Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

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Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:12 pm

With this evening's news of Boston as the selection as the US's nominee to host the 2024 Summer Olympics (going against international cities in a down-select in 2017), it is clear that the MBTA will need significant upgrades - and major investment if selected. What are some of the projects that could be fast-tracked (pun intended)?
    North-South Rail Link
    Third (or fourth) track for the Red Line from Park Street to Malfunction Junction
    Extension(s) of the Green Line
    Extension of the Red Line Alewife to Route 128
    Fourth Track on the NEC BBY to RTE and third track from RTE to PVD
    Others?
DISCUSS!
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:21 pm

realistically....#3, and maybe #5 (***a 4th track between Forest Hills and TRANSFER interlocking(Readville Station)) on your list....expect new equipment to be on the front runner...maybe an modern Dispatching Center at High St.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby NH2060 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:49 pm

I was wondering about this myself when I heard the news.

#1? Not a chance IMO
#2? Same :-P
#3? Done and ready to go well before then for Somerville and Medford. Idk if Needham could be accomplished by 2024, but I believe the whole ROW is banked, etc.
#4? I think you'll have to talk with A-town about that!
#5? The WB/SB platform @ Hyde Park aside the ROW has room for a 4th track Readville-Forest Hills. South of Readville? Perhaps Rte. 128, maaayyybeee to Canton Jct. (as Amtrak has plans for extending the 3rd track), but all the way to Providence? No way. If there's any extra capacity PDV-Rte. 128 it'll be in the form of a dedicated set of HSR tracks, either within the NEC or on a separate ROW (the former I think being the planned alternative, but not until after 2030).

If there are any projects that should get fast tracked it's:

1) New drawbridge (or fixed span) @ Saugus River.
2) Improvements to lift speed restrictions on the Eastern Route (if possible).
3) Blue Line to Lynn or extra shuttle CR service to/from Beverly. The Lynnway and Salem Tpke. could become a nightmare during that time.
4) NOT South Coast Rail unless extra capacity north of Canton Jct. permits more than 10 trains a day each to Fall River and New Bedford.
5) Indigo Line. That will probably be the ultimate "stress test".
6) The big one.. Expanded capacity @ South Station. A LOT of capacity.
7) Extra leased equipment for the commuter rail, especially coaches.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby The EGE » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:54 pm

Organisation vor Elektronik vor Beton - Organisation before Electronics before Concrete. And as corollary to that, small concrete before big concrete.

Putting bus routes and CR lines on clock-facing headways. Preventive maintenance. Better management of passenger flow in and out of stations. Improving your system and local area maps.

Easier fare payment. Live bus countdown clocks at every rapid transit station with bus connections. Improved signal systems to allow closer headways.

Additional rolling stock, and the power and maintenance systems to actually run them. Every heavy rail station and all Green Line subway stations made accessible, and where necessary additional platform space or headhouses built. Infrastructure improvements where you'll get the most value for your money (which tends to be a lot of unsexy track work, removing slow zones, adding suburban passing sidings, etc). Fix the N/R Line bridges.

Only once every single one of those is guaranteed funding and actually going to be finished before an Olympics do you even start to think about megaprojects. (I am assuming that GLX and SSX will be largely complete by 2024 regardless of Olympics.) Adding a third track to the Red Line is hilariously impossible. Fourth track in the Southwest Corridor is near-impossible unless you want to deep-bore the Orange Line and take its slots. Additional Green Line extensions (except a Sullivan-Everett-Chelsea branch if and only if a major stadium development is located there) and Red Line extension doesn't actually do anything for Olympic-style traffic. NSRL requires an immense commitment to dual-modes and/or partial electrification.

Third track from Forest Hills to 128 or Canton Junction is actually doable, but that's a commuter project and not an Olympics problem. South of Canton you have the Canton Viaduct and a lot of narrow bridges; before 2040 true-HSR dreamland plans, all you're going to see is passing sidings at stations.
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:15 pm

The holy grail for me?

At the minimum:
Upgrades of every non-NEC, non- freight clearance CR line inside route 128 to Indigo-standards, with big park-and-rides at 128 and clock-facing schedules with ~10 minute peak headways into and out of North and South Stations.

