Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby The EGE » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:46 pm

Long-term, you're going to see a near-separation of the Reading and Haverhill services, similar to the way they were between 1959 and 1976. The lower Lowell Line is entirely double tracked with only 2 grade crossings, and the Wildcat can be double-tracked without difficulty. That lets you bomb Haverhill expresses that direction, and keep only Reading locals on the grade-crossing-laden Reading Line which has several nearly-unfixable single-rack pinches. Eventually, you may be looking at conversion of Reading-south to Orange Line only, via some combination of crossing eliminations and only a limited number of trains proceeding past Oak Grove.

However, they don't want to be adding trains to the Lowell Line right now. Any version of GLX is going to involve at least one Lowell Line track being moved, so there will be single-tracking for several miles for months to years in the near future.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby BvaleShihTzu » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:42 pm

leviramsey wrote:
BvaleShihTzu wrote:But this isn't the issue here -- the double-tracking is funded by stimulus money, not state funds. The T dragging the work out, with now less than 100 meters of gap (around Andover station & Pearons St crossing) preventing the one stretch from being used -- and being that way for several years, simply shows a lack of urgency / disregard for improving service on the part of the T. Even if frequencies didn't go up, reliability would -- I've sat many times at Wilmington Junction waiting for a southbound Amtrak or MBTA train to pass, and sat long enough (at least once for :45) that it is clear if the double-track north of Ballardvale was in service the trains could pass there.


The MBTA has been slow on the particular project (which won't enable a reliable headway better than 40 minutes because of the fact the Orange Line exists) because of the Fitchburg Line rehab more or less taking up all the resources to get things done (because as bad as the Haverhill Line is, the Fitchburg is/was worse; you complain about a pair of 60-80 minute inbound service gaps in the morning? The Fitchburg line outside of Littleton has no inbounds for 200 minutes (over 3 hours!) between train 408 (leaves Fitchburg at 7:15) and train 414 (leaves Fitchburg at 10:35)*, and on top of that, the legislators in northern Worcester and northwestern Middlesex are gung-ho about it).

I've seen this rationalization before (or similar ones), but it doesn't hold up very well versus the alternative model of terrible project planning. If crews are so scarce, then why start the double-tracking below Ballardvale when the stretch above Ballardvale isn't complete? And why lay double-track that won't be used but will need to be removed as part of the Shawsheen River bridge rehabs, just so it can be replaced again? This looks much more like misusing scarce resources than shepherding them.

And as a commuter, to me :30 headways are really the need -- ask people who say they would consider the train but don't use it and the erratic frequencies are a significant issue. Many commuter rail lines run these frequencies or higher without being considered commuter rail -- SEPTA's Downingtown line or a host of LIRR or Metro-North lines.


SEPTA Downingtown? Do you mean Paoli/Thorndale ;)

Downingtown AM peak inbound trains depart at: 5:02, 5:54, 6:18, 6:54, 7:22, 7:43, and 8:18 (so :30 headways for only a half-hour longer than the Haverhill Line). It's also not double-tracked, but triple-tracked.

I grew up near there but haven't been able to keep up with the name changes (Thorndale didn't have a station back in my day :-). My first instinct was to call it R5 or Paoli line. Triple-tracked, true, but surely not really needed to support just SEPTA frequencies.

With the proposed new schedule, :30ish headways on Haverhill line will be from ~5 to ~6:30 -- then almost an hour gap to the next train and another big jump after that. Those gaps are what make the train unusable for many people (I deal with it; many people I talk to don't).
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:15 am

I don't know if this was mentioned, but when these schedules were done for the Southside, Amtrak liners weren't taken into account....so the schedules need some tweaking already
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:31 am

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:I don't know if this was mentioned, but when these schedules were done for the Southside, Amtrak liners weren't taken into account....so the schedules need some tweaking already


You mean that the Providence line (and associated branches) weren't coordinated with the Amtrak timetable? WTF? And it's a minor point, but the single round trip "Lake Shore Limited" would also affect Framingham-Worcester scheduling.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Frode » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:59 pm

You mean that the Providence line (and associated branches) weren't coordinated with the Amtrak timetable?


Why am I not surprised.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:48 pm

It appears to be true. Just a few minutes and I found a bust:

Inbound / Northbound / Eastbound Providence to Boston:
Amtrak #176 departs Providence 7:19 PM, arrives South Station 8:12 PM

Current schedule
MBTA / Keolis train #826 departs Providence 7:30 PM, arrives South Station 8:34 PM
Not a conflict.

