Commuter Rail To Millis and Milford

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby trainhq » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:14 am

You got it. And, by the way, the priority list of putting NS rail link and FR/NB in first automatically stops
everything else up. Since each is a multibillion dollar project, the T can simply use those as "first in line"
to avoid doing anything about the rest of the projects too. That way, they have an excuse to not do anything
about anything unless they get more $$$ from the legislature. Oh, by the way, you forgot to put the transit line
extensions in there too; they'll get $$$ before the folks in Millis get anything. If you're waiting for a train in Millis,
you'll have to be a statue to stand there that long.
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby madcrow » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:41 am

trainhq wrote:You got it. And, by the way, the priority list of putting NS rail link and FR/NB in first automatically stops
everything else up. Since each is a multibillion dollar project, the T can simply use those as "first in line"
to avoid doing anything about the rest of the projects too. That way, they have an excuse to not do anything
about anything unless they get more $$$ from the legislature. Oh, by the way, you forgot to put the transit line
extensions in there too; they'll get $$$ before the folks in Millis get anything. If you're waiting for a train in Millis,
you'll have to be a statue to stand there that long.

At least the N/S rail link and the transit line extensions will actually have some real benefit. The NB/FR commuter rail as currently outlined benefits nobody!
madcrow
 
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:45 am

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby sery2831 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:17 am

This thread is for CR going to Millis and Milford. Please stay on topic.
Moderator: MBTA Rail Operations
User avatar
sery2831
 
Posts: 5127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Manchester, NH

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby aline1969 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:38 pm

For this line to happen Dover needs to be on board and chip in major cash. They dont want it in their backyards but yet their residents drive to Needham and park at the Needham stations. They cause traffic in Needham. A wooden trestle over the Charles River going from Needham into Dover would need replacement. And my personal comment would be, lets get the T to build the green line to Medford/Somerville first before anymore suburban expansions. :-D
Replace the 57 with the Green Line!!! The people demand more transit, more new routes
$75 K raised for Middlesex & Boston trolley #41 :: Seashore Trolley Museum
aline1969
 
Posts: 719
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:04 pm
Location: Boston/Brighton

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:06 am

As Choo Choo Coleman said, put the bike path next to the track, so restoring service on the track itself would be easier. They could even do this only on certain stretches (where the ROW is flat and wide enough), and let a trail use, for example, the one-track wooden trestle on the Charles River, the roadbed of single-track cuts, and other places that would be pretty easy to widen as part of upgrading the line later on. The idea of trains would still be there so the trail didn't become a barrier to service, and the existence of the trail would keep abutters from getting used to having no one and nothing in their back yards. One issue would be to have enough legal places to cross the tracks: if the trail is on the north side of the tracks and there's a long stretch with no streets crossing it, people will get used to cutting across the tracks.

Another thing to consider with this and other similar trail projects (like the one in Newburyport) would be to be sure the trail ran all the way to the nearest CR station, and put covered bike racks or bike lockers at that station. That could encourage bike commuting, getting a little more traffic for the trail and for the trains. It could also build up demand for commuter rail extension among trail users, who then wouldn't mind having their trail be next to a CR line. (They have lockers like this at the new station in Ogden, Utah.) A CR line beats even a medium-sized road as a place to bike, walk, or sit next to, especially at midday or on weekends, because there usually isn't a train so it's quiet.
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby trainhq » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:15 pm

Well, that's certainly the logical thing to do, but it doesn't quite get the point, NIMBY-wise. Half the reason people
want bike trails is to make it much harder for the tracks to be used for commuter rail again. Given the choice of
bicyclists or trains, NIMBYs will usually choose the former, especially when they think it likely they will have to choose
the latter. If they can get it rail-trailed now, when the line is seriously examined for CR (in about 10 years) the T will be
faced with a fait accompli. If you proposed doing it your way (trail next to the rails instead of replacing it) I think
you would find the support for the project greatly diminished.
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby RedLantern » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:31 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
diburning wrote:Here's a solution.... we keep the service, but whenever theres no service on the line, we let the bikers use it, but they would have to replace the wheels on their bikes with ones that have flanges :P


Or, hey, there's the big wide railroad bed that goes all the way from Boston to Worcester, and all the way beyond to Albany. Last two times I rollerbladed over the Beacon St. bridge there weren't any trains on it, so I figure it must be abandoned. And, get this, it's two-tracks wide...you could put, like, TWO bike paths at once on that! So I called up my friend at Bay Colony to ask if I can have it...he said "Well, we don't have any freight on that thing, so...sure, you can have it." I set up the website, got a bunch of my friends to sign the guestbook, had my picture taken overlooking it from the Pike with the Framingham mayor's estranged brother-in-law, and I figure we'll be out at Natick tearing up the rails around 7:25 next Tuesday morning.

