• Fairmount Line Discussion

  • 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: sery2831, CRail

  by BandA
 
Arborwayfan, I don't see where we recommended Fairmont Line conversion to "subway" / "Rapid-Transit". I and others recommend the Needham line for eventual conversion, and later Riverside "D" Highland Branch. By eliminating the Washington Street EL the MBTA Commuter Rail was left with a shortage of tracks on the South Side system. Converting the Fairmont Line would make the shortage worse.

No idea where funding for increased frequencies would come from.. The secret for Fairmont line is reducing the costs especially labor costs, making it more convenient and pricing competitively with other modes. Public transportation is not a "luxury" nor is it a necessity (unless you own an office tower in Boston). It should be treated as valuable infrastructure that riders should be willing to pay for. It should not be thought of as a welfare benefit as the MBTA's costs to provide service are very high.
Last edited by CRail on Thu Nov 02, 2023 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Irrelevant political commentary removed.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Mbrproductions suggested light rail. Wicked said
wicked wrote:People need to stop with Fairmount being converted to heavy rail or light rail
because the city needs the alternate route for CR and Amtrak. And other people have made the same light rail or rapid transit suggestion on and off the forum for years. I thought I could help bring sides together by pointing out that it's possible to do almost both. Apparently I should not have tried, because all I got was misunderstanding, and now you're probably annoyed with me, and I know I'm annoyed with you.

As for the luxury thing, since we're arguing now I guess, you yourself frequently treat transit service as less important and less worthy of public money than car infrastructure. Just the other day you were saying that Newton stations need big garages because a car-free commute is impossible or no good and people need to drive to the station. Other times you've said that such-and-such a rail project is a waste of money because people will just drive. You routinely criticize ideas for better transit service that are nowhere near was big or expensive as things that are common in similarly sized cities in Europe, Japan, China, parts of Latin America.... And you just now said that public transit is a valuable service passengers should be willing to pay for, not a welfare project; unless you're also for taxes or tolls that pay for the entire cost of all the roads and streets so that no income or property taxes are ever used to support cars, you're saying that streets and roads are reasonable public services that we should all pay for, but public transit is a frill that users should pay for.
  by OldColonyRailfan
 
On a different topic, If the MBTA high's the fairmount and readville platforms, they wouldn't have to worry about traps.
  by wicked
 
What is preventing full highs at Fairmount?
  by BandA
 
Perhaps there is a freight clearance route through the station(s). MBTA does not have any gauntlet tracks.
  by MBTA3247
 
More likely the T simply hasn't gotten around to rebuilding Fairmount yet.

As for Readville, there should be plenty of room for adding a bypass track (including a second bridge over the NEC) if that part of the line is a clearance route for CSX coming up the old Midland Division and then backing into the yard. The bridge alone, though, would add a lot to the cost of the project, which goes a long way towards explaining why it hasn't been done.
  by diburning
 
As for Readville, if it is indeed a clearance route (which I question because the sides of the bridge don't appear to offer much more clearance than the platform edge, but satellite maps don't have sufficient resolution to be able to tell for sure), then they can build a full length high level platform AND install a gauntlet track for CSX. If you look at the platform as it is now, the mini-high doesn't have to be there anymore if the whole platform is raised, so that gives them wiggle room for a gauntlet track.
  by wicked
 
Does the T even have any gauntlet tracks on the network? I want to say no?
  by wicked
 
Arborwayfan wrote: Thu Oct 19, 2023 8:41 am Mbrproductions suggested light rail. Wicked said
wicked wrote:People need to stop with Fairmount being converted to heavy rail or light rail
because the city needs the alternate route for CR and Amtrak. And other people have made the same light rail or rapid transit suggestion on and off the forum for years. I thought I could help bring sides together by pointing out that it's possible to do almost both. Apparently I should not have tried, because all I got was misunderstanding, and now you're probably annoyed with me, and I know I'm annoyed with you.

