MBTA Construction Projects

DAVE

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Thanks, Dave. I wish they would just get on with it. Human Progress. This is a key transpo spot in what is rapidly becoming one of the best growth areas of Boston with Northeastern developing this corridor.

To paraphrase Belcihick 'Just Do You Job!!!!!'
Yeah, like I'm sure its because its a complex site with high traffic, but it is interesting to see very little progress on this while Whittier choice has gone through a full demo>construction>now leasing in the same span of time.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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FCMB notes from yesterday

Green Line B/C track work construction contract awarded. Further info given on weekend bustitution schedules.


Commuter Rail Positive Train Control still on-schedule by skin of its teeth to make end-of-year deadline. Most recent milestone includes activation of new cab signal system on Needham Line and retirement of old wayside block signals. PTC is now in full operation on all but the inner Worcester Line (awaiting cab signal install), Franklin Line (awaiting cab signal install), outer Haverhill Line (Pan Am dispatcher integration), and tiny smidge of outermost Lowell Line (Pan Am dispatcher integration).

Additionally, they're going to begin installing ATC/cab signals at long last on the Northside: Lowell Line + Wildcat Branch by 12/31/2020, Fitchburg Line by end-2021, Haverhill/Reading + Rockburyport by end-2022. The FRA has granted the T a 2-year waiver to run PTC solo on the northside without the underlying cab signal layer at no performance penalty IF they meet the year-end deadline on getting Lowell cabbed up as first reach. A very aggressive goal since this is a late-starting project requiring considerable amount of field work (the reason why Franklin and inner-Worcester are still lagging).

Without cab signals and without the waiver extending the deadline on the other 3 northside mains, the PTC layer would work as designed but the T would be forced on 1/1/2021 to start running at more restrictive speeds and train spacing across the northside...which would outright harm service levels.

They tried for years to get a permanent northside cab signals waiver because Pan Am resisted dropping its Boston & Maine-inherited blanket ban on them (crying poverty on equipping its locomotive fleet), but the FRA denied them on that request. Pan Am has since been suitably paid off, and they're ready to scramble construction. If they can blitz Lowell fast as their demonstration cab signal line for the year-end PTC deadline, the spaced-out deadline extensions kick in on the other lines and Fitchburg/Haverhill/Rockburyport will be allowed to continue running at full speed come next year and override the auto-restrictions in the PTC system despite still awaiting their cabs installs. So as if there wasn't already a torrid-enough pace of ongoing trackwork, it's about to get really hectic up the Lowell Line as they do a 9-month sprint to get this short-notice cabs install plowed through end-to-end.
 

CyclistAlan

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Perhaps I didn't explain well or provide enuf info. I was told that the Yard 10 lead would be an alternate route for GL cars to get to the new Light Rail maintenance facility. NOT in revenue service, but being pulled by a Unamog maintenance vehicle. Would that be allowed? Only with a temporal exception? THX. Alan
Also, to F-line to Dudley, Arlington and CEO. What is the minimum distance from fence/wall to fence/wall for double track storage tracks like next to Sullivan? My calculations come to 22' 4". THX. Alan
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Perhaps I didn't explain well or provide enuf info. I was told that the Yard 10 lead would be an alternate route for GL cars to get to the new Light Rail maintenance facility. NOT in revenue service, but being pulled by a Unamog maintenance vehicle. Would that be allowed? Only with a temporal exception? THX. Alan
Also, to F-line to Dudley, Arlington and CEO. What is the minimum distance from fence/wall to fence/wall for double track storage tracks like next to Sullivan? My calculations come to 22' 4". THX. Alan
There is absolutely NO co-existence of different modes on same track...never ever. It's not only FRA-illegal, but the wheel profile of a rapid transit car is ground differently from a RR car so the trolley wouldn't hold to the rails for very long on RR track without derailing.

Access to the carhouse is reducing the number of thru RR tracks around the backside of Boston Engine Terminal to the BET driveway grade crossing off 3rd Ave. to create ROW for the carhouse. Access will come off of the Brickbottom junction flyovers and overpass a couple RR tracks to get there. Freights and non-revenue passenger moves will have 2 fewer tracks to work with behind BET, but will have the same access points from multiple sides as before. The Yard 10 leads by Sullivan have switches tied into the area of the freight wye; it's some distance away from where everything GLX-related stops.

