SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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

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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:00 pm

ohalloranchris wrote:I ask this question knowing that we are years away from trains running on the line (if they run that is, because the $2.5-3 Billion price tag could be an issue with the recent change in the MA Gas Tax, but let's avoid politics, AND South Station will need to be expanded first), but IF trains do run at some point, and are indeed electric:

1. Is one safe to assume this may lead to use of electric power on the Providence Line as well? As we know, the common practice is to share equipment among lines. (It doesn’t make operational or fiscal sense to have equipment dedicated to a particular line.)

2. Might we see dual mode locos? I believe diesel/centenary electric locos were proposed for the North South Rail Link, but I don’t know if such an animal exists.

Thoughts?


1. SCR will not be the driver of whether the T goes to electric locos anywhere on the commuter rail, because its entire inclusion in the Army Corps FEIR is a farce based on outright lies. An NEC branch that forks into branches-off-of-a-branch outside of 495 is the last place on earth that merits electric locos because of the pathetic schedule. Those wires will see so few trains daily you might as well just call it a 25 kV, 50-mile linear bug zapper. Not to mention forget about ever developing any freight from ports of New Bedford and Fall River that exceeds 15 feet tall with how much the wires will kneecap clearances.


What may force a serious evaluation--maybe not purchase, but evaluation--of electric power is RIDOT intrastate commuter rail in combination with the Providence Line. Rhode Island pays in for a share of the entire systemwide push-pull fleet equivalent to the % of equipment usage (car requirements, running time, maint time) that crosses state lines. And the reason the T has been able to expand Providence service out-of-district is because that pay-in agreement is fully elastic. When RIDOT initiates Providence-Westerly commuter rail, Woonsocket-Providence commuter rail, and/or some Indigo-esque high-frequency service that just pings inside the I-295 belt...all they do is increase their ownership share. It provides a nice economy of scale for the T when making equipment purchases. Since RIDOT's various feasibility studies have gamed out electric push-pull, EMU's, and (for diesel territory like Woonsocket) DMU's as rolling stock options when instate commuter rail goes full-tilt, they have a seat at the table (albeit a small one) when it comes to strategizing future fleet purchases. If they want to advocate for electrics, the T will take it seriously. And likewise, future DMU purchases expanding the fleet beyond this initial 30-car order (if that ever happens) could get a RIDOT buy-in as well.

Now, there's no guarantee the T is going to ultimately decide to pursue electrics for the Providence/RIDOT equipment pool. RIDOT's stated preference can't force that on them if they think a universal diesel is the most cost-controlled fleet to operate, and they'll just have to live with diesels to Westerly in that case. But their needs, and those future increases in Rhode Island's ownership stake in the fleet, do play into the options they will consider at top strategic levels.


2. No. The only reason there is for considering dual-modes is the North-South Link tunnel so all non-electrified lines with access to the tunnel can take push-pulls thru-and-thru. Full electrification of the commuter rail network may not even be possible when you consider the freight clearances that would have to be preserved on the Haverhill Line north of Lowell Jct. and Fitchburg Line west of Willows Jct. And it'll take a long time after the Link opens to get full electrification buildout everywhere else...so at least one 25-year purchase generation of duals as a *minority* fleet is likely when you consider that some of the lesser branchlines will trail the heavier-traffic mainlines on the priority order for wires.

But there's no reason to buy commuter rail duals unless there's an unventilated tunnel to square. Amtrak, Metro North, and LIRR only run their 3rd rail duals to get last-mile into Penn and Grand Central. NJ Transit and AMT only run their new ALP45-DP's to get to Penn and through the Mt. Royal Tunnel. The extreme cost premium of buying something like the ALP45 isn't justifiable if you're only running on wires on the surface a little past Route 128 before forking onto a diesel branchline. There's no savings in operating cost for that. You would have to have some very very significant running miles of electric to justify it at all when the tunnel isn't forcing the issue. And not even NJ Transit...which has very significant electric running miles on the majority (but not totally) electrified Morris & Essex and North Jersey Coast lines...would've been able to justify their purchase without hedging on the canceled ARC Tunnel and future Gateway Tunnel sending more traffic from diesel territory to NYC instead of Hoboken.