Even better:
Add in limited GJ service from North Station to South Station and the South Boston Seaport via West Station/Brighton Landing, possibly even adding in Assembly, as East Somerville, Beacon Park, and the Seaport are the biggest parcels of undeveloped land and will likely see the lion's share of any Olympic development.

The "cost is no option" option:
Build the North-South Rail Link, string wires up over every Indigo-ized route inside 128, skipping over any DMU-stage of development and going straight to EMU's. Most push-pull service inside 128 would terminate on the surface, with through-routing handled by the EMU's and the under stations. Add in big transfer capacity from push-pull sets to the EMU's at all terminal stations, and order a dozen or so dual-modes to allow limited through-service between possible venues outside of 128 (think connecting Rowing, which would almost certainly be held at Lake Qunisigamond, to Sailing, which would almost certainly be held in Marblehead or off of Cape Ann).

There are other alternatives, but nothing gets you anywhere near the bang for the buck of turning every possible CR line inside 128 into a rapid rapid regional transit network that would rival the RER or the BART in terms of coverage.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby rethcir » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:32 pm

Shinkansen to Gillette.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:44 pm

Someone call Mitsubishi/Nippon Sharyo, we could get a JR-Maglev test track to Foxboro!

As an added bonus, now Pats games would be an easy 7-10 minute ride from Back Bay and the Boston bars. Just think of it, an urban NFL stadium without any of the headaches of a real urban NFL stadium!
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:30 am

Red-Blue connector.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby dieciduej » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:21 am

None of the above!

With environmental impact studies, litigation on how the government is strong-arming people to move or take their property, car manufactures suing because someone else got the contract and so on. At least 10+ years before anything would get done. Oh, that's 2025 or greater.

I just look at the Big Dig, Green Line extension as examples as time consumed.

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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:31 am

Be realistic guys.

The kind of transit improvements which will be implemented for such an event cannot be discussed on this site. Remember the MBTA's contribution to the Atlanta Games.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:22 pm

Maybe they could get us prepayment and stations for the [road train] lines like they have in Curitiba, if anyone else here caught a glimpse of that during the world cup...
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Rbts Stn » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:28 pm

I would LIKE to see many of these.

I EXPECT to see just this:


More Dunkin' Donuts outlets near/in T Facilities.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby TomNelligan » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:22 pm

I can see this going either of two ways. The IOC decision on the 2024 site is two years away, and I believe that there is a definite possibility that Boston's bid will be withdrawn before then as a lot of citizens who are not pols, real estate speculators, or construction contractors become increasingly concerned about what a financial black hole for taxpayers and utter construction/congestion mess the Boston Olympics could be. Organized opposition already exists and is likely to grow, in my opinion. But if Boston does get the IOC bid in 2017, then significant transit improvements will be needed so people can get around the various venues in the region. No idea what specific form they'll take, but in the end that would depend on what is (a) still going to be useful once the games are done, (b) funded, and (c) can be worked through the environmental, NIMBY, and pork barrel maze in time to be implemented before 2024.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:55 pm

Realistically, if we get the bid, I'd expect the following:

Putting DMU services on the front burner
Putting GLX on the front burner (yes, they are dragging their feet, and no, without the Olympics, I'm not holding my breath for GLX)
Worcester Line improvements, including signal system and platforms between South Station and Riverside, including stations at Riverside and Allston/Brighton
Putting Red-Blue connector and/or Urban Ring *designing* back on the front burner (but not holding my breath on construction)
A few infill stations (West Lynn, Pope's Hill, Edgeworth, etc)
Maybe some more double tracking (triple tracking PVD line at 128) and signal improvements and removing any slow orders that have been around a while, and other non-sexy improvements
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby rethcir » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:11 am

I'm thinking about what puts more hotels and colleges in easier access of the core. Silver Line To Light Rail? DMU or EMU shuttles to Salem, Worcester? Some kind of rapid transit to the cluster of hotels at Exit 27 on 95 in Waltham or exit 15 in Dedham? Tear up two lanes on Route 1 North and build a DMU line with stops at various hotels?
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