SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:48 pm

theres so many RR crossings in taunton, thats the reason for the 10 mph set by CSX, the track circuit isn't set up for fast speeds, this would obviously be changed

the speeds also wouldnt' be that high because of the curves in Taunton
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Postby rhodiecub2 » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:57 pm

Isn't the town of Raynham also against the Fall River/New Bedford project?
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Postby Pete » Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:05 am

Well, somebody got Deval on board:

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... _rail_line

$1.4 #$@&* billion. The projects that much money could have funded...
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Postby jck » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:12 pm

The estimates show what, 3,000 projected new riders? And we're now going to spend 1.4 BILLION? This makes the Big Dig look like a fantastic deal.

Meanwhile, the rest of T rots from the inside due to aging infrastructure. I guess it's a lot more sexy to propose new projects than to remove speed restrictions and improve equipment reliability.
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:19 pm

I'm not against this, but the Green Line extension to Somerville and Medford will bring a lot more bang for the buck.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:39 pm

jck wrote:The estimates show what, 3,000 projected new riders? And we're now going to spend 1.4 BILLION? This makes the Big Dig look like a fantastic deal.

Meanwhile, the rest of T rots from the inside due to aging infrastructure. I guess it's a lot more sexy to propose new projects than to remove speed restrictions and improve equipment reliability.


Of course it is! How many ribbon cutting ceremonies have you seen for a tie replacement project? :wink:
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby jck » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:39 pm

Just about any of the other proposed T projects would provide better bang/buck.

Red-Blue line connector.

Silver line phase III

Blue Line to Lynn

Worcester commuter rail improvements

Fitchburg commuter rail improvements

Urban ring
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Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:52 pm

Here's the latest news on Patrick's announcement.

I hope when they add the tracks to South Station, they rebuild the corresponding part of the facade along Summer Street.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Postby jamesinclair » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:16 pm

jck wrote:The estimates show what, 3,000 projected new riders? And we're now going to spend 1.4 BILLION? This makes the Big Dig look like a fantastic deal.

.


3,000 riders a day paying $16 roundtrip = $48,000 per day
10,000 riders a day paying $4 roundtrip = $40,000 per day


It also makes more sense than the red-blue connector. Do we really need more service downtown? Maybe. Will it be more convenient? Duh. WIll it add riders? not really.
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Postby Pete » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:21 pm

jamesinclair wrote:
jck wrote:The estimates show what, 3,000 projected new riders? And we're now going to spend 1.4 BILLION? This makes the Big Dig look like a fantastic deal.

.


3,000 riders a day paying $16 roundtrip = $48,000 per day
10,000 riders a day paying $4 roundtrip = $40,000 per day


Now factor in capital costs and upkeep.
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Postby jck » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:28 pm

jamesinclair wrote:
jck wrote:The estimates show what, 3,000 projected new riders? And we're now going to spend 1.4 BILLION? This makes the Big Dig look like a fantastic deal.

.


3,000 riders a day paying $16 roundtrip = $48,000 per day
10,000 riders a day paying $4 roundtrip = $40,000 per day


It also makes more sense than the red-blue connector. Do we really need more service downtown? Maybe. Will it be more convenient? Duh. WIll it add riders? not really.


It will add the same number of riders, according to this:

http://www.bostonmpo.org/bostonmpo/reso ... nector.pdf

In any case, you're ignoring perhaps the most important aspect: the cost of the project. The red-blue line connector is probably going to cost close to 10% of the New Bedford project.

How about this.

$1.4b/3,000 riders = $500,000 per rider
$1.74m/3,000 riders = $65,000 per new rider (10,000 total).

Now, which has a better bang/buck?
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:50 pm

jck wrote:Just about any of the other proposed T projects would provide better bang/buck.

Red-Blue line connector.

Silver line phase III

Blue Line to Lynn

Worcester commuter rail improvements

Fitchburg commuter rail improvements

Urban ring



Unfortunately those projects don't have the possibility of sealing Patrick's re-election bid in 2010 like locking up South Coast swing voters can if the project's actually under construction by then. That line about "for 20 years Massachusetts governors have promised the residents of southeast Mass. . ." was the money line in his statement: his re-election campaign promise to those voters. Maybe if Healey/Romney polled a little less-pathetic in metro Boston rapid transit would get some love, but South Coast is one of the few high-density swing voter areas (to the extent that swing still even happens here) left for statewide Democrats to woo.

I think they misquoted the ridership projections...that would be a pretty heavily-patronized line with the most deep long-term ridership growth of probably any CR route since that's where the pop density explosion is headed after South Shore/Greenbush corridor gets tapped out of residential real estate. It's too strategic long-term to not ultimately do, so I don't really mind the sequence it's done in since this one takes a lot more political will and cooperation to pull off than any metro-Boston project. And if you can politically get it approved today when you couldn't yesterday and probably won't tomorrow, you do it. That's how Greenbush happened. And this will do wonders for Fall River/New Bedford's 15-30 year growth. The T is a state agency, so not everything it does (within reason) needs to benefit Boston exclusively. Short of Springfield which isn't regionally practical this is the largest--and last--remaining distinct regional metro area that needs to be permanently tied into the transit system, unless New Hampshire wants to start ponying up its share of funding (ha!). It's also important because you can eventually count on those commuters to support T funding where they once had no reason to do so, and if you see where the population demographics are headed in the next couple decades, couple censuses, and couple redistrictings...it's a full-on southward march of increasing voter clout. That's why you pick your opening and just do it, high cost/disruption and all.

Now, make no mistake...this is the LAST suburban CR project that should ever get prioritization over the metro-Boston rapid transit improvements that have been in perpetual limbo for decades. Seriously...Greenbush and FR/NB were the only big-ticket expansions left with such super-strategic value to the state and T where you could justify greenlighting as soon as the political winds blew favorable. That's it. Everything else needs to fall in line by need and priority. There needs to be a massive push to modernize and extend the rapid transit system after a couple decades of that taking a back seat to the Big Dig and building up MBCR. Make your upgrades to the the heaviest-use CR infrastructure, but prioritize on most-immediate bang-for-buck on inside-128 service. No more all-new lines (sorry, Cape Cod...start pulling your weight year-round), only extend lines past their termini when bang-for-buck is obvious, and if Rhode Island or New Hampshire want more MBCR stops in their jurisdictions make sure they're kicking in appropriate funding to make Mass' bang-for-buck a no-brainer (thinking yes for some of the Providence 'burbs, hell no for tax-poor NH).
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Postby jck » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:06 pm

F-line,

Excellent analysis. I believe you're absolutely right about the politics involved.

I believe the 3,000 number is new ridership, not total ridership (which will clearly be a higher number).
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Postby Ron Newman » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:21 pm

The Red-Blue connector is essential if the Blue Line gets extended to Lynn or beyond. Its primary purpose isn't to add ridership, but to move it off the overcrowded section of Green Line between Park Street and Government Center.
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Postby mental757 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:40 pm

and just for the record, throught the Pilgrim Partnership, RI pays annual fees for the Providence service, built a $10+M layover facility and paid for new cars and locomotives to expand service to TF Green airport and Wickford Junction (North Kingstown, RI).

I only wish there was a way to link FR/NB to Providence as part of the new line. For those more informed, are there any usable rail lines that eith MBCR or P&W could use between Providence and FR/NB??
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