I could see some duals fleets being justifiable by Caltrans. The Caltrain/Transbay Terminal and CAHSR initial electrification segments are going to be gradual buildouts could be realistic purchases where a small fleet of duals and then shuffling them around through one purchase generation to different commuter rail and intercity users as their buildout proceeds. Like, Caltrain first until they get far enough along with the wires to move all but the outermost service over to EMU's. Then maybe reassign to ACE if they ever get the Dumbarton Bridge rebuilt and access to Caltrain's tracks. And maybe ultimately those go to Metrolink when L.A. starts its buildout of the blended commuter rail + CAHSR route. Could also see similar type purchases in Canada as GO Transit aggressively pursues its electrification buildout. But those are all really short/mid-term purchases passed around in almost lend-lease fashion during the lifespan of the vehicles. They're not permanent commuter power for these new buildouts when no unventilated tunnel is in-play.

Amtrak...yes, I could see duals paying off for them on the Virginia and Springfield/Inland Regionals given the distance disparity traveled on-wire vs. off-wire, the electric equipment and yard space they'd free up, and other efficiencies. Ditto in California for the San Joaquin which will use the initial CAHSR segment. But that's very different from commuter rail. And on the east coast they do still have Penn to deal with.
Last edited by F-line to Dudley via Park on Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby GE45tonner » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:03 pm

I don't think RIDOT/MBTA would consider electrics for long. For the Westerly-Proividence service to fit in with the current Amtrak and T schedule it will probably need to use the newly built FRIP track, which was built specifically for high clearance loads bound for Davisville. Is it possible to have a catenary and still run the autoracks down to Davisville? I'm pretty sure no. Unless they want to go third-rail like MN I think EMUs are completely out of the picture.

I doubt the P&W wants Woonsocket-Providence electrified too.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby octr202 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:23 pm

If you have the vertical room, you can do double-stacks and 11kV catenary:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.p ... 06&nseq=17

Don't know about 25kV though. The contact wire looks pretty close to the top of those containers, and pans on the Silverliners don't look to have too much further to go.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:26 pm

One thing to weigh here: is it possible freight in the US will go any higher? Should we rebuild our ports for Panamax ships when post-Panamax is on the horizon?
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby nomis » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:32 pm

Septa's 11kV needs 9" of clearance between the top of the car and the wire, IIRC. The 25kV is something like 12", but I can check my books when I get home tonight. There's also room required between the bridge and wire.

Auto racks are shorter than double stacks, so it's completely possible to run 25kV provided there is clearance.

Any theoretical talk of a clearance profile larger than double stacks, as well as a new weight class to carry the "multi-multi" containers surely doesn't need to be in here.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:45 pm

GE45tonner wrote:I don't think RIDOT/MBTA would consider electrics for long. For the Westerly-Proividence service to fit in with the current Amtrak and T schedule it will probably need to use the newly built FRIP track, which was built specifically for high clearance loads bound for Davisville. Is it possible to have a catenary and still run the autoracks down to Davisville? I'm pretty sure no. Unless they want to go third-rail like MN I think EMUs are completely out of the picture.

I doubt the P&W wants Woonsocket-Providence electrified too.


P&W mainline? No...never. That would always be a diesel operation, and nobody has proposed otherwise.




On the NEC? 19'6" autoracks already run under the wires south of T.F. Green after the FRIP track ends. Amtrak's default electrification clearances for New Haven-Boston and all future new construction place the out-in-the-open cat towers tall enough to safely clear 20'6" double-stacks (regular cubes in the low-slung well cars) over unshielded roofs. It's taller than the New Haven Line, which legitimately can't fit tall freights even out in the open. Or the ex-Pennsy electrification on Amtrak and SEPTA which is a hodgepodge of original too-low clearance and modified clearances in the few places where tall freights do intermingle. I don't believe their specs provision for 22' double stacks on flatcars, but all freight carriers in the northeast use those low-rider well cars because if you can feasibly transport the same exact cubes at 20'6" why bother spending a kajillion more dollars for a perfect 22'. The B&A from Selkirk to Westborough is 20'6". Under wires (if I'm doing my math correctly) it takes 23'1" under-bridge clearance on that outermost portion of the Worcester Line to string wires over an unshielded DS freight. In MBTA territory with only a half-dozen or so overhead bridges...no big deal (west to Springfield...yeah, big deal with a bridge count more like 35).

