Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

GP40MC

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From NErail. . .

Backup shove move by Pan Am job BO-1 of 13 empties returning from Rousselot Gelatin in Peabody onto the Yard 21 tracks on Tuesday. Peabody loads amongst the most frequent visitors to Yard 21 because on days when BO-1 runs as far as Peabody it often has trouble finishing its work within crew hours (presumably these empties were dropped in Salem or Everett at the end of the previous day's shift for a fetch at beginning of next day's trip).

Pic taken from FX interlocking (see dwarf signal lit up in the background). Curved track on the left foreground of the photo is the end of northbound leg of the freight wye tying into FX interlocking at this spot underneath the Leverett ramp decks, and the track snaking under the highway decks in the background past the signal is where all the freight + work tracks framing the backside of Boston Engine Terminal cross over to the outbound Eastern & Western Route mains. The big Keolis tie/rail piles off to the left of the photo frames the perimeter acreage between FX and the industrial backlots of Roland St. in the Innerbelt. This vantage point is about 650 ft. inbound of the Sullivan Station platforms. The empty hoppers on the rear half of the train past the last highway truss abutment have all cleared the switches and are traveling on the Yard 21-proper trackage.

This photo is from 1973 and shows part of the Tower X control board with FX in all its former glory. Doug Kydd photo. The shot of BO-1 would be a hair to the left of the seam between the two left panels.
For those interested: Right to left is Everett Jct, Draw 7, Reading Jct, FX.
1602555627751.png
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Ugh, the fact that this station will only have a single entrance and no direct access to either Prospect St or Boynton Yards boggles the mind.
What do you mean, no direct access to Prospect? That's where the main headhouse is.

As for Boynton Yards...nothing precludes them from adding an extra south entrance to Boynton. Keep in mind, the base design for this station pre-dates BY so many years that it hasn't been tracking 1:1 with the redev timeline over there at all, and they certainly weren't going to amend the price tag up with an extra up-and-over entrance during the financial audit that nearly killed the whole project. Despite that, station schematics provision the opening-day track spacing for a future southerly platform extension over the footprint of where the current Allen/Charlestown Sts. emergency exit dumps out. That provision space just so happens to align spot-on perfect with an up-and-over walkway between Windsor Place on the BY side and the Allen/Charlestown bend on the north side feeding whatever someday redevs the Target plaza and corner of Medford St. with more density.

They're totally gonna build that secondary southern entrance some day when it's ripe for a bang-bang grant. The space provisioning is way too obvious for that not to ultimately be in the cards. But there was no reason to include it in the post-audit initial build when the redev isn't fully ready for Opening Day. Priorities, priorities.
 
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Arlington

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What do you mean, no direct access to Prospect? That's where the main headhouse is.
Although the headhouse is the shadow of Prospect St, last I heard* the access (that I think Texasian is referring to) was from Bennett Court, not vertically/directly from Prospect (the bridge).
“Because the station design includes an at-grade entrance at Prospect Street/Bennett Court, neither stairs nor ramps will be necessary to access the station,” Pesaturo said.
(bolding mine) Obviously Pesaturo's "slash" is intended to fudge the fact that people coming from the south side of the tracks (Cambridge & BY) will have to walk an extra 200' north to get to Bennett Court and then 200' back south to get to the tracks. Practically .1 mile extra by the time you're done doubling-back.

* March 2019, in this article about the vertical-access deletions: Uproar over GLX cuts to Union Square station accessibility. Let me know if those vertical access elements have been restored to the U2 plan. (My understanding was that since GLX-Porter was going to require replacing the Prospect St bridge, the vertical access there wasn't going to happen until they'd opened a hole for the outbound GLX to continue west under Prospect.
 
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George_Apley

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My understanding was that since GLX-Porter was going to require replacing the Prospect St bridge, the vertical access there wasn't going to happen until they'd opened a hole for the outbound GLX to continue west under Prospect.
Is GLX-Porter under enough official discussion to even be a consideration?

I'd just as soon have the city build their own set of stairs if GLX isn't going to bother.
 

Jahvon09

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Ugh, the fact that this station will only have a single entrance and no direct access to either Prospect St or Boynton Yards boggles the mind.

Probably one train on each side, with entrance from the street? Waban has that.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Is GLX-Porter under enough official discussion to even be a consideration?

I'd just as soon have the city build their own set of stairs if GLX isn't going to bother.
Enough so that the ROW schematic I linked to in last post is prominently labeled with a "Does Not Preclude Future Connection to Porter Square" at Prospect St. It's an official S.T.E.P. advocacy plank; they would've gotten screamed at for the 417th time in a public meeting if they didn't earmark that in big bold letters.

(My understanding was that since GLX-Porter was going to require replacing the Prospect St bridge, the vertical access there wasn't going to happen until they'd opened a hole for the outbound GLX to continue west under Prospect.
Prospect bridge dates to 1982 and isn't near replacement. And also shouldn't require any mods to its primary Fitchburg-spanning structure in order to take GLX to the other side, because the stub-out is clear of the northerly abutment. The insertion point goes strictly through the retaining wall backed with loose gravel fill. 2 ways to construct: (1) double-arches, one per trolley track, replacing the load-bearing properties of the scooped fill...or (2) excavate clear to ground over just the trolley ROW and graft on a small auxiliary bridge deck with new abutment. Of those (1) is almost certainly easier and wouldn't require a prolonged outage of Prospect St. to vehicular traffic as they could jack the roadway up on metal plates one lane at a time while they scoop-n'-pour underneath. Then on the other side you just need to put on the one-time crane show moving the Eversource substation equipment 15 ft. further back from the ROW onto available slack space.

