Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby Aerie » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:36 pm

A friend of mine lived a block from the Hastings stop for many years and commuted daily to Boston. Hard to imagine Weston as a "factory town" but my friend said the stop was named after the former Hastings Piano Factory that was located at the crossing. I asked him once why the train still stopped there when there were so few riders: he said that several influential members of "the Vault" lived within walking distance. I guess many of those people are now in Charlotte, Santander, Edinburgh, and Toronto where their former banks' new owners are located :-D
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby butts260 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:11 pm

Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill
Hook and Hastings was a pipe organ builder with its factory located at Hastings. They went out of business in the mid thirties. I visited their factory when I was a kid; I seem to remember the factory was right along the tracks and I suppose there was a siding there for them. Pipe organs are big and heavy . . . I suppose transport by rail was the way to go before eighteen-wheelers.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby Aerie » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:41 pm

Thank you. It was pipe organs, not pianos.

There is a picture of the old factory on this page: http://www.wellesleywestonmagazine.com/ ... lgreen.htm
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby trainhq » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:08 am

Reply to F line.

Yes, a route 20/128 stop makes sense in a lot of ways. You could actually serve commuters who work in the adjacent office buildings, and pick up traffic off route 20. However, this would be in the context of a western Route 128 station. If the T were to do that, they would do it on the Framingham line, about two miles away, which is already close enough to parking at RIverside that less work would be necessary for access. That's where they'd put it. The additional site and access work at Route 20 and 128 (non-trivial, if you''ve seen the area) would put this area in second place for such a station.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby Arborwayfan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:01 pm

How much time would eliminating one or other or both of these two little flag stops save? And how much money? At Hastings there's not even a platform to maintain; that station may cost less per passenger than some of the bigger, busier ones. Isn't it good to have small stops that are in walking distance of houses? Even if the people who live there are rich? If there are 6 parking spaces and the average daily boardings are 80 (Wikipedia, no idea where they get that, but assume it's true for sake of argument), that suggests that quite a few people are walking (and probably some being dropped off). Either way, that's less space taken up by parking lots, less parking lot maintenance to pay for, less gas to drive to the station, and more chance that riding the train will seem convenient and attractive. When we get talking about the Old Colony lines people complain that the stations are all outside of the towns where everyone has to drive to use them. Here it sounds like they're not. I grew up in Roslindale, where the Needham line had a string of four stations with smallish parking lots (if Bellvue has one at all) and lots of people who walked. I know the Needham line could take the extra minute or two because it was a short line, but isn't it better to leave the stations that encourage pedestrian friendly development out in a suburb where everyone can afford all the cars they want and almost all the other forces are pushing against walking places and even against going by train.
Would it be possible to create some kind of cheap flagstop signal that would tie in with cab signals, and put up signs telling people the train will only stop if the signal is pushed a minute and a half before the train arrives, so that if no one pushed the button the engineer wouldn't have to slow down (or not as much, at least?)
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby trainhq » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:17 pm

Well, it's not like they stop all that often anyway. If you examine the schedule, it's only a couple of trains each way,
so the ridership is actually pretty compressed. If may be similar in number for those trains to the ridership at Kendall Green,
although I'm not sure.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby diburning » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:18 pm

Arborwayfan wrote:How much time would eliminating one or other or both of these two little flag stops save?


Not much. I ride the fitchburg line on weekends (no weekend trains stop there) and it still takes about an hour and a half to get from North Station to Fitchburg.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby rhodiecub2 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:57 pm

I do hope that the T gets rid of both stops. They're really worthless, dangerous, and do not need to exist with Kendall Green.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:50 am

The "Miles on the MBTA" blog finally got around to riding the mid- Fitchburg stops, including the Weston trio, in a posting blitz while it was reviewing the new Wachusett digs. The Hastings write-up is particularly...um...amusing. :wink:

