North-South Rail Link Discussion

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby rethcir » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:25 pm

rethcir
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:51 am

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:14 am

$12bn sounds about right, though I'd imagine that this time around their estimates are going to be a little on the high side, rather than try to low-ball it and end up with Big Dig/GLX 3.0. folks who know far better than I do have estimated the cost of the NSRL off the record as likely being more like 8-10 billion, though I'm not sure whether they'd be including the 100s of millions to billions of dollars in new equipment acquisition costs to go alongside the new electrified through-service.

I still think it needs to be built, if only as a means by which to future-proof the T against Boston's ongoing development surge that shows no sign of letting up steam. That being the case, if it was up to me, I'd suggest that the state bud out the 4-track option using the I-93 ROW and place North Station Under to the southeast of the OL/GL tracks so that the southern end of the station could be connected via peoplemover to Aquarium for an NSRL-Blue connection. Other than that, build the two feeder inclines to the South and fork the north incline to serve both Fitchburg and the Eastern/Western routes. If you're going to spend billions on something, you might as well do it right.
Bramdeisroberts
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:25 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:100s of millions to billions of dollars in new equipment acquisition costs


I never understand why this is brought up. Existing diesels don't last forever and new diesels aren't free. The existing units which still have life can be recycled into things like East/West Rail and Knowledge Corridor service, which the state is looking to pursue anyway. Some would need to be kept on hand for rescues, maybe to provide a basic very-off-peak service when electricity is shut off for close proximity work or maintenance, or work trains able to use the Stoney Brook, Middleboro Secondary, Pan Am Worcester Main, etc. I don't know if the HSP bodies can be modified into something more conducive as a switching engine.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3792
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:52 pm

Oh, I get it, it's just convincing folks at the state that seems to be the tough bit. Even with a 4-track NSRL buildout, those ridership numbers won't at all be feasible without extensive use of the surface capacity at North and South Stations, and I'd imagine that the HSP46s will have a long future ahead of them even if the link doesn't get built, hauling consists to the surface terminals a la the PL42ACs and Hoboken-terminating trains on the NJT lines. Actually, the Hoboken/Penn service breakdown on NJT would be a fantastic model upon which to base the T's service in a post-NSRL environment.
Bramdeisroberts
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby BandA » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:10 pm

What are you folks smoking that think TWELVE BILLION DOLLARS to travel 1-2 miles is a good deal? JUST SAY NO!

You need Penn Station density to justify such a project.

Maybe a special assessment district on all downtown businesses to pay for it.
User avatar
BandA
 
Posts: 2446
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby CRail » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:07 pm

While I often oppose arguments of cost against progressive projects, this one is on point! Politicians throw around such astronomical numbers all the time we've become numb to them. $12,000,000,000.00 is a friggin ridiculous number for this project! The ship sailed.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:03 am

BandA wrote:to travel 1-2 miles


The same disingenuous thing could be said for I-93 in the Tip O'Neil Tunnel. It probably would even have a similar cost when broken out from the rest of the Big Dig. And yet somehow it gets a complete pass and would be unthinkable to not connect a woefully inefficient transportation mode.

This isn't like extending from Lechmere to Union Sq, this is like connecting Copley to Park St.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3792
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby The EGE » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:33 am

It's a faked cost number based on unrealistic assumptions and contractor graft. So was $3B for GLX, that's now getting built for $1.08B with ultimately minor changes. So is $3B for South Coast Rail - regardless of whether you support it or not, what is built for the money simply doesn't match up. So was $750M for Red-Blue. It's how MassDOT chooses not to do projects - they inflate the costs and let the public outcry kill it.

