Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby The EGE » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:27 pm

"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby wicked » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:05 am

I don't know if it's even that far off. Gentrification already is drifting into pockets of those neighborhoods.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby trainhq » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:40 pm

That's exactly what I was trying to get at. The Nippon-Sharyo units might be good railcars given the history of quality work that that company is known for, but right now they're the only game in town in terms of FRA-compliant DMU hardware stateside. The result is that you pay a steep, steep price because again, they're the only game in town and they certainly have much bigger priorities (like their Amtrak order) than selling a dozen fancy one-off DMU sets to another transit agency.


Well, it isn't quite true. U.S. Railcar bought out the old Colorado Railcar DMU designs a few years ago, and has made
noises about building FRA-compliant DMUs. However, I don't believe to date they have built any, and the old CRC designs
(the few that were built) were not that reliable. Highly doubt at this point if they'll really get any serious orders.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:31 pm

trainhq wrote:
That's exactly what I was trying to get at. The Nippon-Sharyo units might be good railcars given the history of quality work that that company is known for, but right now they're the only game in town in terms of FRA-compliant DMU hardware stateside. The result is that you pay a steep, steep price because again, they're the only game in town and they certainly have much bigger priorities (like their Amtrak order) than selling a dozen fancy one-off DMU sets to another transit agency.


Well, it isn't quite true. U.S. Railcar bought out the old Colorado Railcar DMU designs a few years ago, and has made
noises about building FRA-compliant DMUs. However, I don't believe to date they have built any, and the old CRC designs
(the few that were built) were not that reliable. Highly doubt at this point if they'll really get any serious orders.


They have no native manufacturing capability. When they were still in the running for the state of Ohio's intrastate service prior to that project being scrapped they had negotiations with a prospective manufacturing partner to provide the labor and the state to build them a plant on public money. No plant, and their partner backed out...so they couldn't build a product today even if they wanted to. They are strictly an IP holding company for CRC's designs and patents until someone partners with them for manufacturing. And that's vanishingly unlikely now that the designs they hold are 10 years old, have performed pretty miserably in-service, and have not advanced at all to any improved design revisions or prospects of a next-gen vehicle. Because they couldn't do that even if they wanted to with no in-house capability to build and test a new product.

Essentially they're just a semi-hibernating holding company of a few employees living off a funding source for bare-bones operating (i.e. the CEO, his secretary, the office electric bill, etc.) and hoping some outsider gets interested enough to buy their IP. They aren't going to get any offers like the Ohio job again because their dependency on public funding for 100% of their operating capability is too risky and unorthodox, and because their designs (which are basically still un-perfected prototypes, despite having existing customers) haven't advanced while others' have. Chances are they're just going to keep on being dormant until their fast-closing window of opportunity is completely shut, and then somebody will buy their IP for a song to bolster their patent portfolio if nothing else.


Basically, U.S. Railcar/CRC should effectively be expunged from the DMU conversation. It's still cited as a reference design because it was the first and many DMU studies date their start to a few years ago when they were still a going concern. Hence, they still get mentioned as a reference design and the proverbial "generic FRA-compliant" given their head start. But now CRC has moved backwards re: "generic FRA-compliant" reference spec from a real product to an on-paper idea...a full de-evolution back into vaporware. Essentially, every study should now remove them from all mention except in historical curiosity context. It's the Stadlers for non-FRA compliants and the Nippon Sharyo's for FRA-compliants that are the de facto reference designs from lack of other real, ordered options.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby MickD » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:07 pm

Is there a primary reason why there's no weekend
service on The Fairmount ??
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:02 pm

MickD wrote:Is there a primary reason why there's no weekend
service on The Fairmount ??


Construction. There's still bits of miscellaneous mop-up work being done across the line, concentrated to weekends as a means of front-loading the weekday schedule expansion. So weekend rollout will lag considerably behind the weekday rollout.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby wicked » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:22 am

I'm pretty sure the Fairmount shuttle never has had weekend service.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:00 am

wicked wrote:I'm pretty sure the Fairmount shuttle never has had weekend service.


Correct. But that's also why all along construction has been skewed towards the weekend. No sense in doing a first-time introduction of weekend service if it's going to introduce frequent service disruptions to that or the weekday schedule. They still have Blue Hill Ave. to do, still have to raise the Fairmount platforms before DMU's can trawl the line, still have to rebuild/relocate Readville as a 2-track island if they want to achieve full service density. The rest of it all may be in closeout, but there's still substantial slabs of concrete to pour before the full build can execute on its final service plan.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby jdrinboston » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:54 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
wicked wrote:I'm pretty sure the Fairmount shuttle never has had weekend service.


Correct. But that's also why all along construction has been skewed towards the weekend. No sense in doing a first-time introduction of weekend service if it's going to introduce frequent service disruptions to that or the weekday schedule. They still have Blue Hill Ave. to do, still have to raise the Fairmount platforms before DMU's can trawl the line, still have to rebuild/relocate Readville as a 2-track island if they want to achieve full service density. The rest of it all may be in closeout, but there's still substantial slabs of concrete to pour before the full build can execute on its final service plan.



What is the status of Blue Hill Ave? I know that neighbors had protested the original design, but I haven't heard much since. Is it designed? Funded? Under Construction?
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:12 pm

jdrinboston wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
wicked wrote:I'm pretty sure the Fairmount shuttle never has had weekend service.


Correct. But that's also why all along construction has been skewed towards the weekend. No sense in doing a first-time introduction of weekend service if it's going to introduce frequent service disruptions to that or the weekday schedule. They still have Blue Hill Ave. to do, still have to raise the Fairmount platforms before DMU's can trawl the line, still have to rebuild/relocate Readville as a 2-track island if they want to achieve full service density. The rest of it all may be in closeout, but there's still substantial slabs of concrete to pour before the full build can execute on its final service plan.



