MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

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MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby wicked » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:21 am

On the Stop & Shop land in Readville. It says it'll foot the bill.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/1 ... story.html
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby Teamdriver » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:47 am

But how much juice does Menino have left to thwart this adventure ?
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby jaymac » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:07 am

If, as a sage of long ago stated," There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," what, then, is the cost of a free maintenance facility?
The Commonwealth has gotten into the practice of using contractors as kickballs, either to kick problems down the road or to kick around when poor planning and/or execution provoke/s citizen complaints. The Great and General Court might be less trying if it actually chose to run a Commonwealth entity as part of the family instead of shipping that entity out to a not particularly fostering situation.

(Poster now removes fingers from keyboard and gets off the soapbox.)
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby joshg1 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:42 am

If MBCR wins the contract, then doesn't follow through with the facility or move their HQ to Roxbury- what would their penalty be? Performance penalties I understand, but these other promises are vague.

I don't know how difficult or expensive it is to move equipment between North and South, or if there is a backlog of work at BET, but a duplicate facility strikes as me as a needless expense.
Last edited by joshg1 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby trainhq » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:37 pm

Yes, but remember they will need to do some kind of changes to allow for maintenance of DMUs,
which they are proposing for the Fairmount line. This would help them do this.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:58 pm

I'm afraid to say much, but this just seems like desperation almost. I wish they would just HURRY UP AND ANNOUNCE THE WINNER! It has been delayed for far too long now. I also have my suspicions as to which MBCR stakeholder has leaked this info. I work for one of the stakeholders, and there's rumors about who it is (not us). I would say the same one's responsible for 'revealing' the 'racist' practices of Keolis. Just doesn't seem very classy if it's true, and it makes for a bad reflection on everyone associated with MBCR.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:24 pm

Huh? Why are they even talking about the Stop & Shop parcel which straddles the Dedham town line and has twice the municipal bureaucracy to slice through when half the acreage at the existing Readville CR facility is nothing more than weedy sandlots sparsely utilized by a private recycling transfer station. And Readville Yard 5 isn't being used for anything whatsoever. The land utilization makes no sense. So little sense it almost seems like MBCR pulled this out of thin air without bothering to talk to anyone. Why would the T want to support something that spreads its operational base out even further when it has unused and sorely underused land in Hyde Park that it owns? S&S Warehouse just means they have to keep 2 separate crew bases in Hyde Park, and run an employee shuttle because this site is out of walking distance from the CR platforms and Wolcott Sq. buses that are right next to Yard 2. And they lose their convenient Franklin Line access for non-revenue moves. Would this proposal even have advanced to the point of getting a news story had it not been the private firm hot-and-heavy into contract negotiations pushing it?

Yard 2 seems like a no-brainer for this facility. If they score more Widett Circle storage Readville will get relieved of having to deadhead so much equipment to/from South Station and will probably become underutilized, only serving as the Fairmount + Stoughton layover and out-of-the-way place for stuffing equipment. Seems like the perfect opportunity to recast it as a maint facility. Move the recycling center to the corner of Yard 5 or something.


Also...I have a hard time believing this until a lot more details are fleshed out as to who owns and operates it. I get that the contract can have requirements that the contractor pump more of their own capital into operations support. But the T has to be the owner of this thing...it's a facility that'll outlast the contractor and the next several contracts. MBCR is a management company. Their office building is the only property they *need* to own. It makes no sense for them to own a maint facility for servicing equipment the agency owns...and to have that maint facility fall into limbo once every 10 years during the contract renegotiation.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby ns3010 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:41 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:I'm afraid to say much, but this just seems like desperation almost. I wish they would just HURRY UP AND ANNOUNCE THE WINNER! It has been delayed for far too long now. I also have my suspicions as to which MBCR stakeholder has leaked this info. I work for one of the stakeholders, and there's rumors about who it is (not us). I would say the same one's responsible for 'revealing' the 'racist' practices of Keolis. Just doesn't seem very classy if it's true, and it makes for a bad reflection on everyone associated with MBCR.


Said stakeholder is likely the same company that disputed the Keolis bid for the MARC contract, and eventually ended up winning that contract.


Whether or not this is a desperate attempt to show that MBCR should win the contract, the entire thing is completely strange.

