Fairmount Line Discussion

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

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sery2831
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by sery2831 »

With three stations fully under construction and several bridge projects on going... I can't see this being viewed as slow.
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SM89
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by SM89 »

I think by slow he means overall with respect to the idea of the Indigo line approaching rapid transit like conditions. I am actually really impressed by the speed with which the MBTA is building the new stations and with how they will most likely increase service on the line once they open. However, the other part of the idea would include new cars, etc.

The EGE
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by The EGE »

They also filed for delay of completion of some of the projects, but I believe that's a "construction is taking too long" issue like the Wonderland garage rather than a "we can't/don't want to fund this" issue like the GLX and Red/Blue connector.

jamesinclair
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by jamesinclair »

Yeah Ive seen no indication that 20 minute rush hour headways and weekend service will arrive in 2012 like planned.

cytotoxictcell
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by cytotoxictcell »

Why was fairmount line impacted by the NE corridor tie replacement when its not even on the NE corridor?

#5 - Dyre Ave
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by #5 - Dyre Ave »

SM89 wrote:I think by slow he means overall with respect to the idea of the Indigo line approaching rapid transit like conditions. I am actually really impressed by the speed with which the MBTA is building the new stations and with how they will most likely increase service on the line once they open. However, the other part of the idea would include new cars, etc.
So am I. It's great to know that they've already got three stations under construction. But with additional station and continuing to use the same standard push-pull commuter trains they're using now, run times will be higher and average speeds will be slower due to the Fairmount Line having closer-spaced stations. Running self-propelled M.U. trains, which accelerate faster than standard push-pull trains, might make for faster running times and average speeds. I'd like to see the MBTA go in with GO Transit, who is purchasing Sumitomo DMUs for service on its forthcoming service between Toronto's Union Station and Pearson Airport.

StevieC48
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by StevieC48 »

I found this on National Corridors Initiative :
New Transit Station Already Triggering Rebirth Of Boston Central City Neighborhood

http://www.nationalcorridors.org/df3/df ... .shtml#New
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trainhq
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by trainhq »

There has been a lot of discussion of DMUs on this line before. Basically, the way things are, is that there are currently
no actual FRA compliant DMUs being manufactured now. U.S. Railcar is looking into reviving the Colorado railcar DMU,
but hasn't succeeded yet. And, the CRC DMU had some issues when it was actually tested in service. We'll see if U.S.
Railcar does any better.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

trainhq wrote:There has been a lot of discussion of DMUs on this line before. Basically, the way things are, is that there are currently
no actual FRA compliant DMUs being manufactured now. U.S. Railcar is looking into reviving the Colorado railcar DMU,
but hasn't succeeded yet. And, the CRC DMU had some issues when it was actually tested in service. We'll see if U.S.
Railcar does any better.
Davey was on the record saying that CR needs less different makes of vehicles to maintain, not more. The new loco order has the escalator clause for another 20 units if they like how the first order is performing specifically because it'll allow them to expedite dumping the GP40's and their largely incompatible systems and standardize on just the 1988-93 era FP40's and new MSI46's that have a lot more parts-and-service overlap than the Geeps. I think it would be a bad idea to go DMU unless it was widespread on an "Indigo Division" where Needham, Fairmount, Stoughton, Riverside/Framingham, Peabody/Danvers, Reading, Anderson RTC, Waltham/128 all got high frequency short-turn shuttles. 1 line is just not nearly enough scale, and the T would be better off electrifying the branch, pooling its maint resources with Amtrak at a larger shared facility, and getting the better emissions and start/stop performance using their existing coaches. It would be halfway or better as good on the Fairmount as pure DMU's and would also net them a windfall of diesels freed up from loco-hungry Providence Line duty to beef everything else up. Plus they can pool that loco order with RIDOT when they initiate South County CR (and probably subcontract the T on 100% subsidy to operate it for them). That is probably what Davey was referring to with his preference about locomotive makes: if you're going to introduce a new make, electric push-pull is way way way better utilization, maintenance-friendliness, and overall bang-for-buck than a situation-limited DMU configuration.

diburning
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by diburning »

FP40? MSI46s? What?

If anything, the GP40MCs have more in common mechanically to the rest of the fleet than the HSP-46s. Look at it this way. EMD's 645 prime mover and components are mostly interchangeable, especially between different variants of the 645. The F40PHs, F40PH-2Cs, F40PHM-2Cs, GP40MCs, AND the MP36PH-3Cs all use some variant of the 645, and work pretty much the same way (or at least are similar enough for them to figure it out). The HSP-46s will be oddballs due to the GE prime mover, method of HEP generation (static inverter?), and pretty much everything else!

So far, I'd say that the MBTA has done a GREAT job on selecting engines that use similar parts. The lease MARC units also use EMD 645 prime movers. 3247 uses a 645 prime mover as well. The only oddballs are the HSP-46s, 904 (which is using 902 as a parts donor), and the gensets (which were paid for by a federal grant).

Until the EMD 645 prime mover goes out of fashion (which is very possible since CAT bought EMD and is now coming out with new passenger engines under the EMD name but with a CAT prime mover), I think the MBTA will stick with as few oddballs as possible. The HSP-46s were purchased because they NEEDED them. They probably would have picked something else if there wasn't such an immediate need for replacements for the aging F40PHs.

