Regional Rail (including North-South Rail Link)

HelloBostonHi

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I would have expected the issue to be that (at least at Auburndale) the streetside platform can be ADA-accessible without an elevator. Once you do an island or highway-side platform you need one...

The T can make a public case that they don't want to be building more elevators when a more reliable and maintenance-light solution exists.
The lastest design directives require two accessible paths to each platform. So each elevator must be accompanied by either a ramp (preferred, won't break down) or another elevator, so one elevator going out of service doesn't make the station inaccessible. But two elevators per side platform means at least four per station which gets experiensive and makes construction take even longer (because elevators still take ridiculously long in MBTA construction)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The lastest design directives require two accessible paths to each platform. So each elevator must be accompanied by either a ramp (preferred, won't break down) or another elevator, so one elevator going out of service doesn't make the station inaccessible. But two elevators per side platform means at least four per station which gets experiensive and makes construction take even longer (because elevators still take ridiculously long in MBTA construction)
The existing stops all have two egresses at two different overpasses anyway, so it wouldn't fly to delete access points that have been around since 1965 unless the stations had to physically shift positions away from certain overpasses. (e.g. curve avoidance for island construction forcing a shift of several dozen to couple hundred feet, structural blocker on one side only for hitting regulation 800 ft. length, etc.)

The good news is that Newtonville's and Auburndale's platforms already far exceed 800 ft. for the convenience of spanning blocks to their separate exits, so the stations are already stretched out enough to do as ramps without many switchbacks required and definitely without need for elevators. West Newton's a bit more compressed and might be a candidate for stretching between Washington (west) to Chestnut instead of squeezing into just the two sides of the Washington rotary.
 

stick n move

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https://news.google.com/articles/CBMiRGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LnRocmlsbGlzdC5jb20vdHJhdmVsL25hdGlvbi9ib3N0b24tbm9ydGgtc291dGgtcmFpbC1saW5r0gFMaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGhyaWxsaXN0LmNvbS9hbXBodG1sL3RyYXZlbC9uYXRpb24vYm9zdG9uLW5vcnRoLXNvdXRoLXJhaWwtbGluaw?hl=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen

At least people are mentioning now how this is not just a link between north and south stations... but a break that stops trains from being able to access the northeast corridor from maine and nh. Its so much bigger than just a way to get between but people purposely seem to diminish it to that (walsh, baker) because they want nothing to do with it.
 

whittle

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So the T is expecting a full electrification cost (with EMUs) to cost $23.6Billion, with the largest portion of that being $10.3Billion for 1450 EMUs, or $7million per car. Compared to the most recent large EMU purchase in the US (NJT's purchase of 113 cars for $669million, $6million per car) it doesn't look too unreasonable, but that's the initial run of a rather experimental mode; considering the full cost of NJT's contract with all options (889 cars for $3.6Billion, $4million per car), I'm very curious how the T arrived at their number. And given the T's history of overestimating the cost of projects the administration doesn't want to do, I'm also suspicious about the estimates of other parts of the cost.
 

etik

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TransitMatters affiliates and other activists are accusing the administration of heavily sandbagging these numbers. The story goes that, especially with recent regulations on trainsets lifted (therefore allowing purchase of European designs), the price per car should be ~2.5 million. We can also get away with fewer cars. I expect TransmitMatters to issue a rebuttal piece questioning these figures.

https://twitter.com/alon_levy/status/1153410751761125379
 

Arlington

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Are they sandbagging by charging for EMU when electric locomotives could push the cars we have?

Or if the cars we have need to be replaced, they should be charging us for the incremental cost above replacing them with unpowered coaches, not for their full list price.
 

datadyne007

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So the T is expecting a full electrification cost (with EMUs) to cost $23.6Billion, with the largest portion of that being $10.3Billion for 1450 EMUs, or $7million per car. Compared to the most recent large EMU purchase in the US (NJT's purchase of 113 cars for $669million, $6million per car) it doesn't look too unreasonable, but that's the initial run of a rather experimental mode; considering the full cost of NJT's contract with all options (889 cars for $3.6Billion, $4million per car), I'm very curious how the T arrived at their number. And given the T's history of overestimating the cost of projects the administration doesn't want to do, I'm also suspicious about the estimates of other parts of the cost.
This is truly absurd. We at TransitMatters will be rebutting this in the coming weeks. They should not be including rolling stock procurement costs in the total number when they they need to procure rolling stock EITHER WAY. All along we have been saying "you need to buy new trains anyway, so buy EMUs."
 

