Franklin Line Discussion

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

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Franklin Line Discussion

Postby daybeers » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:40 pm

Hello everyone! I'm taking a trip up to Boston in a couple weeks and was wondering if I could get the rundown of what the Franklin Line is like. I've been on the Framingham/Worcester Line before, so I know how the commuter rail works, but just wondering if there's anything special about this line. I'll be traveling from South Station to Norfolk.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby diburning » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:32 am

You'll pass over a diamond in Walpole. I could be wrong, but it might be the only one on the MBTA.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:42 am

Much of the west end of the Franklin branch between Franklin and Walpole features long straightaways and sustains high speed operation (79mph) - IIRC, the MBTA would test various cars along the route years back.

Re: the MBTA's only diamond at Walpole, up until recently, there used to be a diamond or two where the Grand Junction branch crossed the Fitchburg MBTA line underneath the McGrath Highway but this April 2018 aerial photo suggests that switches are being installed there.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby GP40MC1118 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:49 pm

The new configuration at Swift Interlocking/Grand Jct has a moveable point diamond switch. Most of it is under the McGrath Highway
bridge.

D
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:48 pm

There are a pair of diamonds at Orient Heights where the yard leads from the inbound track cross the outbound track.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby daybeers » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:36 pm

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:31 pm

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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby BandA » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:02 pm

I assume on this type of project the construction companies get to keep those beautiful granite blocks.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:22 am

Band A, I wouldn't be so sure. When they tore down the embankment through Jamaica Plain to build the new Southwest Corridor, the granite blocks got used in public landscaping projects all over the city. Some make the raised flower beds at Forest Hills Station. Some make vehicle barriers all along the road through Franklin Park from the Arborway to Blue Hill Ave. Some are in the Arboretum at the top of Peter's or Motley's Hill. Some are all through Southwest Corridor Park. I don't know where else. But at least that time -- the last big demolition of old granite railroad walls -- they didn't give them to the contractors or treat them as junk.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby trains18 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:03 pm

The only interesting thing that will be happening is extending the fairmount (readville) line to Foxboro which will be starting this spring. More info can be seen here: https://mecc.memberclicks.net/foxboroug ... rail-pilot
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby HenryAlan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:41 am

@ArborwayFan: that is fascinating, I had no idea that the granite had been repurposed in that fashion. I have frequently interacted with those blocks both at the Arobretum and at Franklin Park, never realizing they were a part of Boston rail history.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:40 pm

How can they run pilot projects when there is a car shortage?
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby Arborwayfan » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:07 am

Henry Alan. Here's a short history of the embankment, which confirms my memory about the granite blocks, but seems to say that the inner, undressed stones were not reused in that way, just the outside ones: https://www.jphs.org/transportation/orange-line-replaced-old-railroad-embankment.html. The embankment was demolished in 1979-80 (while I was taking the school bus to kindergarten right through the demolition zone; I remember one day the demolition had reached the bridge they went under, and they were cutting it down, and then the bridge was gone and they were jackhammering away on the other side of the street) and the stones appeared in those other places over the next few years.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby CRail » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:33 pm

BandA wrote:How can they run pilot projects when there is a car shortage?

The service will run as an extension to existing trains. It will not require additional equipment.
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Re: Franklin Line Discussion

Postby AmtrakLocomotiveEngineer » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:53 pm

diburning wrote:You'll pass over a diamond in Walpole. I could be wrong, but it might be the only one on the MBTA.
Was the diamond in FX Interlocking removed? It's been over many years since I've been through there.
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