Beacon Park Updates

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

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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby BandA » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:52 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:There's also a lot of people who want the Worcester Line to be something it's not (local transit).
It needs to provide local service. It's been 55+ years since the local stations came off (University or Cottage Farm, Allston Depot, Brighton, Faneuil, Newton), 40+ years for Riverside. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Watertown "A" line "temporary" bustitution. There is just too much auto traffic for the local and express buses to work. Meanwhile the Framingham-Worcester line is way underutilized, with little to show so far for the hundreds of millions the state has spent recently.
The state has the right idea postponing West Station into the indefinite future. It's a good idea to put a station there - so long as it is served by something other than already crowded commuter trains from far away Worcester. Build West Station once there is local service that is appropriate to serve it. Until then, walk to the B line.
Is West station to be a replacement for Allston Depot, or a junction node for service to Cambridge?
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:25 pm

BandA wrote:It needs to provide local service. It's been 55+ years since the local stations came off (University or Cottage Farm, Allston Depot, Brighton, Faneuil, Newton), 40+ years for Riverside. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Watertown "A" line "temporary" bustitution. There is just too much auto traffic for the local and express buses to work. Meanwhile the Framingham-Worcester line is way underutilized, with little to show so far for the hundreds of millions the state has spent recently.


You misunderstood my post. I'm saying instead of adding more stops to the existing Worcester trains, we should have a local (call it "Indigo" if you must) service overlaid on it. Any more new stations inside 128 should be deferred until that point. When I said "Worcester Line" I was referring to the service, not the physical tracks.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby Trinnau » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:59 pm

It's very difficult to overlay service on the existing two tracks and still provide bi-directional service AND reliability with mixed service patterns. Just look at the schedule which is effectively running at 10 minute headways under mixed service in the morning. Local departs Framingham about 10 minutes after an express, next express arrives Boston about 10 minutes after the local, repeat. Because the express train basically cuts the headway by more half between Framingham and Boston of the preceeding local (about 25 minutes apart at Framingham) it chews up the slot for another train. Put another train out there and it all goes to pieces unless you change the service so every train has the same stop pattern maintaining the same separation for the entire trip - so either it's all express trains, which cuts stations, or it's all locals, which makes the ride from Worcester even longer. The two-track line can't support urban transit type service simultaneous to express trains from metro west - the demands are competing. Believe it or not, the line is at or very close to capacity in the rush hour.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:08 am

deathtopumpkins wrote:The problem is that a lot of the 'activists' clamoring for West Station are doing so from the perspective of "every transit proposal is good and must be pursued!" usually without any appreciation for how it ties into the whole network, or how it affects operations.


Please get informed. Maybe some activists fall into that category, but you're very mistaken.


deathtopumpkins wrote:There's also a lot of people who want the Worcester Line to be something it's not (local transit).


It currently isn't Regional Rail, no, but Commuter Rail sucks and we should stop pretending it doesn't.


deathtopumpkins wrote:Build West Station once there is local service that is appropriate to serve it. Until then, walk to the B line.


You're literally advocating to squander the land on auto-dependent development and then shoe-horn in a station (and the connections dependent upon that station which would even make a walk to the B Line feasible) after that auto-centric development takes root.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby Charliemta » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:53 pm

I'm sure under any scenario that the necessary space will be set aside for the West Station and approach roads. The area is being developed to a master plan, so even if the station is delayed it can easily be built later.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:17 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:You're literally advocating to squander the land on auto-dependent development and then shoe-horn in a station (and the connections dependent upon that station which would even make a walk to the B Line feasible) after that auto-centric development takes root.


I'm sorry, what?

I'm not advocating auto-dependent development at all. I'm saying that adding a station that only serves Worcester trains is not the right answer to the area's transit needs. Those Worcester trains are crowded, and fairly infrequent in the grand scheme of things, and I highly doubt more than a handful of people would actually depend on them. Anyone buying a condo or working in an office in Harvard's future development is going to drive if that is all they're given as a transit option. Either that or take the bus or walk the <0.5 miles to the B line (I'm sure a pedestrian overpass will be provided with or without the station).

I don't understand why it is so hard a concept to grasp that adding more stops to existing commuter trains from far-flung suburbs is not the ideal way to provide local transit within the city. You're trying to force these trains to be something they're not.

This development needs to include transit from the start, but a West Station that only serves Worcester line commuter trains is not the answer. It's thinking inside a very small box with no regard for anything outside of it.

As you yourself say, commuter rail sucks. The solution is not adding yet another closely spaced stop to it. That's just making it suck more. The solution is planning for the future of the line - which logically includes either layers of service (longer-distance commuter trains AND frequent local trains, with only the local trains making these stops), or a parallel local transit line (e.g. restoring the A line, or potentially a green line branch into Lower Allston through this development).

And if the state can't get a plan together for local service of some sort along this corridor before construction hopefully starts in a few years, it's not exactly hard to leave room for a future station. Such is done all the time. Especially since the state plans to retain a parcel of land south of the relocated turnpike for a layover yard with or without the station. Then once they decide if they want to layer an "Indigo" service on top of the Worcester line, they can plop down some platforms and egresses and have a station.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby BandA » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:33 pm

1) The "A" line is not coming back unless "dual mode" hi-railable buses are purchased. When was the last time the MBTA innovated successfully?
2) You are confusing people when you talk about Worcester Line commuter trains. Imagined short-turn service to say Riverside would still be Worcester Line commuter trains. Only other line possible would be grand junction.
3) There are already topics for Framingham Worcester line questions and for the grand junction.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby Backshophoss » Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:45 pm

Believe there's supposed to be a yard with a running repair shop for Worcester Line service consists to be put in here as well,unless
that other proposed yard near South Station is built(where there're food warehouses now)
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby Red Wing » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:30 pm

The Station should be built, but the station won't be useful until you can stop at the Newton stations on either track.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby rethcir » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:41 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:As you yourself say, commuter rail sucks. The solution is not adding yet another closely spaced stop to it. That's just making it suck more. The solution is planning for the future of the line - which logically includes either layers of service (longer-distance commuter trains AND frequent local trains, with only the local trains making these stops), or a parallel local transit line (e.g. restoring the A line, or potentially a green line branch into Lower Allston through this development).


