to Foxboro (6 miles) without a Walpole stop (omitted from the scoping study since it's a separate TBD how an ADA'd Walpole Station would be configured), whereas today's Forge Park schedule takes 5 minutes from WG to Walpole (2.5 miles). Splitting the difference, that probably means 5 min. WG-Walpole + 5 min. Walpole-Foxboro if the full-build included a Walpole platform. I guess you can do some math and extrapolate from there how much of an improvement the much zippier Class 3 full-build uprate is from the game trains, as 60 vs. 25 MPH is a much starker difference than 30 vs. 25.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby troffey » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:32 pm

For what it's worth, I took the train to a game last year and according to GPS, we topped out at 9 miles an hour between the wye and the stadium. We also missed the scheduled/published arrival by about 15 minutes, so the upgrades might just translate to meeting the published times.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Diverging Route » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:51 am

The pilot has been approved by the MBTA FMCB. From the Boston Globe today:

The board on Monday also approved a one-year pilot service on the commuter rail to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Partially subsidized by the Kraft Group, which owns the stadium and the New England Patriots, the service would launch in spring 2019.

The Foxborough proposal had drawn opposition along the Fairmount Line, where riders worried that extending the train service along their tracks to Foxborough increased the risk of delay. Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack argued the pilot could help boost ridership and increase parking options along the commuter rail. As part of the Foxborough service, the Krafts will provide 500 parking spaces at the stadium for T commuters.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby BandA » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:11 pm

The Herald articlehttp://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2017/08/robert_kraft_lands_ok_for_foxboro_t_service was very negative, played up the Bob Kraft benefits and that the service was racist:
“They are all-star, hall-of-fame caliber when it comes to screwing things up,” state Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) said of the MBTA. “The fact that they’re willing to sacrifice more taxpayer dollars to make their argument (for this pilot) possibly work is beyond me. It just shows a total disregard for the public trust.

Apparently the Conservation Law Foundation is now a "civil rights" organization:
“That means the folks riding from Foxboro will be sitting and the folks getting on board on the Fairmount Line will be standing,” said Rafael Mares of the Conservation Law Foundation. “And if you know the demographics, that means that most white people coming from Foxboro will be sitting while black people will be standing, which is a terrible image.”
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:44 am

Current Temporary Speed Restriction on the Framingham Secondary for passenger trains is 10 mph for the entire branch. As someone mentioned, MassCoastal has been very busy this summer replacing ties, and the last 3 weeks, dumping stone, and having the track tamped and surfaced. Stone dumping will be wrapping up in a few weeks, and then the rail will be replaced before the speed is brought back up. Along with x'ing upgrades, etc. that is also needed
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