Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

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

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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby jbvb » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:02 pm

Last I knew (blessedly free from MBTA commuting now), Commuter Rail parking lots didn't allow overnight stays. That always complicated any trip I made that started out "get to Boston and..." Has that changed with the parking app? Does RI do it differently?
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby BandA » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:09 am

I don't know much about RI CR parking, but in MA things seem pretty dysfunctional. CT seems to take parking seriously, even controlling the number of monthly parking passes to allow enough spaces for "casual" users who pay the daily rate.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby BandA » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:11 am

Overnight parking should be an option at key stations rather than an afterthought.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:03 am

Overnight parking at most commuter rail lots is strictly prohibited: http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/parkin ... #overnight

Lots close at 2 am, reopen 30 minutes before the first scheduled train.

Some attended lots and garages are 24/7 though.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby Vermian » Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:16 pm

Is it possible that with the pending restoration of the long awaited south coast rail that RI would entertain the idea of rebuilding the Sokonnet River bridge and having MBTA service extended to Newport from the proposed Battleship Cove station?

Newport could possibly the be the best destination this side of Manhattan for passengers to alight and not need an automobile.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:35 pm

Does the phrase "snowball's chance in hell" ring familiar?!

The cost to replace a drawbridge and upgrade the track would be astronomical. Bad enough
the present cost of SOCO Rail now without this. Plus you'd have to rehab the Taunton to Attleboro.
The anti-train nuts in Norton would go postal...

D
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:39 pm

Vermian wrote:Is it possible that with the pending restoration of the long awaited south coast rail that RI would entertain the idea of rebuilding the Sokonnet River bridge and having MBTA service extended to Newport from the proposed Battleship Cove station?

Newport could possibly the be the best destination this side of Manhattan for passengers to alight and not need an automobile.


See pages 119-120 in the official Rhode Island State Rail Plan: http://www.planning.ri.gov/documents/tr ... f#page=119.

They recommend a feasibility study on a Newport-Fall River connection, dependent on whether South Coast Rail truly moves forward (I wouldn't get over-optimistic about that). RIDOT has long been thinking exactly along those lines, which is tragic because the self-absorbed South Coast Rail Task Force hasn't done any coordination with RIDOT whatsoever. Absent any action on SCR, the state is piecemeal-investing in track upgrades on Aquidneck Island so the dinner train can run more general-purpose transit during peak season to help traffic congestion. Few more mini-grants to help out with state-of-repair and the railroad is entertaining the idea of running an RDC dinky across the island to multiple stops. So things are not standing still in Newport even though they are beholden to (still pretty unlikely) action in Massachusetts before it makes any sense to so much as study a bridge rebuild.



One thing you can be sure of: there will never be a rail trail on the Tiverton side blocking restoration. The tracks retain a technical Out-of-Service designation because P&W never gave up its freight rights to Newport; state line-Newport local rights + Attleboro-Taunton-state line overhead rights are still listed on their system map to this day. That was a favor exchanged with RIDOT when the bridge was damaged beyond repair and freight service to Newport ended, to block any NIMBY opposition from a future reactivation. Every proposal for a trail has been instantly turned down by the state and P&W. In a reactivation scenario P&W can skip a Surface Transportation Board hearing altogether and simply file an FRA notice that it intends to resume service to Newport, then run a copy of that notice in the local papers as notice to abutters. Tiverton NIMBY's can't say boo about the track gangs that come in to repair the overgrown ROW, at least as far as restoring it to its previous minimally operable Class 1 state. Now...that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of shennanigans RIDOT has to deal with about upgrading those tracks to passenger speeds, as there's plenty of permitting that has to be done around things like security fencing around a higher-speed tracks. There will still be plenty of "Operation Chaos" potential to slow down construction or land a few cost-bloating punches. But P&W's federal preemption means nobody can outright thwart reactivation if RIDOT does a wink-and-nod to P&W to file that notice and start the ball rolling.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:33 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:Does the phrase "snowball's chance in hell" ring familiar?!

The cost to replace a drawbridge and upgrade the track would be astronomical. Bad enough
the present cost of SOCO Rail now without this. Plus you'd have to rehab the Taunton to Attleboro.
The anti-train nuts in Norton would go postal...

D


Sakonnet Draw wouldn't be astronomical in cost. It would be 1 track across a 350 ft. channel. The T is cleanroom-replacing Gloucester Draw-- 2 tracks spanning a 200 ft. channel--for $50M. And that includes all cost of doing half-and-half construction staging 1 track at a time to keep portion of the old bridge in service, raising and widening the boat clearance, and building separate moving bascules for each track for redundancy. I don't see why construction of a new Sakonnet span wouldn't clock in at similar $50-75M price tag: longer approach spans but only 1 track/1 bascule, similar-size bascule span, similar vertical clearances (16+ ft. closed, unlimited-clearance open), and simpler construction staging because the line is inactive. RIDOT's beyond-horrible cost management on the new adjacent Route 24 span shouldn't have any carryover here.


