Wedgemere Station Work

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Wedgemere Station Work

Postby BandM4266 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:52 pm

I just passed by Wedgemere Inbound and noticed work being done on the platform . What apears to be the start of a Mini High level platform is in the works. What is the other Foundation that is being put in going to be for?

If this was already in another thread, my bad as I am trying to read from my phone .
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby sery2831 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 3:37 am

Yes they are putting in mini high levels at Wedgemere, since the station is elevated they are building large ramp structures up the platforms on both sides.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby BandM4266 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:59 pm

Ok. Thanks. The Large ramp structure make perfect sense for the station, it looked as if it they were building an elevator.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:12 pm

BandM4266 wrote:it looked as if it they were building an elevator.

They probably ought to, but the construction bid solicitation doesn't include that in the scope of work.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby newpylong » Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:57 pm

Maybe they should just close it and make the people walk the 25 feet to the Winchester Center stop?
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:36 pm

Is the Lowell Line classified as a freight main? Wondering if they can even do full-highs without passing tracks there depending on what PAR's rights are for running wide freights to Boston, or if that freight exemption for ADA level boarding extends only to the Fitchburg-Ayer, Andover-Haverhill segments of the main. Otherwise the T almost always goes for full-highs when it renovates a station instead of minis.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:08 pm

Why are mini-highs okay on freight trackage but not full highs? If the freight is too wide, what does it matter how long the platform is? Still the same clearance?
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby diburning » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:44 pm

The mini-highs have a yellow styrofoam strip that they can flip up for clearance (although Pan Am doesn't do it and they hit the strip anyway). A full level high would make it more troublesome to flip up. A mini high only has 2 sections to the strip to flip up. Usually the strips are not a problem. Pan Am usually hits them when they fail to close the doors on the plug door boxcars (they pop outward then slide sideways like the doors on a minivan) and not because they run wide cars.
Last edited by diburning on Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby sery2831 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:48 am

The mini high levels have a Styrofoam edge that is designed to be hit by swaying freight cars. After the replaceable edge is a metal section that lifts up and locks out of the way for special wide shipments. The raising of these platforms are done by track crews and not the train crews. It is unrealistic to create and maintain full high level stations with this system as it would be a nightmare to maintain.

The New Hampshire Route(Lowell Line) is THE clearance route to Boston. The Fitchburg has a clearance issue at Porter Square, it has a fixed high level platform and a height issue. The Haverhill Line has both Oak Grove and Malden Center statiosn in the way.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby diburning » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:38 am

Wait, so the edges are supposed to be hit and torn to shreds? Is replacing the strips every time they get torn up less expensive than adding a motor to it so that the dispatcher can press a button and flip it up or something (like they do with switches)?

And, with the Haverhill line, there's the Wellington tunnel. They did run detour freights via Haverhill though when the flooding happened. (I remember that they had to cut the FBOX cars out because they would not fit in the Wellington tunnel, and it was a big question mark as to whether they would fit at Porter.)
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:19 am

diburning wrote:Wait, so the edges are supposed to be hit and torn to shreds? Is replacing the strips every time they get torn up less expensive than adding a motor to it so that the dispatcher can press a button and flip it up or something (like they do with switches)?

And, with the Haverhill line, there's the Wellington tunnel. They did run detour freights via Haverhill though when the flooding happened. (I remember that they had to cut the FBOX cars out because they would not fit in the Wellington tunnel, and it was a big question mark as to whether they would fit at Porter.)


Freights through Reading can run above-ground on the passing siding to avoid the tunnel. But as noted, Oak Grove and Malden are the real clearance problem.

All of the mini-high stations on the Worcester line have the retractable edges. But CSX was very specific about its specs for those when all the intermediate stations were built on its trackage for the '94 Worcester extension. I doubt PAR's got all that business as well codified, and they're happy to smash up the foam edge in lieu of a permanent solution.


So...is there an official codified list of what stations are under the freight main exemption for full highs? We know at minimum these are:

Worcester Line: Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Ashland, Framingham*. Framingham can easily have a passing track behind the station along the wye if they wanted to raise. I would think West Natick, Natick, Wellesley Sq., Wellesley Hills, Wellesley Farms, Auburndale, West Newton, and Newtonville get their restrictions on highs lifted when Beacon Park closes (all are non-ADA except W. Natick so that's now a burning question).

Fitchburg Line: *Fitchburg, North Leominster, Shirley, *Ayer. Wachusett's planned as a single-platform high since it's a terminal stop. Fitchburg's got 3 tracks and I assume they have to put in a second platform with the extension, though haven't seen anything online about what they're doing. Ayer's on a wye and I guess could be reconfigured with a passing track, but no plans yet. All east of there I assume are fair game for highs now with the action at Littleton and South Acton, and that doesn't appear to be conflicting at all with PAS's ethanol train routing.

