SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Post Reply
bostontrainguy
Posts: 1434
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:14 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by bostontrainguy » Sun May 13, 2018 2:43 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:Any friendliness Florida has towards infrastructure projects extends only to roads. The NIMBYs there (including several county governments, the state government, and the state's Republican representatives in Congress) have been screaming in opposition to Brightline ever since it was announced. Several bills were actually proposed in the state legislature that were intended to be de facto bans on privately owned and operated passenger trains by regulating them to death. If Brightline wasn't a subsidiary of FEC, which already owned all the necessary property and could therefore do whatever it pleased, it never would've gotten off the ground.
Don't want to get off subject, but Florida is doing lots of rail projects besides Brightline.

Bonevalleyrailfan
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:37 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by Bonevalleyrailfan » Sun May 13, 2018 8:50 pm

@MBTA3427
I would disagree with your characterization that the state government here is not supportive of passenger rail. Nor would I agree with the sweeping statement that this is a partisan issue. Back in 2009, HSR in FL had bipartisan support in the state legislature. Gov Scott was the one individual that killed the HSR project and he did it to satisfy his tea party base of supporters.

Brightline has always had a super majority of state legislature and congressional support. There are no more than a handful of state level representatives and senators along with several members of congress that oppose Brightline. Most all of those legislators and members of Congress who oppose Brightline are from the Treasure Coast area that is the only hotbed of opposition in the state.

Brightline did not own all of the property for the route between Miami and Orlando. They had to negotiate with the state DOT as well as various agencies to obtain the ROW to the Orlando airport. Gov Scott (R) supported the building of Brightline's Orlando station by the airport authority. He (along with the Republican state legislature) approved spending 215 million dollars on the facility. The state DOT has also worked closely to enable TriRail to obtain the $70M in funds needed to operate into the new downtown Miami Brightline station.

FDOT is also ensuring that along I4 between Tampa and Orlando and I75 between Sarasota and Hernando County an area for rail transit (2 tracks) in their medians is kept in place as toll lanes are added in the future. I don't know of another state DOT that is committed to designing and building future highway projects to allow for passenger rail in the median of the interstates. FDOT has been designing for rail in the medians since the mid 1990s. There is actually a Florida highway design standard for rail ROW "envelops" that FDOT uses when designing/building interstate highway projects.

User avatar
John Smythe
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by John Smythe » Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 pm

Back when the Plymouth portion of the Old Colony rail line was being surveyed & cleared, it came to light that in the Town of Abington, Mass, several abutters had decided to make the MBTA property an extension of their own yards. One had built a 2 car garage, another had installed a in-ground swimming pool, they even had the nerve to remove the rail & ties using the ties to construct supports for a rear deck. A contractors bulldozer demolished the garage & filled the swimming pool with it's contents as it passed by. These 2 neighbors lived next door to each other & it was reported in the local newspaper that the real estate company that sold the properties informed buyers that nobody used the tracks anymore. Man were some people in for a b\BIG surprise when they came home from work! That was back in the mid-late 1990's.
Love me or hate me.....I've kept the " Flame of Hope " lit & burning for MEC #501 since 1995. J. Smythe... Former Master Mechanic MEC #501 Project 1995-2000.

User avatar
John Smythe
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by John Smythe » Tue May 29, 2018 8:51 pm

I've spent some time looking at Google Earth & CSXT area rail maps to see where they run. Seems that many miles of active trackage pass through low lying areas in and around the so called environmentally sensitive Cedar & Hockomock swamps. Why aren't the residents of those towns screaming bloody murder? i'd think they'd be making lots of noise about wanting to stop freight train service, electrify the routes, conduct studies & plans to save us from ourselves.

Better yet the real deal is that freight traffic runs through those swampy areas, developers keep building more and more new sub-divisions, new businesses abut the current out of service ROW through Easton & Raynham. Can't be as bad as the NIMBY's claim if all this stuff id going on all around these swamps. If protecting & saving those swamps is so important then the folks living in and around those areas should buy electric cars, to go with the electric trains. sounds fair to me.
Love me or hate me.....I've kept the " Flame of Hope " lit & burning for MEC #501 since 1995. J. Smythe... Former Master Mechanic MEC #501 Project 1995-2000.

buddydog
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 5:00 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by buddydog » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:49 am

article in today's boston globe:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/ ... More_Pos15" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

RenegadeMonster
Posts: 494
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:19 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by RenegadeMonster » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:38 am

Wow.