What is the status of Blue Hill Ave? I know that neighbors had protested the original design, but I haven't heard much since. Is it designed? Funded? Under Construction?


Funded. Designed. Neighbors still quibbling with minor points of design. Delayed. Construction start keeps getting pushed back a few months at a time.

It'll get done. Once they start doing site prep work there'll be few opportunities for additional delays. But it looks like 2015 now with all the time that's been chewed up debating minor details.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby NH2060 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:50 am

The Indigo Line to roll out (in a more ambitious form) by 2024. And DMUs are still on the table for rolling stock:
http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog ... -proposal/

Sounds like the T is looking at the "Indigo Line" as more of a brand of service than a specific route(s). Expansion(s) to the Convention Center (Track 61), Back Bay, Riverside, Allston, North Station (via the Grand Junction), Anderson/Woburn, and Lynn would follow the initial Fairmount Line rollout. I personally think it should be extended even further to Beverly, but as always one step at a time!

The article further states that the T has "budgeted"/"would like to spend" $252M for DMUs. At $4M a piece hat's 63 cars (not including parts + service) so if they're serious about expanding the Indigo Line they'll likely have to spend far more to have enough cars to adequately cover all services.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby Red Wing » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:48 am

So quick question about Readville. Was there ever a track connection from the Franklin line to the NEC on the Wolcott square side of the NEC going inbound towards South Station?
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:23 pm

Red Wing wrote:So quick question about Readville. Was there ever a track connection from the Franklin line to the NEC on the Wolcott square side of the NEC going inbound towards South Station?


Not quite sure what you mean. The current configuration lets you go:

Franklin revenue platforms: Franklin northbound->NEC northbound // NEC southbound->Franklin southbound
Fairmount revenue platform: Franklin northbound->Fairmount northbound // Fairmount southbound->Franklin southbound
Track connection next to freight yard: NEC northbound->Fairmount northbound // Fairmount southbound->NEC southbound

The latter is non-revenue, technically separate from the freight yard, and used daily to deadhead Stoughton trains back to Readville layover. It is up to spec for use as a Providence/Stoughton emergency bypass to South Station if the NEC inbound is blocked, but it misses all of the current Readville platforms.


The loop at unused Yard 5 used to let you be able to go (non-revenue only). . .
NEC/Franklin southbound->NEC/Franklin northbound
NEC/Franklin southbound->Fairmount northbound // Fairmount southbound->NEC/Franklin northbound

. . .and could conceivably again if they refurbish the loop and put the switch back in. That is probably how they would do it if Yard 5 became host to a new commuter rail maintenance facility.



However, there has never been a way to go. . .
Franklin northbound->NEC southbound // NEC northbound->Franklin southbound
Franklin northbound->Franklin southbound // Franklin southbound->Franklin northbound

These moves requires the same reverse move CSX does every day when it comes up from Walpole to Readville. They pass the Fairmount platform, turn out onto those yard tracks next to the Fairmount mainline that go all the way up to the first Neponset River bridge and pass alongside the Yard 2 maintenance shed, then they back up and switch into the main freight yard. Rinse, repeat in the opposite direction when they head back to Walpole.


There used to be a track underpass from Yard 5 that passed underneath the Franklin to reach more of the ex-NYNH&H shops on Sprague St., but that shop track never continued looping around to the other (NEC) side of the neighborhood. It was only used for getting between the main Yard 5 and those specific shop buildings. The residences hugging Sprague Pond were always there, so it never crossed Sprague to make a complete circuit and meet back with the NEC. Nothing there that ever acted like a SB wye.
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby Red Wing » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:26 pm

More specifically a connection around the Readville stop for the Fairmount line northbound to NEC northbound on the opposite side from the current Franklin platform.

Thank you for the response F-Line
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:41 pm

Red Wing wrote:More specifically a connection around the Readville stop for the Fairmount line northbound to NEC northbound on the opposite side from the current Franklin platform.

Thank you for the response F-Line


Well...they are going to have to move the Fairmount platform at Readville in order to make it a double-track platform. The DMU headways need 2 tracks at the stop or else there are going to be tight confines around train meets with those headways. And they also can't raise the current platform to full-high in its current location because of CSX's wide freight clearances into Readville. Shifting the platform north about 250-300 ft. and reconfiguring the crossovers so the 2 mainline tracks extend to the current diamond where the to-Franklin and to-NEC tracks diverge solves the capacity issue by allowing an island platform. Fiddling some more with the track layout so CSX's backup move into the yard misses the tip of the full-high fixes that issue. And then the positioning of the new platform would allow full equal access to/from the Franklin or NEC/Route 128 directions, provisioning for a future Fairmount extension to 128 and allowing higher-capacity thru routing from the Franklin Line (necessary if Foxboro commuter rail ever happens). That accomplishes everything you want re: equal access from any revenue routing without having to do anything truly bizarre or borderline impossible to the overall layout of the station and junctions.

The only thing you can never get here is some sort of funky intra-city loop routing of a southbound Fairmount train pinging back northbound on the NEC to reach Back Bay in a circuit run. But the NEC just doesn't have the capacity to support any DMU headways inbound so that's a moot point. The only place that level of NEC service density can ever work on a DMU is between Readville and Route 128 if/when the 3rd track goes back in, because a DMU can safely stay in between other commuter rail and Amtrak headways without gumming up the works, and 128 station has a large amount of expansion space on the east side for up to 2 more tracks and platforms on a station turnout that can keep a DMU short-turn from fouling the mainline while stopping and reversing direction.
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