Haverhill Line: Ballardvale, Andover, Bradford, Haverhill. Lawrence is already a 1-platform high...refresh my memory if they're doing an outbound high with passing track at some point? Plaistow's going to be a 1 high-platform terminal.

Lowell Line: Wilmington, Mishawum, Winchester Center, Wedgemere, West Medford. Anderson is high with passing track. How about North Billerica? Does PAR get its wide-clearance route from Lowell Jct. via Wildcat, or does the whole Lowell Line have to be kept clear?

Franklin Line: Windsor Gardens, Norwood Central, Norwood Depot, Islington, Dedham Corporate, Endicott. I would assume this is CSX's clearance route to Boston post-Beacon Park and that they wouldn't be too happy if the T started building highs here. Walpole wye avoids that station so that one's fine for highs. Readville flyover bypasses all Readville platforms to the yard so that's fine for highs. I would assume Norfolk, Franklin, and Forge Park are fine for highs.


Others: Foxboro? Is that considered a clearance route to South Coast? Mansfield's getting a passing track in the Amtrak cap improvements plan, so even if the NEC went all-high those Middleboro Yard runs would still be open for wide loads.

If the ethanol trains are doing Fitchburg Line with its new highs then Chelsea shouldn't be restricted when it gets ADA...that's the only one in question on the Eastern Route. Lynn is already high, so Swampscott, Salem, and (if needed) Riverworks are fair game; no freight at all north of Salem. Stoughton Line is planned for upgrades to highs for FR/NB service...probably much sooner than that on existing service. NEC is moot because all stations have planned passing tracks. Needham and Reading are fine. Fairmount, Middleboro, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth already are full-high or about to be. Cape freight passes through Middleboro station so should be no future restrictions there to all-high. FR/NB has planned highs so I guess MassCoastal's not being granted wide clearance from the ports. No other expansion proposals in the universe of projects involve any lines that wouldn't/couldn't be all-high.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby sery2831 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:59 am

I will answer your North Side questions.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:So...is there an official codified list of what stations are under the freight main exemption for full highs? We know at minimum these are:

Haverhill Line: Ballardvale, Andover, Bradford, Haverhill. Lawrence is already a 1-platform high...refresh my memory if they're doing an outbound high with passing track at some point? Plaistow's going to be a 1 high-platform terminal.


Lawrence is completed, this will be a single track station. There would be no clearance route if they build a second platform.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Lowell Line: Wilmington, Mishawum, Winchester Center, Wedgemere, West Medford. Anderson is high with passing track. How about North Billerica? Does PAR get its wide-clearance route from Lowell Jct. via Wildcat, or does the whole Lowell Line have to be kept clear?


All the platforms on the Lowell Line raise with the exception of Mishawum, it has been removed from service(the metal edge that raises has been removed).

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:If the ethanol trains are doing Fitchburg Line with its new highs then Chelsea shouldn't be restricted when it gets ADA...that's the only one in question on the Eastern Route. Lynn is already high, so Swampscott, Salem, and (if needed) Riverworks are fair game; no freight at all north of Salem.


I assume the Eastern Route was the first to get mini high platforms on the North Side since they are ALL fixed concrete platforms. From Swamspcott East the mini high levels will not clear a wide move. I am guessing because of this Lynn was made all high level with no plans to make a clearance option.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby sery2831 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:02 am

diburning wrote:Wait, so the edges are supposed to be hit and torn to shreds? Is replacing the strips every time they get torn up less expensive than adding a motor to it so that the dispatcher can press a button and flip it up or something (like they do with switches)?


That would be expensive, and you would need cameras because you can't just raise them blindly! Plus ice and snow... Not a good idea!

diburning wrote:And, with the Haverhill line, there's the Wellington tunnel. They did run detour freights via Haverhill though when the flooding happened. (I remember that they had to cut the FBOX cars out because they would not fit in the Wellington tunnel, and it was a big question mark as to whether they would fit at Porter.)


The tunnel on the Western Route has the same clearance as Porter Square. Newer large locomotives will not fit through either.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:40 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Freights through Reading can run above-ground on the passing siding to avoid the tunnel.


The switch to the north of the Medford Branch tunnel has had it's frog and switch points removed.
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Re: Wedgemere Station Work

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:26 pm

Since I've never seen (or at least never noticed) any mini-highs with flipping panels for freights, I searched for some images.

I found this and I am sharing it in case anyone else is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:MBTAwilmington5.jpg

You can clearly see the break in the yellow strip, allowing the edge to flip up.
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