Kendal Green: https://milesonthembta.blogspot.com/201 ... green.html
Hastings: https://milesonthembta.blogspot.com/201 ... tings.html
Silver Hill: https://milesonthembta.blogspot.com/201 ... -hill.html
Lincoln: https://milesonthembta.blogspot.com/201 ... ncoln.html
Wachusett: https://milesonthembta.blogspot.com/201 ... usett.html



The 128 CR stop is starting to gain some public-private momentum as City of Waltham, the Polaroid complex mixed-use developers, and the engineering firm they've hired out-of-pocket have unveiled the transpo Master Plan for the area. Their initial proposal, formally released about a month ago, includes:
-- Contiguous street grid through Polaroid spanning Route 117 and Totten Pond Rd.
-- Bus stop improvements (big deal for the #70, which is currently the most-frequent transit here)
-- Pedestrian crossing improvements of Routes 20 and 117
-- The fully-funded Central Mass trail from Beaver St. to Polaroid + the crossing of 128 to trail head at the New York Life driveway (no dice on further west because Weston and Wayland have canceled their trail segments from NIMBY backlash)
-- Formal proposal to MassHighway to finally link Route 117 into the Route 20 exit so residential Stow Rd. doesn't get awkwardly slammed with back-tracking traffic (unclear whether it'll be a second set of ramps off a collector/distributor, or a makeover of Green St. into a frontage road feeding a revamped rotary).

The 117/20 connector is the only thing that requires a state funding commitment as city and developer are paying for all else, and THAT is the missing link that'll let them go full-force at building the 128 commuter rail stop. Platform and driveway access has to be on the Route 20 side via the remediated sand pits the Biogen campus is built on to avoid any impacts to the Stony Brook wetlands, so they need a formal commitment on the 117/20 connection before adding the CR component. If MassHighway is game for it, then Waltham + the developers will quickly move to unveil their renders of the CR station (probably with the 70 bus roped around to terminate there) as cherry on top for the whole thing. We're legitimately getting close to this becoming a thing, and the private money wants in on the build costs. Just have to see how this trial balloon of a 117/20 connector road fares, because that's the last hurdle to clear before they can make a formal station proposal.



As far as the Weston trio goes, I have no qualms using Silver Hill as a bargaining chip Town of Weston can keep if that's what it takes to whack Hastings ASAP and get their preemptive buy-in to not contest KG being closed when the new superstation gets built 2000 ft. down the tracks (probably with easy extension of the town DPW driveway for direct ped access from Church St. to the new station). SH does sorta work for the league-average stop spacing on that stretch of Fitchburg Line, it's grade separated, and so long as it can retain its limited-service exemption from the Mass Architectural Board from full-length full-high installations there are useful minor accessibility improvements they can make to it at very low cost. Paving the parking lot, paving the platform, installing basic lighting, and grading a slope from the parking lot down to platform level for better accessibility than the stairs would all be things that could be done for a combined few hundred grand. Since the 128 stop would probably entail +1 new interlocking installs right beyond the platform to allow future Indigo-frequency short-turns @ 128, you could even get rid of the need to cross track at SH to board an inbound train by wrong-railing it during SH slots between Lincoln and 128 to serve the SH platform without fouling other Fitchburg headways. That would in turn give you ability to install a simple 1-car wood mini-high for full accessibility...or get rid of the low gravel platform altogether and just have that re-graded ramp from the paved lot dump straight onto a self-contained mini-high for a 1-car only stop.

Figure also that there'd be some utility in having a simple 1-car wood platform infilled at Walden Pond at some point in the future for weekender recreation patronage, a la the simple 1-car Metro North flag stops at Appalachian Trail on the Harlem Line and Breakneck Ridge on the Hudson Line. So Silver Hill doesn't necessarily break the mold being retained as a barebones flag stop with maybe +1-2 more daily schedule slots than today if it came with binding strings attached that Hastings must go, KG must go as soon as 128 opens, Weston has to kick in a local share of funding for that few hundred grand in minimal accessibility improvements, and Weston has to take over management of the SH parking lot, wintertime plowing, etc.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby Red Wing » Sun Oct 16, 2016 7:08 pm

There will never be a stop at Walden Pond. Walden Pond has a capacity of around 1000 people (that's why the parking lot is so small.). When that capacity is reached the Pond is closed to everyone vehicles, bicycles pedestrians and, rail riders. Could you imagine the public relations issue if that capacity is reached and the train just keeps going when people wanted to get off there?

