Blue Line to Lynn??

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Postby trainhq » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:18 am

One of the options examined several years ago was a transfer station at Wonderland, with a people mover between CR and Blue Line. That may still be an option;
and given the way this project has gone, it may be all that they can get.
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Postby Ron Newman » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:45 am

If so, I hope it works better than the privately-owned people mover at Wellington station, which was removed a couple of years ago and replaced with a simple pedestrian bridge.
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Postby ceo » Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:56 pm

The problem with the transfer station idea is that it doesn't address the primary need for extending the Blue Line, that being improved service to Lynn. About all it would do is make it easier for people on the North Shore to get to Logan.

I think the best way to do it is to cross over to the CR ROW just north of Wonderland, though that does go through wetlands. Continuing up the old narrow-gauge ROW puts it right into people's backyards.
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Postby diburning » Wed Apr 09, 2008 5:59 pm

How about this... shoving the blue line underground. build a new tunnel.

(It will probably cost a lot more though)

sending hte blue line back underground would also eliminate the problem of crossing the CR ROW.

Maybe the tunnel can go under the CR ROW through the marsh?
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Postby ceo » Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:52 pm

Unlikely. A cut-and-cover tunnel would disrupt the wetlands a lot more (and be really hard to keep the water out of during construction), and it's not worth boring it for that short a distance. Better to build a bridge over the swamp, then you only have to sink a few piers.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby jbvb » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:07 pm

Maybe someday I'll meet an informed advocate for extending the Blue Line to Lynn; I'd like to hear their reasons (rather than just boosterism). I think Lynn would be much better off with the same amount of money spent on an S-Bahn style service via the Eastern Route RoW, perhaps as far as Salem or Berverly. Before Chelsea and slow running due to the grade crossings, Lynn was 17 min. from North Station. The Blue Line is the MBTA's slowest heavy rail, and the MBTA claims it can get you from State St. to Wonderland in 16 min., 4.5 miles short of Central Sq. The present CR service is infrequent outside rush hours, the fare is higher, and you don't get a free transfer to other subway lines, but none of that is set in stone. Given that Airport just leaves you waiting for a shuttle bus, you could probably be time-competitive setting up an Airport Shuttle down 1A from Central Sq.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby trainhq » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:51 am

Well, as it turns out, that option was studied a while ago; increased service on the CR
line was suggested, including the use of DMUs. Note that CR service through Lynn is already
higher than on most CR lines due to the fact that the lines split north of Beverly. The thinking was
that without some kind of Blue Line-CR connection, that both the airport and central downtown would not
be readily accessible to North Shore CR users. The minimum that could be done would be to
build a Wonderland transfer CR station. Now, whether the Blue Line ever gets to Lynn or
Salem seems doubtful; there are too many other high priority projects in front of it and
not enough $$$.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby jbvb » Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:30 pm

From a planning PoV, the biggest issue is that the present Blue Line doesn't serve a lot of population; East Boston is fairly dense, but not large, Winthrop is off-line, and most of Revere's population is a long way from the Beach. Then add 4.5 miles of new line with maybe two stations (3 if they do both GE and West Lynn, but then both will be in industrial wilderness, kind of like Community College). The second issue is that that even if you buy new, faster equipment, it's still going to be a long 10 miles downtown, because the old line isn't easy to improve.

Lynn isn't going to be Somerville, because it isn't next to Cambridge. Lynn could be a commercial center and commuter destination for Saugus, Swampscott and Marblehead, given good radial transit. But Salem and Peabody have their own downtowns and industrial areas. Few people in Lynn need to go to Revere Beach or Maverick; If arriving in North Station instead of State St. is the real issue, I think the planners should consider fixing North Station, or re-working CR fares to include a free subway transfer instead. But I expect many proponents hope that a $1.70 subway ride will replace a $2.80 inner express bus or $4.75 rail fare, and others haven't done the math to determine how much more it would cost to increase the current 25 trains a day (5 others don't stop) to 50 or so. I know Chelsea badly wants something better than the 111 bus, or their own 25 daily trains.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby anthonygennaro » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:37 pm

i know this is nuts,but how about converting the cr row to rapid transit and lower the grade crossings ala grenbush cr.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby diburning » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:41 pm

anthonygennaro wrote:i know this is nuts,but how about converting the cr row to rapid transit and lower the grade crossings ala grenbush cr.


for the distance involved, rapid transit will not work.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby AutisticPsycho » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:43 pm

anthonygennaro wrote:i know this is nuts,but how about converting the cr row to rapid transit and lower the grade crossings ala grenbush cr.


