Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

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Postby sery2831 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:20 pm

The single level DMU they make can easily be made to have traps for high and low level running.
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Postby vanshnookenraggen » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:01 pm

What about rebuilding the stretch of track that runs through northern Waltham? You could use that for through service and use the current track for local DMU or perhaps a shuttle. It would be a pain to have two train stations that are quite a distance away from each other but if the northern station was a park and ride you could possibly get more people off the road while the southern station (the current one) would service central and southern Waltham, a much more walkable area.

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:11 pm

The former Central Mass Branch was a very low ridership route, which lost significant money. It has sharper curves than the Fitchburg Main and I think it is grade separated where it crosses the Fitchburg in Wayland, thus some regrading would be needed. There might not be room to make a connection at the west end without some very expensive land taking. Finally it was always single track for its entire length. Which takes us right back to the original problem.

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silver hill and hastings

Postby schzmo » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:01 pm

excuse me if this has been brought up before, but i don't understand why the mbta continues to serve these two little-used stations, considering that it has closed all the other minor stations on the fitchburg line. wouldn't it make more sense to just close them and consolidate weston service at kendall green?
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Re: silver hill and hastings

Postby B&Mguy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:17 pm

It's funny that you mention this now. I was just at Hastings last week taking some pictures, and that is one of few locations left on the Commuter Rail that yoau feel like you've stepped back in time. With no platform, and the old flag signal from the B&M era still standing, Hastings keeps the image of the rural flag stop alive. There is also a great old granite crossing sign for the trains as you approach the crossing. Silver Hill also has somewhat on an old time feeling, but not so much as Hastings.

Now to address your question, I believe that some of the wealthy residents in Weston have used their financial and political influence to retain the three stops in the town. Yes, it would make more sense to consolidate all operations to Kendall Green, especially since the other two have very little parking, and rather unsafe boarding conditions, but it seems like the three Weston stops are all here to stay.
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Re: silver hill and hastings

Postby trainhq » Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:20 pm

Yes, it would, and probably will be eventually. Both stations are just whistle stops with a few parking spaces
alongside the road, where the train only stops a few times a day. The long range Fitchburg line plan calls for eliminating
both, for obvious reasons. I believe, however, that some expansion of the Kendall Green station would be needed,
especially as it already usually filled. The Lincoln station, on the other side, is usually not filled and can easily
accommodate the passengers from either one coming in that direction.

Now. The question as to why it hasn't happened yet, is sort of a mystery to me. I believe the folks who use
the stations are rich enough, and have used the stations long enough, that they can pressure the T to keep
their stops. In the long run, they will probably lose them, but who knows when. We'll see.
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Re: silver hill and hastings

Postby AEM7AC920 » Wed Dec 30, 2009 8:35 pm

As long as those people have $$ they stations will stay most likely!
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby FatNoah » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:18 am

What about rebuilding the stretch of track that runs through northern Waltham?

It's in the realm of fantasy, but building the Central Mass out to 128 could serve a Park & Ride near Rt. 20 or on the site of the Polaroid Plant. As a former reverse commuter, I do know that several people a day who work in the Bear Hill Rd. area would also benefit from such an arrangement. It won't ever happen, of course.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:48 pm

I don't understand why they try to make do with Kendal Green instead of a properly more robust 128/20 station location. Asphalt patch, small shelter, and only 50-something parking spaces at a stop 2/3 of a mile from a humongously busy highway exit is too inadequate. The highway signs direct you to Brandeis/Roberts from Exit 26, when that's almost as tiny with only 20 more spaces and requires snaking through the gut of either a lot of non-thoroughfare Tufts campus streets or getting stuck in traffic in downtown Waltham to make a roundabout trip that actually puts you closer to Waltham station instead. The most direct way to get to it is to get off at the Pike/Route 30 interchange and go down River Rd., and from there you're better off just going to Riverside.

