GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Stephen » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:49 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:Yes...right at Innerbelt Rd, which is the top of the wye plus the switch to Boston Paperboard (which hasn't gotten anything in three years)
D



Got it. Thank you for the time and information.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Arlington » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:06 pm

"Tufts interlocking" update:

Looking inbound from the future College Ave station/bridge at 4pm Saturday, it looks like the subsoil is all graded and the ballast is half laid (it reaches about 3/4 of the way to College Ave from the Harvard Ave "slot shift" (and new signal mast) , which is about half of the total project distance.

A pre-made turnout was sitting in the ballast near Harvard Ave (not sure if that will be its final location.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Arlington » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:09 am

Nice view from the GLX project Facebook feed. A picture taken from the College Ave bridge at Tufts in Medford looking inward

This picture was taken from the College Ave bridge at Tufts in Medford looking inward (from roughly here: https://goo.gl/maps/hrdJNZLMBtK2)

Near the "rail horizon" in this photo (about 2000' inward/distant from where the photographer stood) you can see the tracks cross in the leftmost slots of the Harvard Ave bridge, and jog rightward to their current slots while the new interlocking is built on the new leftside alignment. If you look closely, the tracks on the photo's horizon are *not* connected to the new interlocking. You can also see the vertical mast of the new signals as a shiny vertical tower in front of the blue science building (and if you find that, you can also see the new signals extended out over the future CR alignment)

Once the ballast will be laid on the now-dirt side all the way out to 1000' beyond College Ave (where they've had to install a retaining wall to get enough room), the rails will be closed for the weekend, cut dragged and connected to the interlocking. In all that's about 3000' worth of rails (2000' on the inward side of College Ave and 1000' outward) that will be realigned on the left so that the GLX can be constructed on the right.
Image

Below, top, is a diagram that describes the foreground of the picture above, and below, bottom, is a diagram of the work that is happening "behind" the photographer who took the photo above.
http://i.imgur.com/Jjr7pPzh.png
http://i.imgur.com/qBLoRyph.png
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby BandA » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:31 pm

Wow, four tracks plus room for a dedicated access road for maintenance and buried cables.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:16 pm

BandA wrote:Wow, four tracks plus room for a dedicated access road for maintenance and buried cables.


Almost like the B&A or yore. :-D
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Arlington » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:28 pm

BandA wrote:Wow, four tracks plus room for a dedicated access road for maintenance and buried cables.

It helps that the blue building (the Tufts Science & Technology Center) appears to have had an industrial past that was provisioned for its own siding (that has--or will--become that accessway).
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:43 am

BandA wrote:Wow, four tracks plus room for a dedicated access road for maintenance and buried cables.


When it hits you that the T could have just simply quad-tracked the Lowell Line from Rt. 16 to North Station and run DMU's through bare-bones stations in Somerville and an interchange w/ the Green Line Union branch at Brickbottom and had the same exact functionality as the GLX as-planned for pennies on the dollar.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:37 am

Making people transfer to get downtown instead of having one-seat service is not "the same exact functionality".

Operating and maintaining a unicorn fleet of DMUs for this one shuttle service instead of using existing rolling stock is not "the same exact functionality".

Bare bones stations are not "the same exact functionality".
Last edited by CRail on Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:00 pm

Not to mention there is no freaking way you're getting anywhere close to LRT frequencies with a mainline RR mode. Too many heterogeneous schedules to be slotted making the churn of headways too much more irregular across the service day than your average D Line frequency. And the accel/decel difference between a trolley and an obese FRA-compliant MU is enough to add several minutes to trip times.

This is the same "equal-or-better" logic inflicted by modal warriors on Roxbury 30 years ago when they got sacked with the slow bus.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby StefanW » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:21 pm

Arlington wrote:Near the "rail horizon" in this photo (about 2000' inward/distant from where the photographer stood) you can see the tracks cross in the leftmost slots of the Harvard Ave bridge, and jog rightward to their current slots while the new interlocking is built on the new leftside alignment.


I've lost all sense of what happened when, so the date of the Google Map / Earth views isn't clear.

Is this view perhaps as far back as 2014 or even older?
https://goo.gl/maps/nznUm9MAaqt
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby Arlington » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:20 pm

StefanW wrote:I've lost all sense of what happened when, so the date of the Google Map / Earth views isn't clear.

Is this view perhaps as far back as 2014 or even older?
https://goo.gl/maps/nznUm9MAaqt

Maybe only 2015?
From Left to Right in that view:
The slot on the left (being constructed) is the current and final home of Lowell Line Outbound
The next slot was then the home of Lowell Line Outbound but is the current and final home of Lowell Line Inbound
The next slot was then the home of Lowell Line Inbound but is now empty, awaiting GLX Outbound
The next slot was then unbuilt, but is now empty, awaiting the GLX inbound.

You can also see that the ROW leaps left toward the blue science building after it crosses Harvard st. That's where the future vehicular access road is.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:00 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:Making people transfer to get downtown instead of having one-seat service is not "the same exact functionality".


