Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

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Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby enterprise11 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:16 pm

I heard some rumors that weekend service is coming to the Dorchester Branch and the Old Colony. I've done some searching on Google but could not find any articles to this effect. Any truth to it?
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:24 pm

This is true. Weekend service resuming on Needham branch, only Saturdays, Kingston, Greenbush and yes, the Fairmount line is getting weekend service. I heard 17 trips IIRC for the Dorchester Branch
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby RRCOMM » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:09 pm

Weekend service on the Kingston line? That would be great. I know there have been people working on this. Was this due to legislation?

It would be nice to be treated as equals with the North Side. As it is, a "Monthly" pass is only good about 20 days a month. The MBTA is sure keeping a low profile about it. I hope it's combined with suggestions about putting together a family fare and reduced weekend parking fees.

As to the Greenbush, Ive always wondered why there wasn't a shuttle bus connection at Nantasket Junction to Nantasket beach. The T needs to think out of the "Commuter Rail" box.
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby highgreen215 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:31 am

"As to the Greenbush, Ive always wondered why there wasn't a shuttle bus connection at Nantasket Junction to Nantasket beach. The T needs to think out of the "Commuter Rail" box."

Excellent idea and long overdue - and agree with your "out-of-commuter-rail-box" comment. Somehow extending the Plymouth branch to, er, downtown Plymouth is long overdue too.
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby RRCOMM » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:48 pm

Off topic but extending the Plymouth line would guarantee busy weekend traffic . Plymouth center would be ideal and I'm sure the business people in Plymouth would appreciate the cash from daytrippers. NIMBY oposition would be enough to need the National Guard to complete the project. If you have money, the T usually rolls over, remember the $80 milion dollar tunnel that was built in Hingham to preserve what fellow railroaders call:

"The Hingham Historic Dumpster District".
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby Teamdriver » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:07 am

RRCOMM wrote:Off topic but extending the Plymouth line would guarantee busy weekend traffic . Plymouth center would be ideal and I'm sure the business people in Plymouth would appreciate the cash from daytrippers. NIMBY oposition would be enough to need the National Guard to complete the project. If you have money, the T usually rolls over, remember the $80 milion dollar tunnel that was built in Hingham to preserve what fellow railroaders call:

"The Hingham Historic Dumpster District".


The thing lost my massage here, sorry!
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:49 pm

RRCOMM wrote:Off topic but extending the Plymouth line would guarantee busy weekend traffic . Plymouth center would be ideal and I'm sure the business people in Plymouth would appreciate the cash from daytrippers. NIMBY oposition would be enough to need the National Guard to complete the project. If you have money, the T usually rolls over, remember the $80 milion dollar tunnel that was built in Hingham to preserve what fellow railroaders call:

"The Hingham Historic Dumpster District".


Plymouth is not in the running for having weekend service as of now IIRC....there is no foot traffic currently during the week as it is, so I see why there is no interest for weekend service
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:22 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:
RRCOMM wrote:Off topic but extending the Plymouth line would guarantee busy weekend traffic . Plymouth center would be ideal and I'm sure the business people in Plymouth would appreciate the cash from daytrippers. NIMBY oposition would be enough to need the National Guard to complete the project. If you have money, the T usually rolls over, remember the $80 milion dollar tunnel that was built in Hingham to preserve what fellow railroaders call:

"The Hingham Historic Dumpster District".


Plymouth is not in the running for having weekend service as of now IIRC....there is no foot traffic currently during the week as it is, so I see why there is no interest for weekend service

No foot traffic? Where does that come from, the place is packed during the summer , all seven days , and nights!
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby jwhite07 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:01 pm

No foot traffic? Where does that come from, the place is packed during the summer , all seven days , and nights!


Cordage Park, home of abandoned factories, the only Wal-Mart I can recall offhand being shuttered, and Plymouth's train station, isn't exactly bustling downtown Plymouth. It's a two mile, 45 minute walk to where people want to go.
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:01 pm

jwhite07 wrote:
No foot traffic? Where does that come from, the place is packed during the summer , all seven days , and nights!


Cordage Park, home of abandoned factories, the only Wal-Mart I can recall offhand being shuttered, and Plymouth's train station, isn't exactly bustling downtown Plymouth. It's a two mile, 45 minute walk to where people want to go.


Bingo! hence no weekend service TD ;)
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby highgreen215 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:12 am

Bingo bongo! No need for weekend service UNTIL THE TRACK IS EXTENDED!
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby NH2060 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:20 am

Plymouth hardly gets any weekday service as it is!

Getting back to the Fairmount Line it's about time it got weekend service. It'll help reach its full potential a little bit more.
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby dowlingm » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:26 am

What is currently on the track alignment southeast from Plymouth Station? The nearby roads don't seem to have StreetView so it's hard to get a clear sense of it purely from overhead.
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby Teamdriver » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:57 am

dowlingm wrote:What is currently on the track alignment southeast from Plymouth Station? The nearby roads don't seem to have StreetView so it's hard to get a clear sense of it purely from overhead.