#5 - Dyre Ave
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by #5 - Dyre Ave »

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: Davey was on the record saying that CR needs less different makes of vehicles to maintain, not more. The new loco order has the escalator clause for another 20 units if they like how the first order is performing specifically because it'll allow them to expedite dumping the GP40's and their largely incompatible systems and standardize on just the 1988-93 era FP40's and new MSI46's that have a lot more parts-and-service overlap than the Geeps. I think it would be a bad idea to go DMU unless it was widespread on an "Indigo Division" where Needham, Fairmount, Stoughton, Riverside/Framingham, Peabody/Danvers, Reading, Anderson RTC, Waltham/128 all got high frequency short-turn shuttles. 1 line is just not nearly enough scale, and the T would be better off electrifying the branch, pooling its maint resources with Amtrak at a larger shared facility, and getting the better emissions and start/stop performance using their existing coaches. It would be halfway or better as good on the Fairmount as pure DMU's and would also net them a windfall of diesels freed up from loco-hungry Providence Line duty to beef everything else up. Plus they can pool that loco order with RIDOT when they initiate South County CR (and probably subcontract the T on 100% subsidy to operate it for them). That is probably what Davey was referring to with his preference about locomotive makes: if you're going to introduce a new make, electric push-pull is way way way better utilization, maintenance-friendliness, and overall bang-for-buck than a situation-limited DMU configuration.
Davey is right that having fewer types of vehicles to maintain on the CR is better. Heck, that's better for any route. When the T needs to buy new Red Line cars, perhaps they should one large fleet to replace the four that are currently in service, even if it means early retirement for the 01800s. If you have a large-scale commuter rail system, it's never good to have equipment that has to be confined to just one line. That's why the T hasn't ordered electric locos or EMUs for the Providence Line. But I think if they ordered DMUs for Fairmount as well as Needham, Riverside/Framingham, Peabody/Danvers (base service on four lines), it would be worth doing. I still think that with the new stations, you're going to have an operation on the Fairmount Line better suited for multiple-unit trains because stations will be set closer together than they are now and MUs accelerate faster.

The EGE
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by The EGE »

Is there any long-term thought of Amtrak electrifying the corridor, if South Station ever gets expanded? I could see it as a good way to get around SW Corridor capacity issues, but it does skip Back Bay.

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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

The EGE wrote:Is there any long-term thought of Amtrak electrifying the corridor, if South Station ever gets expanded? I could see it as a good way to get around SW Corridor capacity issues, but it does skip Back Bay.
Not soon. There's still a decent amount of congestion mitigation to achieve in Boston: 3-track Readville-Canton Jct; 4-track Forest Hills-Readville; fix the single-track Franklin split; second Ruggles platform; high platforms at Hyde Park, Readville, Canton (and all points south). If they do that and thru trains aren't co-mingling on the same tracks with any branchlines between FH and Canton Jct there's a lot more throughput to be had for Amtrak and the Providence Line.

The Amtrak tie-in for getting the Fairmount electrified is maintenance facility space, not a revenue track. Southampton Yard is totally tapped out of capacity, and Amtrak needs a Boston-Providence leg heavy maintenance shop because the nearest full-scale shops they've got are in New Haven. And that one's overcrowded with MNRR/CDOT ops. The only logical place in the region to put that facility is Readville, where there's the gigantic empty yard and further expansion space on the river side of the T's active layover yard. Priority for them to tackle within 10-15 years time before the space crunch is overcritical, so one or both of those sites is going to get selected as a combo Amtrak/MBTA southside full-service facility and yard. When that happens Amtrak is going to want a direct connection to/from Southampton for deadheading that doesn't foul the mainline. Start pooling resources like the T going in on it and considering a combined electrics order to share with RIDOT South County Commuter Rail...and it's easy to justify the wire-up between engine houses.

HenryAlan
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by HenryAlan »

#5 - Dyre Ave wrote:
Davey is right that having fewer types of vehicles to maintain on the CR is better. Heck, that's better for any route. When the T needs to buy new Red Line cars, perhaps they should one large fleet to replace the four that are currently in service, even if it means early retirement for the 01800s. If you have a large-scale commuter rail system, it's never good to have equipment that has to be confined to just one line. That's why the T hasn't ordered electric locos or EMUs for the Providence Line. But I think if they ordered DMUs for Fairmount as well as Needham, Riverside/Framingham, Peabody/Danvers (base service on four lines), it would be worth doing. I still think that with the new stations, you're going to have an operation on the Fairmount Line better suited for multiple-unit trains because stations will be set closer together than they are now and MUs accelerate faster.
With the additional Farimount stops, how close will they be to one another? There are some stops on the Needham line that are so close you can see one from another (e.g. West Roxbury and Highland). That seems to work okay with the current push/pull operation. I would like to see DMU service on the lines that pass through more crowded areas (Needham being a great example of this), but more so that we could get higher frequency by using shorter train sets. Operationally, push/pull seems fine.

The EGE
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Re: Fairmount Line Discussion (Future Indigo Line)

Post by The EGE »

When the four new stations are in, there will be 9 stations (including the endpoints) on 9.3 miles of track. That averages about 1.2 miles between stations. The longest gap will be SS-Newmarket and Blue Hills Ave - Fairmount at 1.9 miles each, and the shortest Newmarket - Uphams Corner at 0.5 miles.

Here's a geographic map (my original work):
Image

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