All theoretical of course unless South Coast Rail gets a full-on cost reboot, but that's MA's problem. IF by some miracle the Fall River Branch is a go, RIDOT doesn't have that daunting a task justifying the cost of a draw span and 2.7 miles of re-laid Tiverton track to the state line. That's probably enough to make a go of it with Class 3 dark territory south of Fall River Depot, the dinner train being able to roam north to FR, a seasonal "Newport Flyer" funded similarly to the way Cape Flyer is, prospects for a couple skip-stop express AM inbound/PM outbound Boston-Newport commuter extras (similar to how a full Buzzards Bay-extended Middleboro schedule serves up options to send a couple rush hour Hyannis extras over the bridge without triggering the PTC mandate in Cape Main Class 3 dark territory), and maybe some Amtrak presence glomming onto a double-draft Cape Codder that splits/recombines at Taunton Depot into "Cape Codder" and "Newporter" halves. Suspending one's disbelief for one sec that South Coast FAIL has a prayer in the real world...that kind of spread is not too difficult a reach from RIDOT's perspective. The timetable for this corridor is at least a couple decades behind their main passenger rail thrust on the linear Woonsocket-Pawtucket-Westerly corridor, so other much more consequential stuff will be running and paid for before they even have a chance to act on MA's bestest-case timetable SCR coattails. This one will never be a 2020's effort competing with their NEC commuter rail initiatives; it's is at least a funding generation or two after everything else.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby Vermian » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:14 pm

From the Mass Coastal Railroad Thread viewtopic.php?f=126&t=68104&start=240

SOCO11 wrote:Fall River Herald News posted online (not sure if in print edition) that the state plans to restore tracks in Fall River to the state line.

http://heraldnews.com/news/20170906/fal ... inactivity

The NIMBYs are out. There has been a lot of encroachment and development along the waterfront near the tracks. There have been articles already about people losing their gardens, landscaping and pools. A lot of those folks already know something is happening from the brush clearing and and surveying. The article references a neighborhood meeting. It only mentions Gold Medal as potential customer but I have seen activity round the site where Saltine Warrior plans to unload barges to rail. I am not sure what potential use there would be in going all the way to state line unless that is to provide future Newport connection.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:28 am

That's because Gold Medal Bakery less than a half-mile from the state line is reactivating their siding to receive deliveries at their plant instead of unloading at Port of Fall River like they've been doing 20+ years. They're a big active customer; they just haven't been using their own siding until now. There's also a ship dock next to Gold Medal that's slated to get a few loads for some new customer who's leased the pier.

The Gold Medal deal has been in the works for years and only waited this long so MassDOT could finish the Route 79 viaduct teardown downtown above the tracks. It's not yet known why they're going an extra 2500 ft. across Mt. Hope Ave. all the way to the state line; the tank farm at the state line definitely isn't using rail again. Could possibly be that's simply the easiest place near Gold Medal to stick a runaround.


It is NOT any sort of kickoff to Tiverton restoration. Mass Coastal's rights end at the state line and P&W's begin. This construction work is all MC-initiated.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:04 am

Checking Google maps, there isn't evidence of sidings on the Gold Medal property. Are they just going to use what looks like a old loading dock (now a parking area) on the west edge next to the tracks?
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby GP40MC1118 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:04 am

On Bing Maps/Birds Eye view there is evidence of their siding. It started around the area at the end of Charles St. Obviously got
paved over once on plant property.

D
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:28 am

GM's siding has been brush-cleared. Turn off 3D on the main menu to get the 2017 imagery and you'll get a clearer view. What's still unknown is whether the tank farm has a runaround track and if that's the reason for going to the state line. Everything down there is overgrown shoulder-high and impossible to tell what's on the ground.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby bostontrainguy » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:52 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:GM's siding has been brush-cleared. Turn off 3D on the main menu to get the 2017 imagery and you'll get a clearer view. What's still unknown is whether the tank farm has a runaround track and if that's the reason for going to the state line. Everything down there is overgrown shoulder-high and impossible to tell what's on the ground.


Looking at older imagery, there is no hint of a runaround by the tank farm. At first it looked like there might have been two tracks crossing State St., but coming down to street level there is actually a little single track bridge there.
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Re: Commuter Rail to Rhode Island Discussion

Postby dowlingm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:02 am

AP: Rhode Island asks for express commuter trains to Boston
https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/ ... -to-boston
Excerpt:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo is asking the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to run express commuter trains between Providence and Boston, but the agency says it would be difficult.

Express service is not currently offered on the Providence/Stoughton commuter rail line. MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said it would be difficult to introduce express service before South Station in Boston is expanded because the trains would need room to arrive and depart.

Amtrak offers its Acela service between Providence and Boston. But Rhode Island officials say the northbound express trains don’t run frequently enough, especially in the morning when more Amtrak trains are headed south toward Connecticut and New York.
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