Of course, in RI there is no DS potential on the NEC because Davisville is an autorack facility first and foremost. If they ever need to ship cubes it'll be niche enough for the port to not be worth P&W's while to think about stacking. CSX does that in Worcester where its 250+ mile haulage benefits from it. The 50-mile short haul strictly on P&W to Worcester?...nah. They'd waste more time working the cranes than they would interchanging the goods. If they ever need to move stacks to RI they'll set up an East Providence transload off their fully at-grade branch and not touch the NEC in any way, shape, or form.



The stations can definitely all be wired. And that's what matters even if some segments of running track can't.

-- Providence station has no proposed changes to the FRIP track. No passenger trains will use that track.
-- Wickford is south of FRIP territory; freights do not use that turnout, and won't use the northbound-side turnout when that's built. The only freight that runs here is the run-as-directed to the lumber yard adjacent to Kingston station.
-- The station sites for Pawtucket and Cranston (southbound platforms only on the FRIP) are out in the open where default clearances are fine.
-- East Greenwich won't be on the FRIP at all. Freights already run under wires there.
-- West Davisville is on the other, southerly FRIP track right before the Quonset/Seaview turnout. The 3 spanking-new overpasses built for US 1, RI 403, and Devils Foot Rd. spanning the full length of this track were built from Day 1 with full clearances.
-- No freights whatsoever cross through the Kingston and Westerly platforms. Kingston's being rebuilt as a tri-tracker, side + island with platform access to all 3 tracks. Westerly will get the same layout. I'm not sure if Kingston Track 3 is getting wired right off the bat...depends on whether there's any Acela vs. Regional meets there since most Regionals do make a station stop here while all Acelas pass through at top 150 MPH speed.

That leaves T.F. Green. Which is OK because. . .
-- The Airport Connector Rd. and Coronado Rd. overpasses are at the level of the adjacent signal towers, well above the wire clearance.
-- The T.F. Green garage air rights was built from Day 1 for max clearance.
-- Not sure about the RI 37 overpass because there's no signal tower to measure the bridge against, but if that clears then the entire 4.5 miles of FRIP between Cranston station and end-of-track south of T.F. Green clears. 6 miles and crossing the Providence city line if the Port of Providence Branch lead tracks opposite the FRIP are fungible for either upgrades for passenger traffic or freights switching sides.


If there are issues with the running tracks between stations, you start by running only on the mainline tracks and turn out onto an electrified portion of the FRIP at the stations. Then turn back off before the next clearance restriction with signal system enforcing it. Which is exactly what's planned. The only areas where electric vehicles may be stuck on the congested mainline pending more invasive later clearance work is on the 2.5 miles in Olneyville to Providence station, the only place where the FRIP got some serious undercutting (the 6/10 interchange is particularly low-hung). The 1 mile north of Providence station out to Branch Ave. where the FRIP turns out into the freight yard remains freight-only even in the NEC Master Plan's track + crossover layout. And north of the yard(s) any Woonsocket diesels will have already separated out from the 2 existing wired Providence Line tracks. No modifications appear to be planned in the NEC Master Plan, although there appears to be a couple miles south of old Pawtucket station there where empty space is available and provisioned to triple up without touching the FRIP.


I don't see a major problem here when downtown Providence isn't going to change in track layout and Woonsocket is diesel by default, all NEC stations are all good for it, the Davisville FRIP is good for it, a long Cranston stretch of FRIP is good for it, and the PoP Branch leads are of possible use. This really shouldn't affect a vehicle procurement evaluation when the timetable for making an actual go/no-go decision won't put a purple-painted electric on the Providence Line any sooner than 8 years from now, and probably much longer. We're not talking issuing an RFP for actual vehicles right now...just studying it. It's going to take till decade's end to even get to Westerly with some of these infill stations built. It's not going to be particularly dense or equipment-hungry service levels south of Providence until it's not only open but cooking for a good 5 years. Think 2025; they're fine with the same-old diesels until then.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby ohalloranchris » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:58 pm

Thanks all, great info as usual.

One additional question: The simulation seems to infer a simple extenstion of existing Stougthon trains to NB or FR, as opposed to locals originating from Stoughton overlappinng expresses from further south. Is the extenstion of existing trains the likely outcome due to limited slots? Or might we see some locals / expresses?
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:02 pm

ohalloranchris wrote:Thanks all, great info as usual.

