North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:39 pm

Well, all he would need to do is walk slightly northwest since the river goes below ground.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:36 pm

Ron Newman wrote:I don't recall having to ford any river to make this crossing. I would have turned back had I found such an obstacle.


Was this pre-Big Dig? I think the Big Dig day lighted most, if not all, of what is now visible of the Millers River.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:53 pm

I was thinking the same thing. I think the Big Dig restored some of the river, as I think it was filled in at some point or covered.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Arlington » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:24 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:
Ron Newman wrote:I don't recall having to ford any river to make this crossing. I would have turned back had I found such an obstacle.

Was this pre-Big Dig? I think the Big Dig day lighted most, if not all, of what is now visible of the Millers River.

At Historic Aerials (http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials. ... &year=1955 ) the mouth is uncovered in 1955, but then there appears in the 1971 and 1978 views an embankment that connects across the river's mouth, and you can kind of still see it there in the 1995 and 2001 views (but the mouth itself is obscured by the Levrett Connector). That embankment is not there today.

It also looks from this presentation (http://www.crwa.org/events/RiverRally20 ... lowres.pdf), from a slide titled "Miller's River - Today" that there might have been one of those temporary galvanized lattice-work bridges across it (visible only in the 2001 overhead at Historic Aerials).
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Arlington » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:34 pm

ArchBoston.org has two nice photos that put the new bridge in context. They were taken Sept 20th:

http://www.archboston.org/community/sho ... stcount=43
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Charliemta » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:58 pm

Nice photos on that link. However, it appears in those photos that the new pedestrian bridge will span only the existing tracks, and not have enough vertical clearance on its south side to span over a future second Charles River rail bridge. That is really shortsighted design.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby danib62 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:06 am

Charliemta wrote:Nice photos on that link. However, it appears in those photos that the new pedestrian bridge will span only the existing tracks, and not have enough vertical clearance on its south side to span over a future second Charles River rail bridge. That is really shortsighted design.

You mean third charles river bridge and I don't think there are even any remote plans or proposals to build one. If they ever do build one I think rebuilding a pedestrian bridge will be the least of their worries.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Charliemta » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:47 pm

Okay, technically it would be a third bridge.

With the demolition of the Spaulding Hospital, a third rail bridge would have a clear path across the Charles, except for the obstruction caused by the new pedestrian bridge. It wouldn't have cost that much more to have the south span of the ped bridge built a few feet higher to allow headroom for the additional rail bridge, It's going to cost a lot more to dismantle the new pedestrian bridge and rebuild it when the time comes.

Massachusetts tends to be short sighted that way; must be all the corrupt politicians controlling these projects rather than competent planners and engineers.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:45 am

I am not sure I understand the need for another draw bridge? There is only room for 2 more tracks at North Station. They are designed to be put in service with the existing two draw bridges. If they could add several platforms, then I could see the need to restore a bridge. But the station operates fine with 10 tracks, 12 tracks would be nice for future service expansion. I do not see a need for more than 12 tracks any time soon!
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby jamesinclair » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:08 pm

Hasnt there been cases where a problem at the bridge has halted all service to NS? Redundancy, especially for a critical major rail station, is important.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:06 pm

Doesn't the 4 track pinch, which exists only because of just 2 draws, result in more strain on the Tower A interlocking? If we had 6, would that free up the interlocking a bit? And allow for some Worcester trains, perhaps?

Though, I suppose it doesn't matter if the N-S link happens, in which case I suppose you don't need any more capacity up top.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:53 am

jamesinclair wrote:Hasnt there been cases where a problem at the bridge has halted all service to NS? Redundancy, especially for a critical major rail station, is important.


Redundant bridges do not work if you can't access the secondary bridge from the station. There have been many occasions in the last 10 years that one of the two bridges have failed TRAPPING equipment and causing delays.

BostonUrbEx wrote:Doesn't the 4 track pinch, which exists only because of just 2 draws, result in more strain on the Tower A interlocking? If we had 6, would that free up the interlocking a bit? And allow for some Worcester trains, perhaps?


Currently there are four main lines from the North Side and four tracks out of the station. With proper scheduling this does not create a choke point.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:57 pm

There are several "episodes" during the PM rush that are choke points. Trust me! Whether a third
bridge would help is debatable. I guess I am more concerned about bridge reliability (which has been
good lately)....

D
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:15 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:There are several "episodes" during the PM rush that are choke points. Trust me! Whether a third
bridge would help is debatable. I guess I am more concerned about bridge reliability (which has been
good lately)....

D


I would have to guess reliability has seen a spike due to the Craigie Bridge work and now we're entering cool weather. Also, boat fuel costs don't hurt either.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby jbvb » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:34 pm

The cheapest way to increase capacity at North Station by ~30% is to rebuild elsewhere so 8-car trains of double deckers can operate at peak times. Also, generally tightening up the operating plan and improving maintenance could get more trains in and out of the existing tracks.

But for 50% more passengers, or new lines like Peabody where the added load can't be handled with longer trains, we'd need more tracks across the Charles. The most popular resolution (except with those who'd have to fund it) is the north-south rail link. I doubt anyone at the state or MBTA has gotten beyond the hand-waving stage about expanding North Station substantially, so with no stakeholders the pedestrian bridge wasn't planned to allow for it.
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