There will be no track connection whatsoever between any GLX trackage and any RR trackage. They are completely 100% separated by fence and never interact. The only Green Line track connection to the national rail network remains at Riverside spur off Worcester Line's Riverside Jct. It's so extremely seldom used even for work equipment transfers that there's zero need for a second connection at BET.

The Yard 10 leads measure out to whatever Google's measuring tool says it is. It's configured so the single-track switch before Assembly end-of-track can runaround (change ends) for a 3-locomotive lashup. Crossover switches TBD scattered on the mid- or third- points on the whole length of double-track allow Pan Am to switch in/out strings of cars. Car storage is more or less equivalent to the Yard 8 it replaces, but switching space is more constrained so it's less flexible than what it replaces.
 

CyclistAlan

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They appear to be laying new track here. I bike the path to Assembly and it looks like they've started at the north end and are moving southward. About 200ft+ done so far, no ballast though. Somewhat disappointing as I had hoped it was to be an extension of the path.
Does anyone know if PanAm or MassDOT is paying for this?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Does anyone know if PanAm or MassDOT is paying for this?
MassDOT's paying for the labor as it was owed to Pan Am in the land swap that deeded Yard 8 over to the state. But the track/ties used are all recycled, pulled up during other ongoing track projects. This isn't costing anyone more than a few hundred grand.
 

Equilibria

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FMCB has approved 3 design and construction contracts:

- Bus stop consolidation/improvement/dedicated lanes
- Green line BU stop consolidation
- Elevator replacement/relocation at Park Street and Downtown Crossing

Maybe of interest to the underground layouts thread:

1584986302125.png
 

ceo

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Anyone know why they're relocating these elevators? Or can make head or tail of the DTX drawing?
 

The EGE

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• Summer Street Concourse (Macy’s Elevator): New elevator between Orange Line Northbound and Red Line Southbound
• Winter Street Concourse at Park Street (Elevator 808): An enlarged and relocated new Elevator 808 that connects Red Line Northbound and Orange Line Southbound at Downtown Crossing via Winter Street Concourse
• Washington Street Elevator (Winter Street Building): New replacement elevator that connects Washington Street, Orange Line Southbound, and Red Line Southbound
The first substantially eases an existing accessible movement between OL NB and RL SB. Currently, that transfer requires using the elevator at the far east end of the RL platform, and leaving and re-entering fare control. Brown is existing, blue is future.

DTX E1.png


The second replaces an very old elevator (originally installed 1979, rebuilt 1987) with a larger, glass-sided cab. This is currently the only accessible transfer between the SB OL and the NB RL, and will be until Phase III adds a direct elevator at DTX. That's going to be a nasty project involving a ped tunnel under the OL tracks, so this is an interim measure to improve that connection. This is shown in the left paid of renders.
DTX E2.png


The third will extend the existing surface-to-OL-SB elevator down one story, connecting to the passage to the SB RL. That eliminates the need to use the Park Street elevator for that transfer. This is shown in the right render; the view looks approximately north.
DTX E3.png


When this phase is finished, all transfer movements except OL SB / RL NB (coming in Phase III) will have direct, modern elevators for the minimum possible transfer path. That, along with the Hynes and Symphony renovations, this will mean that every subway transfer movement including every transfer to CR, SL, and key bus routes is fully accessible, with an accessible path of comparable length to the walking route. That's huge. The MBTA just did a terrible job of explaining this.
 

The EGE

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Thanks in large part to good leadership in the 80s (incorporating elevators into the six-car-platform projects) and especially the disability advocacy community, the MBTA is actually doing a very impressive job on accessibility. As mentioned above, the last few non-accessible and barely-accessible transfers are within a few years from being knocked out. The only remaining non-accessible subway stations will be Boylston and Bowdoin (the latter hopefully eliminated by a RBX). The B Branch projects plus the Newton Highlands and Brookline Hills projects are halving the >1000/day GL stops that aren't accessible, and GLT will slowly mop up the rest.

On the CR side, two of the biggest stops (Natick and Winchester) are under construction, and the Franklin Line project is quite likely to take care of two others (Walpole and Franklin). Both bus and ferry are fully accessible.

Compare this to other legacy systems like NYC (25% of subway stations accessible, many major transfer hubs are not), Chicago (70%, many major transfers are not, 20 years till 100%) and SF (does not plan to make the majority of surface light rail stops ever accessible). None of them are pursuing redundant elevators like the MBTA either. There's a lot to criticize about the MBTA, but this is one place they truly are ahead of most peers.