One additional question: The simulation seems to infer a simple extenstion of existing Stougthon trains to NB or FR, as opposed to locals originating from Stoughton overlappinng expresses from further south. Is the extenstion of existing trains the likely outcome due to limited slots? Or might we see some locals / expresses?


It's waaaaaaay more convoluted than that. Skip-stop during peak with long pauses at stations for train meets, all stops off-peak, 3 hour off-peak headways on the branches, and reduction in overall service to Stoughton unless Stoughton is supplemented with short-turns (which nobody is saying). It's a debacle of a schedule.

See my post a couple pages back for the gory details: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=59461&start=735#p1294693.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:50 am

Just because the Army Corps of Engineers said it must be electric doesn't mean that's what will get built. I don't think Tier III or Tier IV locomotives were available when electric was specified. The MBTA could simply agree to run electric on the PVD line in exchange for Diesel on the "southcoast". How about Phase 1 = diesel to Taunton?

As for the [OT] N-S, and the new underground platforms required at South and North Stations, they should all be electric only. Smart pusher electric engines should be added and detached for thru trains.

Supposedly Amtrak wants premium $$$ for electric power. I'm sure the T & Amtrak can work something out, allowing pricing on the actual electrons to be more reasonable.

Electric locos should be cheaper to buy and own than equivalent diesel-electrics Therefore the "T" at some point could save money buying electrics.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Arlington » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:04 am

BandA wrote:Supposedly Amtrak wants premium $$$ for electric power. I'm sure the T & Amtrak can work something out, allowing pricing on the actual electrons to be more reasonable.

I don't "blame" Amtrak and I wouldn't "blame" the MBTA.

I endorse Amtrak's bid to charge top dollar for its electrons. Perhaps in the past it could afford to discount when it had slack capacity, but Amtrak's going to need those electrons for powering ever-longer and ever-faster intercity trains. It seems they're already running out of "spare" electrons (though regenerative breaking will help), and now they have to price them TODAY as if TOMORROW's shortage of generating capacity is already here, so that everyone has the right long-term incentives: Amtrak to be able to afford expanding supply (particularly if commuters did decide to keep running electrics), and the commuters to consider supplying their own power (via diesel)

Commuter lines, meanwhile, can tap the great improvements in mid-speed, FRA-compliant locomotives that all happen to be diesels, because that's where competition and freight-demand are driving innovation. Global innovation in electrics is concentrated at the higher-speed and EMU end of thing--not particularly useful to the commuter lines that need to stay FRA compliant with heavy locos.

It should be pretty compelling that MARC in 2013 ordered MPI diesels to replace all its electrics (AEM-7 and HHP-8), and, as noted,Tier III and Tier IV diesels are getting to the point where they are as clean as "mobile sources" of electric-generation as the electric grid is (on average).

If we're not already to the point where Tier IV is cleaner than the Electrics that the Corps wanted/imagined (at the time), we're close, and planting trees is probably a better clean-air solution for closing any emissions gap than stringing wire.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby octr202 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:22 am

IF (always if) the MBTA wanted to use electrics on the Providence line, the discussion might be somewhat different than what an operator like MARC faces. MARC is purely a tenant, Amtrak owns the whole thing down there. Up here keep in mind that Massachusetts owns the corridor from the RI Line north. I believe Amtrak owns the electric traction infrastructure, but they're still technically the tenant on the MBTA's railroad. Any negotiation over sharing the catenary would be more nuanced than what Maryland has to deal with.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:57 am

BandA wrote:Just because the Army Corps of Engineers said it must be electric doesn't mean that's what will get built. I don't think Tier III or Tier IV locomotives were available when electric was specified. The MBTA could simply agree to run electric on the PVD line in exchange for Diesel on the "southcoast". How about Phase 1 = diesel to Taunton?


The swamp was the whole reason the Corps pushed electric, so in their opinion you can't go to Taunton without it. Ultimately it was just a political turf war. The Corps isn't some neutral-by-fiat advisory agency like the Congressional Budget Office founded for the sole purpose of being immune to politics. They like to throw their weight around, bend parties to their will, and push agendas. They are corrupted by outside money and influence just like any other cog in the military-industrial (in this case the latter, though they are hosted by the former) complex. This isn't the first arbitrary whopper they've dropped in a DEIR. If anything they pull crap like this on megaprojects more than they ever did before.

