Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter Rail

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:45 pm

If BSRC is successful, the MBTA won't be running WOR-PVD. If they start demanding a subsidy, then who knows.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:26 am

Boston Surface RR plans are getting more grandiose:

http://www.valleybreeze.com/2017-07-26/woonsocket-north-smithfield/four-towns-board-partnership-woonsocket-train-investor

Excerpt:
Vincent Bono said that in addition to the planned runs to Worcester, Mass., and Providence, his commuter trains are set to connect Woonsocket to points farther north and into New Hampshire within the next five years. His business, Boston Surface Railroad Company, is creating a public/private partnership with the communities of Nashua, N.H., as well as Lowell and Worcester, Mass., and, of course, Woonsocket.


And then there's this statement:

Following Monday’s agreement, he’ll also need to negotiate with Pan Am Systems, the company that owns tracks traveling into New Hampshire.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:38 am

This is getting hilariously ridiculous! Commuter service from Providence to Worcester to Lowell to Nashua!?

And all this after he still hasn't demonstrated any meaningful progress on PVD - WOR after 2 years?
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:22 pm

Image

"Measurable progress" is apparently for the birds.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby MaineCoonCat » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:40 pm

Color me skeptical.. Just those funding numbers alone make me think that the reality behind this "Valley Breeze" article is more like hot air.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:28 pm

MaineCoonCat wrote:Color me skeptical.. Just those funding numbers alone make me think that the reality behind this "Valley Breeze" article is more like hot air.


Yep. It takes a hail-mary play and every last detail breaking their way to make everything line up from Providence-Woonsocket on excellently-maintained Class 3 P&W trackage. You can't even begin to fathom where those margins are going to come from on the PAR Worcester Main: a derailment-prone 10 MPH Class 1 cesspit of deferred maintenance. And you still have to get G&W's permission to use the Gardner Branch from Worcester Union to Barbers Jct. to get on PAR track in the first place, so talking this up now is no way around the fact that they're still sitting at total no-go if they haven't made demonstrable progress convincing P&W's new owners to play ball with them. The Worcester Main is one of the most embarrassing examples of Guilford-era negligence because they let it decay so far despite it being a mission-critical link for one of their highest-margin trains on the schedule: the combo CSX-PAR POSE/SEPO job. It would take MassDOT buying the line, funding several dozen $M's worth of critical bailout work on the physical plant, and holding all tenants to much stiffer year-to-year upkeep standards just to get it up to halfway-reliable Class 2 standards needed for POSE/SEPO to run like it needs to. Just the Class 2 bottom line for freight...not the Class 3 required to run any commuter service worth its salt. They don't even have the luxury of shooting for the speedy maint standards of P&W's twin mains or NECR's with just how big an SGR hole that branch has to get pulled out of at such a huge sunk-cost sum. They have to shoot for minimum-most acceptable speeds because you just can't leap out of the Class 1 gutter to Class 3 over 30 miles without $60-80M in new hardware.

And this outfit that's yet to prove it can initiate service on perhaps the most immaculately-maintained freight-only mainline track in New England now thinks it can slap something together on-the-cheap on one of New England's single worst-maintained freight mains of all??? Try showing your work before digging that hole of over-promises any deeper!
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:30 pm

Forget about PAR playing nice with this outfit,they barely play nice with Amtrak and MBTA.
SHOW some real progress on the original plan first!
More "life support" PR fluff. :P
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby scratchy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:35 am

Is this whole thing some sorta unfunny "tim and eric" type performance art?
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:13 am

We really, really need a copy of the "public/private" partnership agreements. They should be public documents as soon as they are signed, and should come up in the various city council meetings beforehand.

The key to Mr. Bono's plan is getting access to federal loans and money. According to the article, it is guaranteed money for five years after the first year. If I understand correctly, if he can run for a year, he gets subsidized for five years, then the funding probably gets cut off and it shuts down. (That's my cynical take on it).

The hooks to G&W and PAR would be federal "free upgrades" to tracks.

To obtain the funding, Bono needs a governmental partner according to FTA rules and he said he said he expects the municipalities to be a better fit for BSRC than alternatives like a state agency.
I think he needs at least tacit support from the two (three) states.

The article talks about his team of Railroad Experts, mentioning two. According to Linkedin, Wayne Denham has been BSRC's Chief Mechanical Officer since 1/2015.

Peter Garino is president of Advanced Management Consulting of Hilton Head SC since 2/2017. There is no website. He seems to have a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree in Economics from Georgetown. Here is an article about Peter http://ripr.org/post/chief-operating-officer-peter-garino-leaving-ridot
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby johnpbarlow » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:05 am

BandA wrote:...The hooks to G&W and PAR would be federal "free upgrades" to tracks....


PAR/PAS should suggest passenger/commuter service be instituted between Wachusett and Mechanicville then. :wink:
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby lakest101 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:55 pm

The way the formula money works its not allowed to be used for operations and only on infrastructure. He will probably have to give the bulk of it to the host railroad(s) but maybe he doesn't care?

The appropriation is reupped every 5 years but you can get the money almost forever. The MBTA has been chastised by the FTA for misspending formula funds.

After 7 years you can qualify for 5337 state of good repair money but again almost all of that would go to the designated receivers (cities?) and host railroads.

I think this is his "carrot" to get PAS and GWRR to move forward.
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:01 pm

scratchy wrote:Is this whole thing some sorta unfunny "tim and eric" type performance art?


More like Rick and Morty.

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:42 am

Once they are done negotiating with "P&W" and PAR then they can negotiate with the Housatonic for the Berkshire commuter service. :-D
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby MaineCoonCat » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:56 pm

You can follow Vincent Bono on Twitter if you're so inclined.. Been quiet since April..

@newenglandrail

https://twitter.com/newenglandrail

I'm starting to wonder what's keeping this alive to be honest..
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Postby BandA » Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:56 pm

I'm assuming that Mr Bono is spending at least some money out of his own pocket to fund employees and consultants and lawyers. Does Mr Bono have other active businesses?
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