The right of way extends to almost the Raddison Hotel on Water street.It is overgrown with brush and some old rail is still in the ground. Along this Water street, empty undeveloped for sale lots are on one side of the path. The original Old Colony RR station was a tad south of this spot at rte 44 . The current Plymouth commuter rail station is located , as stated above , at Cordage Park , behind an abandoned walmart. It would have been more better to have extended it the 1 mile plus south to somewhere on Water street when it was re-activated , thus serving off peak utility to feed the waterfront and historic Plymouth Rock ect. ect. attractions.As it is now , it is wasting potential. It would be a gold mine for off peak ridership numbers if extended, connecting South a Station , and the Amtrak nation, to the most famous land of the Pilgrim.And, as an added feature ,the Plymouth Waterfront got a major upgrade, new roads , sidewalks , lighting , rotary , and even an inlaid granite compass. It's beautiful, and very busy with tourists. The rail has to be extended, it's just wasted talent if not !
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Re: Weekend Service on Dorchester Branch?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:02 pm

Teamdriver wrote:
dowlingm wrote:What is currently on the track alignment southeast from Plymouth Station? The nearby roads don't seem to have StreetView so it's hard to get a clear sense of it purely from overhead.

The right of way extends to almost the Raddison Hotel on Water street.It is overgrown with brush and some old rail is still in the ground. Along this Water street, empty undeveloped for sale lots are on one side of the path. The original Old Colony RR station was a tad south of this spot at rte 44 . The current Plymouth commuter rail station is located , as stated above , at Cordage Park , behind an abandoned walmart. It would have been more better to have extended it the 1 mile plus south to somewhere on Water street when it was re-activated , thus serving off peak utility to feed the waterfront and historic Plymouth Rock ect. ect. attractions.As it is now , it is wasting potential. It would be a gold mine for off peak ridership numbers if extended, connecting South a Station , and the Amtrak nation, to the most famous land of the Pilgrim.And, as an added feature ,the Plymouth Waterfront got a major upgrade, new roads , sidewalks , lighting , rotary , and even an inlaid granite compass. It's beautiful, and very busy with tourists. The rail has to be extended, it's just wasted talent if not !


It's been trailed from across the street from Cordage Park to Nelson St., about 2/3 mile. Paved trail, but only long enough to get you to the start of Water St. I don't think they have any plans for the last half-mile of the ROW, which as mentioned still has old rail buried deep in the overgrowth.

There's no motivation to do anything with Cordage Park as long as it's a failed development. That pooch got screwed long ago. I don't see why that would prevent weekend service from returning on the Kingston Branch when that flank is in better shape TOD-wise and all the intermediate stops have ridership fundamentals pretty well par with all other lines that have weekend service.



The only way I can see the Cordage Park Branch getting bailed out and the downtown extension happening is if it's a pan-regional advocacy with robust local push like the effort that begat the Cape Flyer. A bailout plan for Cordage Park that doesn't require the state to shovel too much good money after bad. A buildout of the GATRA bus routes to make the accessibility from commuter rail much more elastic. And a realistic plan for extending the Cordage Park Branch to downtown with tie-in to the Ferry Terminal, partnership with the Steamship Authority, improvements to the P'town ferry, and corresponding enhancements on the P-town side from CCRTA to the bus service on the outer Cape. That way the Boston-Plymouth-P'town trip and exploring the weekender sights on both sides of the Bay are car-free, semi-intuitive, and can generate demand on all the modes on both shores. It can even help the Flyer if CCRTA has some other support like the enhanced ferry/Plymouth connectivity backstopping it on the outer Cape so the local routes out by P'town aren't so singularly dependent on hitting the Hyannis transfer in heavy traffic.

It's a LOT of coordination between different agencies and local-yokel fiefdoms that have to cooperate with each other, but it's exactly the same type of advocacy that hit paydirt on the Cape years faster than anyone would've ever imagined. The locals can do an awful lot on their own to help themselves without needing the state to lead the way with high-risk investments. That 1-mile extension, single-track + adjacent trail, isn't expensive on its own. It could even deviate from the old downtown station site by swerving across Water St. instead of Lothrop St. for a platform smack at the Ferry Terminal. But there is no freaking way the state, the T...anyone but the locals...should be leading the way. Not after the Cordage Park debacle. Show the state they can be nimble, creative, and and value-oriented like the Cape Chamber and CCRTA and there's lots to talk about. But not one penny until they show the initiative. Cordage Park was an "if you build it, they will come" gamble that flopped. This time it's gotta be the inverse...locally show the state they're guaranteed to come by presenting a multi-modal plan with high bang-for-buck, and they'll build it.
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