Foxboro Weekday Service Pilot

ulrichomega

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The line was just short of a total meltdown this morning. Trains were running about twenty minutes late. Not a great look for introducing people to a new service, but hopefully things settle down in the next couple of days.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Any diagnosis for the delays?
T Alerts would have the location. Most likely a mainline or NEC delay, as there's only 5 miles total of track between Walpole Jct. and Foxboro Station. Odds favor the usual culprits overwhelmingly over the new route.
 

ulrichomega

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T Alerts would have the location. Most likely a mainline or NEC delay, as there's only 5 miles total of track between Walpole Jct. and Foxboro Station. Odds favor the usual culprits overwhelmingly over the new route.
I'm not seeing much on the MBTA site, but word on the train was that it was signal issues. I would be surprised if it was related to Foxboro, but there were a lot of people unhappy about the changing schedule on top of the delays. My biggest concern would be this leaving a sour taste in people's mouths, but if literally anything goes wrong on that line the comments on the MBTA Rail app start professing damnation upon entire countries, so I don't think it's a major issue.

EDIT: I also completely neglected to get any sort of "before" schedule for both Franklin and Fairmount. Has anyone done a side-by-side comparison to see what the service level changes to both are?

EDIT2: I was able to dig up an archived version of the previous Franklin Line schedule. It looks like this really is just an extension of existing Fairmount Line trains (but I wasn't able to dig up a copy of the old Fairmount schedule, so I can't confirm).


I looked at Dedham Corporate Center because it's clearly the best station on the system, and the one where the two services overlap.

INBOUND:
Previously, inbound peak DCC got: 5:32 6:05 6:45 7:16 7:45 7:59 8:26 8:40
Current, inbound peak DCC gets: 5:55 6:15 6:43 7:16 7:40 7:57 8:28 8:45

So no additional inbound peak trains. The earliest train is also pushed back a bit. Additionally, the 6:15 operates via the Fairmount, so it's going to take a bit longer and not go to Back Bay or Ruggles. I'm expecting that new train to be practically empty most days. I'll try to catch it one day and see.

OUTBOUND (arrival time at DCC):
Previous: 4:12 4:43 5:07 5:32 5:46 6:11 6:45
Current: 4:04 4:43 5:04 5:33 5:46 6:11 6:45 7:05

So, again, one additional peak hour train. The 7:05 is the Fairmount addition here, so I get the feeling that this is more just slapping the Franklin Line label on an existing Fairmount train. As can be seen by the rest of the schedule, there really isn't any actual additional service.

Looking at Forge Park/Franklin tells a slightly different story though.

INBOUND:
Previous: 4:55 5:30 6:05 6:35 7:08 7:50 (DCC gets an additional short-turn train that originates at Walpole at 7:40)
Current: 5:18 6:03 6:35 7:05 7:51

One fewer trains from Forge Park. The same later start as well. Something is making them push that outbound 3:55 back to 4:10, which is causing the later start out at Forge Park. None of these trains operate via Fairmount, so I'd imagine current riders would see more load than less.

OUTBOUND (arrival time at Forge Park):
Previous: 4:49 5:50 6:25 6:52 7:27
Current: 4:41 5:42 6:29 6:54 7:30

All of the outbound peak trains are pretty much identical. This reinforces my view that the 7:05 to DCC is just an extended fairmount.

For chuckles, let's look at Walpole:

INBOUND:
Previous: 5:15 5:50 6:26 6:56 7:30 7:40 8:11
Current: 5:39 6:24 6:56 7:27 8:12

OUTBOUND:
Previous: 4:26 5:27 5:54 6:04 6:31 7:05
Current: 4:19 5:19 6:04 6:31 7:05

Previously a bastion of the Franklin Line, Walpole sees its service decreased by two morning trains and one evening train. I really hope the MBTA is right and that Foxboro is able to pick up the slack from Walpole, because riders there are going to be highly crunched into what trains they have. The loss of that additional Walpole short-turn, combined with fewer Forge-Park trains, is going to really make things cozy in there. In the evenings, things are mostly normal, but they lose a short-turn train at around 6 which, surprise, goes to Foxboro.


So overall about what I was expecting. Inner-Franklin Line gets a slight service boost. Outer line loses a bit more. Walpole loses a lot. Off-peak sees a net-gain. DCC for example goes from 4 inbound off-peak to 6. Forge Park stays the same, and Foxboro gets two. Nice how that math adds up. I'm disappointed that we're seeing a net loss in peak capacity for existing stations. I thought the goal here was to increase service levels throughout the line by the addition of capacity, but I guess that wasn't in the cards.

EDIT a few days later: Every single morning I've been at least ten minutes late for work, and have been delayed going home because of train meets so my previous enthusiasm is fading.
 
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