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News on the New Bedford/Fall River Commuter rail project.

Postby braves » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:20 am

Has anyone heard of any news in regards to the New Bedford/Fall River Commuter rail project.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:32 am

I heard we were officially giving the Fall River Secondary & New Bedford Secondary to the MBTA as of July, but here we are on the final day of August and no official word yet. :(
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Postby mxdata » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:53 pm

Considering all the money that the Greenbush line rebuilding has consumed, I don't look for New Bedford or Fall River service to be running until long after I retire. Has anybody seen an estimate for what it would cost to restore the entire stretch of connecting line down to Taunton?
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$$$$$

Postby GP40MC1118 » Thu Aug 31, 2006 8:30 pm

Last I heard the project was around 800 million.

However this does not include blackmail money, er ransom money, I
mean mitigation monies the T is going to have to pay out to those
communties between Taunton and Canton/Stoughton. And there's
that ridiculous 5 mile trestle (i.e. the new Hingham Tunnel) the
enviros are demanding through Hockamock Swamp...

I agree with MX, I too will be retired by the time the project even gets
off the ground!

Interesting developement in New Bedford was the announcement in
the local paper that the Wamsutta Mills will be converted into apartments.
Of course, the mill is at the north end of the yard. Now let's see if
apartments and a layover yard (i.e. noise) mix....

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Postby mxdata » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:14 pm

800 Million dollars! I wonder what it would cost to run a new line from the Middleboro wye out through the trees in Lakeville south of the old abandoned Middleboro-Myricks right of way (the one that was abandoned back around 1938) to cross the New Bedford line and continue on to intersect with the Fall River line. With Class 4 or Class 5 track you should be able to cover that distance in about eight minutes if you did not have to slow down too much going through Middleboro.

Yes, the infamous downtown New Bedford station site in the old railroad yard contaminated with PCB's and soon to be neighbors with housing projects is sure to generate lawsuits and controversy for many years into the future. It also put the commuters real close to a neighborhood that has had lots of crime and graffiti problems.

The place a railroad station is really needed on the New Bedford line is in the south end of Freetown or the north end of New Bedford close to Route 140 where there is room for parking and direct access ramps. This would draw off a lot of the commuters automobile traffic that otherwise is going to have to contend with that congested area around the downtown New Bedford station site and the terrible ramp arrangement that surrounds it. The New Bedford Industrial Park should be avoided as a potential station site, there is too much traffic in that area already and the road arrangement in the park is terrible.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:48 pm

I would hope that if this is ever built, it comes right into downtown New Bedford. Rail lines should serve town centers, and there's a lot in that downtown.

The Dattco bus makes a suburban stop and then a downtown stop. The train should do likewise.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:47 am

i agree, i think the station should be before the WYE where CSX interchanges w/ the BCLR RR
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Postby Guilford Guy » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:18 am

Put the layover yard in myricks
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Postby wog820 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 6:16 am

The stations should be downtown(ferry terminal parking lot), something near Tarklin hill rd.rte 140, Probaly have a E. Freetown stop.Then Myricks, Whats stopping them running these trains through Middleboro,probaly a quicker route but then you don't serve the other towns like Taunton, E :( aston
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Postby mxdata » Fri Sep 01, 2006 8:49 am

I was told there were concerns about the existing line over from Middleboro due to the Route 140 crossing and the congested area it passes through in back of the mall. Of course you are also making a turn quite far west to connect to the New Bedford and Fall River lines.

That is why I was curious about "cutting the corner" by building a stretch of new line from Middleboro over towards Myricks that is 70MPH capable and has no grade crossings, to bypass the problem area and provide a more direct link. Considering the enormous price tag for the proposed route through the swamp (and the 5-mile trestle) I wonder if it might be more cost effective to put a new line in the woods through Lakeville and Myricks rather than paying ransom to all the communities between Stoughton and Taunton. Unfortunately any new line would probably have to cross Route 79 and the area on both sides of that road are building up rapidly. No easy answers to this problem.
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Postby Ron Newman » Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:43 am

IF the area around the mall is 'congested' then that's presumably a good place for a station stop.
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Postby trainhq » Fri Sep 01, 2006 11:07 am

The Lakeville line is the obvious solution. However, it won't work. The problem is that there is not enough capacity on the existing tracks north of Braintree to handle the trains from Old Colony, Greenbush, and FR/NB. Otherwise, that's probably how they would do it.
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Postby mxdata » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:05 pm

Isn't it ironic that not too many years ago the problem on the line was the bridge over the river, and now the possibility of exceeding the capacity of a couple of single track sections of line is an issue. Just as a matter of interest, my notebook lists 34 trips on that portion of the line in August with one delay (3 minutes) to wait for an opposing train. The wait for the opposing train was not at rush hour, it was in the middle of the day.
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NB/FR

Postby GP40MC1118 » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:33 pm

I am not in favor of going via Middleboro and its not just because of the
congestion issues north of Braintree.

Bypassing RT/44 Taunton, Rayham and Easton leaves probably the
LARGEST ridership stations behind. This, despite what the
noisy opposition says, is where the largest intial ridership is (plus
the East Taunton/Cotely super station).

As far as layover yards and stations go south of Cotely Jct, I do think
there should be a Myricks station. Agway recently closed and the
property is for sale. This would be a golden opportunity to buy it up
for a station site.

There should be a station up around Tarklin Hill Rd in New Bedford.

The Fall River layover yard siting is turning into a problem because
it looks like Sam Adams/Boston Brewery is going to build in the
Campanelli Industrial Park in Freetown (where Weyerhauser is now).
The Freetown station and layover yard is supposed to go in here.
Worse yet is all the McMansions going up around High Street crossing.

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Postby paulrail » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:51 am

A commuter rail station surrounded by housing units (condos, apartments and private homes?.....uh, isn't that now called "transit oriented development"!! The State Regional Planning Authorities are really pushing this idea at the present time. Makes sense to me.

The FEIR (Final Environmental Impact Report) report on the NB/FR Line WAS APPROVED by the State environmental people. :wink: Great!! BUT, it then had to be FUNDED;.....plop! No money available from the State.......it all went into the freakin' "big dig." Now, the FEIR was tossed out (after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on it) because the State cannot afford to build the line without Federal money.... Back to square one! Federal environmentl specifications for environmental issues are stricter than the State regs. That's why the MBTA wanted to build the line with State money ONLY! Now, a completely new study under both state AND federal standards has to be done!......which delays the project even further.

What a waste! Let's face it folks, it's all politics!! It makes me sick to see such a badly needed project gets tossed around with delay after delay while the "meter is running" Look at the projected cost of building the NB/FR Line 5 years ago,.....about four hundred million,......not 16 BILLION that was spent on the "disaster under the City"! :(

Paul

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