Green Line Extension to Medford & Union Sq

Ruairi

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But this hand-cuffs you into only allowing ~1/4 of trains serve Union. What if the system could allow for more than that? It would be better to let as many trains as possible serve the GLX while maintaining optimum headways across the system. And that means allowing trains from all four existing branches the possibility of also serving the two new branches at the opposite end.
I get your idea, and like it, just trying to think if there's a way to manage usability without adding numbers to the existing letters and colors.
 

Ruairi

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And if you had the letters as they are with numbers on the northside, then that tourist at Government Center wouldn't follow your advice and jump on a D train only to find themselves at Lechmere.
Union ;)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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with two termini at the other end, I think lettering is about to become important in both directions.
far easier to explain to someone getting on in copley looking to go to east somerville.
Take the train to medford
or Take the E line to medford.

Not much difference but seems important to me.
I also think there's an element of place making or ownership with each line having a distinct letter.
Anyway, probably getting lost in the weeds now.

Oh and digital maps might be a good idea re. updating, if they don't get smashed up.
I don't disagree...but "Transitional Map Version 35" that appears in one station vs. Map Versions 9-34 that are scattered like confetti elsewhere doesn't "make the letters more important." It confuses the everloving shit out of wayfinding out of its sheer inconsistency.

Current practice is less-than half-assed. If it's going to be a map-driven solution, they have to tighten the eff up on systemwide signage consistency. If it's an onboard or digital solution, it has to be simple enough to not require parsing 16 different dice-throw alphanumeric code combinations. The inbound termini in particular are highly variable, so the alphanumerizing better be both simple and flexible.


Pick a lane and drive in it is the only real mandate here. What they are doing now with the worsening map versioning hell is the absolute antithesis of that.
 

RandomWalk

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On a different note: I have been looking at the webcams and I can’t figure out access from the viaduct to the VMF. It appears as if there is a stub for access from the north/westbound viaduct to the VMF, but no piers to bring it to a landing. Did it get deleted?
 

JeffDowntown

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Name trains by their terminus station. Like many systems around the world.

You won't confuse a Union Train with an Riverside Train. In many systems people get used to tracing lines to the terminus to know what train to get on.

Terminus labels also have the benefit of allowing short turn trains, without fooling people. This is a D train -- but surprise, not really. We're turning at Kenmore!
 

ra84970

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On a different note: I have been looking at the webcams and I can’t figure out access from the viaduct to the VMF. It appears as if there is a stub for access from the north/westbound viaduct to the VMF, but no piers to bring it to a landing. Did it get deleted?
I'm thinking that the only VMF access is through the Union Sq branch?
 

RandomWalk

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According to the roll plans on the web, there are leads from the Medford branch. However, it seems like all moves from the south involve switching ends.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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According to the roll plans on the web, there are leads from the Medford branch. However, it seems like all moves from the south involve switching ends.
Surplus to requirement for now, so the would-be Lechmere-facing lead is just going to end at an "Evil Knievel" ramp stump until added later. It's too easy to either wave a train run-as-directed to Union and reverse back if it's going in/out of service, or to pull a backup move at the Medford Branch crossover inside the tolerances of a 6 min. headway. The only time it becomes ironclad required to infill that piece is if/when they want to thru-route any service (Urban Ring or just a stub) to Sullivan. Then there'll be another overpass piece lifted into place + junction mods to make what's now total-flying unidirectional splits into half-flying/half-level partial-bidirectionals. But short of that one scenario, the branch frequencies aren't quite dense enough post-split that they can't make do inside the headway gaps with assisted reverses.
 

RandomWalk

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Waiting for someone to spray “Go Wings” on it, to match the Inner Belt stub.
 

ra84970

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No. There's also a level junction tying into the Medford Branch that flies under right before the viaduct touches down for East Somerville. It's in the 2017 Technical Proposal.
Thanks. Now, I see the yard leads that connect to the Medford Branch. (pp. 12-14). Interesting that there's also a pocket track that comes off the yard lead and goes almost all the way to the East Somerville station.

Is it me, or reading this does it seem like on pp. 11-12 the section from the end of the new Lechmere viaduct and the flyerover interchange along McGrath Highway is shown as an MSE wall viaduct?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Thanks. Now, I see the yard leads that connect to the Medford Branch. (pp. 12-14). Interesting that there's also a pocket track that comes off the yard lead and goes almost all the way to the East Somerville station.
That's explicitly so they can can turn out and reverse to/from Lechmere without fouling revenue traffic.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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The A was the Watertown Branch, bustituted 1969.

The letters have never been used for inbound termini

Wrong on both counts.

1) I remember 1969 and the T posted signs that the A - Watertown Line was temporarily suspended. So talking about it in the past tense is incorrect since it must be coming back.

