Sharon station

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Sharon station

Postby The EGE » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:40 pm

According to the most recent news story I've seen, construction on the new mini-high platforms at Sharon was to begin early this month. Sharon has to be fully accessible by October 1st per state ruling or it will be closed.

However, this past weekend there was no sign of work yet. Less than 45 days away, and there aren't even footings in the ground. The T is playing this awfully close to the wire.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:13 pm

Yeah, I see. That's not good either. And at the rate that's going, it looks like Sharon won't make the Oct 1 deadline, therefore forcing people to use either Mansfield or Route 128, and Canton. And I also notice that the Framingham-Worcester line stops along the Newton segment of the line have no mini- high either or elevator shaft to brig them up the overhead street. Those need to be looked at, even though they are also on open cut along the Mass Pike.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby The EGE » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:51 pm

Sharon is by far the worst non-ADA offender on the entire system, with 2275 boardings by the Blue Book. South Acton, under construction with full-highs, is the next-worse at 856. Walpole, Winchester, Franklin, Wakefield, and Natick are the only others with even 30% of Sharon's ridership.

If Sharon goes dark even for a week, there will be hell to pay for the T. That's a huge number of people who don't want to have to drive elsewhere and play Russian Roulette with parking. There's only about 300 cars in the parking lot daily, indicating that walk-up ridership - who would have to drive elsewhere - is huge. They'd have to run bus shuttles to Route 128.

The Newton stops are critical for increasing frequency on the line, but they're currently low enough ridership that they're largely ADA exempt.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:12 pm

Can anyone explain which provision of law requires accessibility at Sharon by October 1? ADA requires only "key stations" and major terminals and transfer points covered.

An interim solution would be a crew-operated lift, which is used (I believe) at some Green Line stations and low-level Amtrak stations in the Midwest, South and West for high-level access to Amfleet and Horizon cars, as well as Hoboken, NJ.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby The EGE » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:28 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:Can anyone explain which provision of law requires accessibility at Sharon by October 1? ADA requires only "key stations" and major terminals and transfer points covered.


Well, Sharon is clearly key, considering it's one of the highest-ridership stations on the system. A site-specific accessibility complaint was filed in May 2011, and the MBTA could not have reasonably contested that it wasn't a key station. (I believe the grey line is somewhere around 600 daily riders). The state's Architectural Access Board upheld the claim, mandating the MBTA to make the platforms and the building accessible by October 2012 (later extended to October 2013).

Amtrak's 2010 plan calls for triple-tracking and full-highs at Sharon and Mansfield, which they well need, so I suspect the mini-high platforms are intended as a merely temporary measure until funding is found for the updates. Kingston, RI went through the exact same cycle.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:38 pm

If closing Sharon is not feasible, could a court waiver be obtained allowing service to continue until accessibility provisions are made, under "all deliberate speed" (a term from the civil rights movement, after all ADA was the product of civil rights reform)?
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Re: Sharon station

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:36 pm

this is the first I have heard of it. I'll keep my ears open and post information
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Re: Sharon station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:48 pm

Are there any other stations where they're under the gun with ADA-related injunctions real or threatened? Obviously Sharon is king of all the non-accessibles with >2200 daily boardings, but these also have some high ridership:

(daily boardings per 2010 Blue Book)
Walpole - 802
Winchester Ctr. - 800
Franklin - 782
Wakefield - 773
Natick - 700
West Medford - 643
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Re: Sharon station

Postby GE45tonner » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:34 pm

How long has it taken them in the past to build platforms?
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Re: Sharon station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:04 pm

GE45tonner wrote:How long has it taken them in the past to build platforms?


Depends on whether it's a full-high, high-quality mini-high, or cheap mini-high. And whether it's got new shelters and other structures. Here they are just doing a dirt cheap mini-high to escape the wrath of the court ruling. Sharon eventually has to get modified for 3 tracks and full-highs per the Amtrak NEC Infrastructure Master Plan, which wants level boarding at all commuter rail stops to keep dwell times low and passing tracks at all 2-track stops in MA and RI (except Canton Jct., which is unmodifiable because of the nearby Viaduct). So this is just a stopgap until they can fund the real thing. Thankfully the station has ADA-accessible egresses, so it's only a slapdash mini-high that they have to install. If this were like Winchester Ctr. with nothing but stairs grafted into a hard-to-modify viaduct structure, they'd be screwed.

