Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

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bostontrainguy
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:46 am

If you check Goggle Earth you can see that they have erected a new signal mast just south of the Yard 10 switch on the main. Is this not for an interlocking being placed at the junction of the Yard 10 lead? It sure looks like it.

ceo
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by ceo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:56 am

Fundamentally, rebuilding the Grand Junction for mainline passenger rail is a terrible idea. It's a really roundabout route with half a dozen closely-spaced grade crossings on busy streets. Rebuilding that stretch of the Pike to allow for an eastbound connection will be expensive and disruptive enough (if it's even possible); once you start talking about grade separating it through Cambridge, that gets spendy enough you might as well build the North-South Rail Link and have a much more useful connection, and then you can convert the Grand Junction to light rail.

GP40MC1118
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by GP40MC1118 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:15 pm

Those signals you see at Washington Street:

1) These are the new distant signals erected in 2018 related to the retirement of Somerville Jct and the installation of Tufts Interlocking.
They are temporarily out of service due to the Washington Street bridge replacement project. See below.

2) The other signals you see are temporary signals in lieu of the signals mentioned above. These were done for Phase 1 of the bridge
project which shifted the Lowell mainline way over to the west side so the east "half" of Washington St can be demoed and replaced.
Once that is done, the Lowell main will go back to its final alignment on the east side and the new signals referred to in #1 go back
in service.

Though they should, I am not sure they will change this to an interlocking for the Yard 9/10 lead.

D

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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by CRail » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:44 pm

ceo wrote:Fundamentally, rebuilding the Grand Junction for mainline passenger rail is a terrible idea.
No it isn’t. It passes right through a densely redeveloped transit area which serves as a destination to a significant chunk of the railroad’s ridership. If fluid traffic flow was a concern we wouldn’t demolishing its supporting infrastructure like the Sullivan, Casey, and McGrath highway overpasses. In an area like Kendall Square and Mass Ave, the automobile should not and will not be the primary mode of transportation. That stretch of the Pike is being anhialated anyways as previously mentioned so cutting in an eastbound leg while that’s already disrupted would not be all that impactful, not that I believe this will happen but it absolutely should.

NSRL isn’t happening. Sure, people keep wasting our money on studies to push for it but it gets rejected every time and we’ll be arguing about it for all eternity. As it stands it isn’t happening, so why would we write off potential improvements and expansions for hopes of a project that can’t gain any steam in the first place?
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bostontrainguy
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by bostontrainguy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:38 pm

I want to add that the newest (and final?) plan removes the ugly Mass Pike viaduct and replaces it with a new ugly Storrow Drive viaduct! If the Mass Pike was lowered through the entire narrow "Throat" area, not only would it be possible to build two wye bridges for the Grand Junction over it, it would also be possible to put Storrow Drive over it at ground level. That would greatly enhance the look of the area and probably also leave more room along the river's edge for bike paths, walking trails and scenic vegetation.

Check this out for an interesting rendering of a proposed plan for the west end of the Grand Junction:

https://www.lukez.com/lukez/wp-content/ ... -Flyer.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Adams_Umass_Boston
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by Adams_Umass_Boston » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 pm

For give my ignorance. I am not sure this is really part of the Grand Junction but I am not sure what other line it might be.
In my local news paper it was reported

"Option to Purchase Easements, Railroad Right-of-Way Off William F. McClellan Highway (Route 1A), Boston and Revere, MA"
https://www.mbtarealty.com/bid-docs/
https://www.mbtarealty.com/wp-content/u ... -image.jpg
66356141_10156977526479504_3752635882838949888_n.jpg
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ceo
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by ceo » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:03 pm

That sounds like the remains of the old Eastern Railroad mainline, which runs down the west side of East Boston along the Chelsea River. There was a plan a few years ago to reactivate it for an ethanol transshipment operation, but it got wisely shot down over environmental concerns.

bostontrainguy
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by bostontrainguy » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:54 pm

Yeah, that fight was going on just before Lac-Megantic was tragically blown to bits. Pan Am still has it on their route map although it's probably never going to see any freight use now although it doesn't include the whole branch and stops just before the switch to the oil farm.

