Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Ruairi

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Somerville junction would be a cool name and a nice nod to RR history. I get the peacemaking argument but it’s far less relevant given how smart Phones have changed the way people navigate.
 

Charlie_mta

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So many of the photos on here look like only three tracks will fit, especially under bridges. But I've read on here 4 tracks total: 2 commuter and 2 Green line. How can that be?
 

Jake_Jarmel

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So many of the photos on here look like only three tracks will fit, especially under bridges. But I've read on here 4 tracks total: 2 commuter and 2 Green line. How can that be?
They have not yet cut into the slope on the green line side of the corridor for retaining wall installation. Some bridges still require work as well.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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So many of the photos on here look like only three tracks will fit, especially under bridges. But I've read on here 4 tracks total: 2 commuter and 2 Green line. How can that be?
They're not done with the commuter rail track shifting. The photos clearly show that the CR-side retaining wall construction hasn't even begun in this area yet, so the CR tracks have one more minor shifting left in them to space further away from GLX. That side's wall/embankment has to be shaved and stabilized before they do the last shift. Only after that will you see the cement trucks come in to pour the concrete bases for the catenary poles in that center divider between modes, then have security fencing erected pole-to-pole along the center permanently sealing the modes off from each other for 'true' FRA-kosher ROW separation. The cat poles on the center divider are supposed to be thick enough to be future-proofed for eventually hanging CR-electrification bracket arms over the Lowell side off the same shared poles.

Right now the GLX tracks are laid in their final configuration, with the inner track overspilling the inner Lowell track's side-clearance envelope. Not a problem because no track machines will be running on that inner GLX track during times of day when both Lowell tracks are in-service. They'll gerrymander any movement there inside the CR clearance envelope to off-peaks and weekends when Lowell can run single-track on the far side only.
 

Deetroyt

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The cat poles on the center divider are supposed to be thick enough to be future-proofed for eventually hanging CR-electrification bracket arms over the Lowell side off the same shared poles.
Was this always in the design specs or is this a fairly recent change due to MBTA exploring commuter rail electrification? I’d be surprised if something was changed this late in the game on GLX.
 

George_Apley

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It's been too long since that name was in popular vernacular, as the name "Somerville Junction" didn't ever really have carryover coattails onto the neighborhood that grew up around the stop. It was always strictly a RR placemarker. The Somerville Jct. stop was discontinued in 1958 in the bloodbath of drastic B&M service cuts, the depot building being demolished sometime after 1947. Hasn't even been a major diverging point for train traffic since the Fitchburg Cutoff was severed in 1981, and the last freight train through the junction to the old MaxPak factory was in 2005. We're almost 3 generations removed from when it was last a wayfinding namecheck for anyone except northside commuter rail crews for whom it's still a named NH Mainline interlocking. Magoun is the nearest surface-transit point of interest, so it makes absolute sense even with it being 1200 ft. from ground-zero Magoun that it use that name for wayfinding.

Ball Square Station isn't in ground-zero Ball Sq. either, but we aren't going by B&M "North Somerville" (also lasting till '58) station naming nomenclature instead. That old placemarker is similarly meaningless to anyone who came of age in the last 60 years.
I'd argue that Ball Square station is damn close to the epicenter of the commercial district.

I don't love "Magoun Square" for the GLX stop because it's not in Magoun Square and it will never feel like it's in Magoun Square. It's on the periphery of the residential neighborhood that is centered around Magoun Square. There's no opportunity for redevelopment to stretch Magoun Square towards the district, because it's surrounded by triple-deckers and housing developments. Yes, Magoun is the closest established place to the station, but the square is far enough away that it's not a good way-finder.

The idea of where "the square" is won't move to be centered around the station. It will be where its always been and the station will be beyond the periphery. The area around the station is just housing. Lowell Street between Highland and Medford St is a currently a drag strip, though the city has doing a good job traffic-calming it. The station will much more be for residents going elsewhere and coming home than serving the square itself. Magoun square sits between the Lowell Street station and the Ball Square station, which as I said, is much more adjacent to the eponymous square than Lowell St station will be to Magoun.

IMO a station shouldn't be named after a square unless it a) opens up into the commercial square itself, or b) has redevelopment opportunities to connect it to the existing square.

