• Commuter Rail Electrification

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

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  by BandA
 
Maybe they can synthesize diesel fuel from carbon dioxide using algae. Pilot projects have been successfully producing several gallons of fuel a day.
  by ElectricTraction
 
mbrproductions wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 11:13 amIt doesn't look like the pro-electrification advocates are very pleased with this new plan by the MBTA, they want full catenary electrification of the entire system, even though it has already been stated by the MBTA that this is not viable on many lines and would take until 2063.
WTF? 2063?!? The pace that anything gets done in this country is ridiculous. It's not something that can be done overnight, but it certainly shouldn't take 41 YEARS!! Maybe 10 to get everything except Old Colony Lines electrified.
  by BandA
 
I don't mind them slow walking something that doesn't make economic sense.
  by RandallW
 
I think Elmore Leonard, in one of his Florida detective stories, wrote something to the effect of "the Mexicans in all their ignorance built a highway through the mountains in just six months, but it takes real American know-how to turn widening a straight road on level ground into a four year ordeal."
  by mbrproductions
 
BandA is right, the MBTA is drowning in billions of dollars of debt and in all honesty, it's a miracle that they are even considering moving on with this project (either that or a result of the incompetence of the board and the politicians trying to force them into this) .
Most likely, the reason that it would take this long is that the MBTA, in its current fiscal situation, simply cannot afford to electrify all but 4 lines (Old Colony, Greenbush, and Providence) in a mere decade.
  by CRail
 
Those pushing for full blown electrification by Monday are confusing reality with their Sim City game. You can't just drag and drop catenary. Embracing a more methodical approach would see more wire up sooner, but the need to string wire anywhere a purple train goes is going to doom the project altogether.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
 
Electrification, decarbonization, and improving service levels make a hell of a lot more sense than continuing to spew carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air just because the T is afraid to change their operating habits away from the commuter railroads of the previous century.
  by mbrproductions
 
Not when the MBTA is drowning in a mountain of debt that it won't get out of anytime soon, is predicted to go through what has been called a 'fiscal calamity' in the next few years, and has a century-old crumbling Subway system that is in such a poor condition that it literally kills its passengers and has even concerned the FTA, which is now looking directly at Boston.
The MBTA is not 'afraid to change their operating habits away from the last century', they just cannot afford to do it, they are in a horrific financial situation that is only predicted to get worse and with this already have an urgent responsibility to fix the subways, which in itself will likely cost them millions.
  by CRail
 
TurningOfTheWheel wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 12:25 pm Electrification, decarbonization, and improving service levels make a hell of a lot more sense than continuing to spew carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air just because the T is afraid to change their operating habits away from the commuter railroads of the previous century.
Sure, if that were the reason, but if you'd read the discussion above it's explained in significant detail that it isn't. BTW, interstate highways "spew" a lot more carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air than diesel locomotives do, so perhaps we should be putting up catenary there first!
  by ElectricTraction
 
BandA wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:04 amI don't mind them slow walking something that doesn't make economic sense.
It makes perfect sense for a plethora of reasons, except maybe on Old Colony Lines (or at least they should be last and take the HSP46 fleet as the other lines are electrified).
CRail wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 10:36 amThose pushing for full blown electrification by Monday are confusing reality with their Sim City game. You can't just drag and drop catenary. Embracing a more methodical approach would see more wire up sooner, but the need to string wire anywhere a purple train goes is going to doom the project altogether.
The problem in this country with infrastructure is that we are so ridiculously bad at doing much of anything. New York is the worst, but it costs 7x as much and takes many times longer than it would even in Western Europe. It's not that hard, railroads all over the world have been electrified.
CRail wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:35 pmSure, if that were the reason, but if you'd read the discussion above it's explained in significant detail that it isn't. BTW, interstate highways "spew" a lot more carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air than diesel locomotives do, so perhaps we should be putting up catenary there first!
And faster, more efficient trains using electric traction power in combination with the NSRL would get more people out of their cars and onto the train. Also, gasoline cars emit far fewer particulates than diesel anything, especially diesel locomotives, and especially the old screamers.
  by ElectricTraction
 
Although the South side lines need electrification the most, it would make sense to do South (non-Old Colony) and North sides at the same time, as they are currently two almost totally separate systems, and should be able to be worked in parallel.

