Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

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Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby theman8318 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:02 pm

I must know..

When will the MBTA be upgrading the crossing guard switch at Willow St. In Reading, MA?

All trains having beeping consistently over the past month, including at 1 AM.

We all love trains .. but even the horn can get a bit annoying ;)

Thanks,
David
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby Trinnau » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:07 pm

This is on the town, not the MBTA. Quiet zones are applied for by towns and are based on several factors, including certain safety things on the road side. The town must've done something to the crossing approaches on the road to reduce the safety and cause the railroad to blow again. Was there a paving job through there recently?

Something similar happened in West Medford a few years ago. This thread should prove a good reference.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby WickedPissah » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:23 am

Found this through Google search:

Public Works recently repaved Willow Street and found that more than half of the delineators located in the center of the roadway at the railroad crossing need replacement. The delineators are on back order and Public Works will install them as soon as they are received. The Federal Railroad Administration has informed us that effective August 26, 2014, the MBTA will blow the whistle at the Willow Street railroad crossing until the delineators are replaced.


http://www.readingma.gov/home/news/trai ... t-crossing
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby BigUglyCat » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:38 pm

I googled "delineators" and, as Godfrey Park once put it (in My Man Godfrey, "I'm still curious." Does anyone want to flesh in this situation? Are they talking about these warning sticks/rods? What does that have to do with having the loco sound the horn? Thanks. I guess I'm the slow class again. Still. Yet. :(
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby Billthee » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:50 pm

http://tinyurl.com/luwq4h8

That link shows what the crossing looks like. The delineators run down the center of the road from both sides of the crossing. I would imagine to keep people from driving around the gates, since there is no warning of a train's presence other than the gates/lights/bell?
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:19 pm

Yes -- a standard requirement for quiet zones is that there must be some means of preventing vehicles from going around lowered gates. Apparently it has to be either delineators or quad gates.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby Watchman318 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:50 am

ExCon90 wrote:Yes -- a standard requirement for quiet zones is that there must be some means of preventing vehicles from going around lowered gates. Apparently it has to be either delineators or quad gates.
Or some type of "center barrier." Maine St. in Brunswick, Maine (Amtrak Downeaster territory), which is two lanes in either direction on both sides of the crossing, has raised areas about one lane wide in the center of the street. (Curbs, basically.) I thought it was kind of unusual in "snow country," but they seem to work alright. I think it's the town parks dept. that plants the flowers on the medians each year. For an overhead view, 43.911883° N, -69.9634582° W.
Those also help control turns into and out of some of the side streets, but I've seen vehicles going southbound on Maine St. making a U-turn around the north side median to turn left into Fitch Place, and driving on the track to do so. Sometimes somebody will make an illegal left turn out of Fitch Pl. onto Maine st., and drive on the track until they get past the barriers. Just when you think you've made things foolproof, somebody makes a better fool.

Wondering if snowplows or other causes led to the delineators on Willow St. needing replacement.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby octr202 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:00 am

Some of the other crossings on the Western route use center curbs as well. Wakefield did a lot of those at several of their crossings, and also actually closed off one direction of Chestnut St as well. No doubt that was designed to eliminate the issue of cars stopping on the tracks to make a turn onto North Ave.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby theman8318 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:52 pm

Thank you for the update and that makes sense!

Now if only the double track project went through Wilmington and rest of reading, it only makes sense...


Would love to see more freight activity)
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:42 pm

theman8318 wrote:Thank you for the update and that makes sense!

Now if only the double track project went through Wilmington and rest of reading, it only makes sense...


Would love to see more freight activity)



They don't have to do very much DT'ing south of Wilmington Jct. Just the extra half-mile from Ash St. to past the Reading platforms to solve the bottleneck at the immediate station area. There's not enough traffic through North Wilmington for any train meets on that single track and single stop after the Reading short-turns have turned. Zero freight, zero Amtrak...every MBTA schedule a consistently-timed local making all stops to/from Haverhill. Thru Haverhill schedule increases (whenever they buy and build a bigger layover yard and vacate Bradford) has Anderson expresses and the Wildcat Branch as a load-balancer obviating the need for DT in North Wilmington, so the need is greater for Reading-proper and keeping the short-turns out of the way of thru trains. If anything the freights and Downeaster will get the Wildcat double-tracked before Reading-Wilmington Jct. because those are the users that throw more uncertainty into the schedule.


