North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:25 am

Counterweights are not new, but probably not original?
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Red Wing » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:57 am

GP40MC1118 wrote:Thank God they scrapped the crazy notion of attaching footbridges to the railroad drawbridges.
What a nightmare for the drawtender, dispatcher, boats in regards to openings and safety. The folks
who come up with these type of ideas have no clue...

D

The lock operators do not seem to have an issue on the dam. People , boats and lock operators have lived in harmony for years. I don't see an issue with the a pedestrian bridge on the train bridge.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby GP40MC1118 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:00 pm

Attempting openings in boat season with people walking or just strolling on the bridge
would be a nightmare for the bridge tenders. No more quick openings between trains.
This would be especially true during the week when its just not scheduled train service,
but house moves back and forth to contend with. The only way it would work would be
during the closed periods for the rush hours. And let's not mention night time concerns.
This is, after all, a working railroad, not locks for the yacht clubs up river.

D
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:23 pm

In the summer, the bridges are kept raised due to high boat traffic. They pretty much lower the bridges for the trains. The only exception is during rush hours. So a public crossing would greatly increase the amount of times the bridges will needed to be raised.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Red Wing » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:24 am

It would balance the transportation options for the area. If the standard operating procedure is to stay open during the summer, this can change to balance with the use of pedestrians. I understand that boat and train traffic would be a higher priority than pedestrians and bikers. Would it be convenient for everyone all the time, no it won't. Would it make Boston a friendlier city for walkers and bikers, yes it would and could even be a tipping point to transfer some people from car to commuter rail.

To GP40MC1118, If the bridge is opened to pedestrians only during rush hour that would be a start and could be tweaked later to more pedestrian usage. What night concerns do you have? I guess we should shut down all pedestrian ways at night do to "night time concerns."
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Arlington » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:32 pm

Red Wing wrote:
GP40MC1118 wrote:Thank God they scrapped the crazy notion of attaching footbridges to the railroad drawbridges.
What a nightmare for the drawtender, dispatcher, boats in regards to openings and safety. The folks
who come up with these type of ideas have no clue...

The lock operators do not seem to have an issue on the dam. People , boats and lock operators have lived in harmony for years. I don't see an issue with the a pedestrian bridge on the train bridge.

My guess based on road-intersection design is that even a little bit of added interaction (like adding pedestrians to the boat/train interaction) adds a lot of complexity.

If managing two traffic streams (rail/boat or boat/pedestrian) has a complexity of 2 x 2 = 4, I suspect that managing 3 streams has a complexity of either 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 or 3 x 3 = 9. Going from two traffic streams to three seems like it is only 50% more, but it turns out to be 100%+ harder.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:50 pm

Since when was the bridge supposed to be tacked onto the draw? As I understood it, the pedestrian bridge is to be a fixed feature, just like the one they installed over the tracks, which arches just the same to allow for enough vertical clearance.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:27 pm

That was my impression as well. They were going to use the piers from the old draws to build a new bridge. But I am not sure where we stand on that project cause I think the funding is gone.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby GP40MC1118 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:59 pm

The original proposal had a footbridge attached to one of the spans. And they were even thinking of an
at grade crossing for the riverwalk!

D
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby sery2831 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:46 am

I never saw any plans like that! The plans I have always seen call for four bridges. One of which has been completed. They propose TWO Charles River crossings, one on each side of the Draws AND one more bridge crossing over the tracks on the station but going under the Central Artery Ramps. I think it's over kill. The only additional bridge that is logical is the one on the Spaulding side over the Charles.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby geep9 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:26 pm

here's what I found once somewhere at the mdc site
Attachments
class-four-035.jpg
class-four-035.jpg (328.66 KiB) Viewed 2239 times
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:13 am

sery2831 wrote:I never saw any plans like that! The plans I have always seen call for four bridges. One of which has been completed. They propose TWO Charles River crossings, one on each side of the Draws AND one more bridge crossing over the tracks on the station but going under the Central Artery Ramps. I think it's over kill. The only additional bridge that is logical is the one on the Spaulding side over the Charles.


