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 highgreen215 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:26 pm

It may require the construction of an elevated track over the existing "pinch point" track. Big $$$$$. Could a temporary overhead track structure be built before a permanent solution is engineered? Something like they did while the new Fore River bridge was being constructed.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby neman2 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:52 pm

How do you build an elevated track over a track that has overhead bridges such as those that exist on this line ?
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:03 pm

There's no room for any sort of "temporary" solution in Quincy Center. The only options there are to either acquire the necessary land to restore the ROW to its original 4-track width (which could be somewhat mitigated by building the tracks low enough to build a deck above them to restore the existing surface structures afterwards), or take the Red Line and put it into a short subway underneath the commuter rail. Either way, it's going to be expensive, and require lengthy shutdowns of either the Red Line, the Old Colony lines, or both.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:12 am

The Red Line carries more passengers than the OC, right? Isn't the pinch-point one track? So they only need 1 more track, not 3 more?
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:22 am

I was referring to the combined Red + CR ROW, which is three tracks total (down from 4 tracks before the New Haven discontinued the Old Colony passenger service)
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Bill Reidy » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:10 am

The Old Colony main during the New Haven years was four tracks only as far south as Atlantic station, which was located on the curve between today's Quincy Shore Drive and Hancock Street bridges, just south of the Neponset River bridge. Near Atlantic was the junction with the Granite branch, which ran parallel to the Old Colony main through East Milton and West Quincy before rejoining the Old Colony main south of today's Quincy Adams Red Line station. The Southeast Expressway runs along the Granite branch right-of-way through East Milton.

South of Atlantic, the Old Colony main was largely two tracks, through the area of today's North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center and Quincy Adams Red Line stations. We're fortunate the MBTA chose to include a single freight track along the west side of the right-of-way when the Red Line extension was built to Quincy and Braintree. At least one Quincy city councilor wanted to drop the freight track as a cost-cutting measure when the extension was being planned. If that freight track hadn't been built, it would have been much more difficult to restore commuter rail service to Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth and Middleborough/Lakeville.

Given the narrow right-of-way south of North Quincy down into Braintree, about the only way I can see to add a second Old Colony track would be through tunnels, a very expensive proposition which would likely make the cost of the electrified Stoughton route look like a bargain. Currently the MBTA is rebuilding the Wollaston Red Line station and is working with developers for a transit-oriented development centered on the Quincy Center parking garage. As far as I know, no provision for a future second Old Colony track is being made in either project.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby bostontrainguy » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:28 am

Probably actually a good problem. All the more reason to eventually reroute through Stoughton when the number of trains and the dispatching gets too much.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:55 am

Bill Reidy wrote:Currently the MBTA is rebuilding the Wollaston Red Line station and is working with developers for a transit-oriented development centered on the Quincy Center parking garage. As far as I know, no provision for a future second Old Colony track is being made in either project.


I don't know about Wollaston, but from what I hear, Quincy Center development will lock in the single track there. Completely foolish and a severe lack of foresight.

bostontrainguy wrote:Probably actually a good problem. All the more reason to eventually reroute through Stoughton when the number of trains and the dispatching gets too much.


The point is that the service will be so lousy that significant ridership will likely never materialize. Politicians likely won't understand why, either, so they'll figure "mission accomplished" on getting lines on a map to the South Coast, but they'll also figure the South Coast is ungrateful/doesn't need it when they look at ridership.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby Bill Reidy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:20 am

One correction to my previous post:

Bill Reidy wrote:...If that freight track hadn't been built...


I should have said "if the right-of-way for the freight track hadn't been preserved." The freight track itself was never built north of the spur to the Quincy Patriot Ledger, but a freight track right-of-way was preserved on the west side of the Red Line through Quincy, including Quincy Adams and Quincy Center stations.
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MBTA Stoughton Rail Line Extention

Postby John Smythe » Fri May 11, 2018 6:11 am

Just to let those who don't know, there is another war being waged regarding The Stoughton Commuter Rail Line Extension Project which has been going on for some 20 plus years. The original project aimed at intending Commuter Rail South from Stoughton, Mass through Easton, Raynham and into Taunton where lines would divide and run to New Bedford & Fall River. Despite the original rail line between Braintree Highlands thru Stoughton Junction being laid down starting in 1855 and put into service to Taunton and points South around the end of the Civil War until the mid 1960's, you'd think someone wanted to build a nuclear waste plant. I've written several letters to the editor of local newspapers but some people just don't get it. many of the NIMBY's didn't even know there was a ril line near them until the MBTA announced the plans to rebuild the line.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby John Smythe » Fri May 11, 2018 7:00 am

