Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:21 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:No biggie! You know as well as I do that prospects for freight east of Framingham and pretty slim. Anything going to/from the SE Mass
cluster comes out of the North Yard anyway.

D


Yeah. If/when the Inland Route happens Framingham will ideally need to be rebuilt as full-high to give Amtrak complete level boarding BOS-NHV/NYP. Since that whole Inland negotiation with CSX hinges on an already more or less agreed-upon package of "Pimp My Yard" trucking enhancements for W. Springfield in exchange for greater passenger accommodations on the corridor, wyeing the locals around the platform is probably a rejoinder they won't contest at all when the time comes. It only affects the fast-consolidating handful of Framingham Sec. jobs that run in Plate F territory, a schedule that doesn't top out at more than 4 round trips per day. The Everett daily is Plate B fine for passing through a full-high, and all other Framingham activity (Fitchburg Sec., yard-to-yard moves) bail out on the wye well before the platform.

Where the parking lot is potentially problematic is for future-proofing of a passenger third track. Picture all the dense service layering you could smear all over a properly-upgraded B&A in 20 years' time to satisfy MetroWest's voracious appetite for frequencies: vanilla Worcester locals, Framingham short-turns locals, Worcester semi-expresses, (non-broken) Worcester super-expresses, and Inlands. You probably are going to need a 3-track station at some point to keep the Framingham turns out of the way of the smorgasboard headed west. Setting aside a small reservation behind the westbound platform to create a future island w/ third track is a pretty crucial detail. If/when the Inlands rebuild the platforms at full-high they can simply pour the westbound platform at island width and leave the empty berth to slap down a turnout when they need the capacity, a la rebuilt Route 128 station's "set it and forget it" island provisions for extra tracks. That's the consideration they don't want to brainfart away.

The rear reservation for that passenger capacity would be same exact dimensions as the would-be freight passer that's no longer needed. Maybe the townies would mind their P's and Q's better about lot encroachment if that 3rd track reservation were pitched to them as passenger frequency future-proofing instead of freight.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:25 pm

I suppose you could install full-highs on stations east of Framingham, and if they ever need to restore wide freight 20 years from now (for some reason) they can install gauntlets, or saw off the edge & install flip edges.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:53 pm

BandA wrote:I suppose you could install full-highs on stations east of Framingham, and if they ever need to restore wide freight 20 years from now (for some reason) they can install gauntlets, or saw off the edge & install flip edges.


They won't ever need to, though. Per the set of posts up the page about all the paper legalese that's being waived in 2018 for wide-clearance to Allston, the last Plate F-accessible easements set aside for exactly those 20-50 year considerations (i.e. the Romar siding) are being extinguished. There physically are no abutting sites on the whole of the Worcester Line east of Framingham that can ever establish new customers capable of taking high-and-wides. The property just isn't there within rail access, and most of the historical sites that used to have sidings (like the whole New Balance area, which used to be its own thicket of spurs till the early-90's) have been flat-out rezoned away from industrial. There's $0 in theoretical on-line freight revenue left on the whole route absent any available industrial zoning. The functional extinction that came with Beacon Park's closing is now legally extinct with the extinguishing of the Romar easement and Houghton contract.

That includes access to Everett. There'll never ever be impetus to hold onto that Framingham-Allston clearance for purposes of clearing the currently Plate B-restricted Grand Junction for CSX when Pan Am can take Plate F loads from CSX-Worcester all the to BET, take Plate E loads from BET to Everett, and only needs some inexpensive track undercutting around a couple Sullivan Sq. overpasses to uprate the last restricted leg from E-to-F to complete the circuit. If Harbor dredging and Everett Terminal upgrades ever send the upside of rail access there so sky-high that a currently indifferent CSX sees the need to go big on chasing greater carloads there, the state will chuck in any necessary payola covering the cost/convenience difference of having PAR do Worcester-Everett haulage on CSX's behalf rather than duplicate routings with public capital $$$ to clear the Grand Junction.


It's not as if every train that departs down the Framingham Sec. on those few dailies feature high-and-wides to begin with. Readville only spots the occasional 60 ft. boxcar; depending on what the day's car manifest is they very often don't need to flip the edges on the Upper Franklin mini-highs at all. The Mansfield-Attleboro local and Attleboro-Middleboro local/interchange run are similarly incidental on high-and-wide car counts, with most of the Mass Coastal interchange's Plate F traffic being theoretical for the future when the still-new shortline can take advantage of ongoing MassDOT infrastructure upgrades. There it's a strategic consideration more than a traffic reality. CSX bartered off a lot of territory to the shortlines, and figures to do more dumps in the future (e.g. Attleboro-Middleboro-Braintree to MC). In exchange it expects those shortlines will put in due-diligence elbow grease to generate business, so CSX can make higher margins at the interchanges than it could wasting its own time running door-to-door. Policing the clearances against infringement for a couple piddling runs today is protection for real future profit increases that may come out of the fruits of MC's labor at the interchange (be it M'boro or a retreat to Attleboro Jct. in the next territory dump).

With Readville, it's simply a matter of that being their only finger left touching Boston and Route 128 after the Beacon Park dump so they're damn well not going to gamble any further after giving up so much. Southie and Quincy port traffic are only Plate C because of clearances on the Fairmount Line, Southampton/Widett, and Old Colony/Fore River Branch to Braintree, so that isn't a driver. It's the mere fact that Readville's a Plate F-accessible underutilized yard bordered by underutilized industrial-zoned property; 50+ year revenue considerations exist here in a way they physically and zoning-wise no longer do on the inner Worcester Line. Readville might be spotting no more than the odd handful of 60-footers per week until the end of time, but the mere existence of those industrial and yard properties abutting a clearance route conveys intrinsic monetary value whether CSX can be motivated to utilize it or not. The functional revenue difference between this corridor and Allston-Framingham might be slight in real $$$ in 2017, but the zoned industrial and yard properties still exist on the L-shaped route to Readville here whereas they no longer do (not even as paper easements) inbound of Framingham. And that's the sum total difference why they'll oppose any infringement till the end of time on the Framingham Sec. + Upper Franklin clearances they barely use while willingly letting go of the clearances to Allston they used used 24/7 until a few years ago.