Those elitist NIMBYs up the coast to Cape Ann don't want the Blue Line, they want their more elite-style CR (bathrooms, a bike car (just for them!) and soon wi-fi!)

On to top of that, they think it brings the "element." (ie, "scum" from Lynn and Boston)

diburning wrote:for the distance involved, rapid transit will not work.

And that, too.
Blue Line to Lynn: Transit discrimination at it's finest.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby RailBus63 » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:46 pm

AutisticPsycho wrote:Those elitist NIMBYs up the coast to Cape Ann don't want the Blue Line, they want their more elite-style CR (bathrooms, a bike car (just for them!) and soon wi-fi!)



As they should. Would you ride a hard-seat Blue Line train from Government Center to Cape Ann?
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby Veristek » Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:03 pm

RailBus63 wrote:
AutisticPsycho wrote:Those elitist NIMBYs up the coast to Cape Ann don't want the Blue Line, they want their more elite-style CR (bathrooms, a bike car (just for them!) and soon wi-fi!)



As they should. Would you ride a hard-seat Blue Line train from Government Center to Cape Ann?


One thing Rapid Transit has going for it is the scheducles. With subways, you can wait 5 minutes or so for the next one, whereas with the Commuter Rail, you have to wait a hour or more for the next Commuter Rail train. Also, it's much easier to work out your daily activities around a subway commute, like dates, events, dinners with friends, visiting family, etc. The Commuter Rail doesn't leave you with much options time-wise.

For example, on the Providence Line, there's only 7 inbound and outbound train trips each for a 24 hour period. With the subways, there's a hundred or more round trips in a 24 hour period. See how the scheducles for the commuter rail can suck compared to the subways?
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby lkitch » Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:28 pm

Lynn is close enough in that it functions as a satellite community to Boston nowadays, no longer out in its own orbit. Sure it will never be S'ville, but consider that it is about the same distance from the Hub, as the crow flies, as Braintree or Riverside, both Subway termini.

But the CR doesn't really function on the "as the crow flies" concept; the northbound do-be-do-be-circle-around-the-harbor adds linear mileage; a visual comparison of zones by line, with concentric circles from the hub, shows how widely the zone maps appear to vary by *linear* mileage; if you look at "crow-flies" circles from downtown Boston, an awful lot of the station zones look very "unfair." (i don't know how to post the drawing...it's big bytes, and i don't have a website to host it on.)

And why shouldn't Lynn-area commuters hope for, long for, a subway-priced ride with subway connections? There's a surprising lot of folks who do the Bus-Blue-Green-Red shuffle, or the WonderlandBus-BlueLine shuffle twice a day; it wouldn't be a crime to offer better service, although Lynners, being largely less well off, don't really have the power or the savvy to get it together to demand it. (The Blue Line/Red Line Gap connection is essential to this future.)

Lynn is one of the few communities nowadays that *will* support hosting a subway terminus. If and when Wonderland changes from land-o-mega-cheap-parking, commuters who now drive there from other NoSho communities will probably tolerate the change to garaging in Lynn for the subway.

And discussing those "elitists," i'm not quite sure who/how many are gonna be commuting via this "Lynn-Boston Ferry" that they're now going forward with (which duplicates the CR service very muchso, IMHO); the Blue Line extension would be so much more useful to so many more.
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Re: Blue Line to Lynn??

Postby RailBus63 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:40 am

Veristek wrote:One thing Rapid Transit has going for it is the scheducles. With subways, you can wait 5 minutes or so for the next one, whereas with the Commuter Rail, you have to wait a hour or more for the next Commuter Rail train. Also, it's much easier to work out your daily activities around a subway commute, like dates, events, dinners with friends, visiting family, etc. The Commuter Rail doesn't leave you with much options time-wise.

For example, on the Providence Line, there's only 7 inbound and outbound train trips each for a 24 hour period. With the subways, there's a hundred or more round trips in a 24 hour period. See how the scheducles for the commuter rail can suck compared to the subways?


You're using an example of poor service to condemn the entire commuter rail concept. Look at New York City - Metro North and Long Island Railroad run very popular commuter lines that feature hourly off-peak service or better on many lines. I use Metro North periodically for visits to the city and I have no problem scheduling activities and working my plans around an once-an-hour train schedule. If the demand is there for better service from the Cape Ann or Attleboro areas, it would be much less expensive to expand commuter rail service than to build extensions of the Blue or Orange lines that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
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