Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Roadgeek Adam » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:48 pm

3) trading useless Mishawum for a much higher-patronage Montvale Ave. infill constructed with Anderson-style passing track


Having visited the Boston area to do more station photography on Saturday, Mishawum and Anderson RTC ended up on the list. Knowing nothing about Mishawum, we spent 10 minutes in darkness looking for a way to access the station, going left, right, up and down. We finally found the "MBTA Drop Off" area near one of the office buildings.

Walking down the stairs that were open, I get downstairs, I'm seeing this station meet the justification of a trash can. Signage is falling apart, the shelters of sort are rather dingy and disgusting. I almost wondered if it would be more worth to set the station on fire and make it a provided excuse. Hell, the station still has its old parking payment system. If Woburn doesn't want a station at Montvale Avenue, then that's their choice, but lord. As an out-of-towner, it's rather embarrassing to see a station like this.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby octr202 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:46 pm

Mishawum isn't quite a "real" station (now). The MBTA and Woburn intended for it to be closed after Anderson opened. (Prior to Anderson, it was the station for Woburn.) They kind of overlooked the fact that Anderson isn't even remotely accessible for reverse commuters who walk to workplaces around it. (There's also surprisingly high numbers of the same who go to jobs near Anderson, even though the station is almost totally devoid of any form of pedestrian access.) The station was given a stay of execution, and a small number of morning outbounds and evening inbounds stop there, just for the reverse commute. As our moderator has pointed out before, it's the only station on the system which has a mini-high that has been removed from service.

The only reason there's a brand new access ramp on the west (inbound) side is because the new office building wiped out the old access. I believe that building sits where the old station parking lot sat. The closed structure just to the west along Mishawum Rd with the large parking lot is the old Woburn Logan Express terminal, which also moved to Anderson along with the trains.

There have been a couple attempts to operate shuttle buses out of Anderson to serve area businesses but none have met with success.

This is also wondering somewhat far from Foxboro. Sorry for the diversion.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Passaic River Rat » Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:46 am

Probably old news for you guys:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), a noncarrier, has filed a verified notice of exemption under 49 C.F.R. § 1150.31 to acquire from CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSXT) certain railroad assets and associated right-of-way known generally as the Framingham Secondary, extending from milepost QBF 0.0 at Mansfield, Mass., to milepost QBF 21.2 at Framingham, Mass. (near CP-21), a distance of approximately 21.2 route miles (the Line)....(Click here for entire STB filing)
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Ryanontherails » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:13 pm

Okay, so on my map I added a modified northeast wye. The interlocking would be moved past my proposed platform and new track would parallel the Franklin Line for a while before turning away like it currently does. That should solve the Framingham-Readville issue.

MBTA3247 wrote:IIRC the speed limit on that line is 10 mph, so some trackwork will have to be done to make it suitable for regular commuter service. There's not much traffic over the line to begin with (somewhere upthread I think it's mentioned that there's only one freight in each direction per day), so that gives work crews a pretty good window of time to work on a stretch of track between trains, with no /minimal disruption to regular service. If, for some reason, they decided it would be better to shut down the line entirely during the upgrades, the alternate routes would be either Walpole-Readville-Mansfield or Worcester-Providence (via P&W)-Mansfield. Both alternatives I expect would be limited to nights-only due to passenger traffic on the Corridor.


In the past few weeks at work I have only seen one train go by and the Framingham Secondary had not been plowed. I wonder how CSX has been routing those trains? I don't know how long it would take for them to lay down over 21 miles of new track, but it doesn't sound like it would be that hard.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:49 pm

For Walpole-Foxboro under the "Option C" full build is only 4 new miles of Class 3/60 MPH track for the passenger service, plus 1 grade crossing to upgrade (Summer St., East Walpole), plus new interlockings (Walpole Jct. for the wye, both ends of the Foxboro platform freight passing track, and F'boro layover yard turnout...which may share an interlocking with one end of the passing track). If scaled back for starter service punting the signal system (save for Walpole interlocking) off to a later add-on they'd still install the same rail type on those 4 miles. Then whenever Phase II finishes the upgrades they'd bump the track class by doing a once-over and installing more new ties underneath the rail. It's # of deficient ties allowed per every X number of ties that has the most bearing on track class...and thus, speeds when you're talking increases from 10-60 MPH. Run the automated tie-changer machine under the same CWR they originally installed and that more or less accomplishes that job. So the rail change-out is pretty much a default expense any which way (and not a massive one at that). The ties, ballast, and roadbed fixes (drainage, etc.) are the larger material costs for an end goal of scaling up to full-on passenger speed. With the signal system being the biggest line item. But overall since none of the line needs any passing tracks whatsoever for the traffic...just at the full-high F'boro platform for the wide freights...it's actually not very much new steel hardware to do over the entirety of Walpole-Mansfield.

Now, "Option C" on the full build would press forward with Class 2/40 MPH track to Mansfield Jct. as a formality because the NEC end is where the signal system fiber optic hookup ties in and you need better rail than what's there to transmit the cab signal track circuits through the running rails. But assume that only comes into play when you're a-go for the full-blast scale-up. If it's starting slow they're not going to touch the crud stick rail between Foxboro and Mansfield because it's not necessary without a signal system.