The real reason electric got plastered around as the only environmentally justifiable option has nothing to do with the environment. It's that crippled skip-stop schedule on single track that has so many intricately-timed train meets. You already have trains on rush hour running slower than the off-peaks that make 4 more stops because the nasty secret of peaks is the 3-5 minute pauses at the (mostly 2-track) station platforms for overtakes baked into the schedule...where the only way to make it work at all is to program in dead standstills at extra-long dwells. And we already know what disaster will happen on rush every time something blows its slot and causes cascading delays. They have already reduced the daily schedule dramatically during the design of the project because the meets were too infeasible, and this "final" service plan is still such garbage it'll have to be reduced further. The only way the Army Corps could keep the illusion going that the single-track mainline was feasible was to take the piddling 5-minute end-to-end difference in electric vs. diesel and predicate the entire schedule house of cards on electric. Because 5 minutes is literally the only schedule margin they rest on for selling the whole 55-mile trip from Boston as plausible-on-paper. Despite the fact that it's not going to work in the real world.

Yes, absolutely they're going to have to confront the farce of this. We know it's not electric vs. diesel that makes the schedule. The off-peaks making all-stops from New Bedford beat the skip-stop rush hours on travel time. Diesels with more double-track to Taunton will beat electrics on this BS plan because it's all about those extra-long pauses for train meets. I would expect if somebody at Gov.-elect Baker's level or the new MassDOT top brass reins in the hangers-on at the Task Force and looks in horror at what this really is, that fight will commence. The Army Corps will dig in and make lame excuses for why It Must Be So Because We Say So, and there will be a years-long standoff. This is why projects of this scope don't get done or take decades longer than they should. The Army Corps isn't reasonable to work with when they double-down on their own pure politics.

As for the [OT] N-S, and the new underground platforms required at South and North Stations, they should all be electric only. Smart pusher electric engines should be added and detached for thru trains.


No need for that. These thingies and the many many competing models that'll be out when the Link ever happens will eliminate the need for any engine swaps. Dual-modes have come a long, long way from the extremely limited E-mode Amtrak, Metro North, and LIRR use on their old-tech duals for getting into the tunnels. One engine equally capable in both modes (albeit a little less fuel-efficient because of the smaller high-performance diesel engines needed to pack similar diesel power in a smaller space) is in-use today on NJ Transit and AMT for their unventilated tunnels. And will be on Amtrak's, MNRR's, and LIRR's next orders (and would be an option for SEPTA too if they made a future expansion foray into diesel territory). Tunnel helper engines are going to be a thing of the past.

The only vehicle procurement question about the Link is how push-pulls period are going to perform with the steep grades in the tunnel. You're probably going to see the all-electric lines use EMU's, and the remaining diesel lines rationed pretty *parsimoniously* through the Link to thru routes + schedule slots of utmost demand...with the lesser-demand diesel routes terminating on the surface as before. Simply because those push-pulls are going to be so much slower than the EMU's through the Link and start to limit headways a bit if they're too significant a share of the traffic. The Link study may have been a little optimistic about max TPH using primarily push-pulls and have to hedge on a prioritized share of zippier EMU's to hit peak use. Ultimately not a big deal as most of the system save for those near-impossible freight clearance routes will get electrified in due time...it just reshuffles the deck on what you full-electrify first. And probably makes that dual-mode fleet small, and rationed to those critical freight-clearance routes like the outer Haverhill and Fitchburg instead of being the main fleet.

Supposedly Amtrak wants premium $$$ for electric power. I'm sure the T & Amtrak can work something out, allowing pricing on the actual electrons to be more reasonable.


Amtrak always wants a premium for usage of anything it owns...the wires, the track. It's why it's so successfully killed off freight on the NEC and forced the Class I's to give up the Springfield Line in favor of plucky low-margin carriers like CSOR despite the ample amounts of local freight on that line. It's one of the few places in the country where they've got complete control...and they milk it for all it's worth.

Electric locos should be cheaper to buy and own than equivalent diesel-electrics Therefore the "T" at some point could save money buying electrics.


