Red-Blue Connector

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Red-Blue Connector

Postby maxman927 » Tue May 13, 2008 3:27 pm

I found this application for a red-blue connector project on the MA transport site.


i don't know if this was posted before, but it seems important to a conversation about this so i'll post it (be careful, takes forever to load)

http://www.eot.state.ma.us/downloads/RedBlueLineConnector.pdf

i think this is an important part to fixing the congestion of the green line and orange line. with a red-blue connector in place people wouldn't have to go through downtown crossing or gov't center in order to reach the red line.
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Postby diburning » Tue May 13, 2008 4:29 pm

I beleive this was part of an acessibility bill passed a couple years ago that said that the Blue line had to connect to the red line. The media beleived that the MBTA would dig a an extension tunnel from Bowdoin to Charles MGH and shut down Bowdoin completely.
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Postby maxman927 » Tue May 13, 2008 5:46 pm

actually, i believe that in the pdf above it talks about straightening out bowdoin and keeping it active.
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Postby Arborway » Tue May 13, 2008 7:54 pm

maxman927 wrote:actually, i believe that in the pdf above it talks about straightening out bowdoin and keeping it active.


Nope.

The proposed Red Line/Blue Line Connector Project consists of the extension of the MBTA’s Blue Line under
Cambridge Street to Charles/MGH Station. The project begins at the Government Center Station Blue Line
platform and extends to the connection with the new Charles/MGH Station headhouse. It consists of at least
three major components: 1) the realignment of the westbound Blue Line track through Bowdoin Station
including the widening of the existing tunnel and the closure of the existing Bowdoin station
, 2) a new rapid
transit tunnel extending the Blue Line under Cambridge Street, from Joy Street to Charles Circle, and 3) a new
underground Blue Line Station connected to the existing Charles/MGH Station headhouse.
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Postby maxman927 » Tue May 13, 2008 8:00 pm

ah, thanks arborway.

but what if they extended the bowdoin platform towards gov't center and kept the loop for off-peak service.
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Postby Veristek » Tue May 13, 2008 8:15 pm

What's the status of this project? Is it being seriously considered, or is it one of these pipe dream projects?
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Postby Arborway » Tue May 13, 2008 8:42 pm

maxman927 wrote:but what if they extended the bowdoin platform towards gov't center and kept the loop for off-peak service.


GC and Bowdoin are so close, that there really isn't much of a point. I seem to recall that after the GC reconstruction, the two will be less than 500 feet from each other. On top of that, six car trains can't fit around the Bowdoin loop.

Veristek wrote:What's the status of this project? Is it being seriously considered, or is it one of these pipe dream projects?


The Powers That Be have little interest in it, and they keep trying to kill it off along with every Big Dig mitigation project that doesn't include a bus or commuter rail train in some way, shape, or form. As part of their settlement with the Conservation Law Foundation, the EOT/MBTA have to study the idea of building it, but not actually do anything.
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Postby maxman927 » Tue May 13, 2008 8:46 pm

Arborway wrote:oin are so close, that there really isn't much of a point. I seem to recall that after the GC reconstruction, the two will be less than 500 feet from each other. On top of that, six car trains can't fit around the Bowdoin loop.


what if they ran 4 car trains when its not rush hour, late nights, midday.....
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Postby sery2831 » Tue May 13, 2008 8:54 pm

Arborway wrote:GC and Bowdoin are so close, that there really isn't much of a point. I seem to recall that after the GC reconstruction, the two will be less than 500 feet from each other. On top of that, six car trains can't fit around the Bowdoin loop.


The second entrance to Gov't Center has been shelved for the time being. This is going to keep Bowdoin open until such a time that other entrance is constructed.

The issue with 6 cars at Bowdoin is that one platform does not fit 6 cars. A plan is being formulated with the new cars to run service with 6 cars and have remain Bowdoin open. The loop has no issue with 6 cars, they have run 6 car test trains around it a lot the last few months. Actually if you notice on the inbound side a new signal has been placed for keeping the speed on the loop 5 mph for 6 cars.
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Postby dieciduej » Wed May 14, 2008 3:01 am

The inbound side of Bowdoin can handle a six car train it is the outbound side that can only accept a four car train. Taking passengers around the loop is out of the question due to emergency procedures. i.e. the gap between the cars would swallow a person if there is a need walked from car to car for an evacuation and forget about wheelchairs.