The upper Framingham Sec. is a few miles longer than the lower half at about ~13 miles. But because it has absolute zero passenger potential in the near- or far-term any upgrades they commit to for freight loading weight are going to be different. All you need there are rails that support 286,000 lb. railcars. Which it already does support between Framingham Jct. and the Bay Colony interchange at Medfield Jct. It'll remain unsignaled. It'll remain 10 MPH. It'll remain stick rail and not need CWR...heavier-weight stick probably, but jointed rail is way easy to re-use from secondhand sources and cheaper to acquire. And most of the physical plant expense would be change-outs of rotted ties for handling the higher loading weight (fewer changeouts per X number of ties than the lower Framingham Sec. because you're only maintaining Class 1 speeds). And then fixing any weight-restricted undergrade bridges, rough crossing surfaces (there are some in pretty poor shape), and probably upgrading the flashers-only crossing protection on most of the line to gated crossings (all of them have automatic protection, but I count only a couple of pre-existing gate installations). Basic freight state-of-repair stuff where a few $M covers 2-3x the track miles of equivalent state-of-repair funding for passenger-grade track.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Red Wing » Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:01 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The upper Framingham Sec. is a few miles longer than the lower half at about ~13 miles. But because it has absolute zero passenger potential in the near- or far-term


F-Line, I would agree with daily commuter usage of this route but I disagree with zero potential because a "Pat's Special" from Worcester would be a huge success in my opinion.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:17 pm

...except, they studied this when that private group wanted in on it and the numbers said the demand would be almost zero.

495 just isn't that bad between Hopkinton and Plainville on a Sunday.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Cosmo » Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:44 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:495 just isn't that bad between Hopkinton and Plainville on a Sunday.

...except when there's a Pats game. ;)
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby Ryanontherails » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:28 pm

Looks like there are plans for a pilot program in 2018:

http://patch.com/massachusetts/foxborou ... rough-2017
http://www.foxbororeporter.com/articles ... 787382.txt
http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/loc ... 0ff39.html

I find it strange that apparently they can do a pilot service to Foxborough but not Buzzards Bay. It will be interesting to see if demand really does warrant 64 trains/day. I wonder what this means for Walpole, if they will build the new platform or just skip it for now. And as I've said before, I'd like to see service go past the stadium to Mansfield for the southbound connections, new (albeit 12-minute longer according to the 2010 study) service to that stop as well as a new stop in Downtown Foxborough next to Schneider Electric where the old one was. It will be interesting!
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby BandA » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:26 am

Will they have enough equipment?
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:18 am

Ryanontherails wrote:Looks like there are plans for a pilot program in 2018:

http://patch.com/massachusetts/foxborou ... rough-2017
http://www.foxbororeporter.com/articles ... 787382.txt
http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/loc ... 0ff39.html

I find it strange that apparently they can do a pilot service to Foxborough but not Buzzards Bay. It will be interesting to see if demand really does warrant 64 trains/day. I wonder what this means for Walpole, if they will build the new platform or just skip it for now. And as I've said before, I'd like to see service go past the stadium to Mansfield for the southbound connections, new (albeit 12-minute longer according to the 2010 study) service to that stop as well as a new stop in Downtown Foxborough next to Schneider Electric where the old one was. It will be interesting!


Cape Main south of Middleboro has a bunch of programmed upgrades budgeted in the MassDOT FY17-21 CIP, including replacement of the bridge over Cohasset Narrows right before BB station. The Framingham Secondary freight upgrades, by contrast, are in the home stretch right now. That probably has a lot to do with why one trial got favored over the other.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby BandA » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:22 pm

Sounds like the folks in Foxborough were surprised
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby craven » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:56 pm

F-line writes: "It'll remain stick rail and not need CWR...heavier-weight stick probably, but jointed rail is way easy to re-use from secondhand sources and cheaper to acquire."

There are miles of welded track on the siding from Framingham to Walpole, waiting to be installed.. and lately noticed that Thousands of new ties by Hospital Road crossing in Medfield.
(This area had just had Mass Costal install new ties this summer.)

A major problem with the Dedham/Franklin lines is similar to the Needham line, they both require access to Northeast Corridor travel to Boston. One late train Holds up all trains from entering.

AND South Station doesn't have the room for many more arrivals/departures.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:03 pm

The official full-time Foxboro CR proposal was to route all trains over the Fairmount Line, so NEC plays no role in that. Whether the trial will use the NEC route or go by Fairmount is TBD.
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Re: Foxboro Commuter Rail Extension

Postby nomis » Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:15 pm

I could imagine some moves are extended runs of shuttles or norwood short turns and use their peak hour slots into South Station. However both options will require some dedicated equipment (at rush hour) to run even a trial schedule. Running the Dorchester has the one bottleneck to deal with the now 30mph ShoreLine bridge, but the bigger operational headache would be to run from Wapole to Norwood Central on the single track and not hose up a reverse commute.
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