Crazy Transit Pitches

Riverside

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Aren’t circuits rather challenging from a dispatching and schedule-keeping perspective?
 

Riverside

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Aren’t circuits rather challenging from a dispatching and schedule-keeping perspective?
It also occurs to me that this could offer a way to provide semi-RER service on Reading without having to fix all the single tracks. Run peak direction service on RER headways down the Reading, and then reverse back out to Anderson before heading down Reading again. Send a few reverse peak trips back up Reading, timed to pass the high frequency inbounds at the occasional passing track. Reverse the process in the evening.

The question would be whether this Anderson connector is cheaper than the upgrades needed elsewhere on Reading to make RER possible.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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RE: Reading-Anderson. . .

The state is already floating the idea of adding a terminal infill at 93 & MA 129 (per the Oct. FCMB presentation) to give 93 coverage on this (not the Lowell) schedule. 129's a very weak location for such an infill because there's very little density and a whole lot of wetlands limiting parking capacity at that exit. Now, the fact that they are floating this instead of the much higher-leverage Quannapowitt/128 infill is highly suspect, because anything Reading Highlands can do Quannapowitt can do better. As a minimum, you must do Quannapowitt...and then it becomes a matter of whether the Reading Line should be given parity on I-93 coverage.

That frames the debate. The state is proposing I-93 representation on that line...but the execution is very flawed on priorities and raw location. So for argument's sake we're going to assume they're privvy to some demand numbers RE: 93 that aB is not and try to improve the execution.

Personally, I think Quannapowitt more than satisfies the need because Wakefield's been asking for that one for years and Reading has never shown interest up in the hinterlands by 129. But, again, working assumption is that they know something we don't about the demand so the goal with this pitch is to just wrap up said demand the highest-leverage way possible...way better than the wetlands-constrained density cavity up by 129.


Since doing something else is going to induce a little mission creep, surveying of available properties has to take into account cost reducers. Wilmington Industrial Track already exists, and the power line grading that goes from end-of-track across 93 to West St. and the substation access road already exist. It's also very straight with a maximum of only 2 grade crossings. Those are substantial cost reducers over 'virgin' ROW. The upcoming reconnection of New Boston St. over the Lowell Line with a new overpass serves up a relocation parcel for Fraen Machining...fortuitous for the wye build. That leaves just the Aberjona River watershed as "hard" EIS'ing. Anderson has room to add a 3rd-track platform on the parking lot side to slot the turning Reading trains separate from thru Lowell traffic, and the 200 ft. wide power line ROW south of the station can slot a layover yard.

As a minimum package, you could probably build the single-track connector + double-track provisioned I-93/Inwood Dr. rail bridge for $35-40M. Which is a figure you can easily amortize through pumping up the 128 biz shuttles running radially out of Quannapowitt and Anderson, and developing an enhanced site plan emphasizing the "RTC" in Anderson. That's the cut-rate price with Anderson subbing for 'any' I-93 station. There is also an opportunity to do a survey in the Inwood Dr. area, which is in a thicker part of the industrial park than 129. If you combined Exit 38 and 37C into a longish collector/distributor running jersey-barriered beside the highway you can combine the Commerce Way and (malformed-geometry) 129 exits with an extra midpoint ramp at West St. catching the denser part of Industrial Way/Inwood Dr. That would drive up the price a bit by inducing the MassHighway angle, and if doing that you would want to site an infill station at West/Inwood. But it would fit better than the state's 129 location at placing the stop where the jobs are. You would just need to do the collector/distributor project to make sure the stop is where the jobs is where the exit is where the parking all go.

'Circuits' aren't that challenging when one of the lines in question is as under-capacity as Lowell and there is some utility in freeing up the 495 & NH schedules from too much intra-128 duty. Nothing routed this way would be any harder to dispatch than today's combo Haverhill/Reading schedule, because mashing the inner half with the outer half induces all kinds of dwell delays and Pan Am is not a good neighbor at keeping out of the way Andover-north. So the thru Haverhill schedules (in any Reading RER) universe are a lot more nimble, while interlining Lowell and Reading isn't half as difficult as the Andover-Lawrence stretch. That shouldn't be any problem.


