Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

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

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:58 am

One look at the T's rapid transit ridership numbers per mile and you'll see that Boston is desperately in need of some major expansions of rapid transit-type service.

The N-S link with fast I accelerating EMUs is the It's opportunity to do this, and in the process turn every double-tracked CR line inside 128 into something much closer to the WMATA or RER in terms of service and station frequency. You tie Quincy, Brockton, Lowel, Lynn, Salem, Waltham, and Framingham into the rapid transit network through RER-ification and the link and it will do amazing things for the city and our surrounding urban centers.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby ohalloranchris » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:26 am

<<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>>

Fair point, but could the thing be built in time for 2024 when we won't even know our Olympic fate until 2017? That's seven years to build the tunnel, and procure new equipment etc (dual modes locos etc if necessary).
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby octr202 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:03 am

Not to pile on, but but there's no way the NSRL could be done in 7 years. It might take 7 years just to do the engineering for it. Such a rush job would risk being wildly over budget at best.

One point about the Red-Blue however. There's limited access points to/from the airport, and I could see the Ted Williams becoming more and more restricted during such an event. Hopefully that would include the Silver Line having dedicated space there, but who knows. RBC likely has great potential to relieve congestion for airport access and take pressure off both the overburdened Silver Line and the downtown core stations. At a time when the rapid transit system might be functioning at a sustained high level of ridership for over two weeks, that sounds like a good idea. It might just be small and contained enough to be doable in a few years time - although even that's a long shot.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby djlong » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:46 am

I think 7 years is do-able. You're talking about 1 mile of 2 tunnels that have to do a snake dance that's already been designed. Then you have a couple of miles to the 4 portals (2 north, 2 south) and the interlockings that you'd have to build. The question then comes up as to how big a cavern are you excavating for North Station Under and South Station Under Under.

Don't bother with Central Station. As much as it makes sense from certain points of view, it's not strictly necessary and bulding a THIRD huge underground cavern only costs more and takes longer. In the interim, you electrify out to 128 and those trains (like Anderson to Dedham to use an example of the Lowell Line) are EMUs that take the NSRL while the remaining diesels (like Lowell to North Station and eventually Manchester NH to North Station) terminate at the existing platforms.

I agree that the idea of hopping on an EMU at the Manchester Airport (Bedford NH) station and taking it all the way to the T.F. Green Airport station is not doable in that time frame.

Having said that - I don't think it's going to happen.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Arlington » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:37 pm

To the list of "small favors" that one might hope/expect:
- Silver-under-D-Street
- Silver uses dedicated downramp into TWT
- Reconfigure Alewife rotary (funded) & add floors 7&8 to Alewife Garage
- Back Bay Amtrak ventilation fixed
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:43 pm

Arlington wrote:To the list of "small favors" that one might hope/expect:
- Silver-under-D-Street
- Silver uses dedicated downramp into TWT
- Reconfigure Alewife rotary (funded) & add floors 7&8 to Alewife Garage
- Back Bay Amtrak ventilation fixed

These things are doable, but most transit "improvements" for the Olympics will NOT involve rail. The major issue will be getting large numbers of people to sites not reached by the present system. Temporary service with temporary vehicles.
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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 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:18 am

Gerry6309 wrote:These things are doable, but most transit "improvements" for the Olympics will NOT involve rail. The major issue will be getting large numbers of people to sites not reached by the present system. Temporary service with temporary vehicles.

I totally agree. I suspect a cross-shaped circulator bus network with a hub at Olympic stadium (or Broadway T) will get you all you need:
- North Station to Olympic via South Station
- Allston/West Station to Olympic via Copley
- Olympic to Franklin Park via Olympic Village
- Olympic to Seaport via Haul Road

This also lets "local" Olympic traffic circulate semi-separetely from intercity and commuter traffic
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:19 am

Arlington wrote:
Gerry6309 wrote:These things are doable, but most transit "improvements" for the Olympics will NOT involve rail. The major issue will be getting large numbers of people to sites not reached by the present system. Temporary service with temporary vehicles.

I totally agree. I suspect a cross-shaped circulator bus network with a hub at Olympic stadium (or Broadway T) will get you all you need:
- North Station to Olympic via South Station
- Allston/West Station to Olympic via Copley
- Olympic to Franklin Park via Olympic Village
- Olympic to Seaport via Haul Road

This also lets "local" Olympic traffic circulate semi-separetely from intercity and commuter traffic

There will also be longer runs to outlying locations, some of which might overload the Commuter Rail e.g.. Lawrence for rowing.