You know, that one that goes southeast to Providence looked pretty abandoned that one time I drove by there really late at night. It's got wires overhead too so you could, like, have an electric bike path and save emissions and stuff. I'm gonna ask my Bay Colony friend if I can have that one too. Gosh...railroaders are the most generous folks ever to us bicyclists.

:wink:


Or what about a rails-with-trails trail. This is where a bike path is built alongside the active railroad and seperated with a fence to keep people off the tracks. The problem here is that the trail advocates fight these tooth and nail because they want to ride their bikes in peace without having to pass a train. These are especially practical in formerly double-tracked areas where there are no plans to re-lay the second track.

What I love to see is the hypocritical environmentalists who rather than looking at the total capacity of a train, will instead look absolutely no further than the locomotive's exhaust stack and say that because a locomotive puts out more smoke than a truck, therefore trains pollute more and are thus less efficient. They'll work to get these tracks torn up because being able to use a bike 6 months out of the year is so much better of a use of the ROW than the potential of hauling hundreds of people using only one engine.
Trains aren't dangerous, it's lack of common sense that's dangerous.
User avatar
RedLantern
 
Posts: 407
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:52 pm
Location: Westford, MA

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby Arborwayfan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:17 pm

Got to classify your NIMBYs because they change from place to place, maybe based on what's likely. When I lived in Urbana, Illinois, the abutters prevented building a trail on an abandoned line east of town (Conrail, I think); they didn't want people going by, thought it would bring crime, etc. Of course, they had no reason to try to block the line from being restored for trains because there was no possible future demand for commuter service or probably freight either. I can see that Greater Boston (which still seems like home to me) would be different. Up in northern New Hampshire I gather some abutters oppose bike trails but welcome snowmobile trails -- because they have their windows open in the summer and bikers go by more slowly, look around, stop, talk, etc.

I know some people use bike trails to try to block trains. I know a lot of trail advocates don't want to be next to a railroad track (or a chain-link fence). But there are a lot of honest trail advocates and users who just see a long ROW and want to use it for something (trails get used all year round, not just for 6 months; if not bikes, then people on foot or skiers or whatever. And pro-transit people need to advocate for trails as real transportation, not just parks for recreation. Tie them into the transportation network. Use them to get safe crossings over busy streets. Make them destinations that people can take the train to on weekends to justify weekend service. Sure, that's not what all the advocates want; it might appeal to some people who wouldn't otherwise be advocates.

Knee-jerk opposition to every trail project -- giving up on suggesting reasonable options because we think the opposition isn't interested in reasonable options -- just lets the cars take over. If I lived in Millis or Dover or wherever I'd be advocating for rail with trail, or trail with a rail provision; a lot of trail advocates wouldn't want it, but some would and we might have a better chance. (Around here in Terre Haute, Indiana, it's road with trail; we do have a rail trail, but its extension is blocked off because the opportunity to make a trail was lost when the line was abandoned and some cities wouldn't go along with a trail and parts of the ROW reverted to owners. That's not an issue in Mass., but it is something to avoid.)

There are also hypocritical environmentalists, but most aren't, at least not any more than everyone is a little bit hypocritical. It's reasonable for people to ask whether a train and it's infrastructure are more efficient than some other method; they deserve a real answer. It's also reasonable not to want the engines to idle by your house. We have to deal with people, talk to them, educate them, compromise with them. Some won't come around, but some will.

I'm a railfan and a cyclist, and just so you know, I also write to things like the Rails-to-Trails conservancy complaing that they don't tell people how to take the train to the trails they feature in their magazine (as when they did an article about a rail trail from Burlington, VT, north, without ever mentioning the Vermonter and its bike racks).
Arborwayfan
 
Posts: 653
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby trainhq » Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:46 am

Yes, it is true that not all rail trailers are just no-train NIMBYs in disguise. Actually, as an avid cyclist too, I'd love to see more rail trails. But let's not let them be put in locations where CR really should be brought back also. This is happening
out here in Sudbury also, where there is a push to rail trail the old Mass Central line. I think it would be great, and I would use it, but I recommended the same thing to them; keep the track ROW in place for CR. We need that too (see traffic on Route 20).
trainhq
 
Posts: 774
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:07 pm

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby dohertyk3 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:02 pm

Any update on this? Seems to have fallen off the radar.

