Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby rethcir » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:27 pm

The big infrastructure spending plan from the Walsh administration was released today.

Projects: https://www.boston.gov/sites/default/fi ... eads_1.pdf

Rail related projects mentioned include:
* Urban Rail Extension to Roslindale Square
* Green Line Extension to Hyde Square
* Green Line Improvements (surface line priority traffic signalling, etc)
* Fairmount Indigo Line Service Improvements
* Fairmount Indigo Line Urban Rail
* Seaport to Dorchester/Widett Urban Rail (Create new connections from Dorchester at Newmarket using Track 61)
* I-90 Newton Urban Rail
* West Station Transit Hub
* South Station Expansion
* Orange Line and Red Line Service Improvements

Very interesting, now who's paying?
rethcir
 
Posts: 181
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:51 am

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:49 pm

I have the report at work, but have not finished reading it all yet.

Was there no Blue Line / Red Line connector ?
User avatar
Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:26 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:44 am

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:I have the report at work, but have not finished reading it all yet.

Was there no Blue Line / Red Line connector ?


No, but the Walsh Admin. has given vociferous support statements for Red-Blue recently enough that the City's position is well-known. If I had to guess, the omission was tactical because Red-Blue was an official state TIP item whose removal was protested by the CLF...and thus there are other more powerful top-down vectors for getting it back on the front-burner that don't require dangling red meat in a city document. Note that this also doesn't include Silver Line Phase III or North-South Rail Link, so there's already a clear delineation on the rail stuff between high-profile legacy TIP projects that are still getting broadly agitated-for and stuff the GB30 advocacy is trying to get codified on-the-board for first-time 'official' proposal pushes like Orange-Rozzie and E-Hyde Sq.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7108
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:57 am

No mention of the Urban Ring though :(
Call me Connor or DTP

Railfan & Roadgeek from the North Shore of Mass.
deathtopumpkins
 
Posts: 945
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:56 am
Location: Somerville, MA

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:45 pm

I often wonder if I will ever see the Red-Blue connector in my life time. I am only 36.

Has their been Orange Line proposals to Rozzie square before?
User avatar
Adams_Umass_Boston
 
Posts: 869
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:26 am
Location: Eastie

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby Disney Guy » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:49 pm

The story is told that Roslindale residents did not want the Orange line to go to Ros. Square, a typical example of NIMBYism.

Now I think that there is not enough space in Ros. Sq. to dock buses for the various routes so the buses depart on a schedule. And buses departing almost as soon as they arrive, which will look like random departures to passengers, to clear space for other buses will greatly reduce the convenience to passengers. But making Ros. Sq. into a transit hub will greatly cut down on operator hours, fuel consumption, and air pollution.

Meanwhile I think that a low cost extension to Ros. Sq. could be done with a single track, and with random trains continuing through to Ros. Sq. If a train is using that segment from Forest Hills to Ros. Sq. then subsequent outbound trains terminate at Forest Hills.

An interesting problem crops up with transit priority at traffic signals. The driver, or more likely the conductor of the second or third car, opens the door to board another passenger running up as the signal turns green on priority, thus messing up traffic unnecessarily. It is probably too late to order the Type 9 cars with a door disabling button that the lead operator can push.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
User avatar
Disney Guy
 
Posts: 785
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 9:10 am
Location: Nashua, NH

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby The EGE » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:46 am

The Needham Line ROW is triple-track width all the way to Roslindale; you could do a full 2-track rapid transit extension while keeping the Needham Line, for a cost of probably $60 million or so. You could have plenty of room for a bus layover by eating the Belgrade Ave parking lot. More reliable / more frequent buses to Rozzie plus OL would reduce the need for some of that parking anyway.
"Give me an unobstructed right-of-way and I'll show them how to move the earth!"
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2452
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the C Branch

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby jamesinclair » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:31 pm

Wasnt extending the E a couple of blocks past Heath something close to happening?
jamesinclair
 
Posts: 2158
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:22 pm

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby houseman86 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:17 am

i was just reading this post and was wondering wouldn't DMU's make the most sense to extend the orange line or urban rail service to Roslindale
houseman86
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:16 am

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:48 am

houseman86 wrote:i was just reading this post and was wondering wouldn't DMU's make the most sense to extend the orange line or urban rail service to Roslindale

Not for a run that short. You could make an argument for replacing all or most service on the entire Needham Line with DMUs (with a transfer at Forest Hills due to the limited track capacity north of there), but to just go to Roslindale it makes far more sense to just extend the Orange Line.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.
User avatar
MBTA3247
 
Posts: 2594
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby BandA » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:16 pm

The problem is DMU's are more expensive than equivalent locomotive-hauled equipment. Other posters have said DMUs are classified as locomotives, requiring greater inspections than coaches. MBTA has minimum axle count requirements, possibly due to their signal systems. As for labor, the mode-that-shall-not-be-named (bus) has a driver and a charlie-card farebox, for say 50 passengers. A passenger train has to have an engineer and a conductor at minimum, and a paper & cash based ticket system, traps that the conductor has to open and close, and doors that conductors, not passengers are supposed to open. I assume Keolis wouldn't be allowed single person operation of passenger trains.
User avatar
BandA
 