2) The LVRs did use letters for inbound trips. Note this wayward "D" train on Beacon Street:

LRV.jpg


:)
 
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HenryAlan

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The letters have never been used for inbound termini, so we're already a half-century accustomed to looking at the full name on the destination sign. If there were no letters and we just looked for BOSTON COLLEGE, CLEVELAND CIRCLE, RIVERSIDE, HEATH STREET or any short-turns therein it would make zero wayfinding difference. The letters *never* did the heavy-lifting we assumed they did because parsing full destinations was always non-optional in one direction.
I mostly agree with this. In fact, it took me a few years in Boston to realize that the lettered routes had, in theory, specific inbound destinations. I had initially thought it was fairly random whether it went beyond Park, and from which station it would finally turn back. But I do think people might be confused by short turns on outbound trains. People tend to think of branch letter outbound, and while they probably do know which letter goes with which terminus, I suspect a lot of people won't recognize that, say, Brigham Circle trains get them to Symphony.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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2) The LVRs did use letters for inbound trips. Note this wayward "D" train on Beacon Street:

View attachment 12053

:)
Oh, yes...the slashies. The most unexplained and mis-applied rollsign of them all. Logical in-concept (slash = short-turn), but the operators were so I.D.G.A.F. at making sure they had the correct signage displayed for the trip that it never took root. By about halfway through the 3600-series vehicle order they simply stopped printing them at all and let the destination name persist solo.


See...there are many ways to craft a semi-logical signage system that works in all directions including for short-turns and variable termini. But they all require rote consistency to execute, and the T had a 50-year rep for utter anti-consistency on its signage. I'm fine with getting rid of the letters in most instances in spite of some convenience lost simply because it's harder to screw it up with shit like ^^this^^ or map versioning confetti. But in no way am I arguing that's superior to simply taking a resolutely hard line on compliance for whatever signage scheme they do adopt. Many other systems thrive on way more complex signage because they are utterly rigid about the enforced consistency. Boston?....¯\_(ツ)_/¯ "It's simply not done here."
 
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HelloBostonHi

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ArchBoston saw it first but my pictures have spread and this article includes some confirmation from the T on the branches: https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2021/04/09/mbta-green-line-extension-union-square-october

The specific branch assignments are a reversal from earlier plans, which called for extending the D branch to Medford and the E branch to Union Square. Asked about the switch, Pesaturo said Friday that the D branch — which is by far the longest arm of the four Green Line branches — was assigned to the shorter extension to Union Square to make it a more reasonable length for trains.

“A shorter trip than the D branch, E branch trains have been assigned to the longer leg of the extension (Medford),” Pesaturo said in an email.
 

JumboBuc

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The specific branch assignments are a reversal from earlier plans, which called for extending the D branch to Medford and the E branch to Union Square. Asked about the switch, Pesaturo said Friday that the D branch — which is by far the longest arm of the four Green Line branches — was assigned to the shorter extension to Union Square to make it a more reasonable length for trains.

“A shorter trip than the D branch, E branch trains have been assigned to the longer leg of the extension (Medford),” Pesaturo said in an email.
Can any train ops people on here explain if this actually makes sense?

On the one hand, sure, you're making it so the trains with the longest trips don't have to travel an extra 2.25 miles. But do the trains really care? Does it make a difference to them? Going off of that logic, shouldn't the D reverse at GC?

And on the other hand, you're putting the people who work / live on the Medford/Tufts GLX branch on the shortest line with (perhaps) the worst connectivity. Isn't there downsides to that? What if a large share of Somerville GL riders are bound for Kenmore, or for BU. This makes travel less convenient for them. But at least the E still hits Longwood, and this change helps Somerville - NEU travelers.

It seems like in the perfect world you'd do an analysis of O-D pairings across the GL, and figure out which of the four lines is the best match to the GLX on a trips basis and assign that one as its pair. Actually try to determine if Somerville riders are more likely to travel to B destinations or C destinations or D destinations or E destinations (and vice versa) and make the decision based on that. But that's a much more sophisticated analysis than just saying "well, let's not have these trains going too far" and calling it settled.
 
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HelloBostonHi

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Can any train ops people on here explain if this actually makes sense?

On the one hand, sure, you're making it so the trains with the longest trips don't have to travel an extra 2.25 miles. But do the trains really care? Does it make a difference to them? Going off of that logic, shouldn't the D reverse at GC?

And on the other hand, you're putting the people who work / live on the Medford/Tufts GLX branch on the shortest line with (perhaps) the worst connectivity. Isn't there downsides to that? What if a large share of Somerville GL riders are bound for Kenmore, or for BU. This makes travel less convenient for them. But at least the E still hits Longwood, and this change helps Somerville - NEU travelers.

It seems like in the perfect world you'd do an analysis of O-D pairings across the GL, and figure out which of the four lines is the best match to the GLX on a trips basis and assign that one as its pair. Actually try to determine if Somerville riders are more likely to travel to B destinations or C destinations or D destinations or E destinations (and vice versa) and make the decision based on that. But that's a much more sophisticated analysis than just saying "well, let's not have these trains going too far."
Agreed, and also in this article:

"Pesaturo noted that those two branches serve the Longwood Medical Area, and this will minimizing transfers for riders who take the commuter rail to North Station, as well as the Green Line Extension. When service begins on the Green Line Extension, the B and C Lines will terminate downtown at Government Center (currently, B trains terminate at Park Street and C trains terminate at North Station)."

N Station to LMA is definitely a big demand driver... I don't have numbers but GLX is serving mostly residential demand so it makes sense to connect that with employment demand which I would guess is mostly centered on the E branch, inner D and perhaps the B branch.
 

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