Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby The EGE » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:58 pm

The high-level platforms, minus a few segments of the southbound platform, are completely installed at Kingston. They've really done a nice job integrating them with the historic station building:

Image

No real progress on the third track yet. They did look to have about half a mile of signal conduit being installed north of the station, though.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:50 pm

This is basically a revamped West Kington, right? Or is this a new Kingston Station somewhere east of West Kingston?

How much longer is this line going to be than the second longest (I assume second longest is Fitchburg)? Is this the furthest MBTA service will go before RIDOT begins their own service?
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby eubnesby » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:08 am

MBTA service isn't going to Kingston any time soon, even though it would make much more sense than going to Wickford Nowhere. Wickford's siding ends in a buffer, at the moment, so there can't be any through service without works to connect the siding to the main line. This is an Amtrak job. Already, the Regionals that stop at Kingston northbound can open all doors, which saves a lot of time. They are still working on the southbound side. None of the third track has been laid yet.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby BandA » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:05 pm

The MBTA can't have two Kingston stations, lol. Amusing that Wickford Junction is in North Kingstown and Amtrak's Kingston station is in West Kingston.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:02 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:This is basically a revamped West Kington, right? Or is this a new Kingston Station somewhere east of West Kingston?

How much longer is this line going to be than the second longest (I assume second longest is Fitchburg)? Is this the furthest MBTA service will go before RIDOT begins their own service?


Quite likely. Distance to layover is the practical limiter to running a permanent Boston-Kingston schedule at anything greater than the current token Green/Wickford frequencies, so the +1 would be a placeholder planting the flag in advance of the real-deal RI intrastate service. Consider it "Phase 1.3" of the ultimate plan, with real intrastate service still minimally dependent on:

1) new Pawtucket station anchoring the north end.
2) renovated Westerly + layover anchoring the south end.
3) second platforms added to Green and Wickford.
4) mid-line layover de-cluttering Pawtucket Layover for the baseline BOS-PVD schedule and only the Pawtucket-originating intrastate trainsets.

Still a few years away on all of these, as RIDOT can only work point-to-point on grant awards. The mid-line layover would be at land on Seaview's Davisville property closest to the NEC currently used for very light Amtrak MOW duty. When that layover happens it'll draw the line for meaningful Providence Line frequencies at Green, Davisville, or Wickford (whichever makes the most sense for ridership)...not Kingston.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:59 am

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/2 ... ta-station

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island officials are planting a new construction sign marking the future site of the Pawtucket Central Falls Commuter Rail Station.

State and city leaders are scheduled to unveil the new sign Monday at a Pawtucket intersection near where the train station is scheduled to open in 2020.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby ohalloranchris » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:05 pm

<<It will become Rhode Island's first stop for MBTA trains heading to Providence from Attleboro, Massachusetts. The location is a former industrial area of Pawtucket just south of the border with Central Falls.>>

Does this mean that South Attleboro will be eliminated?
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:07 pm

Hell no. It's one of the busiest stops on the system, and it's as close to some dense parts of Pawtucket (as well as having its own RIPTA bus route) as the new station will be to downtown. They're both very much needed.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:01 pm

The author clearly doesn't know much about the commuter rail. They probably didn't even realize that there was a South Attleboro station.
I'll forgive them since South Attleboro is so named because it's in the southern part of Attleboro, rather than in a nonexistent town of South Attleboro.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby BandA » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:37 pm

The location of the new Pawtucket-Central Falls station is not mentioned in the article. Just south of the Central Falls city line is a bit imprecise. And the illustration artist spelled it "PAWTVCKET-CENTRAL-FALLS" just like you would if you were a 19th-century stone carver.

So presently I assume lots of riders from RI board at South Attleboro; I assume MA taxpayers are presently subsidizing them. If you put S Attleboro and Pawtucket in the same fare zone you will sort the MA and RI riders so that one can figure out if the payment formulas are correct???.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby The EGE » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:10 pm

The spelling is a deliberate nod to the old station, which has this carving:

Image
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:35 am

BandA wrote:The location of the new Pawtucket-Central Falls station is not mentioned in the article. Just south of the Central Falls city line is a bit imprecise. And the illustration artist spelled it "PAWTVCKET-CENTRAL-FALLS" just like you would if you were a 19th-century stone carver.

So presently I assume lots of riders from RI board at South Attleboro; I assume MA taxpayers are presently subsidizing them. If you put S Attleboro and Pawtucket in the same fare zone you will sort the MA and RI riders so that one can figure out if the payment formulas are correct???.


Well, it's kind of a semantic thing. The Pilgrim Agreement doesn't allow RIDOT to pay for service in Massachusetts, but because the MBTA district charter doesn't allow MA taxpayers to pay for any service outside of MA they're chucking in pretty generous reimbursement. Schedules, staff, and the whole ops shebang scales to running time across the border, and they pay in a % ownership stake for the entire commuter rail equipment pool (i.e. everything, including the stuff that never ventures southside) that likewise scales up elastically. And they own the land and financed large portion of Pawtucket layover. The T outright makes (small) money on Rhode Island, which is why they're happy as hell to run intrastate service for them.