Regardless of whether you think NSRL should be done, you should believe that these costs are faked.
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2513
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the N Judah

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby rethcir » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:02 am

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be able to take a Worcester line train to North Station or beyond. And I’d love to see more rapid transit like headway’s on the CR (S-Bahn style). But yeah, can we achieve the same practical results with SSX, dual modes with electrification inside 128, etc?
rethcir
 
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:51 am

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby CRail » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:30 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:It probably would even have a similar cost when broken out from the rest of the Big Dig. And yet somehow it gets a complete pass and would be unthinkable to not connect a woefully inefficient transportation mode.

I don't think anything to do with the Big Dig got a pass. The plans were controversial, construction was controversial, and the aftermath has been controversial. People went to jail over the corruption. The fact is that the project got so much the opposite of a complete pass the people of the commonwealth are leery to support any project remotely similar.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:01 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:
BandA wrote:to travel 1-2 miles


The same disingenuous thing could be said for I-93 in the Tip O'Neil Tunnel. It probably would even have a similar cost when broken out from the rest of the Big Dig. And yet somehow it gets a complete pass and would be unthinkable to not connect a woefully inefficient transportation mode.

This isn't like extending from Lechmere to Union Sq, this is like connecting Copley to Park St.


Exactly. Furthermore, this isn't about connecting commuter lines, it's about giving Boston it's own S-Bahn/RER/Elizabeth Line that can parallel the at-capacity segments of the current subway network and supplement/replace them with high-frequency service on the CR lines. Think: Alewife/Davis/Porter to the Seaport and Longwood via The Link and South Station/Yawkey, or Lowell/Lynn/Salem to Seaport, or Boston Landing/West Station to Sullivan/Assembly, etc, etc, etc. Furthermore, tons of outlying CR stations within 128 sit surrounded by relatively sparse development, and the NSRL with the added frequencies that it will allow due to through-service, will put each and every one of these now-underutilized areas into play as the potential next North Point/Beacon Yards/Assembly Square/Boston Landing/Alewife, especially given Boston's current real estate climate. Even at the inflated $12 billion figure, the NSRL could easily drive two or three times that much in real estate development alone in places like South Quincy/Braintree, Readville, Mishawum, Chelsea/Everett, and Waltham.

rethcir wrote:But yeah, can we achieve the same practical results with SSX, dual modes with electrification inside 128, etc?


All you need to do is look at the number of tracks at Grand Central vs Penn Station then look at the respective daily train/passenger boardings at each and you'll see just how significant of an advantage through-service stations have relative to terminal stations when it comes to train volumes. sS-Bahn frequencies on the inner portions of the CR will be impossible without through-running via the NSRL.
Bramdeisroberts
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:54 pm

I have heard/read little of how Maine and New Hampshire would eventually benefit from Amtrak through service from Washington and New York. The point is, if Amtrak trains are going use the NSRL wouldn't that suggest that a good portion of the cost would be borne by the federal government.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:40 pm

In an ideal world, yes, but who honestly knows in this day and age. It NH was more interested in rail service to Concord or Lincoln then this might gain more traction, but so long as the best you can offer is 6-hour one-seat rides between Portland and NYP, it's going to be a tough sell in terms of federal money unless the reps/senators from NH/ME were REALLY gung-ho about it.
Bramdeisroberts
 
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby highgreen215 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:42 am

You are probably right. The feds don’t generally think in terms of long range planning or benefits - just annual funding or whatever will get them votes at the next election. But New England regional planning can influence politicians. How convenient it would be to board Amtrak at New London, CT for a business trip to Bath, ME. Amtrak doesn’t reach Bath yet, but someday . . .
highgreen215
 
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: North-South Rail Link Discussion

Postby CRail » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:23 am

Remember that Amtrak doesn’t reach anywhere northeast of Boston. Those trains belong to the state of Maine (which actually makes service to Bath more likely). That might inhibit Amtrak’s and the feds’ willingness to fund the infrastructure to blend the practically for profit NEC with a state funded service.
Moderator: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Avatar:3679A (since wrecked)/3623B (now in service as 3636B).
User avatar
CRail
 
Posts: 2277
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 8:27 am
Location: Eastie

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 7 guests