Webster Ave. bridge, on the other hand, is a weight-restricted hulk of advanced decay in its current state and definitely needs to be wholesale-replaced. Though there's no mention of it anywhere on any MassDOT project page so that's definitely not on any foreseeable before-2025 schedule. It dates to when the Fitchburg was still quad-track through here so has adequate clearance. Any finessing there for a Porter provision would only be required on the substation side if the tracks haven't had enough time to merge fully back into the ROW envelope coming off the Union Station quasi-turnout.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Boynton Yards 9/17 presentation, cross-posted from Dev thread: https://www.somervillema.gov/sites/default/files/20200917 Planning Board Presentation.pdf

Page 12...study area for a ped overpass. That's a glove fit match for the 20% platform extension provision supporting secondary egress.


I think they got this one as a quick follow-on to the station grand opening for squaring the BY access. It's just, as expected, going to be a majority City + dev funding cause.
 
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Arlington

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Boynton Yards 9/17 presentation...Page 12...study area for a ped overpass. That's a glove fit match for the 20% platform extension provision supporting secondary egress.
I think they got this one as a quick follow-on to the station grand opening for squaring the BY access. It's just, as expected, going to be a majority City + dev funding cause.
Yes please! This is a perfect use of locally-sourced $ to enhance local mobility and local property values. I'm all in favor of both new transit, and that the cities and developers who benefit ante up.
 

Arlington

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^ Great photo! Curious: What portion *doesn't* lead to New Lechmere? (It seems to me it is 100% about getting to lechmere)
 

Vagabond

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^ Great photo! Curious: What portion *doesn't* lead to New Lechmere? (It seems to me it is 100% about getting to lechmere)
Think Nibbles means that even if the GLX Union isn't done by Spring, new Lechmere station will be able to open and Bussing will end.

Sidenote - kayaking over around the Science Museum and underneath this project from the PaddleBoston in Kendall just a few blocks away is a lot of fun. I wish I had more confidence to take out my phone to take pictures without donating to the Charles!
 

Nibbles O’Plenty

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Supposedly the shuttle buses will be replaced by Spring…but the rest of the project is not scheduled to be completed until a later date. Was wondering about a partial reopen just to Lechmere. 🤔
 

Arlington

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Supposedly the shuttle buses will be replaced by Spring…but the rest of the project is not scheduled to be completed until a later date. Was wondering about a partial reopen just to Lechmere. 🤔
Happily (and AFAIK) the delays have been evenly spread between Science Park and Union Square such that when they're ready (about 3 months late, having pushed from "Spring" to "Fall" 2021) they'll all open together.
 

Smuttynose

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This is probably a stupid question and I only ask it after several Google searches, but just to clarify will the Lowell CR line gain any new stations from the Green Line extension? To allow someone to transfer from the College Ave station (or any other station) to the commuter rail line? It seems strange to leave West Medford, with no connections to subway/light rail, without adding a transfer point off the light rail extension.
 

jklo

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This is probably a stupid question and I only ask it after several Google searches, but just to clarify will the Lowell CR line gain any new stations from the Green Line extension? To allow someone to transfer from the College Ave station (or any other station) to the commuter rail line? It seems strange to leave West Medford, with no connections to subway/light rail, without adding a transfer point off the light rail extension.
Since the Green Line also goes to North Station there isn't much of a point of transferring.
 

Arlington

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Since the Green Line also goes to North Station there isn't much of a point of transferring.
I agree with this so long as the CR stays "CR" and NS is the best place to buffer connections. But if CR transforms into RUR on 15 min headways, then it'd be worth transfers (and then the case gets even stronger if NSRL brings people from the Southside)

Sadly, The answer to Smuttynose is: No new transfer points between CR & GLX

The circa 2005 answer had been bring GLX to W Medford, to allow commuters coming in from CR to access Tufts and future employment centers at USq East & Lechmere without having to backtrack. But no way were the Medford NIMBYs going to accept cross-platform transfers and no backtracking as a reason they should accept GLX poking beyond Tufts. I am ashamed, but that's who West and South Medford were 15 years ago.*

In the future RUR world it would make a lot of sense to have a CR transfer at:
- On the Fitchburg: either
-- Porter (if GLX went out there) or
-- USq (if GLX didn't)

- On the Lowell: either
-- via pedestrian bridge from a relocated W.Med to Mystic Valley Pkwy (if GLX 2 takes it one stop farther)
- Tufts College Ave (there's room) or Gilman Sq

*Incidentally before COVID, you'd see a surprising number of early-career people riding the 80 to 3rd St and walking across to their Biotech job. The Millenials who are buying and Gen-Z who are renting have displaced the Lincoln Town Car crowd that chased the GLX back to Tufts.
 
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nick

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I've always wondered if it made sense to move the CR stop to College Ave and extend the GR to West Medford. West Medford loses direct CR access but gains greater frequency from the GL. CR moves to Tufts, which would logically seem like a bigger regional draw than West Medford, though I don't know how big of a reach Tufts has/needs.
 

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