As for South Attleboro, RIPTA routes 1 (College Hill to Downtown Pawtucket & Park Terrace) and 35 (East Providence via Rumford) now cross the border to loop at the station, and Route 76 (downtown to Seekonk w/ GATRA transfer at state line) has a stop 3 blocks shy of the station on its east-west routing. That's a relatively new thing, as it's only been within the last 3 years that RIPTA signed the legalese to officially cross the border. They re-drew their whole route map once they had that go-ahead. Route 1's one of the busiest on the whole system slicing around the densest part of Pawtucket, and has 20-min. frequencies at peak. A lot of that ridership overload at SA comes from bus transferees, with it ratcheting up a few notches since RIPTA gained direct access to the station busway.

Pawtucket station is going to be a lot of help for the overstuffed 1 as more of that route clusters around downtown density. But the northern half of the route along the east side of the river through Park Terrace is still primarily a South Attleboro catchment, and will re-fill right up as the transit options increase and more people can get a seat. They'll definitely be re-drawing that system map once more to take advantage of the new station right down the street from the bus depot where all the downtown Pawtucket routes cluster. That'll likely involve increases in frequencies on the other routes that hit SA or vicinity because of the way travel patterns will change with Pawtucket-Central Falls, the relief it provide at peak crowding, and the equipment freed up to bolster frequencies elsewhere. You may even see more intensive cross-state overlap between RIPTA and GATRA with the network effects that a second CR stop offers the Pawtucket end of the system. So you will probably count fewer Ocean State license plates clogging the SA parking lot immediately after the new stop opens and a short-term dip in the ridership (until the Mass. plates grab every freed-up space), but it's a long-term situation where they're reloading with better car-free options to SA from a wider area through re-drawn bus routes and better frequencies touching the corner of the RIPTA district wedged up against the state line with Attleboro and Seekonk. That's unequivocally a good thing for Massachusetts, and for the farebox recovery the T draws at South Attleboro.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby eubnesby » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:16 am

I hope they are going to build to a siding (or sidings) the platform(s), here. To do otherwise would be bad. I only say so because the renders seem to show two tracks, and we really don't need another area on this line constricted to two tracks.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby The EGE » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:01 am

All planning documents so far have been for a five-track station: P&W main, side platform, platform track, center passer, center passer, platform track, side platform. There's plenty of room for such a structure in the ROW, and they'll never have to worry about modifying the station. Future commuter rail to Woonsocket/Worcester will require a new interlocking somewhere north of the station, but that's needed to allow those trains to reach the platform tracks at Providence anyway.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:10 pm

The documents page on the project site hasn't been updated for the August 3 public presentation, so I don't know if the renders have been tweaked since the Jan. 2015 meeting. But here's the configuration they were shooting for as of 1/2015: http://projects.vhb.com/PawtucketCommut ... pdf#page=7

P&W FRIP track has to stay separate and platformless because: 1) it's cut at a lower level than the NEC tracks for vertical clearances, meaning it wouldn't come close to lining up with the doors on an island platform that also faces the NEC tracks; 2) it's a wide clearance freight route that wouldn't clear a full-high; and 3) that track is under P&W dispatch and designated as part of their own mainline clear through Providence station to the interlocking at Atwells St., meaning it would be extremely awkward to operate inbound/outbound under separate dispatchers.

Rest is a pretty rote-typical NEC station with 2 side platforms and 2 center express tracks. All of the intermediate stations from Attleboro to Wickford--including the yet-to-be-built infills at Cranston, East Greenwich, and Davisville--will have the same platform 4-track/side-platform configuration. T.F. Green and Wickford will have northbound platforms added in that same configuration. And I would imagine with all the NEC traffic modeling collected that Mansfield and Sharon are going to get plan revisions for matching quad/side layouts and 128 a quad/twin-island layout (which it's already built for), since the 2010 NEC Infrastructure Improvements Master Plan quizzically left those three as tri-track outliers in spite of their stiff congestion. I can't for the life of me figure out what they were thinking not doing a turnout to pre-built infrastructure at 128, and there's huge expanses of space on the outbound/non-depot sides at Mansfield and Sharon.


NEC Infrastructure docs are completely out-of-date on track config here, as they just have a 1-platform placeholder for Pawtucket. I haven't seen any updated schematics because Amtrak is lord and master of the track layout, and it'll be the T's job to hash out the configuration with them while RIDOT's just a passive funding party. The station website is just about the station. There's definitely a lot of room both north and south of the old station to add a third NEC mainline track. Would require track realignment in spots and wider catenary towers, as well as maybe driving some metal berms into the ground where the P&W track is cut lower to keep the ballast level on the differing track heights. That's not overly expensive, but Amtrak's probably going to be cranky about doing it so odds are they're going to keep 2 tracks everywhere but the station platform turnouts and just wait for the day traffic levels get congested enough for Amtrak to make first move on infilling a third track.
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