SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby NH2060 » Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:49 pm

Gerry6309 wrote:The liaison for South Coast Rail did a presentation for the BSRA tonight. They want to do 25 kV AC electrification for environmental reasons. Might as well erect a marker in the cemetery of dead projects for that one!

Wait so now we're BACK to electrification? Good grief..
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:38 am

NH2060 wrote:
Gerry6309 wrote:The liaison for South Coast Rail did a presentation for the BSRA tonight. They want to do 25 kV AC electrification for environmental reasons. Might as well erect a marker in the cemetery of dead projects for that one!

Wait so now we're BACK to electrification? Good grief..


Electrification never left, because that was the turd sandwich the Army Corps stuck in the EIS. Since there has been zero further action on the project in the time since that document was was circulated for public consumption, there hasn't been a formal response by the state contesting that Army Corps decision. Even though quite very clearly the wires are a nakedly BS, politically-motivated decision on the AC's part that the state has every intention of contesting...and probably winning in the end. Simply because it was that egregious an overreach, and leadership turnover at the Army Corps makes it very unlikely that the current regime would risk getting sacked for a loss defending tooooo hard the grifters who preceded them. But for the time being this is all still the (anachronistic) plan-of-record and the Task Force has the faintest "technically correct is the best kind of correct!" cover for continuing to hype it. Nobody seriously expects it to happen.


For the zombie South Coast Task Force none of that matters. It's more toys for them to fantasize about playing with, and their jurisdiction as a liason for the out-of-district towns only runs south of Taunton so they don't give a crap about the Stoughton Line, the Army Corps-crippled/schedule-killing capacity restrictions on the Stoughton Line build, the swamp, the service loss to Westwood/Canton/Stoughton...anything except the physical existence of a Purple Line train running south of Taunton Depot and all the toys they get to enrich their Freetown, FR, and NB friends and friendly consultants with.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Gerry6309 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:54 am

I do believe that this project has merit, but the added cost of electrification puts the price tag in the 2.2 Billon range, and that doesn't consider operating costs, such as locomotives and cars! They say it compares favorably with GLX, but that involves making a 2 or 3 track cut through an urban area into a 4 track cut - under service. The South Coast project involves rebuilding a line through a swamp, upgrading lightly used freight track, and building simple stations. Maybe we should start a new subforum: EXPENSIVE DREAMS, and put this and the N-S Connector thread in it.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:17 pm

What's the purpose of a MassDOT employee giving a presentation using stale information? The people are looking for either historical context or new information.

from http://www.thebsra.org/meetings/
September 12, 2015
South Coast Rail Project Update
Jean C. Fox, MassDOT Project Manager for South Coast Rail, will present MassDOT’s plans for extending MBTA Commuter Rail to communities in southeastern Massachusetts that currently have no service. Ms. Fox will present an overview of the region, proposed stations, a summary of project benefits, and a brief update on the design and permitting. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity for questions and answers.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BigUglyCat » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:37 pm

I wonder how much a person makes for being project manager for a fantasy project?

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy wrote, "Query: how does the never-to-be differ from something that never was?"
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:31 pm

BigUglyCat wrote:I wonder how much a person makes for being project manager for a fantasy project?

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy wrote, "Query: how does the never-to-be differ from something that never was?"


As groan-inducing as it is to say it, this project is much less of a fantasy than we'd like it to be...

I'd be very surprised if it doesn't get built. I'd also be just as surprised if what gets built bears any resemblance whatsoever to the Army Corps recommendations.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:06 pm

If this gets built, it will be detrimental to every planned project in the pipeline. It will be pointed to as a reason not to invest in transit. The state's credibility will be severely damaged when people see the poor ridership and final cost of construction.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:20 pm

BigUglyCat wrote:I wonder how much a person makes for being project manager for a fantasy project?

In The Road, Cormac McCarthy wrote, "Query: how does the never-to-be differ from something that never was?"
According to http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/massachusetts_state_employee_salary_database_2015.html South Coast Rail Manager $95,782.00 in 2014.

MassDOT was paying 5376 employees in 2014/2013, from $2 to a "Local 127 - Retired - SLB" to $253,796.00 for a Civil Engineer V.
Records for T employees are suspiciously missing...
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BigUglyCat » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:22 pm

BandA wrote:According to http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/massachusetts_state_employee_salary_database_2015.html South Coast Rail Manager $95,782.00 in 2014.

Fools. They could have had me for half of that. :-D
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:49 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:If this gets built, it will be detrimental to every planned project in the pipeline. It will be pointed to as a reason not to invest in transit. The state's credibility will be severely damaged when people see the poor ridership and final cost of construction.


Which is why you'll see the Army Corps recommendations abandoned entirely. Eliminate electrification and the swamp causeway, and SCR will become much more cost-sustainable, all while providing the T with more backers outside of 128, which it sorely needs right now. I think there are better uses for the money, but unfortunately, politics is a thing, and satisfying an extremely vocal part of the state that's currently unserved by the T by building a reasonable, cost-controlled extension will ultimately be beneficial in the long run as far as improving the T's image to the whiners outside of Boston.

