MBTA Construction Projects

The EGE

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As an order-of-magnitude, a 1x2 foot piece of copper sheeting at Home Depot is $17. So that copper probably cost 1-2 grand - less than 0.1% of the project cost.
 

Arlington

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[Copper is] quite expensive for a "cash strapped" agency.
I suspect it was a Historic District consideration, but it could also be a decent choice from a total life-cycle costs standpoint (similar to granite).
 

HelloBostonHi

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As an order-of-magnitude, a 1x2 foot piece of copper sheeting at Home Depot is $17. So that copper probably cost 1-2 grand - less than 0.1% of the project cost.
Does raise the question of why a single elevator costs $3.8 million at the MBTA, when the going rate for an elevator that can serve a whole building is in the $20k to $200k range depending on circumstances. Not as bad the MTA but still shocking price for what's essentially an elevator that travels one floor. A one floor hydraulic elevator shouldn't be nearly that expensive.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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When you build new stuff in a historic district don't they sometimes ask for consistent materials?
Cambridge in general and Harvard Sq. in particular are anti-consistent about that. I learned from a decade living in the People's Republic that there's little rhyme or reason to the "neighborhood character" choices they make. "The Pit" is another 1980's creation that clashes more than it complements.

Compared to the anti-ADA nutters on the Beacon Hill Civic Assoc. who are at least consistent (-ly wrong) with their demands, Cambridge hasn't yet learned to try harder than than throwing shit at the wall.
 

whighlander

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For those who can't be bothered to go hunting for it. Personally I think it looks really cool but yeah I'm not sure how it will age. Also as someone pointed out, quite expensive for a "cash strapped" agency.
T used to use copper extensively for anything exposed to weather -- e.g. the original Orange Line Elevated stations, Green Line Elevated station at North Station
Still some vestiges at Charles / MGH on the Red Line
 

HenryAlan

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As an order-of-magnitude, a 1x2 foot piece of copper sheeting at Home Depot is $17. So that copper probably cost 1-2 grand - less than 0.1% of the project cost.
I'm not concerned about the cost, I just think it is visually over the top. A copper roof and some highlights would be great. Copper walls, not so much.
 

The EGE

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The Boden Lane bridge - a major access route to West Natick station - was irreparably damaged on October 31. Sounds like they demolished the old span in December, and a temporary pedestrian span is about to be installed.
 

Hubman

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Does anyone know why they're tearing up the tracks on the disused ROW next to the Sullivan Station Orange Line tracks? A little bit of me hopes its for BRT or something sometime in the future...
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Does anyone know why they're tearing up the tracks on the disused ROW next to the Sullivan Station Orange Line tracks? A little bit of me hopes its for BRT or something sometime in the future...
Rebuilding them for freight storage, since GLX construction disrupts most of Pan Am's usual Somerville storage tracks and they need immediate offsets. They're first patching the falling-apart portions of the retaining wall around Mystic Ave., which is why the outermost track is ripped up. Tracks will be re-laid as double-track all the way to Assembly, then switch down at the end to a short length of single for running around a locomotive. Bumper post for end-of-track will be in the vicinity of where the walking path dips around the Partners Healthcare south driveway.

The area is technically known as "Yard 21". Because of the chunks of retaining wall falling off it's been many years since they've shoved anything in storage further than the Sullivan platforms, even though the runaround to Assembly was preserved underneath the overgrowth all this time. They've brush-cut it now, so you can probably see from the path along Partners just how far it goes. This used to be the yard lead track when Assembly itself was a Boston & Maine freight yard, before the last of it fizzed out end-of-80's/start-of-90's.
 

jklo

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The Boden Lane bridge - a major access route to West Natick station - was irreparably damaged on October 31. Sounds like they demolished the old span in December, and a temporary pedestrian span is about to be installed.
Not sure if it's that big of a deal, the West Natick station parking lot might be the earliest in the system to fill every day. Fills by 6:30 easy.
 

