Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Wed May 25, 2016 10:30 pm

I've posted an update to my blog with discussions regarding the rail destressing and tie replacement projects.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/construc ... ule-update

I'm equally as perplexed about reported TSR on track 2 near Wellesley. The tie replacement job is on track 1 in that area, so it doesn't make sense for a speed restriction to exist on track 2. I actually haven't been on any CR trains since the "Heart to Hub" inauguration, but we were definitely on track 2 and definitely not slowed by any speed restriction in that area. If I experience it I'll have to ask around.
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/
User avatar
dbperry
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Suburbs of Boston

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu May 26, 2016 5:51 am

dbperry wrote:I've posted an update to my blog with discussions regarding the rail destressing and tie replacement projects.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/construc ... ule-update

I'm equally as perplexed about reported TSR on track 2 near Wellesley. The tie replacement job is on track 1 in that area, so it doesn't make sense for a speed restriction to exist on track 2. I actually haven't been on any CR trains since the "Heart to Hub" inauguration, but we were definitely on track 2 and definitely not slowed by any speed restriction in that area. If I experience it I'll have to ask around.


Very informative blog entry! Thanks for the detailed analysis. Any idea if the T will be increasing speeds along the line in the next year or so upon completion of construction activities? For example, eb trains stopping at Framingham travel slowly from the west facing CP-23 signal to the stop signal at CP-21 at Concord St. Could there be signal adjustments there? Also, eb trains leaving Worcester used to travel at 40mph (?) till they get to CP-39 - don't know if this still the case. Thanks again.
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Thu May 26, 2016 8:33 am

johnpbarlow wrote: Any idea if the T will be increasing speeds along the line in the next year or so upon completion of construction activities? For example, eb trains stopping at Framingham travel slowly from the west facing CP-23 signal to the stop signal at CP-21 at Concord St. Could there be signal adjustments there? Also, eb trains leaving Worcester used to travel at 40mph (?) till they get to CP-39 - don't know if this still the case. Thanks again.


Permanent speed increases will not be implemented as part of current construction efforts and won't be made until implementation of PTC. Signal system is hurdle. I got the impression that if PTC wasn't on the horizon, updates to the signal system might be implemented sooner. But with PTC coming, it doesn't make sense to do anything now (at least in context of very limited financial resources).

Framingham station / Nevins Yard neighborhood has 30 mph track speed limit. So I don't think the stop signal at CP 21 actually is the 'problem' - even with a clear signal there the stretch from CP 23 to CP 21 will be slow.

I'm not an expert on Worcester area speed limits and issues going through those interlockings. Not sure if there are any temporary construction related issues there.
Last edited by dbperry on Thu May 26, 2016 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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/
User avatar
dbperry
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Suburbs of Boston

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Thu May 26, 2016 1:15 pm

This is the first improvement since the "T" purchased the line from CSX. Obviously the next steps should be completion of track 1 through Beacon Park, fixing the signal system for fast, flexible & high density service, and converting BBY back to high-level boarding.
User avatar
BandA
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu May 26, 2016 1:24 pm

dbperry wrote:Framingham station / Nevins Yard neighborhood has 30 mph track speed limit. So I don't think the stop signal at CP 21 actually is the 'problem' - even with a clear signal there the stretch from CP 23 to CP 21 will be slow.

I'm not an expert on Worcester area speed limits and issues going through those interlockings. Not sure if there are any temporary construction related issues there.


The eb Lake Shore always has a dispatcher set clear aspect at CP-21 signal at Concord St meaning when it arrives, the gates go down at Concord St, unlike the inbound T trains that stop at CP-21's stop aspect so Concord St crossing traffic isn't impacted during the T train's station dwell time. As a consequence, 448 arrives at the platform quite a bit more expeditiously than an eb T train does. So 448 gets to go track speed to the station stop v. a stopping T train that must apparently slow from 30mph at CP-23's Approach (?) aspect down to 15mph at CP-22's Restricting aspect to be prepared for stopping at CP-21. I'm guessing the new H2H inbound non-stop train gets handled the same as 448 wrt signals at Concord St.

If the T inserted an eb signal at the west end of the station platform, I'm guessing that an eb T train could proceed at track speed to at least CP-22 where it would begin to slow for the restricting signal at the platform. Nineteen eb trains a day could shave a minute or two off their schedules! :wink:
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby dbperry » Thu May 26, 2016 2:33 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:
dbperry wrote:Framingham station / Nevins Yard neighborhood has 30 mph track speed limit. So I don't think the stop signal at CP 21 actually is the 'problem' - even with a clear signal there the stretch from CP 23 to CP 21 will be slow.

I'm not an expert on Worcester area speed limits and issues going through those interlockings. Not sure if there are any temporary construction related issues there.


The eb Lake Shore always has a dispatcher set clear aspect at CP-21 signal at Concord St meaning when it arrives, the gates go down at Concord St, unlike the inbound T trains that stop at CP-21's stop aspect so Concord St crossing traffic isn't impacted during the T train's station dwell time. As a consequence, 448 arrives at the platform quite a bit more expeditiously than an eb T train does. So 448 gets to go track speed to the station stop v. a stopping T train that must apparently slow from 30mph at CP-23's Approach (?) aspect down to 15mph at CP-22's Restricting aspect to be prepared for stopping at CP-21. I'm guessing the new H2H inbound non-stop train gets handled the same as 448 wrt signals at Concord St.

