Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

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

Postby BandA » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:06 am

Where are they going to put the trains if they put a temporary Olympic stadium at Widdet Circle? And another venue at Beacon Park?

I don't think South Station expansion will be ready in time, which will be a HUGE problem. Maybe the US Treasury can cut a check to the Post Office to buy out the sorting facility. The post office is closing almost-new sorting facilities in Waltham and Shrewsbury, so they can downsize Boston and shift some stuff elsewhere.

I like the idea of temporary (portable for reuse at special events?) fare gates for the CR stations, with trains every 15 min. Full high level platforms on all stations of the Framingham line to reduce dwell. Major ADA compliance headache at Newtonville / West Newton.

Extend D - Riverside via Highland Branch out to the main line at either Auburndale or Wellesley Farms to facilitate CR transfers.

Break down and buy electric engines for Providence line trains, to maximize acceleration / reduce interference of CR on the crowded NEC. Also electrify Fairmont line and use off-the-shelf (or whatever MNCR is buying) EMU's.

Implement Back Bay - Waterfront shuttle (magically going through or over the yards) using push-pull instead of DMU. Buy a second class of smaller diesel engines designed to pull up to 3-4 coaches at speed. Use these small trains for the shuttle and smaller lines / midday & wknd service.

Adding a green line branch to Needham (or extending Needham CR to meet the green line) probably won't happen in time unless the rail-trail project is halted. You can't simultaneously pull up tracks and install tracks, lol.

Need storage tracks everywhere, and express tracks for green/red/orange lines. Press existing orange/red fleet back into service to supplement Olympic service.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby RailBus63 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:16 am

My prediction of the public transportation improvements that could be realistically expected to be in place by 2024:

Realistically -
- Green Line extension from Lechmere to Medford and Union Square Somerville
- Upgrading the Fairmount commuter rail line to the Indigo Line
- Silver Line extension from Logan Airport to Chelsea
- Indigo Line service from Allston to the Boston Convention Center
- South Coast commuter rail (currently scheduled to be completed in 2024 - I'm guessing this gets the timetable moved up).

Probably -
- Indigo Line Allston to North Station via the Grand Junction
- Upgrades to the freight line that passes Gillette Stadium to allow for more frequent train service than the few trains that are currently run on Patriots game days

Maybe -
- Red-Blue Line connector to Charles-MGH (I think this is the one big project that benefits from Boston 2024, since planning is already underway)
- Complete replacement of the Type 7 and Type 8 fleets on the Green Line
- Electrics for the Providence Line

That's pretty much it. As JoeD put it, the planning and environmental review process is just too daunting for any game-changing new projects. The meat and potatoes of the Olympic transportation network will be limousines and hundreds of shuttle buses running on dedicated streets and highway lanes that will be closed off to other motorists.

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

Postby NH2060 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:32 am

RailBus63 wrote:- Complete replacement of the Type 7 and Type 8 fleets on the Green Line

Ohhh no no no no we will need every last one of them! Traffic at rush hour and on weekend evenings warrants 3 car trains as it is. The Kenmore/Hynes-Park St./North Station segment(s) of the GL can be packed like sardines to the t (pardon the pun). Add in all the tourist traffic, etc. and you will probably need 4 or 5 car trains running at all times for those 2 weeks. If the Type 7s and 8s can even BE MU'd for over 3 cars.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:48 am

NH2060 wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:- Complete replacement of the Type 7 and Type 8 fleets on the Green Line

Ohhh no no no no we will need every last one of them! Traffic at rush hour and on weekend evenings warrants 3 car trains as it is. The Kenmore/Hynes-Park St./North Station segment(s) of the GL can be packed like sardines to the t (pardon the pun). Add in all the tourist traffic, etc. and you will probably need 4 or 5 car trains running at all times for those 2 weeks. If the Type 7s and 8s can even BE MU'd for over 3 cars.

B realistic! The oldest Type 7s will be almost 40 years old by 2024. Part of the reason for the current rehab is rust, and various components will be obsolete by the time 2024 rolls along. They were a good buy back in 1986, but even good things need replacement eventually.