That'd be solved with NSRL, which just like Somerville's mass transit, should have been built at the end of the Big Dig.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby rethcir » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:39 pm

The legal and political pretense for the GLX has always been based on environmental justice (lower car use, lower diesel use) anyway. Somerville has all those diesel trains come thru each day and none actually server Somerville residents. DMU's probably aren't the long term solution for reducing the burden of diesel emissions on the residents of the Ville.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:22 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
deathtopumpkins wrote:Making people transfer to get downtown instead of having one-seat service is not "the same exact functionality".


That'd be solved with NSRL, which just like Somerville's mass transit, should have been built at the end of the Big Dig.


Let me get this straight: the thing we're building now is late, so we should've scrubbed it in favor of the gigaproject that'll take a minimum of 15 years of study and design...even if we hurry it...before the first shovel can feasibly get turned??? Because literally everything in urban planning boils down to lizard-brain binary choices or something. Sorry...that red herring casts a stench you can smell a hundred feet away.


-- Once more, until blue in the face: DMU/EMU FREQUENCIES ≠ GREEN LINE FREQUENCIES. Not even close. The dispatching complexity between an open system like a mainline railway handling an extremely heterogeneous traffic profile through its terminal district and a closed system like the Green Line that only has to juggle 4 primary schedules of nearly alike properties is a night-and-day difference. So are turnaround times for an FRA-regulated reverse at a terminating station vs. how quickly you can reverse a trolley on the platform. You aren't getting dead evenly spaced sub-10 min. headways with accurate-to-the-minute countdown clocks with the dips and spikes of mainline rail dispatch needing to change up the schedule padding on a dime to slot this Downeaster or that BO-1 or DOBO freight or that commuter express amid College Ave. DMU's. The reason 15-minute frequencies is the gold-standard ID'd by the state for Indigo-caliber service anywhere on the spider map where such Urban Rail service is feasible is because that's about the closest common denominator you can reach for keeping the minimum headway "countdown clock-accurate" for a full shift on the candidate lines. Shoot for a lower target and the consistency of those headways starts falling prey to hiccups thrown out by hyper-localized conditions in individual spots and/or at individual times of day. Mainline Urban Rail can have extremely tight spacing, but it's still inherently variable because of the mixed traffic profile (which would be exponentially more mix on an NSRL-ified Lowell Line). The countries with the bestest-run mainline rail systems in the world still don't stoop to advertising that mode as one and the same with a tram/metro line. They're still very different tools in the toolbox with differing specialties. And the planners-in-charge who have a good handle on those fundamental differences generally don't fall victim to "BRT is just like a train with tires!!!" astroturf campaigns, because they know full well each mode has its strengths/weaknesses and no single mode runs the table in superlatives enough to be that holy-grail "universal solvent" to end all other modes.

-- South Station is not where the bulk of Somerville demand is heading. The Green Line is. Why? Because 100 years of transit has channeled all the local bus/streetcar routes into Lechmere and points inbound, not the waterfront. And the demand reflected by 25 years of GLX studies is unequivocal about this: straight into the Central Subway is the largest demand capture. This is bread-and-butter "square-to-square" Boston neighborhood transit. The demand profiles are not remotely the same switching the route up.

-- These are the same exact modal warfare excuses straight from Roxbury 1987 moving their goalposts to a new target. If it reduces frequencies, runs slower, and pulls the route away from the established demand patterns...it's not "equal or better" replacement for what binding mandate it was supposed to serve. And it's not a substitute project for GLX. The Lowell Line DMU trojan horse has been trotted out time and again by everyone from misinformed pols to outright trolls as a so-called time/money-saver lecturing Somerville to settle for less and settle for places cresting demand doesn't really need to go because being mostly taken for fools is somehow better than being taken completely for it. That garbage gets nuked from orbit by STEP and walked back within seconds by every local pol (see: Capuano, Rep. Michael) who gets flame-broiled by their constituents for spreading such misinformation about "solutions" that don't even ask the right questions. Transit constituencies have wisened up to those fallacious arguments in the decade since the Silver Line exposed them for what they are. Modal warfare is a war of attrition. It rarely, if ever, leads to good transit builds because the competing alternatives become all about tearing the logical alternative to shreds rather than picking the correct tool from the transit toolbox to solve the given demand problem. That's exactly what the Lowell DMU is. It doesn't go where GLX demand as fully goes as often as GLX demand needs to go as quickly as GLX demand needs to go, so the only arguments it's got boosting it are mode-vs.-mode scorn and false equivalences.

Greater Boston, thank its lucky stars, has a MUCH lower tolerance for this kind of transparent B.S. in 2017 compared to 1987. GLX is still standing despite having every attack line in the book--from the most legitimately-sourced to the rank troll jobs--thrown at it for over 20 years now.
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Re: GLX Impact on NH Route (Lowell Line)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:21 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Let me get this straight: the thing we're building now is late, so we should've scrubbed it


I never suggested scrubbing GLX today. I'd say it should have been planned differently from the start, decades ago!

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:EMU FREQUENCIES ≠ GREEN LINE FREQUENCIES. Not even close.


I'm not convinced. Salem has inbounds scheduled within 10 minutes of each other while utilizing diesel locomotive-hauled sets, a track/signal system that could be improved, and all on a single track pinch point. There is a point in the day where Salem sees trains every ~8 minutes (including both directions, but remember this is single track, so with opposing moves that's even more impressive). Not to mention, the discussion at hand involved quad-track.
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