whittle

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TransitMatters affiliates and other activists are accusing the administration of heavily sandbagging these numbers. The story goes that, especially with recent regulations on trainsets lifted (therefore allowing purchase of European designs), the price per car should be ~2.5 million. We can also get away with fewer cars. I expect TransmitMatters to issue a rebuttal piece questioning these figures.

https://twitter.com/alon_levy/status/1153410751761125379
They're actually claiming they would only need about 800 coaches/cab cars to maintain the same level of service as 1450 EMUs. So to those here who know more than me:

1. Is there a significant enough difference in capacity between coaches and EMUs to justify this difference?

2. Minus any difference in capacity per car, wouldn't we need less cars since EMUs can complete their journey quicker?
 

Java King

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So the T is expecting a full electrification cost (with EMUs) to cost $23.6Billion, with the largest portion of that being $10.3Billion for 1450 EMUs, or $7million per car. Compared to the most recent large EMU purchase in the US (NJT's purchase of 113 cars for $669million, $6million per car) it doesn't look too unreasonable, but that's the initial run of a rather experimental mode; considering the full cost of NJT's contract with all options (889 cars for $3.6Billion, $4million per car), I'm very curious how the T arrived at their number. And given the T's history of overestimating the cost of projects the administration doesn't want to do, I'm also suspicious about the estimates of other parts of the cost.

The FMCB Meeting Presentation doesn't make ANY sense to me:

Alternative #1 and Alternative #2 don't increase frequency on Old Colony/Greenbush.......but they say typical frequency is currently 30 minutes peak and 60 minutes off-peak. Currently, there are HUGE gaps in the schedule where you can easily wait 2 hours or more between trains on Greenbush, so this just doesn't make any sense to me.

Then, Alternative #3 says you would lose 5000 riders on Old Colony lines even though you have doubled the number of trains?

F-Line, please explain this logic? I just want a consistent schedule with a train that runs every hour so you can plan your day and actually use the train without having to wait 2 hours or have the last train from South Station be at 10pm. Is that so hard?

We recently used NJ Transit to go from Manhattan to Summit, NJ and it was so easy because the trains were consistently 11 minutes after the hour, every hour.
 

sneijder

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Just seems silly to look at full electrification and a full EMU fleet right now. Fairly clear that the north side will probably be electrified 10+ years after the south side, and the outer zones of the franklin line and greenbush/plymouth (with single-tracked service) probably don't justify electric service yet (if ever). Heck, doing every line inside 128 (either south only or both north/south) for EMU short-turns would be a cost that is much easier to swallow, with dual-modes providing service outside 128, switching from electric to diesel power (just like the New Haven Line branches).

That order for 1500 EMU's in one shot is such a joke. Never happening.
 

Jahvon09

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The Northeast Regional is one of Amtrak's most lucrative routes for travel, especially from Boston to Washington, DC. It can be regarded as the most profitable run. The agency has to keep up with the changes, or they'll start to lose dough, & travelers may start thinking about going back to the airlines if things aren't met with their demands. :eek:
 

Equilibria

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This is truly absurd. We at TransitMatters will be rebutting this in the coming weeks. They should not be including rolling stock procurement costs in the total number when they they need to procure rolling stock EITHER WAY. All along we have been saying "you need to buy new trains anyway, so buy EMUs."
My reaction on reading this (and I thought I knew what they were considering) was: what the heck are these alternatives? Key stations include many termini if you look at station typologies, so for alternative 3 they're talking about 15-minute electrified service to effectively all of every line. I guess it's nice to know that costs $24B, but no one asked you that. I'm sure that the urban rail alternative (still to come) costs less.