"Should be". Definitely are on operating and maintenance, but purchase price is still high-end given their meager usage in this country. Watch how the FRA reforms on buff strength requirements develop. All it takes is a little more realism to open up the market to a lot more international models that require way less-invasive modification to run here and the prices will drop. But even the Siemens Sprinters are hella expensive despite their guts-in-worldwide-use because they had to be cleanroomed for FRA regs while keeping the weight reasonable. It's the mods not the tech that drives up the purchase price (and "Buy American"). It won't take much FRA reform to strip away a lot of that purchase premium.

The other one to watch are NJT's new Arrow-replacement EMU's and what they get back from manufacturers for their RFP expected to be issued in the next year-plus. They are going with regular EMU's (probably married-pair) stuffed inside the MLV coach carbody, which fits every height-restricted unventilated tunnel in North America (i.e. Penn, GCT, Montreal Mt. Royal, and SEPTA Center City). NJT wants to purge all single-levels from their EMU and push-pull fleets and go to more or less common seating and interior layout for fleet commonality (though they will still have separate EMU and push-pull). It would eliminate the need to have push-pulls sub for EMU's on the most sardine-packed rush-hour runs, and since these new ones will be frequency-agile on 25 Hz/12.5 kV and 60 Hz / 25 kV wire they'd also be able to clean up the hodgepodge of equipment they have to run on lines that hit both voltages. You'd be talking a 200+ car order. And that in turn would make these MLV EMU's a viable option for SEPTA on their 200+ car Silverliner IV replacement order. And scale up from there as a viable EMU option for AMT, GO Transit's electrification (if the same exact modular guts were fitted to the low-boarding BLV form factor), and every new commuter rail electrification in North America. That's where the economy of scale hits for the T to strongly consider an RFP by 2020 (by which point NJT's cars will be rolling off the assembly line and being debugged) for 2025 delivery. If, say, a Bombardier or Kawasaki offered them up in the Penn-clearance MLV form factor, the fuller-height MBTA/MARC bi-level form factor, and the low-boarding BLV form factor--same exact vehicle, different tincan sitting on top of the floor--then you've got something approaching an attractive universal make.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Choo Choo Coleman » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:23 pm

What is the reason why the main branch to Taunton isn't all double-tracked in the plans?
When the line was active decades ago did it run double-track?
I foolishly assumed that for $2 billion the whole line down to NB & FR branches would have 2 tracks.
$2 billion doesn't stretch as far as it used to.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:36 pm

Choo Choo Coleman wrote:What is the reason why the main branch to Taunton isn't all double-tracked in the plans?
When the line was active decades ago did it run double-track?
I foolishly assumed that for $2 billion the whole line down to NB & FR branches would have 2 tracks.
$2 billion doesn't stretch as far as it used to.


The swamp and the NIMBY's. The Army Corps objected to it through wetlands, and the towns fought it tooth and nail. So it was compromised out. The South Coast Task Force only cares about the branches, and which of their cronies in Freetown, Fall River, and New Bedford get paid. It couldn't care less how the trains got there from points north of Taunton. So the Stoughton Line got all the compromises, and the Army Corps tried to cover its butt in the electrification fairy. This is where it all fell apart.


If they would just do contiguous DT to Taunton Depot there would be no problem here. Diesels would be fine. The schedule could be nice and fat while making all stops. Stoughton and Canton wouldn't lose access to their NEC stops. And it would cost less. Hell, if the swamp is really that big a deal they can single-track just that part and at least keep the DT contiguous for the 8 miles north of Route 106 and the 6.5 miles from I-495 to Taunton Depot if the environment is really that big an issue. There's no reason for the DT stopping at Stoughton station except for the NIMBY screaming in Easton and Raynham.


This is the sheer senselessness of the entire project. They intentionally broke it so political friends could get paid and are lying through their teeth that not only is it not plainly broken, but that this is somehow the *best* way to do it.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Frode » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:13 am

The existing abandoned track is single-track south of Stoughton - you can still see it in the woods along Route 138. It's double-tracked at North Easton station, and the ROW south of North Easton station after the filled-in tunnel looks wide enough for double track, although there is only an abandoned single track there now. The abandoned single track ends at Route 123 by the Ace Hardware, and then the ROW south has no rails (I assume all the way through the swamp, although I've only seen it in person as far south as Route 106).
Frode
 
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