Kind of an odd piece of property for anyone to buy and certainly not a pleasant area to bike or hike through. Don't know who would want it.

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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by MBTA3247 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:01 am

There's some sense in the adjacent landowners acquiring the pieces of ROW next to their properties.
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CRail
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by CRail » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:20 am

ceo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:03 pm
That sounds like the remains of the old Eastern Railroad mainline, which runs down the west side of East Boston along the Chelsea River. There was a plan a few years ago to reactivate it for an ethanol transshipment operation, but it got wisely shot down over environmental concerns.
Wisely? The material is still shipped from the area, but now it shares the highway with you. That’s “wise”?
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FatNoah
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by FatNoah » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:30 am

Anyone remember this? https://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/23/ ... in-saugus/

This obviously wasn't inbound ethanol, but I'm more confident about RR handling than trucks plus local drivers sharing roads with it.

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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by jbvb » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:49 pm

I remember that Saugus Rt. 1 crash, though I only saw the scar after rush hour. I have more vivid memories of the tanker that flipped in Kendall Sq. about 1978; the burning spill didn't quite make it into the subway station, but it did a number on the substation that was next to the then-rotary. I saw the plume of smoke from Central Sq. And though the net doesn't know the date of the Kendall Sq. accident, looking revealed quite a few more recent tanker accidents in eastern MA. I agree with FatNoah.

Regarding passenger use of the Grand Jct., I disagree with CEO. The RoW exists and isn't abutted by many residences. It should have been used for the Light Rail Urban Ring decades ago, but if it continues in limited use, the former 2-4 track width will be nibbled down to 1 by politically connected developers.

Diverging Route
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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by Diverging Route » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:13 pm

jbvb wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:49 pm
I have more vivid memories of the tanker that flipped in Kendall Sq. about 1978; the burning spill didn't quite make it into the subway station, but it did a number on the substation that was next to the then-rotary. I saw the plume of smoke from Central Sq. And though the net doesn't know the date of the Kendall Sq. accident, looking revealed quite a few more recent tanker accidents in eastern MA. I agree with FatNoah.
It was May 7, 1977. I was on the MIT campus at the time and ran to the scene after I heard the explosion.

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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by EuroStar » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:23 am

jbvb wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:49 pm
Regarding passenger use of the Grand Jct., I disagree with CEO. The RoW exists and isn't abutted by many residences. It should have been used for the Light Rail Urban Ring decades ago, but if it continues in limited use, the former 2-4 track width will be nibbled down to 1 by politically connected developers.
I believe that the right-of-way is already down to 1 track in at least one location. And I really mean the right-of-way, not just the fact that there is a single track in there. There is a single MIT building that straddles the right of way on both sides and by the looks of it they left space for only one track under the building. This was done before the MBTA/MassDOT took ownership of the line. Additionally I see no chance that MIT will let heavy rail, even passenger only, operation operate through their campus full time during the day. Light rail probably has better chance, but even that is highly questionable. Recall how the Durham-Orange light rail collapsed because of university opposition. Recall that Princeton has continuously kicked the Dinky further and further out of campus. Universities are no friends of surface rail as that is just too much liability of their students doing something stupid.

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Re: Grand Junction Branch (The North/South Side Connection)

Post by CRail » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:59 am

The school has zero control over what the owners of the rail line decide to do with it. With political clout, and since the owner in this case is the state, they may have the weight to sway a decision, but it is not ultimately up to them to decide what happens. It is absolutely a no brainer to use this line for passenger service and to serve Kendall Square.

You’re not going to see any new developments with the line until after the Pike realignment is done, but post West Station I guarantee the GJ will be a passenger route.
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