SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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

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Postby mxdata » Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:56 pm

I took a look at De Lorme, yes the route that you suggest is evident on the map. While I was pretty much joking about putting the railroad down the side of Route 24, I am amazed how much land the state owns on both sides of that road. Have you ever noticed how far back the fences are? Looks like they allowed room for twelve lanes sometime in the future.
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Postby boatsmate » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:14 am

actually the state is required to make all roads that use federal money for rebuilding or building brand new to be 90' (foot) wide roads and some highways must be 90' form the center line. thats why when you travel done some streets and you see them super huge, they had state and federal money involved. I know this because I used to work for the Town of Needham DPW and assisted in rebuilding some of the main roads.
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Postby GEL » Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:52 pm

Robert Paniagua wrote:I think that could work, and where the H & L Bloom terminal is in Oak St, Taunton, they can build an 800' platform like the Old Colony Lines so that an 9-car CR train can stop there and make Taunton an official Transportation Center.

10MPH speed limit dude.
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Postby mxdata » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:49 pm

Speed is a big issue in the viability of New Bedford service. Most people who live around New Bedford know the back road route to Middleboro through Lakeville. Consider fifteen minutes in your car fighting your way through the traffic to get from Dartmouth or Fairhaven to a station in downtown New Bedford, and compare it with the twenty five minutes it takes you to get to the Middleboro/Lakeville station (to start the train ride a lot closer to Boston). If the New Bedford service is going to crawl through the middle of Taunton and a half dozen other built up areas, driving to Middleboro is still a much better deal. And regional transportation centers servicing commuters need to be situated where there is room for additional future parking capacity and good access to major roads, not in a congested location where they are out of date as soon as they are completed. The section of Route 140 through the middle of Taunton is extremely slow and congested, if that is going to be the connector to a regional transportation center, the commuters are going to be sitting in traffic gridlock in their cars trying to make it to the MBTA station.
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:08 pm

so the speed problems are not just the bad track conditions, i assume it would be slow because of the all the grade crossings in the downtown area?
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:54 pm

Why would grade crossings slow the train down? Shouldn't the train go as fast as possible over the crossings, so as to block them as little as possible?
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Postby mxdata » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:23 am

It seems to me that there are several factors that would soak up a lot of running time on the New Bedford service, one is the likely grouping of as many as four stations rather short distances apart right at the beginning of the run from New Bedford (Downtown; North End; Industrial Park; and Freetown). The second likely slow spot is through the center of Taunton due to numerous grade and pedestrian crossings. The existing line from Stoughton to Canton Junction soaks up a lot of time too.

The Middleboro line is quite different, the fastest section of the line with the best separation from the neighbors and longest running distances between stations is on the south end. If the commuters see that they can cut an hour off the trip into Boston by driving a few minutes longer to Middleboro rather than using stations on the New Bedford line, then all the time and money spent on New Bedford service will be wasted effort.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:27 am

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.


Actually, based on my observations through Windows Live Local and Google Earth sattelite imagery, the original ROW is still pretty much open for at least one track in some locations.

As for the 10 mph in Taunton, that would mean replacing the track to at least 60mph in that section, even qwith the railroad crossings. That's probably why some Old Colony Trains aren't ending at Taunton instead of Middleboro like now. But hopefully the Taunton line should go thru the Stoughton Branch to ease congestion on the Old Colony Lines.
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Postby mental757 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:33 am

I'd also like to see an expansion in rail service between Newport, Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton to Providence long term...
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Postby trainhq » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:06 pm

Response to mxdata;

Actually, I think the only proposed stations were in downtown and Freetown; can't remember the other
ones being in the plans.
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Postby Sudburian » Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:38 am

According to WBZ this project might actually get moving. One can read their report athttp://wbztv.com/projectmass/local_story_079161445.html.
I hope the NIMBY problem is not as bad as it was with Greenbush.
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:15 am

Sudburian wrote:According to WBZ this project might actually get moving. One can read their report athttp://wbztv.com/projectmass/local_story_079161445.html.
I hope the NIMBY problem is not as bad as it was with Greenbush.


This project should be put on hold. The T should concentrate on the Medford extenstion on the Green Line, Improving the Fairmount Line and the Red-Blue Line connector. After that, then should consider the Fall River-New Bedford project.
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Postby trainhq » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:24 pm

No, the oppposition won't be as bad as Greenbush; it'll be worse. The Stoughton-Easton NIMBYs are well organized and financed, and have already kiboshed this several years ago. They'll be back, and ready for battle.
As I've stated earlier, by the time they've finished demanding a Hingham square-style tunnel for Easton and other mitigation, they'll have jacked the price up so high that they'll be better off cutting a new alignment, as I pointed out earlier in this thread.
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Postby GEL » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:07 pm

Robert Paniagua wrote: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.


Actually, based on my observations through Windows Live Local and Google Earth sattelite imagery, the original ROW is still pretty much open for at least one track in some locations.

As for the 10 mph in Taunton, that would mean replacing the track to at least 60mph in that section, even qwith the railroad crossings. That's probably why some Old Colony Trains aren't ending at Taunton instead of Middleboro like now. But hopefully the Taunton line should go thru the Stoughton Branch to ease congestion on the Old Colony Lines.

For that to happen, a lot of buildings and homes need to be knocked down.
Lots of grade crossings = traffic jams.
4 grade crossings serve extremely busy roads the rest are side streets.
Lots of sharp terns is why it is 10MPH.
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Postby Ron Newman » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:39 pm

If the trains can go over the grade crossings at 60 mph rather than 10 mph, won't that mostly eliminate any traffic jams?
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