SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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

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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:37 pm

yea but in order to get there, the MBTA would have to travel down the Middleboro Secondary from Attleboro, and the Attleboro method has been ruled out

unless the MBTA builds a Y at Weir Junction where the Dean St. branch is, that is tthe only way
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:42 pm

...or again, they could rebuild the ROW from Stoughton through Easton, Raynham, North Taunton along Rte 138 then to the existing ROW right to Oak St Bloom Bus Terminal.
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Postby mxdata » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:12 am

I suspect that for my remaining life expectancy the only NB/FR service to Boston will be by bus.

As I mentioned in some previous postings, the two cities (NB and FR) have been completely driving this thing, what is useful to the suburban communities around them has almost totally been neglected. For example, I suspect there are a number of people who live in Dartmouth, Acushnet, Freetown, and Fairhaven and work in the Boston area, who would be much better served by stations north of New Bedford than by having to commute into downtown to take the train.

As far as bringing tourists to New Bedford is concerned, just take a look at the last forty years of local history. They said the parking garage would encourage tourism (it didn't), they said running Route 18 through downtown would bring tourists (it didn't, but it made it quicker to get to the south end), they said spending millions on the historic district would bring tourists (did it?), they said the NOBSKA would bring tourists (it got scrapped), they said the conversion of the power plant to one of the numerous projects that has been floated for it would bring tourists (well, it brought a few consultants to look at the building, I guess you could call them tourists, they left afterwards).

Ever notice that the emphasis in New Bedford is on bringing people with money into the city as tourists, they don't want them to stay and live there - ever wonder why? (hint: people with money might have an effect on local politics or worse yet they might run for office).

New Bedford's biggest problem is New Bedford. Bringing the MBTA to town won't change that. :wink:
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Postby Ron Newman » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:22 am

If there's a station in downtown New Bedford, there surely will be stations north of New Bedford. Even the Dattco bus stops both downtown and north of town.

New Bedford Summerfest and the Whaling Museum bring tourists to New Bedford -- at least, they bring me there. Lowell seems to me a good model to look towards when redeveloping a city center for both tourists and residents. It's too bad the Lowell train station is so far from downtown.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:46 am

Robert Paniagua wrote:...or again, they could rebuild the ROW from Stoughton through Easton, Raynham, North Taunton along Rte 138 then to the existing ROW right to Oak St Bloom Bus Terminal.



yes, but they will still need the WYE at Weir Junction to get to the bloom terminal, because at Weir Junction, the track only head to NB/FR and Middleboro
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:35 pm

That wye is still there, just without the tracks, and it wouldn't require any backup moves either. The only backup move to Taunton would come from Boston via the Providence line at Attleboro Station.
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Postby stevefoley » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:26 pm

trainhq wrote: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.

Using DMU's (like every other developed country in the world) would solve that - they could join/split at Braintree for the run into South Station
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Postby mxdata » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:55 pm

Whenever I see that DMU car I wonder how much it would cost to replace those curved windows running up into the roof. We have a bunch of fruitcakes running around in public who think it is cute to try to drop things (like bricks) onto trains. Guess we really missed out by retiring all the old Budd RDC cars, gosh those Detroit Diesel 110s were great. I can still remember that wonderful pungent odor of diesel exhaust and unburned fuel circulating into the car at every station stop. It still brings tears to my eyes.
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:34 pm

Is the Fall River/New Bedford lne proposal dead at this time?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:26 am

No, it shouldn't be, probably taking a little back seaty, but with the new administration, hopefully they'll take action on the service south of Stoughton.
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Postby trainhq » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:40 am

Seems kind of hard to me to see how Patrick will do it.
He's already under pressure to take over 2-3 billion in T debts from earlier construction. If he does that, it's hard to see how the T could get more state $$$$ for FR/NB. It's one of those campaign promise items that never happens once it runs up against fiscal reality.
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Postby mxdata » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:33 am

The towns and special interest groups that ran the cost of Greenbush right through the roof pretty effectively delayed all the other projects unless or until sources of additional funding can be found (most likely through tax increases).
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Postby trainhq » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:36 pm

And you can be sure if they build the FR/NB line, the
Stoughton-Eaton NIMBYs will do the same thing. Now that they've seen the Hingham tunnel, Easton will
demand at least as good. What they'll probably have
to do is re-route the line around Easton completely on a new alignment; the old one has been encroached on too much.
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Postby mxdata » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:18 pm

Design a new alternate route? That's an interesting idea! How about parallel to Route 27 east of Stoughton down to Route 24 around Brockton Heights, then alongside Route 24 to pick up the New Bedford and Fall River lines near the Route 140 interchange. Class 8 track, ACSES, skip Easton, bypass some of the NIMBYS, put the Taunton station out by Silver City Mall. Cost? Oops! That's a really big problem, the real estate along Route 27 would cost a fortune and you would have to rebuild every highway ramp to Route 24! What a great line that would be though, especially if you crossed the railroad over from the west side to the east side of Route 24 right around where it crosses 495. Of course, Route 24 runs through the swamp wildlife management area too! :wink:
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Postby trainhq » Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:34 am

No actually, I was thinking of having them cut from south of Stoughton along 138 and run it over parallel to Bay road past Easton. If you look at that route on the map, I think you'd find there is actually a pretty clear path that way, with only a few roads intervening.
That would be the way to do it.
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