If the T inserted an eb signal at the west end of the station platform, I'm guessing that an eb T train could proceed at track speed to at least CP-22 where it would begin to slow for the restricting signal at the platform. Nineteen eb trains a day could shave a minute or two off their schedules! :wink:


Won't happen. Local officials in Framingham will have a fit about longer gates down / Concord St. fouled time. And even if nobody told them, they would quickly figure it out - downtown Framingham auto traffic is a nightmare. MBTA commuter trains usually have pretty long dwell time in Framingham due to volume of passengers vs. Amtrak LSL's which also don't pass through at rush hour (for auto traffic).

And while your idea would theoretically work, you'd have to reconfigure the block spacing and the interlocking / control points to get a signal where you want one. That would require major modifications to the signal system, and that won't happen.
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/
User avatar
dbperry
 
Posts: 793
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Suburbs of Boston

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby johnpbarlow » Thu May 26, 2016 2:48 pm

My apologies for not being clear enough: I am not recommending that Concord St gates go down every time an inbound T train arrives. CP-21 signal should remain stop aspect so Concord St traffic is not affected by train's arrival. As today gates go down only when train departs eastward. So you can delete your first paragraph of your most recent reply to me. As to your 2nd paragraph, who knows?
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1643
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby harshaw » Thu May 26, 2016 9:10 pm

Has there ever been a study to redo the entire mess that is Framingham? (besides nuking from orbit).

You could:

a) build a flyover or elevated tracks. Presumably commuter rails trains could stand a steeper grade than a freight.
b) build a trench under the major roads and reemerge at the end of the yard (like the orange line at back bay?). Obviously this cuts off the obscure lines like the framingham secondary.
c) tunnel

Obviously this is an expensive proposition, but Framingham is a mess. The only other major at-grade crossing is in Ashland, but you have the luxury of crossing at full speed and the annoyance on cars is less.

I appreciate you concealing your laughter while reading this post. I grew up in the space age and live in an age of trains crawling through framingham. Or worse, crawling through wellesley, natick, and then framingham because there are no cross overs and the express is caught behind the local.
harshaw
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:17 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby jbvb » Sat May 28, 2016 8:49 am

I believe there has been at least one study, probably several. But each possible resolution injures some group of stakeholders: disruption during construction for drivers, downtown businesses and abutters, eyesore & noise for an elevated rail route, finding money at the state level, particularly for a tunnel. It doesn't hurt enough to drive them all to unity behind a single solution.
jbvb
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:50 pm
Location: Rockingham Co., NH

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat May 28, 2016 2:18 pm

I don't know the exact operation thru Framingham, but if jbvb's theory is actually practice, I think you'd see a lot of howling if every train got a clear aspect, whether making a station stop or not. And maybe that's exactly what should happen to get people to come together and execute a plan for the "Framingham mess". Frankly, I think the railroad is doing the city a favor when it's the city's responsibility to come with a solution to the problem, not the railroad's.

So how does the dispatcher know when the eastbound T train has finished its station work? Does he guess? Is there some apparatus for the engineer to push to call for a proceed signal?

This whole "gates down too long at Concord Street" problem is quite easily solved, probably. Set them up to initiate operation via a radio signal from the engine. That's what happens in Bloomington, IL. Works like a charm. Gates drop when the train hits the circuit, but go up again on a "timeout". Then, when the train is ready to roll, the engineer tones up on the radio, and down go the gates.
User avatar
Rockingham Racer
 
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby BandA » Sat May 28, 2016 2:50 pm

RT 126 is a state highway. RT 135 is a state highway. The railroad is owned by the MBTA. All part of MassDOT. So the Framingham crossing is 100% a state problem.
User avatar
BandA
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sat May 28, 2016 4:24 pm

BandA wrote:RT 126 is a state highway. RT 135 is a state highway. The railroad is owned by the MBTA. All part of MassDOT. So the Framingham crossing is 100% a state problem.


Good. Then get Ms. Pollack on it right away. :wink:
User avatar
Rockingham Racer
 
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby nomis » Sat May 28, 2016 4:41 pm

RRacer, currently the Commuter trains will come east (Boston bound) into the station platform (between two interlockings) and be looking at a Stop Signal, when it is leaving time (or anticipated leaving time) , the engineer will key in the code for the crossing to activate, once the warning devices are activated and arms are down, then the signal will come in for the train to proceed east out of Framingham.

Expressing through the station with the signal brought in for you already, you have to go a certain slow-ish speed eastbound in order to activate the crossing, and have the 20 seconds of the crossing gates down before you clear them.
Moderator: Metro-North (with CDOT), Photography & Video

Avatar: An overnight trip on Girard Ave. stumbles upon 6 PCC's and an LRV stuck within two blocks.
User avatar
nomis
 
Posts: 2022
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:52 pm
Location: MRS 43 (was QA 9 & QB 2)

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby leviramsey » Sun May 29, 2016 8:45 am

BandA wrote:RT 126 is a state highway. RT 135 is a state highway. The railroad is owned by the MBTA. All part of MassDOT. So the Framingham crossing is 100% a state problem.


Not every road with a state number is a state highway, in the sense of whose responsibility it is to maintain it, as the BEGIN/END STATE HIGHWAY signs attest. I strongly suspect that the "state highways" in question aren't actually state highways, but merely state-numbered routes.
leviramsey
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:12 pm

Re: Framingham/Worcester Line Questions

Postby Rockingham Racer » Sun May 29, 2016 4:46 pm

I think you need to add the word "maintenance" to your sign. The road continues as a state route, but the responsibility for maintenance is the local municipality, IINM.
User avatar
Rockingham Racer
 
Posts: 2886
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2004 9:25 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: elecuyer and 4 guests