What worried me was Pollack used this presentation to give a speech that sounded like she'd already ruled out electrification as too expensive unless we do some sort of battery-assist, which might be a good idea but... come on. You twisted these alternatives to build a strawman of full system electrification - which no advocates have asked for - then paired it with another strawman of high-frequency service to such key Boston destinations as TF GREEN AIRPORT, then presented the cost for the absurd Frankenstein you created to discredit the idea of modernizing Commuter Rail.

Good people are doing this, so I maintain hope for the next presentation, when we'll hear about the real alternatives.
 

Tysons2

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**Screams into the abyss**
So all the electrification options get saddled with SCR Phase 2 costs? And 15 minute all-day service to Fall River AND New Bedford? And the Diesel option has 15 mins for North-side but 30 mins South-side? But we also buy electric locomotives for Providence service in the Diesel option? And are we supposed to assume a bi-level EMU fleet? Is that made clear somewhere in the report? Aren't there supposed to be line-by-line comparisons in service levels for each alternative? Are we to expect TransitMatters to do all their work for them?!?!

I'll admit I haven't watched the presentation yet, but the slides leave me with more questions than answers. As others have said, it reminds me of the NSRL study where the "alternatives" presented had so many combinations of service types, vehicle types and even tunnel routes and boring sizes it was damn near impossible to make an apples to apples evaluation. And deliberately putting out visuals that appear to show a reduction in service to the South Shore after the derailment, fare hikes, and parking fee hike fiascos is just asking for trouble from certain corners of the state and the FMCB. The electrification option smells like it was Designed To Fail from the beginning and is a poor use of taxpayer dollars.

This effort could be the key piece in solving the congestion crisis. How is anyone expected to make an informed decision based on this work? I'm concerned state leaders are not taking this option seriously and are instead crossing their fingers and praying for some combination of battery tech and networked autonomous vehicles to deliver us from carmageddon.
**Rant over**
 

F-Line to Dudley

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This is truly absurd. We at TransitMatters will be rebutting this in the coming weeks. They should not be including rolling stock procurement costs in the total number when they they need to procure rolling stock EITHER WAY. All along we have been saying "you need to buy new trains anyway, so buy EMUs."
Exactly. And scaremongering with a monolithic number for the full system does not say anything useful because the number of 4-year CIP's it'll take to do that will have flushed the budget several times over. This isn't like "NSRL will cost $8 beeeeeeelion!" The rate at which it'll take to get individual lines electrified will span MULTIPLE procurement cycles...stuff they already earmark on a rolling basis. All you do is make sure the rolling cycles are in-sync with when the next X units of fleet turnover and Y units of fleet expansion are necessary.

The flat cost also doesn't take into account prioritization. Some lines will malinger to the back of the line, and some might not have the traffic levels to merit electrification at all. Certainly it needs to be broken out northside vs. southside, because northside is going to be a whole procurement cycle later on with how much has to be done to implant first-time electrification there. It also needs to show where the highest rate-of-return is going to be. We know that Fairmount and Riverside can chain off upgraded Providence Line substations, and that's a substantial start. We know that Worcester would be the next reach, and put a majority of southside equipment on EMU's. Where are those calculations? Don't we have to know what the fattest targets are to space this out to roll with procurement cycles?

They're actually claiming they would only need about 800 coaches/cab cars to maintain the same level of service as 1450 EMUs. So to those here who know more than me:

1. Is there a significant enough difference in capacity between coaches and EMUs to justify this difference?

2. Minus any difference in capacity per car, wouldn't we need less cars since EMUs can complete their journey quicker?
There is not a significant difference. Especially when NJT's MultiLevel EMU's are concerned. Those are 2 x 2 seating with 142 seats in an unpowered trailer, 132 seats in a restroom-equipped trailer, and 127 seats in the cab cars that are being adapted into power cars. The T's 3 x 2 seat bi-levels run 182 seats in a trailer, 178 seats in a restroom trailer, and 173 seats in a cab car. It's about a 20% difference that has absolutely nothing to do with with vehicle tech and everything to do with seating configuration. 3 x 2 is more or less designed for parking your butt from 495 to the terminal, and stinks to high heaven for interzone trips. If we implement real RER there's going to be a hell of a lot more interzone trips, so the Rail Vision should be considering a move to 2 x 2 anyway for future procurements.

