• Swap Wedgemere For Montvale?

  • 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 l008com
 
Since I only watch the trains and pretty much never actually get to ride them, this just occurred to me the other day. Its a LONG way between Winchester Center and Anderson. Woburn's only train station is a stones throw away from Wilmington. Wouldn't it make more sense, and serve more people, to skip Wedgemere, and add another stop in Woburn? I'm thinking Montvale because its nice and evenly spaced, and also as close as you can get to woburn square, close as you can get to stoneham, and its even right off 93. Although I'm not thinking of making a station that is a 'transportation center' like anderson, just a better way to serve people who actually live near the line, but would have to drive a few miles to actually get to a station.

-- and as far as wedgemere, it would make a great end of the line for the green line :-)

Also I'm completely ignoring mishawum because of its super limited service.

There appears to easily be enough room for mbta sized platforms between montvale ave and the stoneham branch, without blocking of stoneham branch, you know just in case hell freezes over and anyone ever, for any reason, wants to put a train on there again someday. There may be enough room for parking too. I'd have to know who exactly owns what land, what could be taken, etc. And it will never happen anyway since something like this would only come about if woburn actually wanted it. Still though, it seemed like a good idea to me.
  by cpf354
 
l008com wrote:Since I only watch the trains and pretty much never actually get to ride them, this just occurred to me the other day. Its a LONG way between Winchester Center and Anderson. Woburn's only train station is a stones throw away from Wilmington. Wouldn't it make more sense, and serve more people, to skip Wedgemere, and add another stop in Woburn? I'm thinking Montvale because its nice and evenly spaced, and also as close as you can get to woburn square, close as you can get to stoneham, and its even right off 93. Although I'm not thinking of making a station that is a 'transportation center' like anderson, just a better way to serve people who actually live near the line, but would have to drive a few miles to actually get to a station.

-- and as far as wedgemere, it would make a great end of the line for the green line :-)

Also I'm completely ignoring mishawum because of its super limited service.

There appears to easily be enough room for mbta sized platforms between montvale ave and the stoneham branch, without blocking of stoneham branch, you know just in case hell freezes over and anyone ever, for any reason, wants to put a train on there again someday. There may be enough room for parking too. I'd have to know who exactly owns what land, what could be taken, etc. And it will never happen anyway since something like this would only come about if woburn actually wanted it. Still though, it seemed like a good idea to me.
I don't use the line but from what I know what you say makes sense. You should submit the suggestion to the town of Woburn, the MBTA and MBCR. Usually the towns are responsible for sighting and constructing station facilities, so Woburn would be the first place to go.

  by Ricky Smith
 
Although it could be a good idea I don't see either going for it, Woburn doesn't have enough money to start a major construction project such as that. As we just built a new high school, and 3 elementary schools, and had to cut funding for the schools since we spent so much on new schools.

  by octr202
 
This looks like one of those ideas that makes a lot of sense from an operational and passenger standpoint, but unlikely from a transportation planning and political perspective. First off, taking away a stop in one town, in order to add one in another town, isn't going to go over well. No matter how ridiculously redundant Wedgemere is, Winchester will no doubt scream bloody murder if they get wind of the idea of closing one of their stations so that Woburn can get another new station. Therefore, when you factor in the financial situation outlined above in Woburn, it looks unlikely as a town project. The only way that this would get pushed beyond the conceptual stage is if the state/MBTA are pushing it.

Then, you get into the parking/no parking issue. The state/MBTA has shown little or no interest in stations without substantial parking. There is a significant parking shortage on the system, so all station construction efforts are going in that direction. Look at, for example, all of the remote station locations on the Worcester Line. From a planning perspective, a station without parking won't generate enough riders to have is score highly enough to receive funding. Just from looking at aerial photos, it doesn't look like there would be room for much parking at this location, however, regardless of that, there are two other factors that will limit the possibility of parking at a Montvale Ave. station. First, given the residential neighborhood, you can expect there to be signifigant local opposition to a park and ride station being built -- possibly to the station period, depending on what percentage of the neighborhood would be likely to use it. You can expect all the usual arguments -- not wanting traffic, illegal parking by commuters on streets, etc. Secondly, though, and just as critical, is that the state has a white elephant of a parking lot on its hands at Anderson, just a short hop away. While parking may be tight on the system as a whole, there is ample parking available at Anderson -- it would be politically difficult to argue for spending more money on parking in Woburn when its got one of the highest availability rates on the whole commuter rail system at at Anderson.

  by Ron Newman
 
But wouldn't a stop at Montvale serve walkers from the surrounding residential area? There would be no need for any parking.

  by l008com
 
It would serve woburn and stoneham *better* than any existing station, but its still a mile walk from either town square, to where the station would be.

Its kind of like, with the stoneham branch and the woburn loop, the mainline didn't need any stations between winchester and wilmington. But now that both lines are gone, the trains just roll on through, and no one in these towns really even think about using them. When we go to boston, we just drive. 3 miles to winchester center vs 6 miles to downtown, might as well just drive.

