Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:26 pm

jbvb wrote:On Halloween, I wound up standing in the last car (the 2 plainclothes & 1 uniformed cop present were all seated), so I watched out the rear end as we entered Salem. The tunnel widens to 2 track width a bit before the location of the former Peabody line wye turnout's points. The single track tunnel enters the double-track portion on the westerly side, but swings to the easterly side before it reaches the portal by the former tower. So there is room for both a Peabody turnout and an end-of-double-track turnout under Bridge St, albeit they might have to be lapped, and both would be curved.

I note that the excavation for the parking garage comes right up to the ballast of the current single track, which is on the east side of the available RoW. If they put garage or garage appurtenances there, it will be in the way of the potential 2nd platform/track.


Second track would not start in the tunnel or at the tunnel portal. It's only configured for the Peabody turnout. There'd need to be about 50-75 feet of running room past the portal for a track turnout onto the grass on the easterly side of the station. See here:

Image

All that space on the left side of the pic is available if they level the ground and insert the turnout. Then see on the overhead view how that grassy knoll runs the full length of the station until the current platform edge where the mainline track ever so slightly starts drifting over to that side: http://goo.gl/maps/teyYM. There's virtually no doubt there's room over there to do all they need to track + platform + egresses onto the walking path + retaining wall work.

Where the current station renovation has to avoid screwing things up is not shoving the raised platform so close to the portal that the switch/turnout is blocked by an idling train. Then all that space is useless, and to fix it you'd have to railing-off the end of the platform into an extended egress, back up the first-car stop position a couple dozen feet back so the switch is clear, and add an equivalent-length platform extension on the opposite end to compensate the lost space and round the platform back up to an even 800 ft. It's non-fatal. Especially since nothing would have to be altered on the portal end of the full-high other than roping off the platform edge with a railing to create the extra running room for the switch. But it's definitely bonehead if the current design is so shortsighted it forces them to do more work and spend more money later when the capacity is needed. They're approaching this tortured project as a parking garage that just happens to have a train platform attached to it as opposed to a wholly integrated train station that's supposed to grow with the town. It's fine if the 2nd platform is a later add-on. They don't need it right this second. It's stupid if their haste today creates more busywork later or makes them hedge on putting off the second platform for many years more well after the need arises...and them not caving until their pain threshold with service levels has been well-exceeded. There's no reason for provisioning to even be a question mark unless the project managers are so consumed by the garage that the trains (much-improved access as this renovation will be) are an afterthought. The town seems more preoccupied with getting bent out of shape about that stupid walking path grade-crossing of the freight track that's a complete non-issue to solve than they are the chances they'll get significantly more train service in coming years. That's a very strange and troubling disconnect for them to have.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby The EGE » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:35 am

Image

My photo from October 27th, CC-BY-SA. Click on the image for the image file page with the full-resolution version.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:15 am

Apparently the new garage will open at 4 pm Friday. No word on whether that includes the new platform or not, and honestly, looking from my train this morning, I'm not sure how complete it really is. I'd say substantially compete, but not 100%. Lots of minor things to finish up, which I guess they can do while people are already parking there.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:37 am

deathtopumpkins wrote:Apparently the new garage will open at 4 pm Friday. No word on whether that includes the new platform or not, and honestly, looking from my train this morning, I'm not sure how complete it really is. I'd say substantially compete, but not 100%. Lots of minor things to finish up, which I guess they can do while people are already parking there.


I think the platform's last. They were gunning to get the garage substantially complete enough to open because they cynically threw that in as "mitigation" for the Green Line Extension delays. It's probably going to be next Spring before all the site disruption has subsided.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:24 pm

The new platform opens as well. The low level platform and old mini-high will be retired. The new platform should be able to platform 3 sets(doubles) of doors. This will be until the rest of the platform can be constructed. Halloween will be interesting for sure!
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby jbvb » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:38 pm

Dusting this off for a little research I did last month: At the station portal, the existing single track is on the east side of a double-track-width opening. The double track width extends perhaps 200 feet into the tunnel, past where the tunnel towards Peabody joins the main line. The single track portion of the tunnel begins at the westerly side of the double-track portion. The existing single main slews from the east side to the west side. This is all consistent with history of the tunnel construction: Bridge St. was grade-separated first, at a time when the whole new tunnel was planned as double track. But to save money, the part between the 1957 station and the Bridge St. segment was built for single track, aligned with the westerly main track at both ends.

There was room for a turnout toward Peabody, so it would also be possible to move the end of double track from the current Northey Point turnout location to the Boston side of the station, had the MBTA the will and the budget to build a station with two accessible high platforms.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:42 pm

So, if I hear you right, the new platform effectively blocks having double track at the station?
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby jbvb » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:59 pm

IMO, yes. F-Line's Nov. 1 photo shows the circa-1952 double track portal with the track on the easterly RoW and the platform taking up the westerly.
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Re: Salem Station on the Eastern Route Discussion

Postby The EGE » Thu May 19, 2016 9:09 am

And that's not the only problem with the platform! They're replacing the entire platform (at the contractor's expense) because it was built with a more than 2% slope. That's a significant ADA violation, as a person in a wheelchair without locking wheels could find themselves rolling off the platform.
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