I'm not aware of any other operation (at least in the US) where a maintenance facility is completely built and operated by the contracted operator of the railroad. There is no real benefit to the operator, because the facility will serve them absolutely no purpose in the event that they lose their contract at any point in the future.

The location isn't ideal either. On that piece of land, it looks like the shop building will be smaller than BET, and there will be much less yard space in the facility, due to its square(ish) shape. It will likely be a stub ended facility, with no room for tracks into or out of the building on the east end, likely not even tail tracks. Additionally, the only way to enter the facility will be on the west end because of the CSX yard on the east end (unless CSX permitted MBCR to move trains through the CSX yard, which is highly unlikely). Although using reverse moves to enter the facility from the west end isn't absolutely the end of the world, it certainly isn't ideal.

I see no benefit to this plan, mostly because the plan doesn't make sense in its current form. While having a south side maintenance facility isn't a bad idea, it would be best if it were built and owned by the T, and preferably in a more convenient and operationally usable location. Not this monstrosity of a plan.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:11 am

ns3010 wrote:The location isn't ideal either. On that piece of land, it looks like the shop building will be smaller than BET, and there will be much less yard space in the facility, due to its square(ish) shape. It will likely be a stub ended facility, with no room for tracks into or out of the building on the east end, likely not even tail tracks. Additionally, the only way to enter the facility will be on the west end because of the CSX yard on the east end (unless CSX permitted MBCR to move trains through the CSX yard, which is highly unlikely). Although using reverse moves to enter the facility from the west end isn't absolutely the end of the world, it certainly isn't ideal.

Doing a comparison in Google Maps, it looks like the Readville site has enough room for a BET-size shop, especially if you use the space between the NEC and the freight spur at the southwest corner of the site. There's what appears to be an OOS yard lead alongside the NEC stretching at least 1000ft south (railroad west) from that spur which would allow access to a modest layover yard and S&I tracks from both ends. Additional storage tracks could be built either on the southeast side of the site or on the north side roughly parallel to Millstone Rd.

I don't think CSX uses the Readville Yard at anywhere near full capacity, so I can't imagine they'd have any serious objection to MBTA trains deadheading through it. At worst they'd probably insist on the east ladder being rebuilt with a separate running track for the MBTA to use, which is hardly a deal-breaker since the track would have to be rebuilt anyway.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby diburning » Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:08 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Also...I have a hard time believing this until a lot more details are fleshed out as to who owns and operates it. I get that the contract can have requirements that the contractor pump more of their own capital into operations support. But the T has to be the owner of this thing...it's a facility that'll outlast the contractor and the next several contracts. MBCR is a management company. Their office building is the only property they *need* to own. It makes no sense for them to own a maint facility for servicing equipment the agency owns...and to have that maint facility fall into limbo once every 10 years during the contract renegotiation.


But there is the genius in that plan. If MBCR builds this facility, and improves the maintenance of the fleet, they have some leverage when it comes to the next contract negotiations. No MBCR = No additional maintenance facility = Back to the present situation where BET is backlogged.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:53 pm

BrandeisRoberts wrote:I don't know whether people here have already read this, but I thought this was a really interesting take on some of the political machinations behind the MBCR vs Keolis drama.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/1 ... story.html

To me, the idea of a new facility in Readville (and moving the MBCR offices to Roxbury) reeks of good old-fashioned palm greasing, and it was refreshing to see that I'm not the only one who thinks this.

I'm all for a new CR maintenance facility Southside, but it should be MBTA-owned and in a much more centralized location than down past Readville. Beacon Park and Widett Circle are perfect candidates and are much more convenient to the CR's future ridership growth Southside (Worcester, Back Bay, potentially the Seaport, and especially the Old Colony Lines) than a facility serving only Fairmount, Franklin and the NEC would be.

I also totally fail to see what, if anything, would be gained by moving the head offices for the most distinctively suburb-oriented of the T's services to Roxbury, again, other than appeasing the political powers-that-be.


