Haverhill Line Upgrade Discussion (Western Route)

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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby octr202 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:37 am

Noticed last night that work has started on grading where the new switch will go for the west end of the new double track, just east of Ballardvale. Looks like you won't be able to see the end of double track from the station, as it'll be around the curve from the station.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:33 pm

Perhap someone can answer this about the placement of that signal. If it's not visible to the engineer leaving Ballardvale eastbound, does the Delay in Block rule come into effect [restricted speed to the next signal, I think it is]. Of course when PTC takes effect, it becomes a non-issue.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:45 am

Not much progress in the past week. Old rail had been sitting on Track 17's old ties, it's removed. New rail wasn't up to the new station platform last night. There hasn't been any activity in Andover since the black rock was dumped in a few spots near MP 21.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby octr202 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:28 am

Yeah, I was going to add that in Andover they seem to have graded out the easy (wide) spots of the right of way. No work on the tricky spots around the Central St. and Shawsheen bridges, where it looks like there might need to be some stabilization work on the old trackbed. The work seems confined to the section between the cemetery crossing and the west/south end of the new track. Any grading work happening north of Andover station on the single track portion?
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:16 pm

No work at all yet between the cemetery crossing in Andover and Andover St. in Lawrence, so no hint as to what they're going to do with those drain pipe manholes on the old eastbound RoW. In Lawrence, they're still removing old rail and ties from track 17, a job that would have taken less than a week for 4 guys, a burro crane and a string of gons back in the day. I think I understand why they picked the spot for the new End of Double Track: cheap access to grid power. If they'd put the switch closer to Ballardvale, they'd have needed to put in a couple of poles.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby octr202 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:33 pm

I wonder if it also puts it away from a larger concentration of homes as well. I can imagine how Andover types are going to be the first few times a freight idles at the end of the new track for a few hours...
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
Photo: Melbourne W7 No. 1019 on Route 78, Bridge & Church Streets, Richmond, Victoria. 10/21/2010
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:00 am

It's been a week (allowing for the 4th) and old rail/ties are still sitting on track 17. I saw the loader they're using at work last week, and I think I understand why: It's a fairly big one, and I don't think they will let a train pass on the easterly main while it's between the new station and Andover St. So as the next pile of rail or ties gets farther and farther away, the number of cycles per day decreases dramatically. At this rate, we'll be lucky to see track 17 finished by Labor Day...
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:20 pm

Thursday (another week) they had dragged most of the piles of rail along Track 17 back to the new station area. New rail and ties stop at the east end of the platform (Osgood St.), as they have for a couple of weeks. A crew erected new chain-link along Portland St. this week. I fear this will be short-lived, between snow plows and residents separated from business along Merrimack St. No other progress I can see.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:45 pm

You know, I was up there visiting family over the fourth, so I went out to the station, and checked it out. A pet peeve of mine immediately came to mind: a second platform on the track 1 side is quite doable if they straighten it out as it comes under S. Union Street [why there's a slight curve there, I've got no idea], and bend track 17 a bit. But thanks for the update on the lightening-like speed of this project :-D
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby sery2831 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:05 am

They have to make a path for high and wide freight trains. So platforms on both tracks are not possible.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:46 pm

sery2831 wrote:They have to make a path for high and wide freight trains. So platforms on both tracks are not possible.


Okay on the high and wide-I guess. It's already "wide" there between the two mains--for about 1,000 feet. Which brings up a question not directly related to this thread: what exactly is the purpose for Track 17 going to be? Pull track for the yard? Is PAR planning to put trains out of the way on it between AS and Frost? I don't imagine that 17 will hold a train much more than 3500 feet in length between circuits. If it's the latter, it seems it's not very useful, and they could've tied 17 into track 1 east of the new station, allowing more room for facilities at the station itself.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:22 am

If the T had had initiative and budget, the new Lawrence station could have been designed for two passenger platforms, but they didn't.

I don't think Guilford runs many 4000 foot trains on the Western Route these days, so Track 17 might do for routine pickup/setout work. The reason it ends where it does is money, as usual. The original track 17 went right to the Shawsheen River bridge. Ending the new one anywhere but inside CP Frost would require more signals and switches.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:05 am

All quiet except that the big loader is scraping up old ballast and loading it into MBTA hi-rail dump trucks. Slowly.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby jbvb » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:29 am

The Track 17 effort has a little dozer. It appears to be finished undercutting the Union St. bridge. Now it's scraping ballast into piles down by the old station. The piles are still being loaded up and taken away, perhaps one truckload a day. Nothing else.
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Re: Federal Stimulus Money For Western Rte(Haverhill Line)

Postby Rockingham Racer » Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:16 pm

Festina lente! is what comes to mind: "Make haste slowly".
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