Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:08 am

Trinnau wrote:Track 1 automatic signal (staggered heads instead of aligned vertically).


They're staggered because they're both an automatic and a distant signal. A number plate is what determines an automatic.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby BandA » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:24 pm

Wow, interesting signals.

How many passengers used the Gardener station in the 1980s, vs. using Fitchburg?
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby The EGE » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:22 pm

Ridership as of 1984 was 24 daily, to Fitchburg's 136. Fitchburg Line ridership three decades later in 2013 was roughly 2.7 times as high, which would put Gardner at about 64 daily. That, however, was with about one rush hour and one off-peak round trip. The heavy growth on the line has also been concentrated on the outer end of the line: in 2013, Littleton was at 7.1 times its 1984 ridership, Ayer at 4.9 times, Shirley at a whopping 11.7 times, North Leominster at 5.2 times, and Fitchburg at 3.8 times. Note this was before service increases to Littleton, North Leominster garage expansion (which will probably take some of the load off Shirley), and general speed and frequency increases across the line.

Will Wachusett actually reach 400 riders per day soon? That remains to be seen. But between overall outside-of-495 growth on the system, recent upgrades to the Fitchburg Line, and how consistently awful 2 is at rush hour, I would put the over-under for 400 daily riders at around 2020.

Even if some of those are poached from elsewhere on the system, that's still valuable. If someone driving from further west on 2 parks at Wachusett, they save (for the round trip) 12 vehicle miles traveled versus North Leominster, 50 versus South Acton, and 85 versus Alewife.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Abe Froman » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:59 pm

The EGE wrote:

"Will Wachusett actually reach 400 riders per day soon? That remains to be seen. But between overall outside-of-495 growth on the system, recent upgrades to the Fitchburg Line, and how consistently awful 2 is at rush hour, I would put the over-under for 400 daily riders at around 2020."

"Even if some of those are poached from elsewhere on the system, that's still valuable. If someone driving from further west on 2 parks at Wachusett, they save (for the round trip) 12 vehicle miles traveled versus North Leominster, 50 versus South Acton, and 85 versus Alewife."

It remains a significant point that each of the several elected or appointed (Olver, Murray, Lahood, "Crash" Murray, Flanagan, Wong, Khan) repeatedly claimed the Wachusett Extension would attract 400 "new" users of commuter rail on a daily basis boarding at Wachusett Station.

Remember, the premise of their pointing this out was threefold: 1st-to create the impression there was some previously undiscovered or unreported pent-up demand realized during 2007-2009. There was not. Notice that not one of those named ever mentioned or produced a "study" identifying where any of the 400 would come from or go to. 2nd-to add to the false impression it was necessary to create the impression the extension was both cost effective and financially viable given that portion of the T's budget for commuter rail not covered by the largesse of the TIGER funding. 3rd-Former Cong. Olver had not-at that time-"delivered" anything of note to an area bereft of significant federal funding for anything other than social issues. Olver, from his position as ranking majority member of the House Transportation Cmte, received the TIGER funding grant as a goodbye kiss, if nothing else.

Thus, "new" as opposed to "poached" is critical. "Poached" commuters from other stops adds nothing to the ledger when attempting to balance the $93.5 million cost of the Wachusett Extension.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby craven » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:32 pm

When things are finally sorted out, looking for a Sat./Sun. AM RT from N. Station to Wachusett just to enjoy the ride.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Kilo Echo » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:17 am

Mind the gap
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby leviramsey » Tue Dec 13, 2016 8:59 am

MART apparently can't be bothered to remove snow from about 80% of the parking lot of Wachusett (they've barricaded the parts they're not removing snow from). Just from the cars that turned around for 410, that's a few hundred in round trip fares turned away.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby rethcir » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:04 am

Will there be some sort of ski train come winter? That's the real draw for this station methinks.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:54 am

The ski train started last weekend.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Abe Froman » Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:42 pm

rethcir wrote:Will there be some sort of ski train come winter? That's the real draw for this station methinks.


You may want to reconsider and/or re-think that one.