Does Warwick to Providence have the clearance for wire over the top of the autoracks that go to Davisville? It goes under several bridges.
  by west point
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:38 pm Does Warwick to Providence have the clearance for wire over the top of the autoracks that go to Davisville? It goes under several bridges.
That is an importnt quetion. There are overhead rail sysems with proper insulation above rail that can allow OCS ( overhead contact system ) within a few inches of the underside of bridge. But with 25 kV OCS you still need at least 23'6" - 23 feet height above top of rail . That is if the track does not have any dips or crowns within 100 feet of the limits of bridge profile that might cause top of car to be higher.

Then if the clearances needed cannot be met either =
1. Raise bridge by far best option . Raising bridges has become very easy around here.
2. Lower track not always possible.
3. have OCS a dead section going under bridge. MNRR does thhat on at least one of their movable bridges.
  by MBTA3247
 
ElectricTraction wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 6:38 pmDoes Warwick to Providence have the clearance for wire over the top of the autoracks that go to Davisville? It goes under several bridges.
That's been electrified for over 20 years, so yes.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
 
CRail wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 11:35 pm
TurningOfTheWheel wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 12:25 pm Electrification, decarbonization, and improving service levels make a hell of a lot more sense than continuing to spew carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air just because the T is afraid to change their operating habits away from the commuter railroads of the previous century.
Sure, if that were the reason, but if you'd read the discussion above it's explained in significant detail that it isn't. BTW, interstate highways "spew" a lot more carbon dioxide and particulate matter into the air than diesel locomotives do, so perhaps we should be putting up catenary there first!
The discussion above is mostly people running in circles yelling that it "doesn't make sense economically" without showing any of the math to back it up in terms of operational costs, maintenance, future avoided carbon taxes, and value added of increased service quality and ridership.

As far as the highways go: fast, frequent, and electrified regional rail is a great way to encourage people out of their cars. The T's current operating practices cannot support the service levels needed to make that happen en masse.
  by ElectricTraction
 
west point wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:54 amThat is an importnt quetion. There are overhead rail sysems with proper insulation above rail that can allow OCS ( overhead contact system ) within a few inches of the underside of bridge. But with 25 kV OCS you still need at least 23'6" - 23 feet height above top of rail . That is if the track does not have any dips or crowns within 100 feet of the limits of bridge profile that might cause top of car to be higher.

Then if the clearances needed cannot be met either =
1. Raise bridge by far best option . Raising bridges has become very easy around here.
2. Lower track not always possible.
3. have OCS a dead section going under bridge. MNRR does thhat on at least one of their movable bridges.
The track looks pretty smooth and level in those areas, I just don't know if they planned for 25kV/60 wire overhead when building the high clearance track. Some of those areas appear to be tight on clearance, as the high clearance track is noticeably lower than the two Amtrak tracks, which presumably only clear the T at 15'11" or maybe F.

The wire under the garage at TF Green couldn't be dead, as that's a T stop.
MBTA3247 wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 6:08 amThat's been electrified for over 20 years, so yes.
It is not electrified from Warwick to Providence, where only the 3rd track has clearance for autoracks, and no wire. It is used by the T during the day for the Wickford Junction trains to service TF Green and P&W at night for WODA and DAWO, separate from the two electrified tracks used by Amtrak. From Warwick south to Davisville, the autorack traffic runs on the 2-track NEC mixed with the T and Amtrak, and the wire is high enough up to clear the autoracks. I'd presume that south of Davisville, it drops to Plate F or the 15'11" T clearance, and WODA has to drop the autoracks in Davisville for the occasional run down to Arnold Lumber in Kingston.

I don't know if they planned the height necessary when building it to accommodate 25kV/60 wire above autoracks. I would hope so, as the electrical system is designed to be upgraded for use by the T, but I don't know for sure.
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