What's the toughest grade on the commuter rail side?

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What's the toughest grade on the commuter rail side?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:17 am

what is the biggest grade on the entire MBTA CR system and how does that work, with the percents and all?
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Postby apodino » Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:34 am

I don't know for sure, but one of the biggest I can think of is the grade on the franklin line right after it branches off of the NEC. The franklin platform on the Readville line is on this grade, and since its also on a curve, the train leans into the platform, making this one of the most dangerous stations in the system. I am not familiar with grade percentages and the like, but if someone knows a grade steeper than the readville one, please speak now or forever hold your peace.
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Postby apodino » Sun Dec 26, 2004 3:35 pm

apodino wrote:I don't know for sure, but one of the biggest I can think of is the grade on the franklin line right after it branches off of the NEC. The franklin platform on the Readville line is on this grade, and since its also on a curve, the train leans into the platform, making this one of the most dangerous stations in the system. I am not familiar with grade percentages and the like, but if someone knows a grade steeper than the readville one, please speak now or forever hold your peace.


A quick amendment to my post. Should read Franklin Line platform at Readville Station is on the grade. My bad, it was still early in the morning when I wrote that.
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CR Grades

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 8:17 pm

On the Northside:

Mystic River Bridge in Somerville. Eastbound trains have a stiff climb over the new bridge on the Rockport/Newburyport mainline. Worse for freight trains since they usually are coming off yard trackage. CSX LB721 has a tough time with a decent sized train and one engine. The bridge for the
Western Route (Reading/Haverhill) is a little easier, though its an interesting run since either direction involves dealing with the Wellington
Tunnel dip. I know of one Guilford crew that didn't like bringing a large
DOBO (loaded sand train) to Boston via this line due to slack/run-in action caused by having your potentially stretched out from the top of the Mystic River bridge through the tunnel.

Magnolia/West Gloucester - can be trying for eastbound trains during inclement weather or a lame engine (no GP40MC comments please!).

The New Hampshire mainline from the west end of Tower A/Boston Engine Terminal to Mystic Junction. Nice little ramp to get over the yard tracks
behind BET, then traversing the High Line to Mystic Junction.

D
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 9:52 pm

thanks GP40MC1118 :-D
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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:01 pm

I realize there are a lot of man made grades on the system that are real stiff. Places like Readville or the approaches to the Mystic River bridges are examples. As far as mother nature's own creations I had thought that the Fitchburg Route Main line from Kendall Green to Walden Pond was one of the stiffer grades on the system. I know during leaf season the westbounds have a real problem getting up the hill especially if they have to stop at Hastings and Silver Hill.
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grades

Postby GP40MC1118 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:24 pm

Yes, Kendall Green to Concord is one I forgot about...especially in the Fall!

d
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Postby paulrail » Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:22 am

The section of track in Kingston from "Seaside" up to "Gravel" and the Kingston commuter rail station is a pretty steep climb when the leaves grease the rails.

I remember when the Old Colony line to Kingston/Plymouth first opened, T engines had a tough time climbing the hill in wet weather. There was a lot of talk between the train crew and the dispatcher at South Station about this situation. Sometimes it would take 15 to 20 minutes to reach the station and layover yard from "Seaside.".

Of course this would never have exixted had the MBTA gone with it's original plan and sited the 1,000 car commuter rail station at the L. Knife & Sons "Budeiser" warehouse/distribution center, which is on the main line to Plymouth. BUT, Gerry Sheehan (owner) wanted too much money for the property (among other things) and,....well, the rest is history.

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Postby CSX Conductor » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:46 am

I agree with Apodino about the single track @ Readville between Sprague St. & Read Interlocking, mainly when starting westward after a station stop. But I would have to say that another steep climb from a station stop would be Windsor Gardens heading westward. As for steepest actual grades on the South Side, I would say that it would be the hills in Norfolk on the Franklin Branch :wink:

As for what Dave mentioned about B721 having problems coming out of Everett Jct, I totally understand :(


BTW, great question for a new deiscussion MBTA F40PH2-C :-)
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Postby 130MM » Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:21 pm

The steepest grade on the Commuter Rail system is at the Wellington Tunnel on the West Route. It is 3.5%

Neponset R. Br. on the Old Colony and Mystic R. bridge on the West Route are 3% grades.

Some of the others:

(Couldn't find a figure for the Readville "ramp")
Franklin Br. Windsor Gardens 0.818%
Franklin Br. Walpole West to Norfolk -- 0.713% WB & 0.778% EB
Franklin Br. EB between Beaver St. and Union St. -- 0.91%
FML through Lincoln -- 0.718%
FML west of West Concord -- 0.755%
FML WB through Walker Rd. and Paterson Rd. -- 0.75%
FML WB from Slab City to Leominster Rd. (42.17) -- 0.791%
FML WB FG to Fitchburg -- 0.815%
ERML "New" Draw 7 -- 1.57% EB & 2.0% WB
ERML EB into Salem Tunnel -- 1.00%
Gloucester Br. WB Beverly Farms to Prides -- 0.84%
Gloucester Br. EB Manchester to Magnolia 0.86% (short stretch of 1.00%)
Gloucester Br. WB through Stanwood Ave. -- 0.80%
Gloucester BR. WB out of Loop -- 1.09%
NHML NB to High Line Bridge -- 0.90%
Middleboro SB out of Red Line overpass at Braintree -- 1.99%
Kingston Br. -- 2.15%
Needham Br. WB out of Forest -- 1.50%

For those who don't know grade is measured as a ratio of the vertical rise over 100 ft. in a horizontal direction. That is a 1% grade is an increase of 1 foot of elevation over 100 feet, measured horizontally. A 2% grade would be an increase in elevation of 2 ft., and so on.

And something for you locomotive engineers to look forward to on the Greenbush: Weymouth Landing Station. It will have 2.67% upgrade starting at both ends of the platform. And being in a narrow cut section, every leaf within a half a mile will surely blow in there. Which means that in the winter it will quickly fill up with snow. And with the walls only slightly wider than the trains, the first train in the morning may have to plow its way out of the station. Think the SP's City of San Francisco circa 1955.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Mon Dec 27, 2004 2:45 pm

I knew it was a bit of a climb west of Forest on the Needham Line, but didn't think it was big enough to mention.


130 sure did his homework. :P
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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:30 pm

130mm, all I can say is WOW, CSX has it right!

:wink:
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Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Mon Dec 27, 2004 11:52 pm

thank you 130, what is the grade of the Back bay tunnel heading west? (Back Bay - Ruggles)
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Postby 130MM » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:40 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:thank you 130, what is the grade of the Back bay tunnel heading west? (Back Bay - Ruggles)


1.50%
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Postby CSX Conductor » Tue Dec 28, 2004 1:57 pm

Just curios 130MM, are you an engineer or track foreman?

If you don't want to announce it publicly, feel free to PM. :wink:
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