General MBTA Discussion Thread

anthtucker312

New member
Joined
Jan 13, 2018
Messages
10
Reaction score
4
Not published there or anywhere. Title would be "Milford-Hopedale Commuter Rail Feasibility Study" or some boilerplate like that, since they gamed out Milford terminus vs. a Hopedale terminus. Study was fully funded with work commencing in July 2011. Supposed to have been published by end of calendar year 2012, but was never heard from again. A total mystery, as there were enough interested parties locally that even a substantially complete work well short of full completion would've been of considerable use & benefit to release for pegging transit demand from those towns.
I'm curious as to whether the study recommended a Milford terminus or a Hopedale terminus. I always thought that it would be particularly challenging to build a Milford station (if the terminus of the line was in Hopedale) due to the track configuration and nearby wetlands at the junction with the Grafton and Upton by Depot Street.
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,367
Reaction score
176
I'm curious as to whether the study recommended a Milford terminus or a Hopedale terminus. I always thought that it would be particularly challenging to build a Milford station (if the terminus of the line was in Hopedale) due to the track configuration and nearby wetlands at the junction with the Grafton and Upton by Depot Street.
Hopedale was a late tack-on to the study per request of the town, which has been trying for years to get mixed-use redev at the old Draper Mills site, and Grafton & Upton RR, which at the time had just reopened its once dormant mainline to Hopedale and was trying to woo some public-private partnerships. They are indeed building a (tight) southbound wye at Milford Jct. as they work towards the reopening of that section of their track; the power company gave them an assist on the permitting since they own the land. But if you trace the dizzying curves from Milford Jct. to Draper Mills you can see that Hopedale would probably be a huge longshot for commuter rail. It makes the Franklin Jct.-Forge Park meander look like a racetrack for how many times it tightly corkscrews on itself. Very high number of grade crossings, too. I doubt you'd crack 25 MPH on that 2-mile diversion, so a schedule that already projected well on the long side would've gotten nearly intolerable if sent to Hopedale. Nice enthusiasm and all from a town I never would've pegged for being transit YIMBY's, but Milford's a much cleaner trajectory than Hopedale and bigger catchment to boot.


Oh course, how big a catchment we'll never know if the study remains AWOL. Milford Branch hasn't had passenger service across its length since the mid-Depression, and save for a passing-glance MBTA workup done in the mid-90's as part of a look-back on the first decade of Forge Park service (also not available anywhere online, though that one apparently does exist on paper) those communities have never really been surveyed for transit.
 

HelloBostonHi

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
483
Reaction score
171
Isn't there a staircase at the other end?
I suspect there is an egress requirement that involves having two paths of egress, or more specifically the entire platform has to be within a certain distance of an egress point or a "area of refuge" (like Boston landing). One staircase likely doesn't meet those codes so it's technically not safe to be used. There are very specific codes that state how far you can be from an exit, how long it should take to walk to an area of refuge, distance to public right of ways, etc. Little bit over the top regulations in my opinion.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
2,878
Reaction score
48
I suspect there is an egress requirement that involves having two paths of egress, or more specifically the entire platform has to be within a certain distance of an egress point or a "area of refuge" (like Boston landing). One staircase likely doesn't meet those codes so it's technically not safe to be used. There are very specific codes that state how far you can be from an exit, how long it should take to walk to an area of refuge, distance to public right of ways, etc. Little bit over the top regulations in my opinion.
A lot of our exit and fire code is driven by catastrophe. See Cocoanut Grove fire for an example.
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
417
Reaction score
15
I suspect there is an egress requirement that involves having two paths of egress, or more specifically the entire platform has to be within a certain distance of an egress point or a "area of refuge" (like Boston landing). One staircase likely doesn't meet those codes so it's technically not safe to be used. There are very specific codes that state how far you can be from an exit, how long it should take to walk to an area of refuge, distance to public right of ways, etc. Little bit over the top regulations in my opinion.
MBTA website says the East Entrance will be reopened tomorrow. The West entrance is staying closed. Figure they closed both out of caution.
 

DBM

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
692
Reaction score
23
For a while I lived equidistant from the Auburndale and West Newton train stops, just 2 miles north, so I got pretty familiar with the steps at both locations*. Even on perfectly dry days, their surface struck me as ridiculously slippery--just no granular grit whatsoever to help footwear stick to them. I can't imagine how slippery they'd be during precipitation. I'm surprised people don't slip/trip on them on a daily basis.

*(per Google maps, the stations are just 1 mile a part--way too close, in my estimation, given their suburban context, but I know there are probably other such precedents in the CR system. One day I was on a train, preparing to get off at Aurburndale, and a guy said to me, visibly flustered, "what do I do?! I just missed my stop at West Newton!" To which I of course replied: "get off here at Auburndale and walk; it doesn't matter." His reply: "that's what another guy told me. OK...")
 