The 3rd track funding has to come from Amtrak since they are the party in charge of all NEC track infrastructure in MBTA territory, with the T being responsible for the platform mods. Would involve reconfiguring the station back into its historic setup when the ROW was previously 3-track and the inbound platform was closer to the station building. And making the high platform interface correctly with the front of the historic station building, which is a little tricky.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby boblothrope » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:47 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
GE45tonner wrote:How long has it taken them in the past to build platforms?


Depends on whether it's a full-high, high-quality mini-high, or cheap mini-high.


How long have cheap mini-highs taken?

Do prefab platforms exist?
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Re: Sharon station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:17 pm

boblothrope wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
GE45tonner wrote:How long has it taken them in the past to build platforms?


Depends on whether it's a full-high, high-quality mini-high, or cheap mini-high.


How long have cheap mini-highs taken?

Do prefab platforms exist?


I don't know, but the cheapies sure disappeared fast from Mishawum when they were cannibalized to outfit Waltham. I'm guessing that's only a few days' work. The permanent mini-high at Wedgemere was only a couple months of pretty leisurely work, and that project included platform repairs to the low platform. Theoretically you could go really ghetto and just build a Home Depot wood "front porch" mini-high sort of like the wheelchair lifts at a couple Green Line stops like BU Central. Wouldn't last more than a few years, but if you need it ASAP and only have 20 grand to spend it'll do in a pinch.


High platforms are pretty much prefab. They're hollow underneath sitting on molded concrete support slabs, with a thin "deck" on top for the platform. Everything gets poured, so it's not like they haul giant slabs on a flatbed. But they're pretty much injection-molded onsite like generic pieces. In theory shouldn't take long at a generic station, but the T always takes its sweet time doing them. Even at new stations that don't have to accommodate commuters during construction. I remember when the JFK CR platform was built a decade ago. It would sit there for weeks in suspended animation mid-construction.

Sharon outbound would probably go fast. They could close half the platform, blitz the new half, close the other half and temp-ramp onto the completed half of the high, then finish the rest. Inbound + third track is going to be a chore because they have to be very delicate around the historic station building to make the set-back high platform interface correctly with the front of the building. Which may involve ramps and whatnot depending on if there's a platform-facing building entrance. It's been done at plenty of historic stations in the northeast before and you can catch that process in action in 2014 at historic Berlin, CT station on the Springfield Line when it gets its full-high construction. But it's a bit more invasive, time-consuming, and expensive to do than a cookie-cutter platform that has no special features or abutting buildings.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby The EGE » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:23 pm

Actually, at least sometimes they do truck in entire prefab platform sections. For Yawkey - which has entirely oddball angled sections that would need precision fabrication - they arrived on flatbeds, several per day.
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Re: Sharon station

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:33 pm

On a related issue, why is Prides Crossing not ADA yet, while all other Rockport/Newburyport stations (except Chelsea and GE Riverworks) are?
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Re: Sharon station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:50 pm

R36 Combine Coach wrote:On a related issue, why is Prides Crossing not ADA yet, while all other Rockport/Newburyport stations (except Chelsea and GE Riverworks) are?


Prides has an ADA exemption because of its extremely meager schedule: 3 inbound, 5 outbound, and only 3 total that are non- flag stop. With no possibility of that ever ever increasing. Hastings, Silver Hill, and Plimptonville are in the same boat. Those will never be required to be more than what they are today unless they by some miracle were to get full schedules. Riverworks also owing to its status as a company flag stop with one-door boarding only. That isn't the T's problem to upgrade. If GE wants an ADA station they can pay for it.


Honestly, except for Riverworks ALL of them probably should be expunged from the schedule altogether.
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