Agreed. Although, would it make sense to allow egress/access from/to the platforms with another bridge over the tracks? Especially with the desire to redevelop along Nashua St, and to provide quicker access to/from the new Lovejoy Wharf development (and Lovejoy Wharf water taxi, and potential reinstated ferry service?).

As for the two river crossings, I could never understand that. The one where the two removed draws were makes sense. But on the other side, you can already walk across the dam, and even when there's ships coming through, there's still a fixed elevated walkway over the dam.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby octr202 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:07 am

I've only been across the dam a few times - is that elevated pedestrian bridge a public walkway? I always figured that was an internal connector for lock operations.

The river crossing west of the railroad bridge, along with a southbank bridge across the railroad should provide all needed mobility in that area. It would make access to North Station so much easier for all of the North Point area, which will be important as it grows (eventually it will happen).

It'd be very, very nice then to have more direct access into North Station from that side, but it would be very hard (read, expensive) to go directly to the platforms. Perhaps when Spaulding is gone, a walkway could extend straight down along track 10 and hook directly into the back entrance to the Garden/North Station.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Red Wing » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:14 pm

The closest pedestrian ship free crossing would be the Charlestown Bridge or the Longfellow. The elevated area above the dam is where the locks operator works no pedestrian access.
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Re: North Bank Bridge Discussion (Tower A)

Postby Arlington » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:34 pm

MGH announced back in November that the Spaulding Hospital site will be renovated for what I'd describe as "back office" functions:
...medical record storage facilities, physician and staff offices, accounting and financial offices, other administrative and support space
. That's not like it is a "forever" renovation, but rather the kind of stuff that will be "tired" after 10 years, and retired after 20, and ready to move any time if the price is right.

I thought I'd put this question here: How much can capacity at North Station be expanded without "eating into" Spaulding? . Mostly this divides into Platform Space and River Crossing Space.

Platform Space.
I don't see this as the problem. NS has long platforms today that don't come any where near being used for their length. There are lots of uses for short platforms (e.g. Downeaster, short consists of double deckers, and shorter-still consists of DMUs). So I'd assume you could "mirror" the current platform setup, with platforms getting shorter as you number up from 10 to (say) 20 (which could be as short as today's #1). This means that once you're past Spaulding (and now that its cryo tanks are gone) you're free to fan out into what are currently parking lots. Conclusion: the building is not the problem for fanning out. Take the parking and build platforms as needed.

River Crossing Capacity

F-Line has flagged this as the real problem. Flowing more trains across the Charles while the bridges are down (usable by trains), particularly if you've got DMUs swarming at 15-20 minute headways all day. One new track gets you +25%, Two new = +50%, 4 new = +100%. All seem like numbers we could be happy with.

Do we assume the 2 current drawspans (of 2 tracks each) stay, unchanged?
Do we assume a new span must go upstream, or could it go downstream?
Do we assume a new 2-slot span could start service with only one new track, or must it have 2 (seems like freight railroads lay 1 track on 2 slot bridges all the time)

Would 1 new track on the upstream/spaulding side be useful? Could it "slip past" Spaulding, particularly if the other tracks got pointed more towards today's Track 1

On the north side of the Charles, there seems to be good space on both sides of the 4 drawspan tracks now in operation:
- Upstream (Cambridge) there seems to be 1- or 2- track's worth of spare space before you hit the fence for the Duck Boat ramp or the supports for Rt 1 / Bike bridge
- Downstream (Charlestown) there's Tower A. Has the case for removing it changed recently?

On the south (Boston) side of the Charles, it seems like if you had just a 5th track (even if it were on a half-used new two-track drawspan), either upstream or downstream, you slightly re-orient the tracks so that all current platforms would end up with more/better options
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