It's the difference between intrinsic long-term property values of one route being >$0 vs. one route being =$0.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Commonwealth Avenue bridge at Cottage Farm is going to be replaced this summer, AND next! It will be a disaster on the Ma$$ Pike Extension, express bus service will be decimated, Green Line "B" Boston College line will be bustituted, and the BU Bridge will be closed to vehicles. Apparently only buses & bicycles are being accommodated throughout

Commuter Rail AND Amtrak will terminate at Boston Landing and be bustituted weekend only apparently.
and two weekends of commuter rail service to Worcester will be affected, along with Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited service, with buses replacing trains for portions of each journey (July 29-30 and Aug. 5-6).
This would be a great opportunity to take a temporary reroute onto the Grand Junction to North Station via Kendall ;)

The greatest impact will be on the $Pike, which should drive a weekday ridership spike on commuter rail
After a June 2-4 dry run to test traffic flow, during which the Mass. Pike will be narrowed to two lanes in each direction, the setup for the bridge project begins on July 7, when travel is reduced to three lanes in each direction between the Beacon Street overpass and the Allston interchange.

That drops to two lanes each way from July 28 to Aug. 7

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/04/10/section-commonwealth-avenue-closed-most-traffic-this-summer-during-bridge-facelift/hTsyVhYezZ9DDIy1j7MQPP/story.html
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:21 pm

BandA wrote:This would be a great opportunity to take a temporary reroute onto the Grand Junction to North Station via Kendall ;)[/b]


No can do. The junction at the northside end is in disarray because of GLX construction track-shifting and the crossing protection needs reliability upgrades throughout before it can carry passengers (slowly).
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby GP40MC1118 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:34 pm

There's no GLX constructions issues right now at Swift, but the biggest problem would be not being to directly access the Fitchburg
mainline coming or going there. You'd have to go through the layover yard to do that or do time-consuming zig-zag moves at Swift.
If you go through the yard, you'd have to stop all switching and other activity and the like.

Besides the grade crossing issues on the GJRT, the temporary track situation at CP-3 would require yet another zig-zag move.

And then there's the issue of capacity at North Station to boot - a continuing problem after 230PM through the rush hour. Bad enough
Amtrak Downeaster's plank themselves there for extended periods. Even pulling them out presents problems like where to put them
without degrading flexibility in the Terminal/Tower A district.

D
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:32 am

It's two weekends. Gotta spread around the disruption ;) I think it might be good as a "demonstration" for the Cantabrigians to see that it isn't so bad, and if it is something can be done about the crossings. They can flag the few crossings in Cambridge. I don't know as much about BET, don't know what their bandwidth is on weekends...

OR, since they have to stop at Boston Landing, make just one more stop at at Main St & Vasser, then just reverse!! It would rock. No need to cross Broadway or Cambridge St!! Just manually flag & control Mass Ave and Main St. And they can switch easily to the Red Line or walk to Lechmere, leaving more room on the shuttle buses to crawl through potential apocalypse workzone and 1900 roadways for an extra 1/2 hour+
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:45 am

On reflection, Bustitution could be Everett Ave. to Western Ave to Ma$$ Pike Allston, one or more bus to BBY, one to BOS. Probably okay on weekend.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:35 pm

New blog post: consolidated schedule that includes extra trains for Marathon Monday.

http://framwormbta.weebly.com/blog/spec ... -announced
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 StefanW » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:33 pm

(I'm not sure if this post should be here or in the status of single track through beacon yard topic.)

Anyway...

In this 4/12/17 MBTA news post http://mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news_eve ... 6442457926 regarding the Spring schedules in effect Monday May 22 it also says:

Boston Landing Station Open
Service to Boston Landing Station on the Worcester line begins on Monday, May 22, 2017.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby The EGE » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:54 pm

According to the upcoming schedule, Boston Landing will be Zone 1. It will cost less to go 40 miles from Worcester to Boston Landing ($6.00) than 2 miles from Boston Landing to Yawkey ($6.25).
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:36 pm

Maybe this will serve as a wake-up call that Zone 1 is broken
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:56 pm

Good, give them a taste of Newtonville, West Newton and Auburndale's suffering. It costs less to drive my car, with only a 20% load factor, including depreciation, gas, maintenance and paying the newly increased tolls on the Ma$$ Turnpike Extension than it costs to take the Commuter Rail. And the Commuter Rail loses money, and the Taxx Turnpike Extension turns an operating profit that goes to unfairly pay for commuters traveling I-93. And my car breaks down much less frequently than the Commuter Rail.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:08 am

Here's a suggested rate structure. Charge 21 cents per mile. Add $2 congestion charge for South and North Stations only. Not Back Bay. Add 25 cents per ticket if less than monthly pass. Increase the fares 5-10% a year, every year until break even or passengers stop riding. Apply similar distance-fare structure to Rapid-Transit lines.
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Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Rbts Stn » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:57 am

I think the Boston Landing zone info makes sense if they are expecting most of the traffic to be Interzone -- from the west and terminating at Boston Landing for the businesses there, and heading home to the west at night, as opposed to the ridiculous charge to go from Boston Landing to South Station in the morning. At those prices it makes little sense.

But yeah, Zone 1 is broke.
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