Rarely used commuter stops: Plimptonville, Silver Hill, etc.

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Rarely used commuter stops: Plimptonville, Silver Hill, etc.

Postby Ron Newman » Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:13 am

What is the rationale behind having commuter rail stops that only have a small number of trains?

I'm thinking specifically of Plimptonville, on the Franklin Line, whose entire service is one weekday-only inbound train at 6:58 am, and one outbound train at 5:48 pm. Does some very rich or famous person live here?

Silver Hill, on the Fitchburg Line, is another dubious stop, with only two morning rush-hour inbound trains, two evening rush-hour outbound trains, and one more outbound train at 8:08 pm.

Nearby Hastings isn't that much better, with only six inbound trains (all before 11:30 am) and seven outbound trains (more scattered through the day).

Prides Crossing, on the Rockport Line, has just three inbound morning rush-hour trips, three outbound evening rush-hour trips, and a 7:43 pm stop on an outbound train that doesn't even originate at North Station (it starts at Salem).
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Postby apodino » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:40 am

As best I can tell, Plimptonville having one train a day in each direction dates back to the 1950's at least. There are about ten people that use that station on a daily basis. Otherwise, walpole station is a pretty short drive, as would be Windsor Gardens, but I don't think the apartment complex provides parking for non residents.

I am not sure about the stations on the north side you are refering too. However, most of those stations are used by rush hour commuters. Hastings and Silver Hill in weston help because Kendal Green doesn't have the most parking in the world. I don't know much about Prides Crossing in Beverly.

Remember this much though. Just because a station is used only during rush hour doesn't mean it needs to be eliminated. There are some commuter rail systems that only run trains during rush hour period. VRE and Shore Line East come to mind. And Metro-North has some stations that only get two weekend trains in each direction, noteably Appalachian Train, Breakneck Ridge, and I believe Manitou.
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Postby Ron Newman » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:56 am

The T used to have several whole routes with just one rush-hour inbound train in the morning and one rush-hour outbound train in the evening. But these have either been eliminated (Lexington branch, Central Mass branch, Dedham branch, Millis branch) or upgraded to more frequent service (Haverhill, Newburyport).
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Postby apodino » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:03 pm

Actually I believe most of those were either New Haven or B and M lines operated by those railroads when they were eliminated, following the state no longer subsidizing them.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:09 pm

As Dino mentioned, the few people who use Plymptonville (usually only 2 to 4 cars average daily) would have to travel 3 miles east to Norwood Central or 1 mile west to Walpole, because there are no parking areas at Windsor Gardens. The parking lots at Norwood Central and Walpole seem to be full every day.

Unfortunately, for people in that area that would like to see additional service at this station, I do not think it will ever increase because there is no room to expand for parking.
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Postby CRail » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:11 pm

The most rarely used commuter rail stop is Oak Grove. They use it so rarely, its not scheduled for regular service, or on any maps!
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Postby savebowdoin » Sun Jun 27, 2004 7:13 pm

I think Oak Grove is only used for shuttles when needed... Has it ever been used for any other purpose? That station setup is weird, the signage to that outer platform seems to be indicating that the platform was designed for future expansion of the Orange Line, rather than for Commuter Rail service.

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Postby Ron Newman » Sun Jun 27, 2004 8:26 pm

Oak Grove will be the terminus of the Haverhill Line during DNC week.

Oak Grove was also the terminus in 1984-85, when North Station was closed because of a fire that destroyed the bridge over the Charles River.
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Postby CRail » Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:44 pm

Malden Center will be the last inbound stop during the DNC. And reguardless of what oak grove is used for, its still the least frequently used stop on the system. The stop is only for the orange line, but the commuter rail has the platform which they rarely use and is there if they need it. The reason the platform is screwy is because it would only be used for exiting a train, not to board (unless it were a train crew member who would know their way around the station).
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Postby Ron Newman » Sun Jun 27, 2004 9:47 pm

This is getting a little off topic, but official MBTA literature and press releases say that the Haverhill Line will terminate at Oak Grove, not Malden, during DNC week.
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Postby tabslate » Sun Jun 27, 2004 10:58 pm

oak grove is ADA compliant and malden is disaster right now with construction, so i guess that it will be oak grove as the haverhill terminus.
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Back on topic

Postby atkelly » Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:39 am

For the Fitchburg Line, the reason that Silver Hill and the other lightly used stations are still there is because the town of Weston pays the MBTA to keep it open. When I rode the line, I think a total of about 20 - 30 people use the stations a day.
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Re: Rarely used commuter stops: Plimptonville, Silver Hill,

Postby Agent at Clicquot » Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:05 am

>>I'm thinking specifically of Plimptonville, on the Franklin Line, whose entire service is one weekday-only inbound train at 6:58 am, and one outbound train at 5:48 pm. Does some very rich or famous person live here?<<

I have dim memories of someone standing in the guage with a red flag some years back. He wasn't rich or famous, just wanted a ride. I think the story even made the local t.v. news, too. To appease him, the single inbound and outbound stops were added to the timetable. Anyone else remember the story?

It's true there's no room to expand parking there. The alignment is on a rather tall fill west of the station (including a river crossing). To the east, it runs along slope before entering a cut a 1/2 mile or so east.

I wonder how the folks that use that stop make it work? When I've commuted on CR, I was lucky to take the same train home three days in a row.

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Plymptonville Station

Postby paulrail » Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:43 am

The following is a picture of the old Plymptonville Station.

Paul

[img]http://www.lightlink.com/sglap3/massachusetts/plymptonvillebw2.jpg
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Plymptonville Station

Postby paulrail » Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:56 am

The following is a picture of the old Plymptonville Station.

Paul

[url]http://url[url]img]http://www.lightlink.com/sglap3/massachusetts/plymptonvillebw2.jpg
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