The catch is what's the cost-benefit? And I just don't know, because the state is seeing something in that Route 129 proposal that I'm not seeing demand-wise. But I'm not sure if that's because there's real demand by the industrial park and they just overshot the location by picking that very poor 129 location, or if their whole reasoning top-to-bottom is suspect. RER service in any form wouldn't hinge on this build, because the upgrade package for getting Reading up-to-snuff with 15 minute turns has long been well-known and isn't a back-breaker. You mainly run into problems after a decade or two's growth makes the 15-min. headways--especially at the split with the Eastern Route in Somerville--much more brittle on reliability and hit a very hard set of choices with NSRL because no on-footprint upgrades will be enough to make the line pair-match with a southside schedule without crappy reliability. At that point...but not before...you've got megaproject choices to make: start mass-zapping grade crossings and tearing the crap out of Medford-Malden for more tracks, or do the Orange Line conversion because costs for the same crossing eliminations will be much cheaper at HRT grades. The Anderson connector doesn't have any bearing on those decisions, so is at least a basic-enough prospect to evaluate by its lonesome. It doesn't have a lot of system-wide coattails, so if there's any overpay involved it's neat/tidy and self-contained.
 

Wash

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Ok this is nuts, but what about Blue to Harvard Square?

It would be all underground. Stops as follows:

Charles/MGH
Esplanade
Mass Ave
Kenmore
BU Central
West Station
Stadium/HBS
Harvard Square
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Ok this is nuts, but what about Blue to Harvard Square?

It would be all underground. Stops as follows:

Charles/MGH
Esplanade
Mass Ave
Kenmore
BU Central
West Station
Stadium/HBS
Harvard Square
It's an option...but any time we talk about the "Riverbank" Blue extension this has to be reiterated:


As a Storrow (Kenmore-Copley segment) transit trade-in the project scope can *only* encompass Charles-Kenmore. Anything and everything past Kenmore is out-of-scope of the terms of engagement that ended up cementing the Storrow trade-in in the first place, and can only be considered as a wholly separate project mounted later. Not even a Phase II of a project that got an all-in-one EIS like the various GLX phases...but a totally other project altogether. And thus, it's not worth talking about monolithic service patterns past Kenmore until you secure the agreement that gets you to Kenmore in the first place. Harvard could look like the most obvious option today to shotgun onto the backside of a BL-Kenmore build, but if one little thing gets snagged and 50 years go by that picture could change a lot. Resist the temptation to get too far ahead of onesself, then, and focus on the task at hand: whither Storrow, and what kind of agreement nets the transit trade-in for the WB carriageway. Establish the Kenmore beachhead by design and funding.

Then and ONLY then is it safe to open up the imagination to what further might lurk west. FWIW, Harvard is probably the most obvious of a generally poorly-understood selection of potential Blue-west routings so it's a prime one to study. It's also one...since it would probably be grade-separated as an Urban Ring light rail spur build, that could start out attached to the Green Line mini- subway extension at BU Bridge but "graduate" to Blue later in a load recalibration of line assignments. So the interplay between UR and Blue-Kenmore is also a tasty subject to examine in a study. But I won't pretend for one second that this is worth a single brain cell's worth of energy speculating on until that Storrow trade-in agreement is in the bag paving the way for Blue to get to Kenmore in the first place. Project area requirements for the trade-in demand it be sequenced hands-off that way, and practicality of the uncertain timetables means focusing on immediate task at hand first before letting mission creep or later tack-ons start to crowd the imagination.
 

odurandina

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i like Storrow Drive just the way it is. Digging it up for 3~7 yrs would be a lot of pain for the City. ...So, instead of digging under Storrow Dr for Blue Line heavy rail to BU area/Harvard Square,
what about just installing a light rail subway under Charles/Beacon St/s,
and extending the Green Line C/D options from Kenmore to MGH.
Every other train from Riverside/Needham heights and Cleveland Circle go to MGH instead of Park St/Gov Ctr.
w/ some or all going the way to the end of the new GLX??
Or every train from Cleveland Circle could just go to MGH/continue on the GLX.....
Something so the least # of people would be switching trolley's at Kenmore.

It's not like Back Bay brownstones are going to be replaced
by significant urban DENSITY--
Why not settle for light rail--and consider no true Blue Line heavy rail for some years after, or many years_ but getting a good result, in any case.

Then, put in a Green Line "H-Line" spur to Harvard Square.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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I have no idea what demand-serving audience that word salad aims to serve, but let's get one thing abundantly clear since it's obvious what target fixation is driving this:

Height has NOTHING to do in a vacuum with density. Density has to do with density. Height has less than nothing to do with transit modes. If that's the excuse for propping up induced car demand (a decidedly UN-dense mode if there ever was one), some basic assumptions need to be checked right off the bat.
 

odurandina

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....let's get one thing abundantly clear since it's obvious what target fixation is driving this:

Height has NOTHING to do in a vacuum with density. Density has to do with density.
Cleaned.
Ok. i don't believe the part of Back Bay near Storrow Dr about to increase in density very much. i don't see a "DOT Ave" planned for Back Bay.
My point is that digging up Beacon St, would be extremely painful, but less disruptive than tearing up Storrow Drive. Why not just do light rail and send 1/2 of the C/D train traffic from Kenmore to Medford via new subway tracks under Beacon & Charles St/s to MGH?
 