Though if you want a platform, you can still see remnants of the old Fitchburg RR platform. Historic note, the Fitchburg had picnic grounds, dance hall, boat rentals and bicycle race track on land they owned at Walden. You can still see the abutments of a pedestrian bridge that was over the tracks.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby ceo » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:11 pm

Agreed, a Walden Pond stop is a terrible idea. The paths around the pond have a serious ongoing problem with erosion; that's why they're all lined with fencing (or were last time I was there, which was some years ago). The last thing the place needs is trainloads of people traipsing around the pond to the main beach, which is on the other side from the Fitchburg Line.

(I've sometimes wondered how many tourists visiting Thoreau's cabin get offended when a train goes by and disturbs the peaceful tranquility of the woods... not realizing that the construction of the Fitchburg Railroad in the 1840s was the reason Emerson, Thoreau et. al. moved out to Concord in the first place; they could now get to Boston in an hour as opposed to all day. Thoreau used to walk to Concord Center along the tracks.)
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby BandA » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:56 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
The 128 CR stop is starting to gain some public-private momentum as City of Waltham, the Polaroid complex mixed-use developers, and the engineering firm they've hired out-of-pocket have unveiled the transpo Master Plan for the area. Their initial proposal, formally released about a month ago, includes:
-- Contiguous street grid through Polaroid spanning Route 117 and Totten Pond Rd.
-- Bus stop improvements (big deal for the #70, which is currently the most-frequent transit here)
-- Pedestrian crossing improvements of Routes 20 and 117
-- The fully-funded Central Mass trail from Beaver St. to Polaroid + the crossing of 128 to trail head at the New York Life driveway (no dice on further west because Weston and Wayland have canceled their trail segments from NIMBY backlash)
-- Formal proposal to MassHighway to finally link Route 117 into the Route 20 exit so residential Stow Rd. doesn't get awkwardly slammed with back-tracking traffic (unclear whether it'll be a second set of ramps off a collector/distributor, or a makeover of Green St. into a frontage road feeding a revamped rotary).

The 117/20 connector is the only thing that requires a state funding commitment as city and developer are paying for all else, and THAT is the missing link that'll let them go full-force at building the 128 commuter rail stop. Platform and driveway access has to be on the Route 20 side via the remediated sand pits the Biogen campus is built on to avoid any impacts to the Stony Brook wetlands, so they need a formal commitment on the 117/20 connection before adding the CR component. If MassHighway is game for it, then Waltham + the developers will quickly move to unveil their renders of the CR station (probably with the 70 bus roped around to terminate there) as cherry on top for the whole thing. We're legitimately getting close to this becoming a thing, and the private money wants in on the build costs. Just have to see how this trial balloon of a 117/20 connector road fares, because that's the last hurdle to clear before they can make a formal station proposal.

....
Is there a link to the proposal?

A 128 Superstation on the Framingham Line would also be popular. Unfortunately there isn't really anywhere to put it and the I-90/I-95/128/30 interchange couldn't handle it. [OT] Need a 128 EL...
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby rhodiecub2 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:51 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
rhodiecub2 wrote:I do hope that the T gets rid of both stops. They're really worthless, dangerous, and do not need to exist with Kendall Green.


The "Miles on the MBTA" blog finally got around to riding the mid- Fitchburg stops, including the Weston trio, in a posting blitz while it was reviewing the new Wachusett digs. The Hastings write-up is particularly...um...amusing. :wink:



Yes, I think my post was partially influenced by that Miles on the T blog about those two stops. :wink:
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby BandA » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:36 pm

So at one point in time it was profitable to make low-density stops. Nowadays you need stops near a superhighway, a subsidized garage and a subsidized $10M-$100M+ station with elevators, and you still only cover 1/3 of costs.
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