That's why I'd rather the new station just be called "Lowell Street" (like "Green Street" on the Orange Line) or just be given a new name all together (a la Somerville Junction). I don't particularly care that Somerville Junction was at one time a commuter rail station, and to be honest, I came up with the name before I knew about the old station.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Was this always in the design specs or is this a fairly recent change due to MBTA exploring commuter rail electrification? I’d be surprised if something was changed this late in the game on GLX.
That was a design spec from Day 1. Serves multiple masters, not just CR electrification future-proofing. Thicker and deeper-driven center poles are more resistant to toppling in derailments where they could imperil either/both modes, more resistant to tree falls from above the embankment during bad storms messing up either/both modes, and require less lifetime maint in the hardest-to-reach part of the ROW. Additionally it's a space saver for hanging both GL dwarf signals and CR signal masts off the center-running utility duct banks on the ROW, so also serves as a means of general-purpose utility mounting consolidation for both modes in a tightish space.

So...no, they didn't spec this in any sort of far-reaching nod to the Rail Vision. It's just serendipitously compatible with Lowell Line electrification by taking into account Amtrak's pole-mount specs. The main driver was just it being much easier across the board to one-and-done overbuild the center median poles in the name of general consolidation.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Full speed ahead on construction for the time being. T not anticipating any GLX slowdowns. . .

 

Lrfox

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That's why I'd rather the new station just be called "Lowell Street" (like "Green Street" on the Orange Line) or just be given a new name all together (a la Somerville Junction). I don't particularly care that Somerville Junction was at one time a commuter rail station, and to be honest, I came up with the name before I knew about the old station.
This is my neighborhood stop, and I would agree that simply "Lowell St." makes the most sense. +/- 50% of the population using this stop will be coming from the Highland Ave. side of the tracks - an area which has few ties to Magoun. I'd even be in favor of calling it "Lowell St." and putting "Magoun Square/Somerville Hospital" in smaller font underneath (similar to "Tufts University" at Davis). At least then you'd have a specific, notable place on on either side of the station for way-finding.
 

JumboBuc

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This is my neighborhood stop, and I would agree that simply "Lowell St." makes the most sense. +/- 50% of the population using this stop will be coming from the Highland Ave. side of the tracks - an area which has few ties to Magoun. I'd even be in favor of calling it "Lowell St." and putting "Magoun Square/Somerville Hospital" in smaller font underneath (similar to "Tufts University" at Davis). At least then you'd have a specific, notable place on on either side of the station for way-finding.
Somerville Hospital already eliminated its inpatient beds and is in the process of closing down its emergency department. Its days as a "hospital" are numbered, if not already passed. It's only a matter of time before it just becomes "CHA Somerville."

Naming a transit stop after the "hospital" would be unwise.
 

Lrfox

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Somerville Hospital already eliminated its inpatient beds and is in the process of closing down its emergency department. Its days as a "hospital" are numbered, if not already passed. It's only a matter of time before it just becomes "CHA Somerville."

Naming a transit stop after the "hospital" would be unwise.
I didn't realize they were scaling back that much. I agree with you.
 

shmessy

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Somerville Hospital already eliminated its inpatient beds and is in the process of closing down its emergency department. Its days as a "hospital" are numbered, if not already passed. It's only a matter of time before it just becomes "CHA Somerville."

Naming a transit stop after the "hospital" would be unwise.

In the short-term, they better turn that around fast with this virus sittuation.

It would be ridiculous to build new hospitals on high school football fields this week when all the bones of an infrastructure are already in place in downsized hospitals and motels.

But, yes, long-term there is no need to name this T stop after a hospital that won't be a major center for long.

.
 

ceo

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Some photos I've taken on walks over the past week. From Lowell Street bridge. Looks like there's going to be an access road to the tracks here, is that why the noise barrier splits like that?
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Other side of the bridge. They've pulled up one of the commuter rail tracks and are loading up the ties. It looks like the replacement track (last photo) is going to go in pretty much exactly the same place, though.
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Looking north from the Cedar St bridge; clearing space for the relocated northbound commuter rail track, I think
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Ball Square bridge, from behind 147 Boston Ave
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From the end of Newbern Ave, a couple days later.
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From the east side of the bridge. That's the abutment in front, presumably they're going to fill in behind it.
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Today, working on what I presume is the new southbound commuter rail track opposite the end of the bike path. The workers at center left are doing something with a joint plate, which confused me because I thought this was CWR. There weren't any other joints visible on the new track, though.
IMG_0216.jpg
 

Arlington

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With CWR, they often drill holes in the butted ends of the rail and use a joint plate for a day or so between when they lay it and when they weld it. Watch that spot--they will probably weld this weekend.

(Or they are cutting and temporarily joining at a place they are planning to break and realign this weekend, in which case it will be rejoined and welded after that move)
 

RandomWalk

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When I was out today, I saw that crews had cut over the track up to the Somerville DPW.

A drill rig had also reappeared at the Broadway bridge site. I assume it is for some part of the noise wall.
 

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