Draft schedule
MBTA / Keolis train #832 departs Providence 7:15 PM, arrives South Station 8:24 PM.
Conflicts with Amtrak #176.

I only looked briefly for something obvious. Not sure how many other conflicts there might be.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby nomis » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:13 pm

Running down Tr. 1 for a stretch isn't the end of the world, as long as the newly proposed 827 is running on time. That is scheduled to arrive at PVD at 7:14pm. Most likely, the new 832 will be moved (hopefully earlier) since there are also conflicts with 825 at T.F. Green.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:27 am

I attended the Worcester fare / schedule change hearing on Monday night. I posted my observations on my blog:

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/worceste ... le-changes

Had a great opportunity to interact with the managers - in particular, the Deputy Director of Rail Operations and the Director of Rail Operations (both massDOT / MBTA). Here's one paragraph from my blog that you all might enjoy:

Funny story: If you recall, in my October 14, 2015 blog post, I used some incomplete information to speculate about what the draft schedule would look like. Many of my guesses were wrong, but some weren't too far off. A couple of the massDOT / MBTA managers related to me that as they were working on the draft schedule back then, they noticed my blog post and had it up on their computer screens while they continued to edit the draft schedules. They debated whether to correct my inaccurate guesses by just sending me the draft schedule! The issue became moot because I was able to get a copy of the real draft schedule just a few days later and update my blog with the accurate draft schedule. I was surprised to hear my blog got such attention!
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:13 pm

"Bullet trains"? Seriously? How about "express trains", and just leave it at that?
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:20 pm

Rockingham Racer wrote:"Bullet trains"? Seriously? How about "express trains", and just leave it at that?


The term "bullet train," which first appeared on a poster of the new draft schedule at a press conference by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito on 10/7/15, is apparently intended to differentiate the non-stop express service from Worcester to Boston (bypassing EVERYTHING in between) vs. 'traditional' Framingham-Worcester express trains which only bypass Newton, Wellesley, and Natick stations (but serve Framingham and all stations west of Framingham). You can see the poster in the blog post below, and yes, the MBTA actually called the trains "bullet" instead of giving them a typical train number on that initial draft schedule poster.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/new-draf ... -available

The term has stuck, for better or for worse. Probably just a matter of weeks before some railfan from somewhere else shows up in Worcester looking for a real Maglev bullet train.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Rockingham Racer » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:13 pm

LOL on the maglev. Caltrain--or was it fans out there-use the term "baby Bullet" for some of their skip-stop trains out of SFO.

I guess I'm bouncing off the term as is used in Japan for high speed trains there. Compared to the Japanese operation, the term "bullet train" being used in this country is quite a misnomer.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Frode » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:33 am

A lively forum in Mansfield last night on the proposed Providence line schedule changes. There was much opposition to the elimination of most Ruggles stops for Providence trains (but every Stoughton train will stop at Ruggles?) and the elimination of the short-turn train 842 7:26 departure from Mansfield and the train 808 7:44 express from Mansfield, which now becomes a local making all stops. The Sun Chronicle has more: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/loc ... 2e3f0.html
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby chrisf » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:23 am

Frode wrote:A lively forum in Mansfield last night on the proposed Providence line schedule changes. There was much opposition to the elimination of most Ruggles stops for Providence trains (but every Stoughton train will stop at Ruggles?) and the elimination of the short-turn train 842 7:26 departure from Mansfield and the train 808 7:44 express from Mansfield, which now becomes a local making all stops. The Sun Chronicle has more: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/loc ... 2e3f0.html

If, as the article states, that the justification for eliminating the Ruggles stops is due to the station being overcrowded, the MBTA is either trying to reduce ridership, or is totally clueless and is ignoring or unaware that the overcrowding will simply shift to another station. It makes no sense.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby leviramsey » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:23 pm

chrisf wrote:If, as the article states, that the justification for eliminating the Ruggles stops is due to the station being overcrowded, the MBTA is either trying to reduce ridership, or is totally clueless and is ignoring or unaware that the overcrowding will simply shift to another station. It makes no sense.


Is the overcrowding referred to rider overcrowding (which would mean on platforms etc.), or is it a case of the switching moves required for a train entering the Corridor south of Forest Hills taking up too much of the Corridor's capacity? I suspect it's the latter, and a quick look at when trains stop at or pass Ruggles seems to indicate that that's the case.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Frode » Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:31 pm

If it's switching moves, though, why are almost all Stoughton trains stopping at Ruggles and almost no Providence trains? It seems that they could do some of each with the same number of switching moves.
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