But meanwhile you've got this huge expanse of barren dirt and industrial park sitting right on the tracks, right off the exit ramp, with access roads reaching towards it from both 20 and 117. What is wrong with that parcel that it's not screaming out for a station with ample parking? Does that whole quadrant of 128 really need to go without a park-and-ride because Weston's NIMBY's-about-anything-else-on-wheels want to hog their three asphalt strips?

Move Kendal down the road to Exit 26 and give them a choice of keeping either Hastings or Silver Hill, but not both. Spaces out the stations better; diverts a lot of vehicle traffic off side roads going into Waltham so the downtown stations can do a better job serving the students, locals, and bus connections; gives an actual realistic park-and-ride option in a big transit gap for that; gives you a short-turn option for DMU rapid transit-like service if those vehicles ever come to the northside in the future; it's right at the split with the Central Mass ROW, meaning at worst you'll eventually have a future trail connection from the Waltham side even if the Weston NIMBY's won't let trains/bikes/squirrels/anything use the route through their town; and puts a more modern transit-hub type larger facility on the inner half of the line where there's too many old, limited-space stations in a row. Plus I actually think the line will run faster with less station bunching and one big, spacious high-use station replacing a couple of dangerously narrow asphalt platforms where their de facto flag stop status requires extra engineer caution on approach speed.

And if Weston really wants three stops in their gated community tell those rich folks the Central Mass used to have a very convenient stop close to downtown and remains a perfectly well-preserved RR ROW thanks to the generous efforts of their NIMBY's fighting off the evil trail lobby and its hordes of smelly undesireables on bicycles.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby electricron » Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:57 pm

I wouldn't be so quick to eliminate purchasing DMUs for less busy lines.
SMART (Somona Marin Area Rapid Transit) will be releasing a RFP for a FRA compliant DMU soon! Siemens, Nippon-Sharyo, Rotem, Kawasaki, and US Railcar (which bought Colorado Railcar designs) are expected to respond. I have no idea who will eventually win the contract. Just wanted to point out that several vendors are working up designs. Here's the likely Siemens DMU design released by DART.

On a different track, several transit agencies are working with the FRA to implement new Alternate FRA regulations, allowing crash energy management technologies instead of present stringent crash worthiness regulations. I've heard rumors that the regulations may be issued as soon as next year. If they are, European DMUs may be allowed to operate with heavier American trains. Stadler Rail and DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) believe this design will meet the new Alternate FRA regulations. Here's a Stadler 2/6 GTW DMU design released by DART.

I think if the goal is to increase the frequency of diesel powered trains on a corridor, the Stadler 2/6 or 2/8 GTWs are by far the best choices. If the goal is maintaining the same commuter rail frequency as now with better fuel efficient commuter rail cars, Siemens or US Railcar DMUs probably make the better choices.
But whatever is chosen, level boarding will be required with new cars to meet ADA requirements. New high floor cars will require high station platforms, likewise new low floor cars will require lower station platforms.
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Postby ST214 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:10 pm

You will not see DMU's for the same reason there are no electrics.....Trains are expected to be able to be used anywhere at any time.
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Re: Re:

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:06 pm

ST214 wrote:You will not see DMU's for the same reason there are no electrics.....Trains are expected to be able to be used anywhere at any time.

I find it hard to believe that any DMUs purchased by the T for the commuter rail would be required to have level boarding only. Put some stairwells and traps in the vestibules like on the RDCs and they'll be useful anywhere on the system.
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby sery2831 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:39 pm

Can we please move off of the DMUs... And talk about the stations on the heading of this thread, please!
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby jaymac » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:43 pm

Mebbe establish a T/DMU forum for those who are so inclined?
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Re: Fitchburg Route, Hastings, Silver Hill

Postby Hoopyfrood » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:11 pm

While there's zero defense to Hastings in long range planning, the one possible savior to Silver Hill is that it could, with just a little bit of fill and concrete, be made 100% ADA. The sloped sides would fairly easily allow for full height platforms on both sides and ramps down from the road. The only problem is the parking is little larger than a decent driveway and they would have to buy or take land around it for more. I'm not sure that they would be willing to spend more money on the parking lot than they would have to spend on revamping the station itself.
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