Bill Reidy wrote:The Old Colony main during the New Haven years was four tracks only as far south as Atlantic station, which was located on the curve between today's Quincy Shore Drive and Hancock Street bridges, just south of the Neponset River bridge. Near Atlantic was the junction with the Granite branch, which ran parallel to the Old Colony main through East Milton and West Quincy before rejoining the Old Colony main south of today's Quincy Adams Red Line station. The Southeast Expressway runs along the Granite branch right-of-way through East Milton.

South of Atlantic, the Old Colony main was largely two tracks, through the area of today's North Quincy, Wollaston, Quincy Center and Quincy Adams Red Line stations. We're fortunate the MBTA chose to include a single freight track along the west side of the right-of-way when the Red Line extension was built to Quincy and Braintree. At least one Quincy city councilor wanted to drop the freight track as a cost-cutting measure when the extension was being planned. If that freight track hadn't been built, it would have been much more difficult to restore commuter rail service to Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth and Middleborough/Lakeville.

Given the narrow right-of-way south of North Quincy down into Braintree, about the only way I can see to add a second Old Colony track would be through tunnels, a very expensive proposition which would likely make the cost of the electrified Stoughton route look like a bargain. Currently the MBTA is rebuilding the Wollaston Red Line station and is working with developers for a transit-oriented development centered on the Quincy Center parking garage. As far as I know, no provision for a future second Old Colony track is being made in either project.



Every community the MBTA Commuter Rail serves is powered by diesel electric units. I ask why then are 2 communities those being Easton & Raynham demanding electric trains? The T should have put it's foot down years ago and informed these 2 towns that they will get the same power everyone else gets. These 2 towns have thrown every obstical un the way of restoring the rail line and getting more motor cars off the roads during rush hour.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby GP40MC1118 » Fri May 11, 2018 3:42 pm

It's the Army Corps that came up with the bogus electric train requirement, not Easton & Raynham. Believe me, if you thought the
trackside communities along the route were upset, the sight of catenary with its wires and numerous poles will make them nuts.

Scroll back a few pages and search of F-Line's excellent dissection of the Army Corp report

D
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Re: MBTA Stoughton Rail Line Extention

Postby atlantis » Sat May 12, 2018 9:36 am

In my humble opinion, NIMBYs and politics have been the two major obstacles to this country having an expanded passenger rail system. It's one thing to be opposed if the rail line has been inactive for many years or decades. Then one can see the necessity of trying to work with the abutters in the situation. The appalling thing, imo, are the ones who move into a property next to an ACTIVE rail line, then complain about train movements and proposals to start new train services. (e.g. Foxboro.)
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Postby bostontrainguy » Sun May 13, 2018 11:09 am

atlantis wrote:In my humble opinion, NIMBYs and politics have been the two major obstacles to this country having an expanded passenger rail system. It's one thing to be opposed if the rail line has been inactive for many years or decades. Then one can see the necessity of trying to work with the abutters in the situation. The appalling thing, imo, are the ones who move into a property next to an ACTIVE rail line, then complain about train movements and proposals to start new train services. (e.g. Foxboro.)


Spot on! It's like moving next to the airport and then complaining about the airplanes!

Look at what the squeaky wheels at Brickbottom have cost the MBTA (us!) for the Greenline project, and what the opposition to Greenbush did to the numbers - forever making that a questionable financial endeavor.

Kudos to Brightline for getting up and running as quickly as they have - though I think the attitude in Florida is a lot more infrastructure-friendly than Massachusetts. They are building new roads and railroads everywhere. They just seem to go and do what needs to be done.

This NIMBY attitude combined with insane self-imposed strangling regulation has crippled almost any major new project - rail or otherwise. Trump is certainly right on this matter.
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Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun May 13, 2018 1:34 pm

Any friendliness Florida has towards infrastructure projects extends only to roads. The NIMBYs there (including several county governments, the state government, and the state's Republican representatives in Congress) have been screaming in opposition to Brightline ever since it was announced. Several bills were actually proposed in the state legislature that were intended to be de facto bans on privately owned and operated passenger trains by regulating them to death. If Brightline wasn't a subsidiary of FEC, which already owned all the necessary property and could therefore do whatever it pleased, it never would've gotten off the ground.
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