The Central Subway is at or near capacity now with all services from the west running through to the north. The only source of additional capacity is to add service from the Tremont Portal through to the North Side and turn stuff from the west at Park St. and that isn't going to happen. The Somerville?Medford Extension will extend existing lines, making them more prone to disruption. The loss of loops at North Station (already) and Lechmere (coming) further restricts options.When a North Station bound train arrived at Canal St. it departed immediately. Time a current North Station train from NB arrival to SB departure. That is lost capacity!
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby RailBus63 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:40 am

NH2060 wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:- Complete replacement of the Type 7 and Type 8 fleets on the Green Line

Ohhh no no no no we will need every last one of them! Traffic at rush hour and on weekend evenings warrants 3 car trains as it is. The Kenmore/Hynes-Park St./North Station segment(s) of the GL can be packed like sardines to the t (pardon the pun). Add in all the tourist traffic, etc. and you will probably need 4 or 5 car trains running at all times for those 2 weeks. If the Type 7s and 8s can even BE MU'd for over 3 cars.


There is a tremendous opportunity here to transition the Green Line in one fell swoop from the overly-heavy existing fleet to lightweight rolling stock that is state-of-the-art for 21st century light rail systems. The excessive weight of the Type 7 and 8 cars prevents the T from bringing in true lightweight cars in a piecemeal fashion. Use the Olympics to refresh the GL fleet all at once, preferably with a longer multi-section car like the Bombardier Flexity.

What do we do with the 24 new Type 9 cars, you say? Upgrade the Mattapan-Ashmont Line and use eight or ten of them there, and keep the rest as an emergency fleet of spares for the Green Line or sell them.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:08 am

RailBus63 wrote:
NH2060 wrote:
RailBus63 wrote:- Complete replacement of the Type 7 and Type 8 fleets on the Green Line

Ohhh no no no no we will need every last one of them! Traffic at rush hour and on weekend evenings warrants 3 car trains as it is. The Kenmore/Hynes-Park St./North Station segment(s) of the GL can be packed like sardines to the t (pardon the pun). Add in all the tourist traffic, etc. and you will probably need 4 or 5 car trains running at all times for those 2 weeks. If the Type 7s and 8s can even BE MU'd for over 3 cars.


There is a tremendous opportunity here to transition the Green Line in one fell swoop from the overly-heavy existing fleet to lightweight rolling stock that is state-of-the-art for 21st century light rail systems. The excessive weight of the Type 7 and 8 cars prevents the T from bringing in true lightweight cars in a piecemeal fashion. Use the Olympics to refresh the GL fleet all at once, preferably with a longer multi-section car like the Bombardier Flexity.

What do we do with the 24 new Type 9 cars, you say? Upgrade the Mattapan-Ashmont Line and use eight or ten of them there, and keep the rest as an emergency fleet of spares for the Green Line or sell them.

Much of the existing GL fleet's design is predicated on making the car fit in the subway while keeping the maximum capacity. Multi section artculateds with non-swiveling trucks give the MBTA engineers fits! These cars have their articulations suspended between the trucks instead of being right on top of a truck as now. The damage in a derailment will be much different from the infamous slewing bearings in the Type 7. It will be another very difficult procurement, with disappointment, lawsuits and recriminations. There will be no fallback, the design will have to be made good. All of the existing designs are set up for street running, we have almost none left!
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:31 am

The simplest (and relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things) option then would be to combine this massive new fleet procurement with major signalling and trackage improvements to eliminate the handful of tight corners and loops that dictate the current Green Line stock's "fred-flintstone" form factor.

Olympics or not, pulling the Green Line kicking and screaming into the 21st needs to be a priority.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Arlington » Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:55 am

Much of what makes Boston attractive is that we already have the transit infrastructure we need. The Olympics weeks will end up looking like 20 "Boston Marathon" days in a row--sustained levels of business overlaid on a much-lighter-than-usual rush crush. Mostly it'll end up being a question of staffing a rush for 16 hours a day, not requiring new vehicles or track miles (other than normal SoGR / fleet renewal).

Contraflow bus lanes from SS out Boylston to New Balance is just about the most new you'll need.

Yes, they will have to deliver on most of the Vision 2024 , which includes GLX, SOuth Station expansion, and core DMU plan, but don't expect even any small bonus stuff (like Red-Blue or GLX to MVP/16) unless those prove to have a "normal" justification. There is no sugar daddy gonna shower trains on us just because we'll have a busy 20 days.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:51 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:The simplest (and relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things) option then would be to combine this massive new fleet procurement with major signalling and trackage improvements to eliminate the handful of tight corners and loops that dictate the current Green Line stock's "fred-flintstone" form factor.

