Crazy Transit Pitches

tysmith95

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Diesel commuter rail trains are loud. Getting rid of that noise would probably please the NIMBYS.

The biggest downside is the fact that more trees would need to be cut.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Diesel commuter rail trains are loud. Getting rid of that noise would probably please the NIMBYS.

The biggest downside is the fact that more trees would need to be cut.
There was plenty of bitching about mass tree trimming during the PTC installation these past 2 years, but the property lines are inclusive of the tree buffers so there's a whole lotta nuthin' any NIMBY's can do about it. Trees used to be trimmed way, way further back from the tracks than they are today back when steam engines were upchucking fire-starting sparks into the air, so the property lines around our mainlines are what they are not for the noise-muffling tree berm but because they used to be clear-cut dozens of feet back to the literal property line so the act of running trains didn't burn everything down around it.

Also...there's a reason why our mainlines spend so much time in running through wetlands instead of unbroken wall-to-wall density soon after leaving town. Back in the early-1830's when most of the big trunk mains were laid out enough of our Puritan ancestors thought smoke-belching mechanized transport was the work of the Devil that the RR's over-tried to avoid all the built-up town centers of the era...for example, why the Lowell Line--the first of the big mains to be built--avoids Stoneham and Woburn Center like the plague. Or why the first incarnation of the B&M Western Route completely bypassed Lawrence on a straight Andover-North Andover cut that ran about a mile east of current Ballardvale/Andover and I-495, until they abandoned-and-rebuilt it inland on the current alignment about 30 years later. Those NIMBY's could burn you at the stake if you angried them up too much. >2 towns out most of the density pockets on the RR's were created by the existence of the RR displacing the older density pockets that weren't on transportation, and you still have large tracts of each main passing through wetlands between destinations as legacy of that earliest-most game of keep-away.


It's not like stringing up wires is going to be contiguously visually impactful as if this is the New Haven Line or something. There are lots of density breaks and abundance of natural & vegetative buffering on each of our CR lines because of those legacies: both the not-starting-unintentional-fires and the burn-the-wicked-witch variety.
 

BostonBoy

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There was plenty of bitching about mass tree trimming during the PTC installation these past 2 years, but the property lines are inclusive of the tree buffers so there's a whole lotta nuthin' any NIMBY's can do about it. Trees used to be trimmed way, way further back from the tracks than they are today back when steam engines were upchucking fire-starting sparks into the air, so the property lines around our mainlines are what they are not for the noise-muffling tree berm but because they used to be clear-cut dozens of feet back to the literal property line so the act of running trains didn't burn everything down around it.

Also...there's a reason why our mainlines spend so much time in running through wetlands instead of unbroken wall-to-wall density soon after leaving town. Back in the early-1830's when most of the big trunk mains were laid out enough of our Puritan ancestors thought smoke-belching mechanized transport was the work of the Devil that the RR's over-tried to avoid all the built-up town centers of the era...for example, why the Lowell Line--the first of the big mains to be built--avoids Stoneham and Woburn Center like the plague. Or why the first incarnation of the B&M Western Route completely bypassed Lawrence on a straight Andover-North Andover cut that ran about a mile east of current Ballardvale/Andover and I-495, until they abandoned-and-rebuilt it inland on the current alignment about 30 years later. Those NIMBY's could burn you at the stake if you angried them up too much. >2 towns out most of the density pockets on the RR's were created by the existence of the RR displacing the older density pockets that weren't on transportation, and you still have large tracts of each main passing through wetlands between destinations as legacy of that earliest-most game of keep-away.


It's not like stringing up wires is going to be contiguously visually impactful as if this is the New Haven Line or something. There are lots of density breaks and abundance of natural & vegetative buffering on each of our CR lines because of those legacies: both the not-starting-unintentional-fires and the burn-the-wicked-witch variety.
Having worked on the RR. I always noted they ran through swamps, but I also thought it was because it was flat. Back when these RR's were laid out the forests had been pretty much clear cut and New England was farmland.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Having worked on the RR. I always noted they ran through swamps, but I also thought it was because it was flat. Back when these RR's were laid out the forests had been pretty much clear cut and New England was farmland.
That, and wetlands were the only surefire non-agriculture land use so it was flat-out easier to secure easements through the swampiest parts of people's (then vastly larger) properties.

This wasn't necessarily true in most parts of the country where the RR's came first, and the people came by RR. Nor was it true of many of the New England branchlines that were more Civil War era when RR speculation was at its fever pitch. But it was definitely true for the first-half 1830's pioneers Boston & Lowell, Boston & Providence, Boston & Albany, Eastern RR, and the first incarnation of Boston & Maine (skipping Lawrence, and terminating Wilmington via the Wildcat). You can even see a difference in the mid-1840's RR's that came after the First Five: Fitchburg, Old Colony, New York & New England (Franklin Main), and the Boston Extension of the B&M via Reading. They hit the traditional downtowns of Reading, Concord, Norwood, Wakefield, Malden, Quincy/Braintree, Lawrence (after the B&M's realignment), etc. where the first-wave builds went out of their way to avoid.
 

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