Now...if they could only do up the Wellington passing siding and solve for the single-track pinch in Somerville at the Eastern Route split they'd really be free and clear to pump up the service levels more dramatically.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby Trinnau » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:58 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:They don't have to do very much DT'ing south of Wilmington Jct. Just the extra half-mile from Ash St. to past the Reading platforms to solve the bottleneck at the immediate station area. There's not enough traffic through North Wilmington for any train meets on that single track and single stop after the Reading short-turns have turned. Zero freight, zero Amtrak...every MBTA schedule a consistently-timed local making all stops to/from Haverhill. Thru Haverhill schedule increases (whenever they buy and build a bigger layover yard and vacate Bradford) has Anderson expresses and the Wildcat Branch as a load-balancer obviating the need for DT in North Wilmington, so the need is greater for Reading-proper and keeping the short-turns out of the way of thru trains. If anything the freights and Downeaster will get the Wildcat double-tracked before Reading-Wilmington Jct. because those are the users that throw more uncertainty into the schedule.


There are currently 6 trains that operate to/from Haverhill over the Wildcat (5 inbound, 1 outbound) and one that short-turns at Andover in addition to all the Reading turns. The schedule doesn't have any meets, freight traffic or Amtrak traffic because the capacity simply isn't there. It's 251, ABS and a running track between WJ and Fells. Doing the legwork to simply extend the double-track from the ABS spring switch to the station in Reading would present the biggest expense in the hurdle because the new interlocking would be 261 and would likely be designed with universal crossovers. Once that's done, it's peanuts to upgrade 261 Reading to WJ, and only marginally more to actually drop the 2nd track in without any additional interlockings (universals at WJ and Reading are sufficient). Oh and let's upgrade to 79 while we're at it.

Modernization of the Western Route would probably be the next major undertaking on the North Side akin to what the Fitchburg Route is going through right now.

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Now...if they could only do up the Wellington passing siding and solve for the single-track pinch in Somerville at the Eastern Route split they'd really be free and clear to pump up the service levels more dramatically.


Agreed.

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit.
Last edited by Trinnau on Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby BandM4266 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:11 am

theman8318 wrote:I must know..

When will the MBTA be upgrading the crossing guard switch at Willow St. In Reading, MA?

All trains having beeping consistently over the past month, including at 1 AM.

We all love trains .. but even the horn can get a bit annoying ;)

Thanks,
David



Sounds to me like someone moved too close to a Railroad!!!
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby jbvb » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:09 pm

I've been looking closely at Malden Center - there is room (if you're a German or Japanese project manager, don't know about ours) to double track from Wellington to a switch just E of the Pleasant St. undergrade bridge. Two platform tracks at Reading won't be needed till there's more capacity Fells - Sullivan Sq.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:27 pm

jbvb wrote:I've been looking closely at Malden Center - there is room (if you're a German or Japanese project manager, don't know about ours) to double track from Wellington to a switch just E of the Pleasant St. undergrade bridge. Two platform tracks at Reading won't be needed till there's more capacity Fells - Sullivan Sq.


It will if you're short-turning a Reading train while a train to/from Haverhill is anywhere in the vicinity. Reading's way more important than the Wellington siding because of the relatively robust contingent of short-turns on the daily schedule. If Haverhill gets its Bradford-replacement layover (and an end to this interminable double-track project) to finally allow some escalated service levels out to the end of the line, those increases can be supplied by mixing-and-matching more NH Main + Wildcat trains with whatever whatever combination of extras the end-to-end Western Route can handle rather than picking only one route, turning some/most/all short-turns into thru trains, and spending capital $$$ sooner on the Medford track work that would entail. That's hardly an efficient way to achieve that goal. And I doubt they would ever want to reduce the ratio of short-turns when they not only have a second routing to help augment Haverhill but those Haverhill rush hour trains can get pretty full by the time they roll inside 128. More Reading turns, not fewer, are probably going to be needed to manage the demand.

Doing Reading station first matters because it lowers the pressure on getting in and getting the hell out of the way before the next train has to go there. They need that extra breathing room for all service. But it could immediately help bring some more short-turn slots...enough to track a bit better with recent growth. More meaningful spikes would have to wait until after the Wellington siding is done, and possibly after that prehistoric signal system between Melrose and Reading gets done over. But there's an indisputable priority pecking order on what capacity fixes they need to do...and DT'ing Ash St. through the Reading platforms is #1 above all else downstream.





The last public docs that showed a visual of the Wellington siding had it going from the current Medford Branch switch just past the Route 16 overpass and ending about 1 mile later at the Medford St. bridge (didn't say which side, although to use the 4th deck they'd have to backfill the first few feet of the abandoned freight siding incline on the other side to tie it back in). I think it was a Boston MPO document...either the Program for Mass Transportation or the regional needs assessment for the Long Range Transportation Plan. Google isn't turning it up right now.
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Re: Willow St (Reading, MA) Crossing Guard Upgrade?

Postby Screamer 1000 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:07 pm

I live very close to the willow st crossing and the train horns are practically my alarm clock
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