We move to 2 x 2...there's no difference. We're basically running NJT's MLV's whether they're in the newfangled EMU form or pulled for eternity by diesels as coaches. It's B.S. concern-trolling to say push-pull is in competition with EMU's over something like seating capacity when NJT just proved otherwise. Now, single-level EMU's have a lot of boarding advantages...but given that we're talking procurement cycles and service ramp-ups and required changes like lengthening of short platforms...nothing's going to happen instantaneously. So there is solid reasoning to stick with bi-levels. While that's a little inconvenient for Fairmount and Riverside, it's prudent for pooling a starter fleet. You can always break out the Urban Rail routes into more specialized single-level equipment on the next procurement.

EMU's are not magic. You need as many as you have schedules, for as many cars per train as you need on the schedule. And those schedules will be lots denser with RER ops, so you'd need MORE of them. The one thing RER will do with all-day bi-directional frequencies is keep fewer sets idled in yards on the off-peak. And the more even frequencies will mean sets can be put together with more consistent length, so the monster rush hour crowd-swallowers don't have to be idle so long before their one and only trip of the day. But RER is the same with diesel as it is with EMU. It's going to take fleet expansion to get it done. If they are getting all scared of EMU's and making some either/or noises about push-pull...beware: they'd have to pony up a ton of money per equipment cycle to expand the push-pull fleet as well. It means they're scared of expanding and don't want to spend any money on anything.
 

Tallguy

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So the T is expecting a full electrification cost (with EMUs) to cost $23.6Billion, with the largest portion of that being $10.3Billion for 1450 EMUs, or $7million per car. Compared to the most recent large EMU purchase in the US (NJT's purchase of 113 cars for $669million, $6million per car) it doesn't look too unreasonable, but that's the initial run of a rather experimental mode; considering the full cost of NJT's contract with all options (889 cars for $3.6Billion, $4million per car), I'm very curious how the T arrived at their number. And given the T's history of overestimating the cost of projects the administration doesn't want to do, I'm also suspicious about the estimates of other parts of the cost.
So, the 3.6B figure is for 1000 cars (it includes the 113 initial order) The Bombardier is nearly the same as our Kawasakis. If you 3+2 seated them they would hold 180ish apiece. So, 3B, not 10B, for 800.

So, TM is recommending flats like the Stadler FLIRT. East Anglia in UK just bought 400 cars worth for 800m! I was a poli sci major, but even I know that's 2.8B for 1400. Yes, buy US would drive the price up, but a 1000+ order would minimize the penalty.
THIS IS A TOTAL SANDBAGGING by the MBTA!
 

Coyote137

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It looks like alternatives 4, 5, 6, and 7 will be released on September 12th (advisory committee)/16th (FMCB). Given the kind of nonsense that went into alternatives 1, 2, and 3, I wouldn't be optimistic. Alternative 6, which includes NSRL, will assuredly have an absurd cost attached to it.

Note that alternative 3 here has EMUs and SSX paired together, while alternatives 1 and 2 have neither. The way various possibilities are included or excluded from particular alternatives makes comparison impossible, which is compounded by seemingly faulty assumptions going into the models.

Definitely a sandbagging job.
 

stick n move

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The rail vision study was going to announce a build option on nsrl too, no build, 2 track, full. Is that coming at a later date? If theyre looking out to 2040 its now or never and it HAS to happen, so do it sooner rather than later.
 

HenryAlan

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Just seems silly to look at full electrification and a full EMU fleet right now. Fairly clear that the north side will probably be electrified 10+ years after the south side, and the outer zones of the franklin line and greenbush/plymouth (with single-tracked service) probably don't justify electric service yet (if ever). Heck, doing every line inside 128 (either south only or both north/south) for EMU short-turns would be a cost that is much easier to swallow, with dual-modes providing service outside 128, switching from electric to diesel power (just like the New Haven Line branches).

That order for 1500 EMU's in one shot is such a joke. Never happening.
This is why the focus needs to be on an incremental approach, such as the method described in the TransitMatters white paper. There is no reason we can't start with alternative one and through phases work toward subsequent alternatives. This presentation is a mess.
 

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