But yeah, I would 'envision' it as more of a local station, and not a 'park & ride' type of facility. Just seems more logical then the current station setup. Honestly even if it was there, I'd probably never use it anyway. I don't "commute" by any regular schedule. But still, I know this would probably never happen, not unless Woburn decided they wanted it. And Woburn itself is so big, most of the town, if not all, just wouldn't care.

  by jpitha
 
I live directly in-between Winchester Center and Wedgemere, so I can walk to Winchester in the morning to get a better chance for a seat, and get off at Wedgemere in the evening to get home 5 minutes quicker. I would totally be bummed if they shut down Wedgemere. :-D

The idea does make sense though.

  by octr202
 
Ron Newman wrote:But wouldn't a stop at Montvale serve walkers from the surrounding residential area? There would be no need for any parking.
Ideally, yes. But the planning process (which is how money would get allocated) takes into account the population and commuting patterns of the surrounding community. If you eliminate parking, you're only assessing, IIRC, a one-mile radius of the station. The analysis is going to look at census data (the "journey to work" data) and CTPS' own models, and generate a figure for how many new transit trips the station would be likely to generate. I would guess (and this is nothing more than a guess) that walk-up only stations aren't scoring as well as those with parking -- just witness how virtually all new station construction has been sited to favor parking over "neighborhood" walk-up stations. Don't get me wrong, Ron, I'm a big proponent of those type of stations (and an occasional user of the one in Waverley Sq.), but I'm just surmising that the state would rather spend money on a park & ride somewhere, than on stations without.

Of course, if the neighborhood wanted it, and got their state reps and senators involved, all sorts of things can happen. :wink:

  by Choo Choo Coleman
 
I think that a stop at Montvale would be a good idea, however, some drawbacks would be lack of parking and the already heavy traffic on Montvale Avenue.

Getting into and out of Woburn along Montvale Ave is a nightmare down by the 93 ramps, and in the evening commute, traffic is often backed down to the train bridge. While a train station would get some of these cars off the road, the only way it would work would be if there was a shuttle bus to the various Cummings Park properties.

I think a better stop would be on Salem Street. It would have more room for parking and traffic wouldn't be as much of an issue. It's also closer to Cummings.

  by Ricky Smith
 
I hope no one would plan on getting to the station during the morning hours nor after noon. On salem or montvale once the high school and surrounding schools get out the place turns into a parking lot god knows how far away.
  by l008com
 
I just found this old thread of mine while looking for something else. What are the odds! I think of how nice a station would be here all the time because turns out, I bought a house right down the street. And if there were a station here again, I'd be able to walk there! That would be very handy but 15 years later and it doesn't seem any more likely to happen. You'd think the world would have gotten a bit more pro-public transportation since 2007 but maybe the next 15 years.

Anyway some interesting things. They are currently widening Montvale between 93 and about this location, so in theory it won't be as bad any more. Will that actually be the end result of this widening? Hopefully but we'll see, I'm in that traffic every other day now.

Also the stoneham branch is now a rail trail, with the very last bit between Center St and the Lowell line still left in place all over grown. It's probably "safe" to leave on consideration for reactivating the Stoneham Branch at this point :P Although rail trail access to this station would be very convenient for Stoneham residents in the warmer months.

Last thing I can think of is regarding parking. There IS room for parking. If they built the lot at street level, ABOVE the ROW/platform. You could fit a decent size lot in there doing that. The "entrance" to this lot could be right on top of the overpass and the exit could maybe be somewhere on central st. It's not like we're talking about a huge flow of cars all day. It's theoretically possible that the NIMBY uproar wouldn't be THAT bad since they're the people with the most to benefit and it's not like the trains don't already run there all day long.

Still I don't expect this to ever happen. It's just funny how I had the idea when I lived a few miles away and now I live right next door. It would be awesome to have a station there now. It would probably up my property value too.

Edit: I just looked up CR fares and if this station did exist, whether it were a Zone 1 or Zone 2, it would still be cheaper to walk there and take the CR into Boston, vs driving to Oak Grove or Wellington, paying for parking, and paying the subway fare. Cheaper and muuuuch more pleasant. Of course I'd probably be hopping on the Orange line as soon as I got to North Station anyway but still, this is one neighbor that would LOVE this in his back yard.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
More like swap Mishawum for Montvale. Mishawum is already essentially closed, though still on the books. It is useless without major land-use changes. Montvale would be important for both Woburn and Stoneham, especially if there will be Regional Rail levels of service in the future and with the Stoneham Rail Trail connection.
  by Arborwayfan
 
If you ever do decide to try to lobby for a walk-up station, think about:

1. a resident-parking-only from 6 am to 3 pm ish for a couple blocks each direction from the station.
2. a high platform 1.5 car-lengths long, so that trains could open two pairs of doors serving three cars; people for this stop would just need to know to get on the front three cars or whatever.
3. don't eliminate another stop. Two or three minutes added to the schedule won't hurt anything, and with the three-car, four-door high platform proposed in #2, boarding would go pretty fast.

It seems silly to me that the T and the towns don't try to get more walk-up business. A walk-up CR station could let a two-job couple live in a suburban town but own just one car instead of two, saving them thousands of dollars a year.
  by l008com
 
The limits of my lobbying are reactivating this 15 year old thread :D

But I assumed all new station would be full length high platform center stations with no ground level foot crossings. And thats probably a good idea here since trains would be whipping around a kind of blind corner and going under montvale ave bridge and would just appear. And amtrak trains would still be going 70 mph or so.
  by R36 Combine Coach
 
Would a single car mini high be sufficient? ADA requirements in Massachusetts are more comprehensive than
federal guidelines and rules in most states. Metro-North did recently built the new Port Jervis station as a single car mini high.