Arlington

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Does anyone know why they're tearing up the tracks on the disused ROW next to the Sullivan Station Orange Line tracks? A little bit of me hopes its for BRT or something sometime in the future...
When you say, "next to" do you mean the east or west side? I'm thinking the west is the disused side, based on the grey sections at the end of the west side black (freight) lines at Sullivan as shown in Van's Track Map, right?

For F-Line: Will PanAm's use of the Sullivan/Yard 21 be
  • a permanent change triggered by GLX? or
  • just a temporary change only during GLX construction?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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For F-Line: Will PanAm's use of the Sullivan/Yard 21 be
  • a permanent change triggered by GLX? or
  • just a temporary change only during GLX construction?
Dunno. They're hard up for storage since "Yard 8" on the west side of the Innerbilt got mowed down to just one track (the distended loop-around BET from the Lowell Line) for carving out the GLX mainline. They're probably going to need the Yard 21 stubs for awhile. "Yard 8" was tiny; fixing the collapsing retaining wall so they can use all the space out to Assembly gives them more or less equivalent space (but less flexible switching between tracks). Everything's a TBD because they gave up their title to pretty much all yard claims in Somerville when they sold all their land for GLX. The tracks by Sullivan are less convenient to work around than what they had before, but they have no leverage anymore so they're just getting shoved in the nook/cranny that keeps them furthest out of the T's way.


Now, if you're thinking "What happens if the Urban Ring needs those tracks?"...there are the easy-reach offsets that get them out of town:
  • Carve out more yard space inside Everett Terminal by the gas tanks (ditto if the 2 storage tracks along the Eastern Route between Sweetser Circle and 2nd Ave. need to be taken for UR). Generous amount of space there. Would just need some quid pro quos with the private Terminal owners.
  • Rehabilitate Montvale Yard (T-owned). PAR uses the two tracks next to Tighe Warehouse in the Winchester Industrial Park for setoffs on the nightly overnight Winchester local to Tighe. There's another disused 1000 ft. x 2-3 tracks of yard space buried in the thick overgrowth running north of that warehouse in the Draper St. backlots, to about the edge of the cemetery. If PAR could be coaxed with carrot+stick to run on-time (which they rarely do) this is a midpoint pull-out where they can stage the Everett and Peabody jobs, getting them out of Somerville except on pauses between commuter slots.
  • Rehabilitate Winchester Running Track. Just south of Montvale there's a long third track siding on the Lowell Line, occasionally used to store T work equipment overflow. About 1400 ft., but cut off at its north end. If they reconnect the Cross St. end it'll double in length and act as a parking spot for staying out of the T's way. Or, they can lengthen to Cross St., replace the (kinda decrepit) Cross St. bridge with a tri-tracker, and extend that lead into Montvale Yard to give them about a mile's worth of layover track and the un-buried Montvale Yard tracks together for staging themselves on either side of Boston.
I'm guessing any of those or preferably all of the above would permanently satisfy all their needs, and let them triage their loads on either side of the Mystic so Somerville can just be a pausing spot. All are cheapies, and as mentioned PAR has bupkis for leverage after signing its life away so they'll play along wherever the MassDOT freight fun bux tell them to go. Of course if/when PAR gets bought out by somebody who gives half a shit about running on-schedule they won't have to can nearly as many loads overnight near Somerville to begin with because they'll get back to base out in 495-land in one shift. PAR doesn't truly need much space at all in Boston, except in terms of their infamous brand of "slop ops" that can't stay out of their own way.
 
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GP40MC

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The Winchester Running Track is/was called Swanton Street siding. Not aware of a name change for it. Being double ended back in the day, it was a convenient place (plus Montvale Yard) for road freights to set off and pick up - usually the Salem job (EDSA/SAED). One thing about reactivating this and reviving the north end of Montvale yard is the NIMBY factor. Remember the howling noises when Tighe re-instituted freight service?!

There are whispers of two Somerville customers wanting rail service, so the Yard 21 - 3rd/4th Irons are needed since GRS/PAR, as you duly noted, shot themselves in the foot with GLX land transfers/sales.
 

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