I wish it wasn't necessary, but we're not New York, and so far, Boston and the state at large have yet to see any leadership with the stones to tell everyone outside 495 to quit bitching about spending money on the T because Boston and Cambridge are the economic life-forces of a state that would otherwise look like southern Michigan without them. What's good for Boston is good for the state, and it's a shame that more people aren't made aware of that, because right now Boston desperately needs all of those major T improvements. Maybe SCR will get them to shut up long enough to push the other improvements through.

Besides, I think people will be too busy talking about the crush-loads that the GLX will be sustaining from opening day (while any real estate within a mile of it doubles in value overnight) to care about SCR.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:44 am

Bramdeisroberts wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:If this gets built, it will be detrimental to every planned project in the pipeline. It will be pointed to as a reason not to invest in transit. The state's credibility will be severely damaged when people see the poor ridership and final cost of construction.


Which is why you'll see the Army Corps recommendations abandoned entirely. Eliminate electrification and the swamp causeway, and SCR will become much more cost-sustainable, all while providing the T with more backers outside of 128, which it sorely needs right now. I think there are better uses for the money, but unfortunately, politics is a thing, and satisfying an extremely vocal part of the state that's currently unserved by the T by building a reasonable, cost-controlled extension will ultimately be beneficial in the long run as far as improving the T's image to the whiners outside of Boston.

I wish it wasn't necessary, but we're not New York, and so far, Boston and the state at large have yet to see any leadership with the stones to tell everyone outside 495 to quit bitching about spending money on the T because Boston and Cambridge are the economic life-forces of a state that would otherwise look like southern Michigan without them. What's good for Boston is good for the state, and it's a shame that more people aren't made aware of that, because right now Boston desperately needs all of those major T improvements. Maybe SCR will get them to shut up long enough to push the other improvements through.

Besides, I think people will be too busy talking about the crush-loads that the GLX will be sustaining from opening day (while any real estate within a mile of it doubles in value overnight) to care about SCR.
I have to call you on this. The state is spending 53% of it's budget on Health and Human Services, 18% on education, but only 1.7% on transportation!

A disproportionate part of the Health & Human Services money goes to urban areas including Boston & Cambridge. Most transportation spending is inside 128, especially for the Big Dig and MBTA. Transit spending is a large portion of transportation spending.
Imagesource: http://www.mass.gov/bb/gaa/fy2016/

Boston and Cambridge are difficult and expensive to get to due to transportation, so large parts of the state could easily live without them. I believe Boston & Cambridge & other urban areas receive a substantial net subsidy. By subsidizing the MBTA we are artificially inflating the real estate values in the Boston/Cambridge area and others served by the T, taking money from workers income tax and giving it to large commercial developers/owners.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby bostontrainguy » Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:25 am

I've seen a few Youtube videos of the rebuildng of the tracks through downtown New Bedford including a reactivated cold storage spur, a new turnout to the State Pier and new street-running heading south. Are they planning to run this all the way to the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal which is searching for a purpose at this time?
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby GP40MC1118 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:16 am

The street running and switch to the State Pier is just rehab of existing track. Nothing
new here. The spur at the south end of the main yard is to Maritime Terminal.

As far as extending track to the new South Terminal, have seen nothing concrete on routing
or a green light for this. With no business at the new terminal, why bother when there's
much more to rehab on the line south of Myricks to NB.

Speaking of which, Nash Rd has been rebuilt and stone being dumping north from NB. Wainer
platform being rebuilt.

D
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby HSP46 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:48 pm

BandA wrote:Boston and Cambridge are difficult and expensive to get to due to transportation, so large parts of the state could easily live without them. I believe Boston & Cambridge & other urban areas receive a substantial net subsidy. By subsidizing the MBTA we are artificially inflating the real estate values in the Boston/Cambridge area and others served by the T, taking money from workers income tax and giving it to large commercial developers/owners.


Large parts of the State could physically live without Cambridge or Boston, but certainly not financially. What's inside of I-495 contains about 80% of Massachusetts's GDP and subsidizes the rest of the state significantly. Pretty much all of the growth industries including tech, higher ed and health are centered around Boston.

The state subsidizes the MBTA to prevent both metro Boston and the expressway from becoming a parking lot. It also acts a public service for those who cannot afford to maintain and buy car. It gives mobility to the 250k college students in the metro area. Essentially, there are many good reasons to subsidize the MBTA and there is no reason to stop doing that because it may benefit commercial developers.

Returning back to the topic, I thing there are many more valid ways to spend the money including preserving GLX, doing a Silver light rail conversion or a North-South rail link but simply not on South Coast. Admittedly this may point to the larger problem of construction costs, which are significantly higher than they should be compared to most commuter projects in the northeast.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby LReyomeXX » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:55 am

GP40MC1118 wrote:The street running and switch to the State Pier is just rehab of existing track. Nothing
new here. The spur at the south end of the main yard is to Maritime Terminal.

As far as extending track to the new South Terminal, have seen nothing concrete on routing
or a green light for this. With no business at the new terminal, why bother when there's
much more to rehab on the line south of Myricks to NB.

Speaking of which, Nash Rd has been rebuilt and stone being dumping north from NB. Wainer
platform being rebuilt.

D


Also as per Google Street View and Google Maps, the proposed station location in NB would only be able to be accessed by ped bridge unless a certain company eliminates the close off fencing
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