This is more or less what I was trying to get at. Although the express busses are actually pretty great in my daily experience, I'm hopeful to see a rapid transit solution on the current Worcester Line through to Newton or beyond someday.

I don't think the A line will ever be back. They'd have to build an el or something.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:09 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:I'm not advocating auto-dependent development at all.


What exactly do you expect to be built without better transportation options? How can they do a proper full build and survive until the service exists without it being auto-dependent?

deathtopumpkins wrote:I highly doubt more than a handful of people would actually depend on them.


Boston Landing station was built with private money with an anticipated 500 daily boardings. The Boston Landing development is maybe half built and daily boardings are in the 700-900 range.

deathtopumpkins wrote:Anyone buying a condo or working in an office in Harvard's future development is going to drive if that is all they're given as a transit option.


So we don't give them the option at all? We just blow away thousands of daily riders because we don't already have a service layered on? Should we just layer on the service now without the station, because then people still won't be able to use it from this location?

deathtopumpkins wrote:I'm sure a pedestrian overpass will be provided with or without the station


The overpasses are literally a part of the station structure as proposed by the state.

deathtopumpkins wrote:This development needs to include transit from the start, but a West Station that only serves Worcester line commuter trains is not the answer. It's thinking inside a very small box with no regard for anything outside of it.


You're not making any sense. We need the station before we can add the service to actually serve the station. Let's build it so we can add the service it needs!

deathtopumpkins wrote:The solution is planning for the future of the line


Exactly! By adding a station and adding other improvements so that Regional Rail will get maximal utility!


I don't see what is so difficult about this. Add the improvements (ie: build the station), so you can run the service (ie: Regional Rail). This is all part of a larger plan than simply building a station.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby CRail » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:38 am

It's funny, we talk about what's actually in the works to satisfy the arguments against them and are told it's not feasible. Then we're told something needs to be done or it wont be feasible, while the things being done to make it feasible aren't feasible.

It's not going to be just Worcester Line. It's going to be service to North Station via Kendall, it's going to be Service from the west, a link to downtown from the East, and a link from the booming Seaport district from the East. You don't think this is feasible with push pull trains? Neither do I. Start thinking outside the box. Long term solutions involve building things as provisions for what may not be practical at 7:35 tomorrow morning.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:15 am

And that's exactly what I'm saying - think outside the box. Don't just build a commuter rail station there. Figure out a concrete plan for decent local transit service along the Worcester line, then build a station designed for that.

Sure, you can go ahead and keep building commuter rail stations with full 800 ft platforms in the hope of eventually running some other type of service to them, but what if the Worcester Line becomes so saturated with commuter and intercity rail that you need to build additional tracks for local service? Now you're likely to need to rip them out and build new. Or what if a future study determines a light rail line, or BRT line, etc. along the corridor is a better option?

Saying "just build it, we can figure out what to do with it later" seems really backward and inefficient to me. We can and should do better than that.

And CRail, I know you (or someone else) deleted my last post asking for such, but if you're going to make these claims, please provide something to back them up.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby CRail » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:56 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:Figure out a concrete plan for decent local transit service along the Worcester line, then build a station designed for that... ...Saying "just build it, we can figure out what to do with it later" seems really backward and inefficient to me. We can and should do better than that.

This has been done, and it's been explained. Yet you poo-poo the ideas that state agencies themselves have studied and published. Every plan that comes up you shut down and then complain no one has ideas. Perhaps no one has any ideas that you like?

deathtopumpkins wrote:And CRail, I know you (or someone else) deleted my last post asking for such, but if you're going to make these claims, please provide something to back them up.

I don't need to spend the better part of a day digging for the source of articles and reports I already read and maps and plans I already studied because you're not satisfied with the information. If you're that interested in fact finding, do your own research.
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Re: Beacon Park Updates

Postby BostonUrbEx » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:25 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:And that's exactly what I'm saying - think outside the box. Don't just build a commuter rail station there. Figure out a concrete plan for decent local transit service along the Worcester line, then build a station designed for that.

Sure, you can go ahead and keep building commuter rail stations with full 800 ft platforms in the hope of eventually running some other type of service to them, but what if the Worcester Line becomes so saturated with commuter and intercity rail that you need to build additional tracks for local service? Now you're likely to need to rip them out and build new. Or what if a future study determines a light rail line, or BRT line, etc. along the corridor is a better option?

Saying "just build it, we can figure out what to do with it later" seems really backward and inefficient to me. We can and should do better than that.


I think you're underestimating some of the people behind this. There are some folks who are getting into the finer details of making the neighborhood fully permeable so the tracks and highway are not divisive to pedestrian/bike flow, and diving into details such as clearances for Plate F under catenary, proper station siting, orientation, and spacing from other stations, what other infill stations (Newton Corner) will benefit from this station, and whether north/south bus routes can hit the station en route (as opposed to terminating at the station).
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