Providence Line Electrification

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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby andrewjw » Fri May 18, 2018 4:02 am

MattW wrote:That sounds like a simple planning issue more than anything. MARC runs two types of equipment, NJT, LIRR, MNRR all have diesel and electric fleets. Heck, NJT has EMUs, electric locomotives and diesels.

MARC is moving away from their electrics as fast as they can! And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR are all majority electric and inherited electric systems which were built in the age of steam, not diesel.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Nasadowsk » Mon May 21, 2018 9:54 am

andrewjw wrote: And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR are all majority electric and inherited electric systems which were built in the age of steam, not diesel.


And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR all had major electrification extensions in the last 40 years:

Red Bank to Long Branch, and Newark to Great Notch.

Mineola to Huntington and Ronkonkoma.

North White Plains to Brewster North.

MN also converted the New Haven line to 60Hz and restrung the wires.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby andrewjw » Mon May 21, 2018 9:01 pm

Nasadowsk wrote:
andrewjw wrote: And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR are all majority electric and inherited electric systems which were built in the age of steam, not diesel.


And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR all had major electrification extensions in the last 40 years:

Red Bank to Long Branch, and Newark to Great Notch.

Mineola to Huntington and Ronkonkoma.

North White Plains to Brewster North.

MN also converted the New Haven line to 60Hz and restrung the wires.


But all of these were expansions of existing systems to eliminate the need for passengers to change trains, which is not an issue in Boston where all trains are already transfer free.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue May 22, 2018 9:10 am

Norway operates electric-locomotive-hauled trains over the Bergen Railway and the Dovre Railway, each of which go up above tree line (1222 meters above sea level in the case of the Bergen Railway) and see substantial snow. Also electric container trains. I have ridden Japanese electrics on a line where the snow was almost up to the windowsills. I have trouble imagining that somehow electric traction just wouldn't work in Greater Boston because of snow.

But I can easily imagine that there are advantages to having every locomotive available for every train. Is that the case now? Or at least every south side locomotive available for every south side train? Or are their different cab signals/similar equipment? Do sets routinely stay on one route for days, or do they sometimes run multiple routes in a week or a day? That is to say, I can easily see that it might make sense for the T to keep buying and using only diesels unless there were money to electrify at least all the south side lines.

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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby daybeers » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:09 am

andrewjw wrote:MARC is moving away from their electrics as fast as they can! And NJT, LIRR, and MNRR are all majority electric and inherited electric systems which were built in the age of steam, not diesel.

No they're not. Even though MARC just put eight new Siemens Chargers into service, they're working on completing a refurbishment program for their HHP-8s, which are only used on the Penn Line, as it's the only one that's electrified.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:42 pm

Has Amtrak/Bombardier turned their HHP-8s into Hyundais yet?

It'll be really interesting to see what happens if DC gets HQ2, as Baltimore will suddenly become a fairly attractive commuter suburb for DC and I'd imagine that there'll be a fair bit more demand for Penn line service as a result of it. Currently MARC runs a mix of MP-36s and HHP-8s pulling fairly short MBTA Northside-sized consists, and switching to an all-HHP-8 fleet for their Penn Line service could allow them to run big Worcester Superset/Amtrak-length consists to swallow up that increased demand while keeping the timetables more or less unchanged.

Also, staying on topic, I wonder what the odds would be that a Boston HQ2 win might be the thing that finally makes Providence electrification happen. By all indications, an HQ2 win would push Boston from merely being NYC-expensive today to San Francisco-expensive within a couple years, and the relatively affordable Providence area could get a second wind from commuters looking to relocate there. Again, even if they stuck to the exact same timetables that they run today, the T could squeeze a ton of extra capacity out of the PVD line if they ran dedicated electric-hauled 10-car all-bilevel consists on it.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby daybeers » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:19 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:Has Amtrak/Bombardier turned their HHP-8s into Hyundais yet?

It'll be really interesting to see what happens if DC gets HQ2, as Baltimore will suddenly become a fairly attractive commuter suburb for DC and I'd imagine that there'll be a fair bit more demand for Penn line service as a result of it. Currently MARC runs a mix of MP-36s and HHP-8s pulling fairly short MBTA Northside-sized consists, and switching to an all-HHP-8 fleet for their Penn Line service could allow them to run big Worcester Superset/Amtrak-length consists to swallow up that increased demand while keeping the timetables more or less unchanged.

As to the first point: what?

I think everyone knows that there's a 99% DC is getting HQ2. Jeff Bezos spent $20 million on a mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood, where the Obamas and Ivanka Trump live, and is doing $11 million worth of renovations on it. Why do all that if HQ2 isn't going to be in the DC area?
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:19 pm

Because to someone like Jeff Bezos, a $30 million house barely counts as a pied-a-tierre.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby BandA » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:28 am

Has the state promised anything infrastructure wise to Amazon? I don't think Amazon HQ2 would apply much pressure to Providence line
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Traingeek3629 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:06 pm

Electrification would also mean wiring the sidings at Wickford and T.F Green, and possibly the Stoughton Line.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby sonicdoommario » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:09 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:Electrification would also mean wiring the sidings at Wickford and T.F Green, and possibly the Stoughton Line.


Track 3 in Attleboro would also need to be wired (the outbound platform track). Track 4 (the inbound platform track) is electrified, but has wooden ties and not concrete (probably has a lower speed limit I would imagine), and makes you wonder when the last time Amtrak ever used track 4.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby BandA » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:39 pm

MBTA trains aren't going to run fast enough to require cement ties I don't believe.
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby sonicdoommario » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:01 pm

BandA wrote:MBTA trains aren't going to run fast enough to require cement ties I don't believe.


What speed do MBTA trains go over track 4 anyway? Do they just coast at 45 the entire way, even if the speed limit may be 79? I know when leaving Attleboro they go 45ish before merging at HOLDEN but don't know before that. They usually look like they're crawling when going around the bend after getting onto that track at HEBRONVILLE (unless it's a perspective thing).
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Traingeek3629 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:03 am

The main pro of electrification is normally acceleration, but here it would probably be higher speed on the express trains that run express from Sharon to Back Bay (sometimes stopping at Ruggles or Route 128) as the top speed at Canton Jct. is 110 mph with Regionals, whereas the MPI HSP46 is only 80 mph in service. Switching to ACS-64s would lift the speed by 30 mph.

How come some trains have a ten-minute layover at Providence with the new timetable?
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Re: Providence Line Electrification

Postby Trinnau » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:31 am

Traingeek3629 wrote:The main pro of electrification is normally acceleration, but here it would probably be higher speed on the express trains that run express from Sharon to Back Bay (sometimes stopping at Ruggles or Route 128) as the top speed at Canton Jct. is 110 mph with Regionals, whereas the MPI HSP46 is only 80 mph in service. Switching to ACS-64s would lift the speed by 30 mph.

How come some trains have a ten-minute layover at Providence with the new timetable?


The HSP46 can do 110, in fact I remember hearing it was tested at up to 125 in Colorado, but it is currently geared for less since that top end is not used. The real reason is the MBTA's coach fleet is only rated for 80mph, which is more of a policy and financial decision than anything. 80mph is typically sufficient for commuter service and is the MBTA's maximum track speed on all other lines, so MBTA has decided their maximum service speed is 80mph even when the track is faster. If the MBTA wanted to do 110mph on the corridor they would be doing it already.

For your question, check this thread for an possible explanation.
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