This of course begs the question: What still needs to be improved? Boylston can definitely be done while respecting its historic character - by rebuilding the original north headhouses as elevators. Most CR stations can be done without incredible headaches; the most-used other than those mentioned are West Medford (628 per day), Wellesley Square (626), and Wakefield (483). I hope that electrification will include standardized accessibility everywhere. On the subway side, there are definitely some secondary entrances that could use attention. Fenway (bus to platforms), Tufts Medical (Tremont/Oak entrance), Arlington (reopen the Berkeley Street entrance), and Harvard (Church Street entrance, and lobby/RL to upper busway) stick out to me. Additional headhouses at Andrew (east/south), Porter (north) and Braintree (west) could also go a long way towards shorter accessible paths with fewer street crossings.
 

JeffDowntown

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Thanks in large part to good leadership in the 80s (incorporating elevators into the six-car-platform projects) and especially the disability advocacy community, the MBTA is actually doing a very impressive job on accessibility. As mentioned above, the last few non-accessible and barely-accessible transfers are within a few years from being knocked out. The only remaining non-accessible subway stations will be Boylston and Bowdoin (the latter hopefully eliminated by a RBX). The B Branch projects plus the Newton Highlands and Brookline Hills projects are halving the >1000/day GL stops that aren't accessible, and GLT will slowly mop up the rest.

On the CR side, two of the biggest stops (Natick and Winchester) are under construction, and the Franklin Line project is quite likely to take care of two others (Walpole and Franklin). Both bus and ferry are fully accessible.

Compare this to other legacy systems like NYC (25% of subway stations accessible, many major transfer hubs are not), Chicago (70%, many major transfers are not, 20 years till 100%) and SF (does not plan to make the majority of surface light rail stops ever accessible). None of them are pursuing redundant elevators like the MBTA either. There's a lot to criticize about the MBTA, but this is one place they truly are ahead of most peers.

This of course begs the question: What still needs to be improved? Boylston can definitely be done while respecting its historic character - by rebuilding the original north headhouses as elevators. Most CR stations can be done without incredible headaches; the most-used other than those mentioned are West Medford (628 per day), Wellesley Square (626), and Wakefield (483). I hope that electrification will include standardized accessibility everywhere. On the subway side, there are definitely some secondary entrances that could use attention. Fenway (bus to platforms), Tufts Medical (Tremont/Oak entrance), Arlington (reopen the Berkeley Street entrance), and Harvard (Church Street entrance, and lobby/RL to upper busway) stick out to me. Additional headhouses at Andrew (east/south), Porter (north) and Braintree (west) could also go a long way towards shorter accessible paths with fewer street crossings.
Doesn't DTX still have some gaping accessibility gaps, particularly for Red to Orange connectivity? The only Red/Orange elevator I'm aware of connects Red Alewife to Orange Oak Grove (new installation). I don't believe the other connections are accessible yet?
 

citylover94

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Doesn't DTX still have some gaping accessibility gaps, particularly for Red to Orange connectivity? The only Red/Orange elevator I'm aware of connects Red Alewife to Orange Oak Grove (new installation). I don't believe the other connections are accessible yet?
The posts before EGE's were about newly approved plans to add elevators to fix that issue. If you scroll back to the top of the page you can see those plans for new elevators.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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This of course begs the question: What still needs to be improved? Boylston can definitely be done while respecting its historic character - by rebuilding the original north headhouses as elevators. Most CR stations can be done without incredible headaches; the most-used other than those mentioned are West Medford (628 per day), Wellesley Square (626), and Wakefield (483). I hope that electrification will include standardized accessibility everywhere. On the subway side, there are definitely some secondary entrances that could use attention. Fenway (bus to platforms), Tufts Medical (Tremont/Oak entrance), Arlington (reopen the Berkeley Street entrance), and Harvard (Church Street entrance, and lobby/RL to upper busway) stick out to me. Additional headhouses at Andrew (east/south), Porter (north) and Braintree (west) could also go a long way towards shorter accessible paths with fewer street crossings.
Boylston's "historic character" was always hugely overrated. The paper exemption on ADA that they have stems--very weakly--from the grounds that the entire 1897-construction Central Subway is the historic landmark (designated 1964), and with Boylston being the only one of the 4 remaining original stations to not have undergone a major dimensional change (Park significantly lengthened, Scollay/GC a mix of new and old, Haymarket relocated) it gets back-ported into the subway-wide designation. Little about its presentation is historically accurate, as it's changed quite a bit over the years. Second headhouse deleted, Little Building entrance coming and going, lighting makeovers in the 1940's and 2000's, some support beam relocations on the Park-facing end, outer tracks fenced out in 1962, platform underpass closing in 1975, inspector shacks, electrical transformers blocking the original ends of the platforms, and the glossy white tile wall crudely spraypainted over with umpteen different coats of ugly primer (compare with the pristine tile on the unmodernized Brattle Loop platform behind the wall at GC to get angry at what got ruined by the paint-overs). It simply ended up through attrition the last subway station not to be budgeted for MBTA-schematic outfitting after the Cambridge Seven design standards were announced. Other stops like Symphony malingered well into the mid-80's in "Boylston-like" state of deferred maint before belatedly getting their motifs updated. The agency only started leaning hard on that "historic" characterization of Boylston when it became clear there was no appetite to funding last remainder stations, so the advancing--and anachronistic--decay at Boylston simply got rebranded as a feature instead of a bug to fix the glitch.