As for the luxury thing, since we're arguing now I guess, you yourself frequently treat transit service as less important and less worthy of public money than car infrastructure. Just the other day you were saying that Newton stations need big garages because a car-free commute is impossible or no good and people need to drive to the station. Other times you've said that such-and-such a rail project is a waste of money because people will just drive. You routinely criticize ideas for better transit service that are nowhere near was big or expensive as things that are common in similarly sized cities in Europe, Japan, China, parts of Latin America.... And you just now said that public transit is a valuable service passengers should be willing to pay for, not a welfare project; unless you're also for taxes or tolls that pay for the entire cost of all the roads and streets so that no income or property taxes are ever used to support cars, you're saying that streets and roads are reasonable public services that we should all pay for, but public transit is a frill that users should pay for.
I did not mean to annoy. Yes, EMUs/DMUs running the line at 15- or even 10-minute intervals provide the same effectiveness as heavy rail. I think folks are attached to the idea of it feeding into the heavy rail network, though. To get anywhere near that — best would be a more seamless transfer at South Station — they need to find a way to more easily integrate Fairmount into the fare system. I suppose 2.0 will help with much of it, but I remember when the MTicket app debuted, it was said that one day in the relative soons we'd get a link with the subway fare network. Never happened.
  by stevefol
 
wicked wrote: Mon Oct 30, 2023 11:06 am Does the T even have any gauntlet tracks on the network? I want to say no?
Yes, at Anderson Woburn RTC
  by octr202
 
Anderson is just a passing siding, off of the inbound track.

A gauntlet track actually has two sets of rails interlaced, so that only one set can be used at a time (successfully, at least).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauntlet_track
  by apodino
 
MBTA3247 wrote: Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:53 pm More likely the T simply hasn't gotten around to rebuilding Fairmount yet.

As for Readville, there should be plenty of room for adding a bypass track (including a second bridge over the NEC) if that part of the line is a clearance route for CSX coming up the old Midland Division and then backing into the yard. The bridge alone, though, would add a lot to the cost of the project, which goes a long way towards explaining why it hasn't been done.
Fairmount was actually rebuilt around 2003 or so, right when Uphams Corner and Morton Street were rebuilt and also when the other infill stations were starting to be built. Even though UC and MS were rebuilt with full length highs, for some reason that I don't even know, they elected to rebuild Fairmount with just Mini-Highs. Now the MBTA is regretting this decision as they spent money on a project that now they have no benefit from, and now they want to just rebuild it again.

Readville on the other hand hasn't been touched since about 1990, when the Mini Highs and ramps were installed to make the station accessible. (It was not accessible upon the SW corridor opening in 1987). As others have mentioned, I don't think a full length high on the Fairmount Platform (Track 4), would be difficult, although you may have to relocate the platform a bit closer to the MBTA Yard, if CSX still needs access to Franklin. Obviously full lengths on Tracks 2 and 3 (The NEC) would be easy enough. Track 5 (The Franklin-NEC link) would be a big challenge since the platform is on a curve and an incline. In fact the Mini High had to be placed across from the main low level when it was built. I don't know how you can make this a full length high myself.
  by MBTAVideoClips
 
What is the point of full high levels on the NEC tracks? Nothing stops there. Even if they do need an occasional stop, they likely won't have any people needing to use it and even if they do they have the mini high. Just doesn't make sense.
  by Red Wing
 
To conform it to just about every other stop on the NEC and travel patterns do change so nothing wrong with futureproofing it. Also if something does stop there full highs will always be faster than 1 minihigh with 2 door open and traps open on the rest of the train and people stepping down.
  by The EGE
 
There's a very good possibility that most or all Franklin/Foxboro Line service will eventually shift to the Fairmount Line to preserve limited NEC slots for increased Amtrak and Providence/Stoughton service. If that's the case, having a timed transfer at Readville to NEC trains for Back Bay and Ruggles passengers will be highly desirable.
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