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The EGE

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The density would potentially be good for LRT - it's comparable to the D Branch in that respect, although without the village centers clustered around stations. It would have likely bidirectional demand to the terminal at Lynn as well. But there are some big issues:
  • As mentioned, the grade crossings. Unlike the D Branch (which had a major grade crossing elimination in 1905-07), the Saugus Branch is grade crossing hell. I count at least 30 street crossings plus some pedestrian crossings. At minimum, you'd need eliminations at Medford, Main/Ferry/Eastern, Broadway, Beach/Lynn, and Cottage/Spencer/Western/Summer. So that's some expensive viaducts to build, and probably a lot of local pushback about the grade crossings. No way you could do the 6-minute frequency of current Green Line routes.
  • How do you get to Central Square? The Eastern Route in Lynn is wide enough for four tracks, and BLX>>>Saugus Branch in priority for slots 3 and 4. More likely you're looking at an expensive viaduct over the Eastern Route, or over the Lynnway, or you deal with some bad street running.
  • Where do you connect to Boston? Do you connect with the proposed Chelsea-via-Sullivan route in Everett - which will still require a transfer to get to downtown because of the junction north of Lechmere? That's a very long route. Do you finagle a route into Malden Center, which gets you that desirable connection but severs it from the Green Line?
And finally, it can almost entirely be substituted with much cheaper projects. BRT on Eastern Avenue to Linden Square, and improved bus service on Main Street in Everett, would serve the dense part of the line. Saugus and West Lynn will get much better bus service when Eastern Route electrification and/or BLX allows Lynn to become a more effective terminal, as F-Line has discussed before.
 

dmdogs900

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In the boston metropolitan transit recess commission report there was a proposal for a huge loop, does anyone know more about this or have a map of the proposal
That the unpaid special commission established by Chapter 5 6 of
the Resolves of 1943, and revived and continued by Chapter 8 5 of the Re-
solves of 1945, shall, in the course of its work, investigate the subject mat-
ter of current senate document numbered thirty, relative to the possibility
of removing the elevated railway structures between Everett, and Forest
Hills, and of constructing a subway loop from Boston through Everett,
Maiden, Medford, Somerville and Cambridge to Boston and to Forest
Hills in the West Roxbury district, the subject matter of current house
document numbered eight hundred fifty-five, relative to providing for
the extension of rapid transit facilities from the East Boston district of
the city of Boston to the city of Chelsea, the subject matter of current
house document numbered 1543, relative to the extension of the Wash-
ington Street tunnel in the city of Boston to Sullivan Square in the
Charlestown district of Boston and to Forest Hills in said city, and the
removal of the existing elevated structures, and the subject matter of
current house document numbered 1 5 5 5, relative to providing for the
construction by the Transit Department of Boston and the State De-
partment of Public Utilities of two double deck viaducts within the
Boston area to carry railroad, rapid transit and highway traffic lanes, the
lower deck of which shall carry railroad and rapid transit lines and the
upper deck shall carry a six lane highway, and of a rapid transit line north
of East Boston to Salem and beyond. Said commission shall include in its
final report to the general court the results of its investigation and study
hereunder and its recommendations in relation thereto.
SUBWAY LOOP AND REMOVAL OF ELEVATED STRUCTURES
(CHAPTER 54, RESOLVES OF 1946)

SUBWAY LOOP

Chapter 54 of the Resolves of 1946 called for the investigation and report on the removal of the
elevated structures between Everett and Forest Hills, and constructing a subway loop from Boston
to Everett, Medford, Somerville and Cambridge to Boston. The loop as described in this resolve
would involve approximately fourteen miles of subway construction. Based on present day costs,
without any allowances for extraordinary conditions and engineering difficulties, the expense would
amount to over ninety-one million dollars. A large part of this loop would be circumferential, thus
encountering topographical barriers such as hills, valleys and rivers which surround Boston. A study
of the entire area demonstrates that radial lines, following the right of ways of the steam railroads out
of Boston, do not encounter such difficulties. Most of the proposed rapid transit routes suggested by
the Commission are radial routes and occupy a portion of the available railroad property. It is felt
that any belt line or loop service can best be accomplished by means of motor bus routes as feeders or
supplementary to the main lines. The only portion of the suggested loop outlined in the resolve
which this Commission recommends is a subway between the present Washington Street tunnel to
Dudley Street and Forest Hills.
 

George_Apley

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Given that the end of that statement disregards the loop, I doubt it was ever mapped. The Commission rejected it as unfeasible.
 

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