Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:29 pm

New blog post up with analysis of 'revised' schedule:

http://framwormbta.weebly.com/blog/what ... -all-about
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:02 am

Article re: future plans for Framingham/Worcester line in today's MetroWest Daily News:

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20160818/keolis-has-plans-for-worcester-framingham-line

Summary: Intending to improve OT percentage from current "high 70 to mid-80 percent" range; Planning on bumping MAS from 60mph to 70mph after more track investment (a la the Fitchburg line); Hoping to add a car to inbound rush hour train by Labor Day; modernize fare collection to reduce fare evasion.

OT query: Is MAS on Fitchburg line really 79mph these days? If so, where?
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby nomis » Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:10 am

As of yesterday, some of the Framingham short turns are turning on the 4th Iron, instead of their normal turns either in Framingham or on the main west of CP 22.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Komarovsky » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:23 am

I'd like to see where they're planning on adding a car to 508/521 given that set is already 8 cars(max size allowed for storage IIRC). I'm assuming that they're talking about overall OTP vs peak OTP in the article, since peak OTP has been all over the place since May....maybe if they could get it consistent that would go a long way towards making people happy.

Also, Dave mentioned up thread that Keolis has said any MAS bump won't happen until PTC is installed on the line. Right now they theoretically could upgrade west of Framingham track to 79mph, in fact MBCR proposed it in 2013 for implantation in 2014, but that obviously never happened. None the less, east of Framingham is stuck with the 60mph MAS because of the decrepit signal system until they rip it out for the PTC install.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Trinnau » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:27 am

johnpbarlow wrote:OT query: Is MAS on Fitchburg line really 79mph these days? If so, where?


There are now approximately 17-18 miles of 79mph MAS on the Fitchburg scattered throughout, and lots of other locations where speeds have been increased over 60mph but not quite all the way - either for curves or various other reasons (either to 65, 70 or 75). That's what happens when you spend $300 million on a total line overhaul.

The T's website has some pretty extensive project information here http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/t_pr ... p?id=15585. And of course you can always look through the 110+ pages on this forum regarding the upgrades.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:33 am

The article is such a mess I don't know where to begin. Keolis doesn't pay for capital upgrades...MBTA does.

Yes, I've been told by senior officials that the 79 mph upgrade is not coming before PTC on any part of the line.

I've also been told that 8 coaches is the max set size.

But who knows, I've been wrong before.

Wish I had seen this article before last night's commute; I spent 15 minutes talking to a senior MBTA guy who was helping check tickets for the Patriots train!

Highlights from that conversation (lots of random interesting stuff here):

Boston Landing construction is ahead of schedule. Developer really wants to open station early, but it won't be possible because the signal equipment needed to implement the double track through Beacon Park and the new CP 6 is on the critical path for the entire schedule - and those hardware components are long lead items from manufacturers without the ability (or willingness) to expedite production.

So Boston Landing station stops will be incorporated into ~May 2017 schedule change.

Second main track construction through Beacon Park proceeding according to schedule. Working both ends to the middle.

Within Beacon Park, the "8 tracks" closest to the main tracks have been set aside from the current CSX rip-out project. MBTA is negotiating to keep those as storage tracks for now. I say "8 tracks" in quotes because when I rode by last night and this morning after the conversation, it looked like only 7 tracks plus the new second main track. Could have just been semantics (8 tracks = 7 plus new main). I joked about those tracks being prime places to store all the laid up MBB coaches and he rolled his eyes and said "I've got those stored all over the place...north, south, east, west...I've got some at Otis Air Force Base and even 1 in East Deerfield!"

There will be a third track for freight trains to get around Boston Landing after the final configuration is constructed, and this is indeed because CSX needs clearance for wide freights past Boston Landing. Sounds like the existing shoo fly track may remain in place to serve that purpose. As part of the current CSX rip-out project, the freight lead from near Boston Landing has been severed such that any freight train needing to get into Beacon Park or the Grand Junction can only access it via CP 3. It's not clear how CSX intends to reconnect the freight lead near Boston Landing to the other side of Beacon Park near the Grand Junction - perhaps that is part of the 8 track negotiation or perhaps this manager didn't know the exact details of those plans (wouldn't really worry him anyway, since it's a CSX problem).

Ridership (I assume we were talking about rush hour ridership, but neither of us specifically acknowledged it during our conversation): They usually see a 10% drop in ridership over the summer. During July, that didn't happen - ridership remained flat from previous months. They don't know why. That does concern them for post-Labor Day... if ridership goes up 10% at that point, there could be overcrowding issues. He claimed they have the correct number of coaches in service at this point - I didn't push him on the questions of if they have the right mix of doubles and flats or blind coaches vs. control coaches.