Olympics or not, pulling the Green Line kicking and screaming into the 21st needs to be a priority.

Would you like to be the person who hands the land taking by eminent domain notice to the Park St. Church to fix the curve entering Park St.?

The loops are what makes the whole mess work - without them routes cannot terminate downtown. The GLX will make Brattle loop more important - and that is the tightest of all! Of course, the solution is to give Mayor Walsh his wish, tear down City Hall and reroute the subway through Adams Sq. - not that difficult, much of the old subway is still there!
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby sery2831 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:03 am

Gerry6309 wrote: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.


Are there pictures of this? Because I have looked and never could find a photo!
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:04 am

The 0251 series vehicles used may have been painted or wrapped for the service. They were delivered to Atlanta from the Manufacturer and then to Boston.
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The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Arlington » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:40 am

RailBus63 wrote:- Red-Blue Line connector to Charles-MGH (I think this is the one big project that benefits from Boston 2024, since planning is already underway)

The Red-Blue is particularly hard to justify in an Olympics context: it isn't like there's going to be a whole lot of hotels or venues out along the Blue Line. Since Cambridge can now get to the airport via the Silver, the Red-Blue's political justification has been reduced to "job access" by the disadvantaged inner North Shore to the Cambridge Tech boom, and the Olympics don't really change that. Yes, something will happen at Suffolk Downs, but it won't be one of the headliner venues, so you don't need Red-Blue to get there. The engineering justification of Red-Blue as relieving pressure in the core is highly valid, but that's never been able to push it to construction and I don't see the Olympics changing that. The real hope is that sustained daily transit ridership growth shows the engineering need as the core bogs down. That's possible.

As for the planning that had been underway (and had been fairly advanced...I think they were on the threshold of construction engineering, but refused to advance because shovel-ready plans eventually get funds diverted to them). M understanding is that they let the Environmental Impact Statement info/data get stale and that they might have to redo it, rather than dust it off, setting it back years.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby dowlingm » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:12 pm

Best case scenario: Boston gets the organising committee to get commitments from higher government to fund a bunch of improvements, and (after it's too late to cancel them) some other country wins the bid :-D

I had a great time at Vancouver 2010 but a summer games in the US seems like a good tourism opportunity for every US state other than Mass. to encourage BOS area residents to travel for a month, given the security theatre which is sure to ensue.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Disney Guy » Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:22 pm

<<Time a current North Station train from NB arrival to SB departure. That is lost capacity!>>

Loss of the loop at North Station did not detract from the capacity of revenue trackage.

Another train could be loading inbound passengers when an outbound train arrives at North Station to terminate its run.

I am guessing that the track from Park St. to Lechmere could support all of the trains that would be running once the two Somerville extensions are completed. The Brattle Loop and North Station could be used as holding areas to cut in extra trains or to short turn trains in the event of delays to inbound trains doing through routing either to Somerville or to the west. Under normal conditions, practically all trains serving Somerville would be through routed to the west.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby djlong » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:56 am

One of the methodologies they're going to use to keep costs down is temporary venues. When the IOC restructured the bid process over the past couple of years, they changed their policy regarding how much funding a bid could get form the IOC. In short, a *temporary* structure would be paid for by the IOC (who gets their money from licensing and ticket deals). A *permanent* structure is solely the responsibility of the Organizing Committee (that's what happens to the Bid Committee if they win - they get renamed).

So the cost for "Boston's Olympic Stadium" would be borne by the IOC since it's going to be temporary. The cost for transit improvements would be borne by ANYone else (the OOC, the state, the feds, etc).

Me? I think the Olympics would be the last chance in a VERY long time to even get the idea of the NSRL on the table. Despite the fact that nobody talks about the NSRL these days (except that flurry last year when Dukakis and Weld made a joint appearance in support of it), the Mass Legislature put money towards updating the reports to 'keep them current' so that a future start of the project doesn have to start from "Paperwork Square One". A Philadelphia-style commuter rail system could do a LOT towards moving people in and out of the city.
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