They have enough space at Widett to do a full-size facility and get all the storage they need if they land-swap the Boston Food Market elsewhere in addition to the cold storage warehouse they're trying to move now. Then there's still the city tow lot that can be easily moved for still more storage space. Hell, there's enough there that Readville Yard 2 arguably wouldn't be needed at all and the entire southside can get consolidated into one massive "TransitTown" home base at Widett/Southampton/Cabot. They can move the Fairmount layover berths onto the mainline ROW on those extra yard tracks or rent a little space in the underutilized CSX yard, then land-swap Yard 2 for residential/commercial redevelopment as an extension of Wolcott Sq. and recoup the cost of the Widett land acquisition. Wouldn't need to use any Beacon Park easements, which would generate more tax revenue for the state for each additional acre that Harvard can redevelop. And they'd still have massive Readville Yard 5 to play with for all their unforeseen 50-year expansion needs.


These are additional reasons why the S&S land acquisition makes so little sense. In addition to being an operationally awkward place to go and a complete waste of the greater acreage of unused Readville space the T already owns, why would they want to chew up so much of MBCR's funding commitment squaring all the strings attached with the town of Dedham, EIS'ing around the Neponset Reservation, and CSX with the interference around their yard? It's a misplacement of leverage where downtown has all the strategic juice. The city and BRA would have a vested interest in the Food Market land swap, as well as any unused Readville considerations the T might be willing to put on the table as collateral for help securing 100% of the Widett land. Why dilute all that deal-making juice with this crappy site the city has zero interest in after Menino and the BRA tried and failed to get it redeveloped, and why complicate it all by letting Dedham take its pound of flesh (dealing with them proved a nightmare for the Menino-led redevelopment plan for the site and helped ensure its demise). Yes, Widett's more expensive land acquisition than a sparsely utilized warehouse on the outskirts...but the S&S site is going to chew up its share of nagging costs just trying to secure it and be far inferior on operating costs projected over multiple decades. If they need the facility, make it a facility that's a top-notch use of resources for the long haul...not because it's an easy grab whose deficiencies can be sorted out later. That's one reason why they're wise to go all-in on the cold storage warehouse land-swap at Widett instead of plowing forward on the Beacon Park storage easement...the ops superiority is so hands-down better they much prefer doing it right over doing it cheap/easy. This is no different.


Hell, Readville Yard 5 would be an outstanding site too given its turning loop and equal access to the NEC, Franklin, and Fairmount. Sure, the Dedham abutters are going to be a royal PITA...but Dedham was a royal PITA on the last S&S redevelopment proposal and is sure to be again on the S&S plan despite having no taxpayers on that side of the tracks. If you're tangling with them any which way over the same NIMBY-fied issues, at least pick the site that's got the upside most worth your while. A sound fence around the west side of T-owned Yard 5 + associated Dedham payola to keep them quiet is going to cost way less than buying the S&S site, EIS'ing the S&S site, bulldozing and prepping the S&S site, the CSX payola for the yard access, and the same Dedham payola. The T has a vested interest in getting MBCR to put more of that $65M into the maintenance facility itself rather than lose that much overhead just on land/access acquisition prerequisites.
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby trainhq » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:21 pm

Well, now that Keolis has won, do they have anything to say about all this?
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Re: MBCR Proposes New Maintenance Facility

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:55 pm

trainhq wrote:Well, now that Keolis has won, do they have anything to say about all this?


From the "I SUE YOU ALL!!!6!!" temper tantrum MBCR threw to the Globe last week they copped (or rather spread blame) that they hadn't even discussed the maint facility idea face-to-face with the T. It was wholly them thinking out loud. And was probably bogus given that the GM's official public statement of recommendation for Keolis came only days later...with the New Year's holiday sandwiched in between. MBCR most likely had already been privately notified that they had officially lost the contract before they ever went to the papers and the neighborhood for this wind-up. Look at the date stamps...facility story came couple days after Xmas, Bev Scott's statement right after New Year's. Holidays were an unusually short work week given what days they fell on this year. MBCR plausibly had to have known before Xmas they lost; not enough officials at the company and T/MassDOT leadership could've been in the office between Xmas and New Years for the facility unveiling to have preceded the private notice that they lost.

The only logical conclusion to draw here is that it wasn't serious, and that they were troll-baiting the neighborhood for leverage to challenge the Keolis decision. Not nice...not nice at all. :(


We outlined in this thread all the reasons it was kind of a kludgy location operationally, and a little baffling with all the unused land the T owns at Readville. But now we know why...they never consulted the T in the first place.


Whatever future maint facility plans may arise with Keolis, I would expect them to be very different from this one and the MBTA being the one doing the announcing in much more controlled fashion than MBCR did when it flapped its mouth to the Globe.
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