The project is now full speed ahead. All approved and funded. I never thought I would see the day.

charlesriverbranch
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:53 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by charlesriverbranch » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:39 am

Middleborough? That's a strange choice. There is a serious bottleneck shared by all the former Old Colony lines created when all but one track of the ROW was taken for the Red Line Braintree branch back in the 1970's.

How are they proposing to accommodate the additional traffic? I remember the Cape Cod and Hyannis trains of the 1980's had to terminate at Braintree.

ohalloranchris
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:42 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by ohalloranchris » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:05 pm

Interesting. Three questions come to mind immediately:

1. As others have already asked on this thread earlier, how do they squeeze in the extra traffic between Braintree and Boston?

2. Expansion of South Station was previously advertised as a prerequisite for South Coast Rail. How will they handle the additional traffic at South Station?

3. Where in the world will they come up with equipment? The system is woefully short of coaches and locomotives now. I realize that an RFP is being explored for new bi level coaches, but those won’t be here by the time this (theoretically) opens.

For all of these reasons, 2023 seems like an optimistic target. But that’s what gets votes for the politicians...

MBTA3247
Posts: 2709
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:01 pm
Location: Milton
Contact:

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by MBTA3247 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:25 pm

ohalloranchris wrote: 1. As others have already asked on this thread earlier, how do they squeeze in the extra traffic between Braintree and Boston?
If they go by what was proposed previously, they won't: they'll screw over the existing riders at Middleboro by rerouting some of the existing Middleboro trains to the south coast instead.
"The destination of this train is [BEEP BEEP]" -announcement on an Ashmont train.

Trinnau
Posts: 476
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:27 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by Trinnau » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:57 pm

It's a wholesale move. The Middleboro line becomes the Fall River/New Bedford line.
MassDOT South Coast Rail website wrote:Phase 1 service will include a total of 26 trains (each-way) for weekday service. The MBTA will operate three morning peak trains and three evening peak trains to both New Bedford and Fall River. Taunton and Middleborough will see up to six morning and six evening peak trains because all of the service will pass through those communities.
During off-peak periods, three trains will operate on a 3-3 ½ hour frequency. Operations details will be confirmed as design advances.
26 trains is only 2 more than the current Middleboro schedule, which is 24. 3 trains to each branch in the peak is 6, one more than the current 5 on the Middleboro. Seems pretty clear to me they are going to build a new station on the wye called Pilgrim Junction and running everything through there instead of down to the current Middleboro/Lakeville station, and only add one peak train to even out service to both end points.

bgl
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by bgl » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:23 pm

Wasn't one of the environmental requirements for the SCR electrification of the line?

The EGE
Posts: 2567
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the N Judah
Contact:

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by The EGE » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:35 am

Yes, but that was an utterly ridiculous requirement added by the Army Corps of Engineers. As were some very expensive bridges across swamps that already had perfectly functional railroad embankments. Neither were actually required by any reasonable interpretation of even the most strict environmental laws, and would not have stood up in court. The electrification was needed solely to maintain schedules, because the terrible design meant that diesel trains couldn't accelerate fast enough to reliably make schedule.

A properly-designed project with adequate double-tracking could use diesel power just fine. While large-scale electrification of the entire MBTA CR system, including South Coast Rail, may well be justified someday on other grounds (reduction in emissions, massively increased frequencies, use of NSRL, better acceleration, etc), South Coast Rail as it has been proposed in several iterations since the 1980s does not justify electrification for a dozen or so daily round trips.

bgl
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:40 pm

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by bgl » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:26 am

Yeah, I get that, more of is the electrification still a requirement and happening, or is the T just ignoring it (as they probably should). Also, double tracking isn't going to still help with the bottle neck of the single tracking from Braintree on up.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.

ohalloranchris
Posts: 160
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:42 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by ohalloranchris » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:17 am

I'm pretty sure the electrification was only a "requirement" for the Stoughton route. That's one of the reasons why the Middleboro route is so much cheaper. And further down in the thread is some info on how they will make the bottle necking work - they are essentially just extending the existing Middleboro trains further south.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Unnecessary nesting quotes removed. Do not use the "quote" button as a reply button.

watervapr
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:59 am

Re: SouthCoast Rail Discussion Thread

Post by watervapr » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:17 am

bgl wrote:Yeah, I get that, more of is the electrification still a requirement and happening, or is the T just ignoring it (as they probably should). Also, double tracking isn't going to still help with the bottle neck of the single tracking from Braintree on up.
Plus the ongoing brand new rebuild of Wollaston pretty much cements in place the single-track through that section. Baffles me how the T can spend $1B to build new stations that will serve 100 riders per weekday, while that money could literally electrify the entire southside to serve 50,000 riders per weekday.

Post Reply

Return to “Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)”