One premise is to pull the first two cars beyond the station and the operator, don't forget the Blue Line is one person operation, would walk back to the third car to open the doors on cars 3, 4, 5 and 6. I think that has been tabled. So they now may use the door request buttons. It is a low use station and that is the reason they did the door buttons why not use the feature.

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Postby Veristek » Wed May 14, 2008 3:23 am

What about the new blue line cars? Don't they have better clearance and everything?

Besides, it would create delays if the operator had to walk through 2 cars to open the 3rd one, then wait for everybody to get on / off, then walk all the way back to the 1st car. Perhaps a better option would be an automatic door opener or something so the operator doesn't have to leave the train. Also there could be television screens installed by the spot where the 1st car stops so the operator can see the platform easier for any passengers getting on and off.
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Postby dieciduej » Wed May 14, 2008 4:29 am

Think of it this way. On the loop the left corners of the car would be touching and the right corners would be far apart. The center where the end car door is would have a larger gap that if the cars were on a straight track.

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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed May 14, 2008 8:00 am

Until all of the 0700's are in operation and the State St. platform extension (a pain-in-the-ass project because of the curve) gets finished, they can only run 4-car trains anyway. So Bowdoin will remain open and they don't have a lot of urgency to finish the GC exit. Once it goes 6-cars as noted keeping Bowdoin open gets real difficult and requires some ugly hacks on the inbound side to keep it operational...which just isn't worth it for a light-use station that's only open 5 days a week for limited hours. And it would probably be wise for them to finish that GC exit in time for the very-delayed reconstruction of the Green Line level because that's going to screw up the works thoroughly.

Bowdoin's got to go during the Charles extension construction because if cars have to round the outer portions of the loop to run thru then there's going to be a traffic-snarling 5 code in that stretch that's going to totally screw up headways. The ROW has to be straightened, and that requires demolishing a goodly portion of the platform near the loop-side wall. If the station were better-spaced they could shave the other wall back to reclaim platform and get 6-car berths, but if it's only 500 feet as is from the 2nd GC exit then doing that expensive construction will make it (pointlessly) even closer.

T is of course being obstructionist about this one...and frankly it's more inexcusable than any other block they're throwing up against the Big Dig commitments. Red-Blue badly needs a connection because the Blue-Orange-Red and Blue-Green-Red transfers overload the downtown stations (think how many fewer Red Line commuters would have to get off at congested Park and DTX if the transfers were spread), Blue has extra capacity it's not tapping because of lack of full connections, if it's going to go to Lynn you have to be able to get those longer-distance commuters to downtown better, Charles Circle has booming development that will merit a better connection, it's a critical public service to provide access to Mass General and Mass Eye & Ear from another route, and it'll help spur North Shore development along the existing stations to have that much better downtown access. I think the cumulative economic stimuli are reasons enough to justify it, and it's the easiest downtown subway extension left to do because of short length and cut-and-cover construction under a wide roadway, but the T's doing its usual can't-see-forest-for-trees thing here. And that is just intensely frustrating because it is the biggest gaping hole in the entire system.
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Postby sery2831 » Wed May 14, 2008 10:18 am

dieciduej wrote:One premise is to pull the first two cars beyond the station and the operator, don't forget the Blue Line is one person operation, would walk back to the third car to open the doors on cars 3, 4, 5 and 6. I think that has been tabled. So they now may use the door request buttons. It is a low use station and that is the reason they did the door buttons why not use the feature.

JoeD


I personally don't like the idea of pulling the front two cars into the loop. I think that could cause some problems in the long run. I understand the latest plan is to only allow the new cars to stop at Bowdoin and use the on-demand feature. They can somehow cut out the front two cars from the operator controls on those cars.
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Postby cpontani » Wed May 14, 2008 12:28 pm

I still don't understand the issue with the loop. They run the 1 train through the South Ferry loop with passengers aboard. And how are passengers going to get from one car to the next (or fall onto the tracks) when the doors between cars are locked???
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