MBTA Commuter Rail (Operations, Keolis, & Short Term)

ulrichomega

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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

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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.
 

sneijder

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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.
Sure, but the providence/worcester lines are taking thousands of cars off the road each rush hour and significantly improving congestion. 15 riders getting on at Foxboro is doing exactly nothing for improving congestion.
 

George_Apley

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Foxboro does seem like a kind of useless service spur. What was the drive for daily service?
 

ulrichomega

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It's a pilot, meaning they will have some kinks to work out. I also wouldn't consider day one ridership to indicate whatever becomes the ultimate long term trend. As for reducing service, is that true? My understanding was that this was basically an extension of the Fairmont line, meaning an increase to number of trains from Readville through Norwood, and no reduction in service further outbound. But I haven't seen the final schedule, so maybe that is no longer the case.
See my post in the thread dedicated to it. I go over a before and after schedule for the Franklin Line. TL;DR is that the inner portions of the line maintain peak hour service at most major stations, and some see a very minor increase. Outer line sees a small net decrease in peak hour service, especially Walpole itself. As far as I can tell it really is mostly just extending a few Fairmount Line trains outwards, but I couldn't find a before schedule for that line. The decrease in service comes from originating a few trains at Foxboro instead of Forge Park/sending a few trains to Foxboro instead of Forge Park. The reality is a bit more complicated than that, but I was just looking at "How many trains are there in peak direction at peak time."

And I agree that day-one ridership is not significantly important here. What is important is that the pilot shows demand, and the Franklin Line can get the infrastructure it needs to really pump the frequency on all parts and the Fairmount can get an extension while not seeing any decrease in service.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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See my post in the thread dedicated to it. I go over a before and after schedule for the Franklin Line. TL;DR is that the inner portions of the line maintain peak hour service at most major stations, and some see a very minor increase. Outer line sees a small net decrease in peak hour service, especially Walpole itself. As far as I can tell it really is mostly just extending a few Fairmount Line trains outwards, but I couldn't find a before schedule for that line. The decrease in service comes from originating a few trains at Foxboro instead of Forge Park/sending a few trains to Foxboro instead of Forge Park. The reality is a bit more complicated than that, but I was just looking at "How many trains are there in peak direction at peak time."

And I agree that day-one ridership is not significantly important here. What is important is that the pilot shows demand, and the Franklin Line can get the infrastructure it needs to really pump the frequency on all parts and the Fairmount can get an extension while not seeing any decrease in service.
This is especially true because the full-build option that outright doubles service to Walpole is very inexpensive as rail service expansion projects go, with a significant amount of the cost already defrayed by the pilot upgrades. A very modest demand pulse leaves them almost no choice but to graduate to that build, and they could swap fewer (paid for) track upgrades in exchange for a dual-branch ADA Walpole Station rebuild for the same costs as the near- decade-old study.

Tees up an exponential service expander at one hell of a bargain. You don't luck into too many projects with that sweet a value proposition.
 

tysmith95

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The issue with Foxboro is that it's a fairly long commute due to the close spacing. Mansfield, which is slightly further from Boston, on one hand takes 38 mins to get to South Station, while Foxboro takes 55 mins. Combine that with crappy frequencies, and ridership is low.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The issue with Foxboro is that it's a fairly long commute due to the close spacing. Mansfield, which is slightly further from Boston, on one hand takes 38 mins to get to South Station, while Foxboro takes 55 mins. Combine that with crappy frequencies, and ridership is low.
It's a pilot. Pilot, pilot, pilot.

If first instinct is to reach for an apples-apples comparison with very much not-pilot Mansfield as an indictment of the service should be enough of a cue to re-wrap brain around the meaning of a limited trial before attempting to dig deeper. All they are trying to do is test a theory that a full-service investment package would meet its goals as a service increaser by taking pulse of the trial's vital signs. The only goal is proving an evidence-backed basis for future growth...NOT see that growth start materializing right now today ahead of the service levels that would underwrite them.

This is not like the other 13 local schedules on the system. Make sure you're asking the right set of questions before attempting a comparison with them.
 

HelloBostonHi

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The trains they used in the renderings for the new Winchester Station are way too optimistic...
 

jass

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Why is Winchester getting elevators if it already has ramps?
 

HelloBostonHi

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Why is Winchester getting elevators if it already has ramps?
Because the current Winchester station is literally falling apart and MBTA specs demand at least two accessible paths of entry into all rebuilt stations, ideally at least one that is non-elevator based to provide redundancy for failure. And obviously it will be getting high level platforms which further raise the height of the station, and I'm not even certain the current ramps are modern ADA/MAAB compliant because they have really long slopes with no flat rest areas...
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Because the current Winchester station is literally falling apart and MBTA specs demand at least two accessible paths of entry into all rebuilt stations, ideally at least one that is non-elevator based to provide redundancy for failure. And obviously it will be getting high level platforms which further raise the height of the station, and I'm not even certain the current ramps are modern ADA/MAAB compliant because they have really long slopes with no flat rest areas...
Per the design report, both current ramps fail to meet accessibility guidelines for allowable slope. The reconstructed outbound-side ramp will be retrofitted into full compliance, but the inbound-side one can't be made all the way compliant due to structural limitations (I'm guessing no room to make long enough as the other side). Therefore they have no choice but to augment with elevators.
 

tysmith95

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Why do they need to build a new Winchester station if there is one a quarter mile up the street?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Why do they need to build a new Winchester station if there is one a quarter mile up the street?
Wedgemere is far and away the weaker-ridership of the two. In a consolidation scenario Wedgemere is the one that would go and Winch Ctr. is the one that would stay.

Wedgemere is 100% accessible with mini-high but the track approaches don't allow for a gauntlet track like Winchester is getting, so it can never be raised to full-high. Closure might have to be a casualty of RUR service, so all service may well get consolidated to Winchester in the next decade making this accessibility money well-spent.
 

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