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
10
per Google maps, the stations are just 1 mile a part--way too close, in my estimation, given their suburban context, but I know there are probably other such precedents in the CR system. One day I was on a train, preparing to get off at Aurburndale, and a guy said to me, visibly flustered, "what do I do?! I just missed my stop at West Newton!" To which I of course replied: "get off here at Auburndale and walk; it doesn't matter." His reply: "that's what another guy told me. OK...")
Newton would be far better served by one full-service CR station than three incredibly limited service CR stations. Of course, this is a false dichotomy. I do wish there was a little more creativity from the MBTA, though.

All three Newton stops are in need of (and in the early stages of undergoing) complete rebuilds. So, if we just take the ROW through Newton, we are essentially working with a clean slate of where the rebuilt stations could go. Oddly enough, Newton Corner would be the best location to put a Commuter Rail station, yet it is the one village the ROW passes through without having a stop. Newton Corner wins on both density and system connectivity.
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
417
Reaction score
15
Newton would be far better served by one full-service CR station than three incredibly limited service CR stations.
It would be better if they had, say, separate service running from Riverside that absorbed those stops.
There's no reverse commute opportunities near those stops, so it's OK if it skips those during rush hour in the reverse direction if service levels are maintained. I imagine it helps keep the trains OTP better than it would be otherwise.
 

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
10
It would be better if they had, say, separate service running from Riverside that absorbed those stops.
Of course. Hence why I mentioned that it was a false dichotomy.

There's no reverse commute opportunities near those stops, so it's OK if it skips those during rush hour in the reverse direction if service levels are maintained. I imagine it helps keep the trains OTP better than it would be otherwise.
This is untrue for Newton Corner. I'm a daily reverse 502 bus rider. There is already significant ridership to/from Newton Corner in the reverse peak direction. And that demand is far less than what would exist on a traffic-free rail service. Newton Corner not having a stop while the other villages do is nonsensical.
 

jms13

New member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
There's also non-zero reverse commute demand from Newton to a few of the Metro West stops, particularly Framingham and Natick to the MWRTA shuttles. Driving is generally quite a bit quicker once you add in the shuttle time, but it's not so ridiculous or so long that it wouldn't be an option. I know in the 2014-15 range they managed to schedule a single outbound stop in the commuting time frame (around 8am) that I took several times when my wife needed the car or it was otherwise unavailable, and it was quite useful to have available.
 

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,532
Reaction score
33
Good use of a few million dollars

The MBTA kicked off the first day of Foxboro service with Patriots cheerleaders, the Patriots’ mascot Pat, and free Dunkin Donuts coffee.
The launch came after an extensive advertising campaign and media coverage.

Still, ridership was low on the first day.

Jody Gallery, a field manager for the MBTA, said she counted eight people on the first train to Boston, which left at 5:47 a.m. Ridership jumped to 37 on the 7:29 a.m. commute and went back down to six on the 10:27.

A spokesman for the MBTA said there are no ridership projections for the first week of service.
 

jklo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
417
Reaction score
15
Newton Corner not having a stop while the other villages do is nonsensical.
I think the reason there's no stop is because the Exit 17 area is a traffic and pedestrian nightmare. And yes, unlike the existing Newton stops there are some employers in the direct area where a stop would be.
 

ulrichomega

New member
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
98
Reaction score
35
Most of the money is private so why not let it happen
It is decreasing service levels to some key parts of the Franklin Line and resulting in a whole lot of delays (I can't be sure the delays are caused by the pilot, but the line's been running okay for a while before this and then suddenly I'm fifteen minutes late to work every day). I think the pilot is still worth it, especially if it results in double-tracking enough of the line to maintain good service levels, but it's definitely having teething problems.
 

bakgwailo

Active Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
901
Reaction score
20
glad we're spending money to rehabilitate tracks and stations to open a route that will lose the mbta money
Not sure if that is really a good way to look at it given that the CR in general is the most subsidized part of the system (not including the ride). Losing money is pretty much what the commuter rail does in its existing form.
 

JeffDowntown

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
2,878
Reaction score
48
Does anyone know what the T might be up to in Boylston Station? (Green Line)

There are surveyor marks posted on every third column in the stations. This kind of survey work usually precedes actual construction planning of some sort.
 

bigeman312

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
10
Does anyone know what the T might be up to in Boylston Station? (Green Line)

There are surveyor marks posted on every third column in the stations. This kind of survey work usually precedes actual construction planning of some sort.
My best guess is that it is part of the Green Line Transformation.

A bid for this segment of work was out last winter. I'm not sure whatever came of it, but per a May FMCB meeting, there should be track, power, and signal work upcoming on this segment.

I'm not 100% sure it's related, but that's my best guess.
 

Top