Let's take the pie out of the sky and put it back in the freezer.
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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 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:13 pm

Am I in trouble because I made a post which only talked about how (mostly) buses are needed and (mostly not) trains?
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:55 pm

Arlington wrote:Am I in trouble because I made a post which only talked about how (mostly) buses are needed and (mostly not) trains?

You notice that I almost always talk around the subject ;)

It is almost impossible to discuss rapid transit in Boston without mentioning the feeder lines, most of which are FORMER car lines!
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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 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:59 pm

Gerry6309 wrote:
Arlington wrote:Am I in trouble because I made a post which only talked about how (mostly) buses are needed and (mostly not) trains?

You notice that I almost always talk around the subject ;)

It is almost impossible to discuss rapid transit in Boston without mentioning the feeder lines, most of which are FORMER car lines!


As someone who most certainly WASN'T there for the trolley lines (though I was almost out of diapers by the time the Washington street el got torn down), a favorite hobby when driving around town or the suburbs with friends is pointing out lonely old trolley poles and smugly reminding them "the train used to run here, and here, and here, etc".

It really drives home what we used to have and how much we lost, especially in a city filled with transplants who don't remember it. Given how extremely overburdened the Boston area streets and highways are, not to mention how bad things are on the T lately, it's crusial to me that we don't forget that we used to have. Between the branch lines, the trolleys, the El's, and the old high-speed lines, the BER/B&M/etc of 80 years ago would have been perfectly suited for handling the travel needs of 2015 Boston. NYC, Chicago, and even Philly and SF kept far more of what they once had, and today their systems all arguably blow ours out of the water in terms of adequately meeting the needs of their citizens.

In contrast, Boston is feeling more and more like LA, Dallas, or Atlanta, the only difference being the bad weather and brick buildings.

Now that I think of it, in that case your assessment that the 2024 transit improvements will play out like "1996: The Sequel" with lots of [rubber-wheeled asphalt trolleys] seems spot-on.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:48 pm

Beware of those old poles. The genuine ones are full height, rusty, and have guy wires tied on about halfway up and the remains of a span wire on a bracket or ring at the top. Well maintained, painted poles, usually short, were planted by power companies, solely as back guys. Some exist along former lines, and may have replaced the originals. Rounded caps on the top are a dead give-away - never used by trolley lines. Rake angles are usually wrong too. Should point away from where the tracks were.
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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 Cosmo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:16 am

Ok, guys...
This is all verry groovy, but we're supposed to be talking OLYMPICS here... Image
So to get back on track, (and to mention the dreaded rubber-tyred untermachienen,) just how many buses would we guess the T would be acquiring in preparation for the Olympics, whether they make it through the bidding or not? :wink:
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby edbear » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:12 pm

Any discussion of MBTA permanent improvements should not be linked to the a very temporary proposed Summer Olympics. I am opposed to a Boston Olympics, but other than co ordinating with public safety and transportation agencies, I'd stay away as much as possible from involving political institutions. To accomodate the short term transportation needs, I'd poll commuter rail and bus operators throughout the USA who anticipate deliveries of equipment during the Olympic years. Buses and commuter rail equipment will fit on just about any operator in the country. I'd have their deliveries made to Boston for break in and short term lease. The commuter rail equipment could expand existing schedules or add new ones. I'd work out a deal to temporarily license the out of town buses to new Olympic oriented routes and have non-MBTA personnel (hired by the Boston Olympic Committee) operate them. After the Olympics, I'd send the equipment to its buyer. The biggest obstacle is probably parking. Here and there are abandoned shopping centers that could temporarily be used. It is summer, so most public schools will not be open and could be used for parking. Any MBTA permanent improvements should be presented to the people who will be using it over a number of years and paying for them over a number of years, not the people who put on the extravaganza and who are on the first plane out of here when it is over.
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Re: Boston's 2024 Olympic Bid: Posssible MBTA Improvements

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:02 pm

edbear wrote:To accomodate the short term transportation needs, I'd poll commuter rail and bus operators throughout the USA who anticipate deliveries of equipment during the Olympic years. Buses and commuter rail equipment will fit on just about any operator in the country.

Not quite. I think only CDOT, Metro-North, NJT, SEPTA, MARC and AMT have commuter rail coaches equipped for both low-and hi-level platforms. Everywhere else uses low-level-boarding-only equipment.
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