The current commuter rail schedule sees 170 train movements at Wachusett Mon-Fri and 28 on Sat & Sun. Two (2) RT ski trains (1 Sat., 1 Sun), or approximately 1% of the weekly train movements at Wachusett, over (at best) a 16 week ski season, cannot be considered, even by the most optimistic, as "real draw" for this fiasco.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Trinnau » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:46 am

Abe Froman wrote:
rethcir wrote:Will there be some sort of ski train come winter? That's the real draw for this station methinks.


You may want to reconsider and/or re-think that one.

The current commuter rail schedule sees 170 train movements at Wachusett Mon-Fri and 28 on Sat & Sun. Two (2) RT ski trains (1 Sat., 1 Sun), or approximately 1% of the weekly train movements at Wachusett, over (at best) a 16 week ski season, cannot be considered, even by the most optimistic, as "real draw" for this fiasco.


The "ski train" is nothing new, Wachusett Mountain and the MBTA have done it for several years. One has to keep in mind that Wachusett station is not at the ski area. They are still about a 10 minute drive apart (as opposed to almost 25 minutes to the downtown Fitchburg station). The ski area runs a shuttle bus to meet a pair of regularly scheduled trains which operate a specially modified car - there's a picture in one of the links below. Instead of being to Fitchburg station, it's now to Wachusett Station. So the only real change here is the marketability, as the terminus station has the same name as the ski area.

MBTA's ski train page
Wachusett Mountain's ski train page
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Abe Froman » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:11 pm

The Saturday, December 31 Ski Train had 14 passengers exit/de-train at Wachusett; 12 boarded the shuttle bus for Wachusett Mountain.

This, I suggest, is somewhat ominous since this was the first Ski Train after Christmas, when all any novice or experienced skier receiving boots, bindings, skis, apparel or a lift ticket/season pass as a gift could be expected to use the Ski Train. Second, December 29 saw a 12" snowfall at Wachusett Mountain and the surrounding area, which should have yielded ideal ski conditions. Under those circumstances, a total of 12 skiers on the Ski Train is laughable yet illustrative of the point the 4-mile $93.5 million dollar Wachusett extension is an extravagant expenditure of taxpayer funds on a project for which there was little, if any, demand or demonstrated need.

MBTA/Keolis on-train personnel described the passenger total as "very disappointing" and "considerably fewer than expected."

Effective Monday, 1/3/17 parking at Wachusett Station is $3.00, a somewhat puzzling decision and gesture given the fact the parking lot is all but empty 24/7. There's the solution-charge more for something very few use in hopes of gaining more use.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby dbperry » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:38 pm

I'm a season pass holder at Wachusett and was up there all day 12/31. I was actually on like the fourth chair to the summit that day! Many of us were surprised at the overall light crowds for such a good ski day / holiday / weekend / etc.

My only point is OVERALL attendance at Wachusett seemed artificially low for 12/31, so perhaps that carries over to CR ski train ridership. It actually seemed slightly busier on Sunday 1/1/17, which many of us were equally surprised about.

I can't / won't disagree with any of your other points or your conclusions.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby StefanW » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:30 pm

Trinnau wrote:
johnpbarlow wrote:In case anyone is curious, here is an example of aspects of the east facing continuously lit CPF-334 interlocking and approach lit distant signals for the station track, main two, and main one. I'm guessing a T train on the station track could use the Diverging Approach aspect to head to the Westminster layover facility at CPF-335.


Left-to-right (all signals are also distant signals to CPF-335)
Station track CPF-334 westward home signal (Aspect is Medium Approach in NORAC - correct that this is the lineup to the facility or to a stop at CPF-335)
Track 2 CPF-334 westward home signal
Track 1 automatic signal (staggered heads instead of aligned vertically).

CPF-334 is only an interlocking on track 2 and the station track.



I just realized I never posted about my main line photos.

https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B04G1CvrSGiCxB3

Sept. 30 besides the first revenue trip and layover yard I also documented every significant structure (signals, switches, bridges, etc.) from Fitchburg Station to CPF-335 just outside the layover yard.
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Re: Fitchburg Line Upgrade Discussion

Postby Backshophoss » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:15 pm

Has there been a track diagram/track chart created showing all the changes done in this area?
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