Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

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Postby octr202 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:19 am

Unless there was a pedestrian bridge to streets off of Waverley St. (which I'd bet the residents along those dead end streets would object to), there would be essentially no walking access to such a station, as the Pleasant St. corridor is all commercial. I just can't see, in that neighborhood, driving around thru either Waverley Sq. or Belmont Center to backtrack to a station over there, for the relatively infrequent service (compared to the buses).

But then again, maybe that's all part of the plan to kill the stops in Belmont altogether... :(

If there were DMUs, or the line was electrified, you could probably generate enough business to fill 2-3 cars pretty frequently just from Brandeis in to Boston, perhaps adding a couple stations in some of the longer runs between stops right now. The neighborhoods are certainly dense enough to generate more passenger traffic.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby trainhq » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:32 am

That's certainly a good idea, and it would probably generate significant ridership. I think the problem is that it would cost a lot to put in new stations and buy DMUs.
Also, there might be scheduling problems with the existing trains. I think the T would have to wait to see how things work out on the Readville line before looking into that.
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Postby octr202 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:13 am

trainhq wrote:That's certainly a good idea, and it would probably generate significant ridership. I think the problem is that it would cost a lot to put in new stations and buy DMUs.
Also, there might be scheduling problems with the existing trains. I think the T would have to wait to see how things work out on the Readville line before looking into that.


I think I forgot to put the [hypothetical fantasy] [/hypothetical fantasy] codes in there. ;)
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:38 pm

octr202 wrote:Unless there was a pedestrian bridge to streets off of Waverley St. (which I'd bet the residents along those dead end streets would object to), there would be essentially no walking access to such a station, as the Pleasant St. corridor is all commercial. I just can't see, in that neighborhood, driving around thru either Waverley Sq. or Belmont Center to backtrack to a station over there, for the relatively infrequent service (compared to the buses).

But then again, maybe that's all part of the plan to kill the stops in Belmont altogether... :(

If there were DMUs, or the line was electrified, you could probably generate enough business to fill 2-3 cars pretty frequently just from Brandeis in to Boston, perhaps adding a couple stations in some of the longer runs between stops right now. The neighborhoods are certainly dense enough to generate more passenger traffic.


Two words: Belmont NIMBY's.

Brandeis would be an insanely logical extension for the Green Line out of Union or (had the underground ROW not curved around to disallow that route) Red Line out of Alewife because the ped traffic is there, pop density is dense enough for local service, bus transfers are there, the major university would ensure all-day ridership into town, and it would allow for a badly-needed 128 park-and-ride on a ROW that can go 4 tracks almost all of the way if the industrial abutters were kicked off the RR property. But that one's not even on hardly anyone's fantasy list because the NIMBY's along the way are just that predictable re: their "Think of the children!" tizzy on city undesirables invading their gated community. I think you'll sooner see the Green Line peel off past Union/Porter on the Watertown Branch to Watertown Sq. sometime in the far future than ever see anything rapid-transit-esque go past Alewife on the Fitchburg ROW.
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Postby trainhq » Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:23 pm

Well, actually, it isn't just NIMBYs (although that's what prevented the Red Line making it past Alewife) it's also
$$$$; running Green Line along that route would require a huge amount. (It's why Green Line to West Medford along existing CR right of way hasn't happened yet.) The idea behind DMUs was that you could get transit-line level service without having to pay for electrification.
However, I wouldn't count on it to happen along the Fitchburg line anytime soon; it would likely happen first on the Fairmount line, and then maybe be extended along the Worcester line as one long DMU transit-line type service.
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RE: Multiple Stops

Postby frrc » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:24 pm

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Postby caduceus » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:03 pm

Here is a technical question about double-tracking the line...I know at least west of Littleton station (is the Fitchburg line generally considered an East/West route? Or what is the proper directional terminology here?) the ROW with the "free space" for a second track is on the north side of the existing tracks - but that is also where the station platform sits at both South Acton and Littleton. I know South Acton has a siding on the south side of the tracks, so maybe the ROW clearance is on that side all the way up to Littleton...which makes it more complex than just laying a new track next to the existing one.