Now this being 2013 -- I can completely see why MBTA extension to Millis makes perfect sense. Leaving at 6:30AM going east on Rt. 109 is a nightmare almost -- there are cars for miles and it's hard to even find a space in the traffic to pull in to start driving. What also doesn't help is the freight train in Medfield goes through the town center at 6:40AM which completely stops traffic for at least 3 minutes.

Tracks are there... old head house is there -- with a daycare and school inside now -- and parts of the tracks are still active for freight at night. My best suggestion -- make part of the old Cliquot factory a commuter rail station and turn the bottom floors into retail and the upper floors into condos and businesses. There is tons of parking at the old factory too which would solve parking woes. If in the future maybe the rails could be extended to Medway because it seems like a vast majority of the traffic is coming from that direction.

I think this would be a great economic boost to Millis as it was in the late 1800's and early 1900's --- I'd like to see history repeat itself.

Those who are opposed -- I think if it came in you would benefit from what I suggested. If anything more people move to town you can collect more taxes-- and as it seems the town is going into a huge downtown redevelopment; new library, new fancy shopping centers, new police station, and new track and field for the middle & high school. Property values would soar if MBTA service came. I think the combination of efforts would make our town better than Medfield, which also seems to be the direction the town wants to head in-- or at least be like a new Medfield.

I certainly hope someone is listening! I live close to the train tracks -- a little noise from a train won't bother me if it makes my life easier. I know many people already who commute from Millis to Downtown Boston to work.
dohertyk3
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:47 am

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby highgreen215 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:44 pm

Your reasoning makes perfect sense. But one of the major roadblocks to restoring train service to Millis is that the route to Boston passes through Medfield and especially Dover. These towns are probably NIMBY central.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby Bill Reidy » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:36 pm

Too late, I'm afraid. See the Bay Colony Rail Trail website.

The rail line through Dover is being lifted for exclusive use as a rail trail.
Bill Reidy
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:00 pm

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:44 pm

Isn't the rail trail still in the proposal stage, and not a sure thing?
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2594
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:25 pm

Rail with trail, side-by-side, is entirely possible. But this is probably one of those "Earth salting" type of trails.
User avatar
BostonUrbEx
 
Posts: 3587
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Winn to MPT 8, Boston to MPN 38, and Hat to Bank

Re: Commuter rail extensions to Millis and Milford.

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:47 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Rail with trail, side-by-side, is entirely possible. But this is probably one of those "Earth salting" type of trails.


Oh yes. Those BCRT guys are vehemently anti-rail. Or, more accurately, they're bicycle nihilists. They've done plenty of hectoring at Needham town meetings about how stupid they think the town's desire for a Green Line extension is and how the town's real focus should be bike trails everywhere, bike lanes everywhere.

It's not funded yet, but this is an Iron Horse Scam "free" trail so all they need are a few dozen grand in private donors for planning and commitments from the towns to stripe crosswalks at grade crossings, etc. The rest is just Iron Horse descending like the angels of death they are and ripping off the state for yet more scrap steel and ties while it does a once-over on the railbed to leave a lumpy, washout-prone, barely weed-controlled surface behind. The irony is the BCRT bike nihilists are going to be awfully disappointed how un-rideable the trail surface will be and will probably be screaming at DCR within 2 years for their god-given right to a "free" paved trail. Like Danvers is doing now after getting taken for their Iron Horse Scam trail a couple years ago.


It sucks Millis doesn't have a shot any longer. The ridership projected out really good, and there were all kinds of alt-routing possibilities north to Framingham or south to Foxboro with where it intersected the Framingham Secondary. But honestly, for the greater good it's probably the better long term bet to get serious about graduating the Needham Line into the rapid transit system--Green from the north, Orange from the east. Needham has the density, Roslindale and West Roxbury shouldn't be excluded from a downtown one-seat, and there'll never be a way to "Fairmount" it with much denser headways because of cresting NEC congestion. Dover's anti-rail NIMBY's were anti-rail NIMBY's when service was still running 46 years ago. Their intensity hasn't dialed back one iota since, and this trail is their checkmate. They are always going to be the immovable object blocking it, no matter how much the other towns rally to support it. So we either keep the perennial 'tweener' of the CR system lingering on in stasis forever because of the *theoretical possibility* of this access point to the west, or start dealing with the reality that urbanized neighborhoods are probably better off with real urbanized rapid transit than an infrequent 'tweener' perpetually crowded out of meaningful service improvements by the other alpha dogs of the southside.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7109
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: johnpbarlow and 8 guests