Posts: 1825
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Go Boston 2030 Rail Projects

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:22 pm

Needham doesn't have enough NEC slots to meaningfully increase frequencies. The only way to get interzone frequencies up is a Forest Hills-terminating outbound dinky. But that's completely unacceptable to the neighborhoods and Needham due to impairment of transit accessibility to downtown and the dangerous overcrowding it would induce on the FH Orange platform during transfer surges (it's already near-dangerously overcrowded when bunched buses take a big dump of transferees at rush, and getting worse each year). That "Urban Rail" line item in the report re: Needham is just not realistic. The NEC FUTURE traffic modeling paints a bleak, bleak picture where the only way to juggle Amtrak and Providence/Stoughton traffic through the SW Corridor is to relegate all Needham and Franklin traffic to one bi-directional track at horrible service reduction to their headways. Granted, Captain Obvious didn't tell the NEC FUTURE commission that the full Franklin schedule can be punted over the Fairmount Line at no-harm to headways, but that still leaves Needham with a suffocating ceiling that doesn't allow for service growth. NEC FUTURE's only suggestion was blowing up and widening the entirety of the SW Corridor tunnel to 4 NEC tracks, an ungodly destructive act that was already given cursory study during the initial South Coast Rail scoping studies and written off by the state as a total infeasible laugher.

What this means is that after the FRA gets thrown out from its disastrous administration of the NEC FUTURE study and the states are finally given equal say, the main point of negotiation with MassDOT is going to be over solutions to SW Corridor capacity. And that means bartering for fed funding to complete the changeover of Needham Line to rapid transit (Orange from FH-W. Roxbury, Green from Newton Highlands-Needham Jct.), because this now becomes an Amtrak/federally-induced crisis of avoiding local transit loss rather than an easy-to-duck local transit expansion or NIMBY issue. Terms of engagement for SW Corridor capacity are going to become match funding for the HRT/LRT conversion. Front-loading the Rozzie extension can thus help the state a lot with that negotiation, because if they show their work on the first 1.5 miles and 1 stations of the Orange extension...the feds--and their NEC-induced traffic crisis--are going to be tasked with picking up more of the tab for the 'swallow' of 1.5 more miles and +3 more stations to W. Rox. And as long as those terms are clear, it's an easier pitch to the NIMBY's in W. Rox that they have to bargain with Orange as a hedge against transit loss and hedge for national intercity ambitions.

Rozzie has its own independent merits by serving up a terminal for 4-6 bus routes that duplicate each other to Forest Hills and get in each other's way with bunching along Washington, contributing to the problem of irregular dumps of bunched transferees overwhelming FH station. Yellow Line cleanup coattails are almost as big as the one-seat upside, so this is a very far-reaching project in terms of network effects. Way, way more impact than just a +1 linear extension where there happens to be a 3-track ROW available for rejiggering. And such an extension serves the city's overall goals for streamlining the bus network. By cleaning up the transfer surges at FH it frees up capacity there for more robust routes. It allows for better timekeeping to not have such severe bunching problems on Lower Washington. That better timekeeping allows for increased frequencies on the remaining Lower Washington routes that run thru to FH. It allows for increased frequencies on other routes from other directions into the FH busways, and routes like those east-west circulators to Mattapan that have express bus/BRT-lite features. So this ends up a high-priority rail project because of how tightly-bound it is with the citywide bus program, and with enabling more of those city-led bus upgrades. That's why the city is driving the advocacy here while needing to defer to the state on the Really Big Ones™ like Red-Blue, NSRL, Urban Ring, etc.


FWIW...City of Newton is saber-rattling too for kickstarting the Newton Highlands-to-128 half of the Green extension. They did a very comprehensive 'reimagining' study of their own. Here's the huge 100+ page slide package from Winter 2016's grand presentation, linkied to the page where the Green Line action starts: http://www.wabanareacouncil.com/sites/d ... df#page=49. Includes their own bus network effects master plan for business shuttles around the 128 industrial park redevelopment straddling the Newton/Needham city line. As well as full rail-with-trail incorporation of the Upper Falls path as an analogue to the Neponset Trail/Mattapan Line tag-team. The slides on TOD revenue upside are pretty eye-popping, as that industrial park is an office space redev bonanza. Figure that if Orange-Rozzie gains traction that they're going to be ready to pounce on this first installment of the Green spur to the east side of 128, leaving only the CR 'swallow' section Needham Heights-Needham Junction as a Phase II task. Similar to Orange, that sets up a maximum-leverage situation for forcing the feds to match-pay (or better) for the rest of the 'swallow' sections as compensation for settling the SW Corridor capacity issue. Both Newton and Boston are segmenting their advocacies so the state-funded "down payment" extensions have a lot of network-effects transit and TOD upside boosting them, and the 'swallow' sections are framed as a federal funding issue for federal reasons.

Way, way, way to early to predict how it'll play out. But both cities have sharpened their game and gotten a lot smarter with the respective sales pitches on these rapid transit extensions that have been malingering as active but unfollowed-up proposals ever since 1945.
F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Posts: 7108
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:26 pm
Location: North Cambridge


Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], jdb and 7 guests