Would they keep the stations single-tracked ("Waltham-style") with switches at each end, which would leave some bottlenecks on the line and (I'm guessing) some expensive switches, or lay new tracks, cut the existing station tracks over to the new tracks, and then run new track around the station? Or rip up the station and rebuild (Littleton's platform was redone not too many years ago)?

If they double-track the stations, would they double-side the existing platforms, or have loading from just one side, necessitating crossing one of the tracks to board?
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Postby Hoopyfrood » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:16 am

Acton lacks sufficient space to clear a second track without moving either the platform or the lumber yard. Best guess is they would back the platform up enough to bring the second track in on that side. Same thing would have to happen at Littleton as the other side has the small industrial building abutting the ROW leaving not enough clearance (and it's sloped down towards the building on their property, so there isn't a place to put a level bed anyways on that side). If they bought out the lumber yard in Acton they could have the room for a nice full set of platforms but I don't think that would happen.
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Postby trainhq » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:33 am

I think they could get the track in at Acton without too much loss of property; don't think they could get in a platform. Maybe they'd just put a switch in and run all the non-express trains to the north side, like they do at Lincoln.
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Postby sery2831 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:22 pm

I would expect a total redesign of the these stations since federal money is involved. They will have to be 100% ADA compliant meaning full high level stations.
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Postby theinsider » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:05 am

sery2831 wrote:I would expect a total redesign of the these stations since federal money is involved. They will have to be 100% ADA compliant meaning full high level stations.


John,
Unless things have changed I am not sure they all have to be full high levels. They will at least need mini highs and that depends on the scope of the work being done. Take N. Billerica, Fitchburg, N. Leominister, Fairmount, and Wilmington, when they re-did those stations they only got mini-highs. For example, I was told that when they rebuilt N. Billerica the value of the station was X amount, and rebuilding it hit a certain percentage of what the station was worth and therefor they had to make it ADA complainant with a mini high. If they had said just repaved the platforms it would not have reached that threshold and would not have gotten a mini high. I am sure any rebuilt station on this project will hit that amount and get mini high levels.

I believe only totally brand new stations need to be full high levels, such as the Old Colony, Rowley, Anderson, and Newburyport. However, IIRC CSX fought and won so that the newer stations on that line only needed mini highs. I believe they claimed they would interfere with their high and wides. Someone probably could have made the case that Fitchburg was new construction as the station was moved from it's original location.

As mentioned from above, if the law has changed please let me/us know. It could have as I know they rebuilt Uphams and Morton with full highs. But my feeling is they did that as they are planning on new stations and those new stations will have to be full highs anyway, so why not make the rebuilts full high's. Though it still leaves Fairmont and Reedville with mini's. The T might also be thinking about the future and what they could do to that line and figure it was easier to make the full highs now rather then later. Old Colony sets could easily be turned to the Readville line as they could use power doors, though that does not stop them now from sending OC sets out on the mainline and vise versa. What also comes into play is the cost between low level with mini's and full high's. If the cost is relatively close they might as well do full highs. I would say there are probably more benefits to full high's in a number or areas ranging from maintenance to passenger convenience.
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Postby sery2831 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:40 pm

From what I understand you are correct about the new station law. If you put 'x' amount of money into the station you need to make it accessible. I believe now if you have the project being Federally funded everything has to be 100% ADA accessible and mini high levels are not 100% ADA.
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Postby theinsider » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:15 am

sery2831 wrote:.... I believe now if you have the project being Federally funded everything has to be 100% ADA accessible and mini high levels are not 100% ADA.


That's crazy. Therefore it's probably true. :-D
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrades

Postby frrc » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:25 pm

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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrades

Postby atsf sp » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:42 pm

Wow, 80, thats going to be cool to watch and ride. I rode it about a month ago and the new rail was lined up along the side of the ROW. We must have been going between 40 and 50. Give or take around 40. But once we got into PAR trqacks we went slow, especially through Ayer.
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