That led to me asking him about the K-car overhaul program at Alstom. He says Alstom has requested to get 10-12 coaches at a time since they want to expedite the program but the MBTA is actually slowing down the number of coaches being sent there in order to keep system CR seating capacity up. I mentioned SEPTA, and he said that there is a huge demand for MBTA equipment even without the SEPTA issues - the Boston Surface Railway (Providence to Worcester service) has requested to lease sets and CONNDOT is interested in leasing sets. MBTA is turning them all down, for obvious reasons.

I know I touched on a bunch of non-Framingham-Worcester topics, but I didn't want to spread this write-up out over the various relevant threads. I'll post a link back to this post in each of the relevant threads. Please try to comment on non-Fram-Wor topics in the relevant threads - I don't want to be the source of this thread going way off track, even if I did start it.

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Known to Keolis and the MBTA as "Twitter Dave"
Frequently posting about the MBTA Framingham-Worcester line on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FramWorMBTA
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Maintainer of MBTA schedule archive: http://www.dbperry.net/MBTA/
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby jboutiet » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:44 pm

Otis AFB:
Otis.JPG
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:28 pm

dbperry wrote:There will be a third track for freight trains to get around Boston Landing after the final configuration is constructed, and this is indeed because CSX needs clearance for wide freights past Boston Landing.
If I understand correctly, CSX's clearance route is now extinguished east of Beacon Park, hence Yawkey has permanent full highs. They could now reinstate full highs at Back Bay (which they had during construction in the 1980s, then removed). But Newtonville and everything west has to remain a clearance route? What will they do, mini-highs (blech), or flippable edges or gauntlet track? I vote for flippable edges.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:29 am

If they do flip up edges, it would be on a mini-high most likely. I've never heard of a full-high with flip up edges, and I imagine having one would be a pain.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby johnpbarlow » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:19 am

Mini-high platform on track one at W Natick is blocked off. It's not obvious that it's being repaired.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:25 am

New blog post:

My proposed new schedule to alleviate overcrowding on train P508.
http://framwormbta.weebly.com/

Also posted are the results from the crowd-sourced ridership survey we conducted over the past few weeks:
http://framwormbta.weebly.com/blog/ride ... ey-results

Regards

Dave
Known to Keolis and the MBTA as "Twitter Dave"
Frequently posting about the MBTA Framingham-Worcester line on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FramWorMBTA
Owner of Framingham-Worcester Blog: http://FramWorMBTA.weebly.com/
Maintainer of MBTA schedule archive: http://www.dbperry.net/MBTA/
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:52 am

I'm not sure the Framingham-BP freight clearance restriction truly is everlasting. The new Natick station plans still ID the freight passing track around the full-high as "optional" with no design change in the most recent renders for making it "mandatory". If CSX intended to keep the exemption official forever there would've had to be a project change at Natick identical to the project change the South Coast Rail Task Force had to do at Taunton Depot when CSX barked at them for forgetting the freight passer in the original renders for that stop on the Middleboro Secondary clearance route. This may just be a short-term request for kludging around the fast-approaching Boston Landing opening while they wait out the stalled City/BRA/Harvard negotiations to relocate Houghton Chemical. The weekly set-offs at Houghton are the only snag keeping that Everett job from being expunged off to Pan Am on a haulage agreement. If it weren't for the Houghton snag the state could spend a fraction of the amount in CSX payola greasing the skids for that haulage deal that drops the wide-clearance exemption than they would continue spending in design money for passers and retractable mini-highs at any of these stops. It's not like CSX's actions the last 10 years indicate any enthusiasm whatsoever for continuing to run smallish locals if there's somebody/anybody available for them to outsource it to. It doesn't compute that the inner Worcester Line would be any cause worth fighting for when they're still in single-minded consolidation consolidation consolidation mode re: locals outside their IM and interchanges profit centers. This Boston Landing passer sounds more like a very short-term request to buy time for other slow-moving wheels to grind into motion re: the future of that Houghton/Everett job.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:04 pm

mini-highs aren't going to help with dwell times or help the conductors' workloads. Eliminating the high-low-high of BOS-BBY-Yawkey would be an obvious low-hanging fruit for dwell time and fare collection in the "terminal district"
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby nomis » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:10 pm

Good idea, but the theoretical 588 should leave around 8:25. The actual 587 usually gets hit with a delay leaving the initial terminal from a late 504, and you are cutting it tight with a possibly-delayed theoretical 506 hosing the theoretical 589 on the single track. Not to mention, the minimum turn time they came up with was 15 mins.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby roberttosh » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:12 pm

One can obviously picture CSX retreating from Boston, but not so sure they would withdraw all the way out to Worcester. Framingham is one of the few places left East of Springfield where they have yard capacity and a wye track that gives them the ability to turn power. They still run a pretty decent sized daily road train to Framingham and have the fairly new Trans-Flo terminal at Westboro that they just spent a lot of money on too. Eventually, I do feel that the Southeast MA branchline network will go to someone like the G&W, albeit with a "paper barrier".
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