But they did plan to full-on ADA the whole thing if Silver Line Phase III had built the lower level transfer station, so clearly there are no "historic" blockers when enhancements have enough inherent utility to have institutional will for. GLT may similarly overturn the not-so-sancrosanct "historic" label, as they now need to find a way to squeeze out a full supertrain's worth of platform space from berthing area that's currently squeezed very slightly short. That probably means relocating the inspector shacks, relocating the electrical box behind the outbound stairs, and opening up the blind-spot platform extremes behind the stairs as a duly security-cammed standing area to make it all work. And if they're doing they pretty much have to shaft elevators up the old second headhouse footprints for full ADA in order to secure the funding. And, if the outer tracks ever become fair game again for Transitway/Washington to Downtown connection, then the platform underpass is an obvious target for re-trenching (with or without accompanying elevators...as if space is constrained they could waiver it for the elevators at Park underpass). While probably nothing is capable of salvaging the tile ruined by so many coats of paint, they could at least try for that as the primary aesthetic while sprucing the place up for the ADA'ing and longer-platform prep. Or shoot for LED lighting that looks more like the stylized turn-of-century original fixtures rather than the current high-intensity knockoffs of the utterly generic and un-special 1940's bowl fixtures.
 

bakgwailo

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Always seemed like there was more than enough room for at least an escalator on the right side, even if it only went in one direction (up). Always wondered why there was that large gap between the stairs and actual wall/track.
 

Arlington

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Always wondered why there was that large gap between the stairs and actual wall/track.
I just learned (upthread) that the Little Building had its own entrance. Maybe that gap on the right was to allow people to walk around these stairs to get to the Little Building?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I just learned (upthread) that the Little Building had its own entrance. Maybe that gap on the right was to allow people to walk around these stairs to get to the Little Building?
Little Building entrance is the rolled-up garage door on the inbound side at the off-limits very very platform tip you see when rounding the curve. The electrical substation behind the garage door would have to be relocated in order to make any new use of that egress, but this off-limits platform rump is very much in consideration for GLT 'supertrains' platform lengthening. Obviously pre- security cam era it was a blind spot from the station attendant's booth that they had ample safety reason to wall off (plus with flat low platforms a dangerous place to get accidentally struck by a train you don't see/hear screeching around the curve while you're distracted on your phone). But now that they can monitor it with seeing eyes and the ADA platform raisings + tactile strips give more common-sense caution to stay out of the track envelope it should be completely fair game to reincorporate. They'd just obviously put an alarm-doored fence on the small passageway behind the stairs onto the abandoned side (still the designated emergency exit), and maybe put a paranoia-level red warning light for an approaching train.

On the outbound side, same deal. They'd just need to move that portable electrical box behind the stairs elsewhere to take advantage of the full platform extension space for GLT and security-cam the shit out of it in obvious enough fashion to be a deterrent. Otherwise the space is there.

Elevators definitely would NOT go by the current stairs. It's way too tight a squeeze, especially if that's the space they need for the GLT platform extensions. The deleted secondary headhouses on the exact opposite ends of the platforms are where the elevators would site. Look up to the ceilings there and you can see the filled-in squares of steel for where they covered over the roof cuts for the demolished headhouses. That's a much more spacious place to shaft elevators and place (maybe upstairs on surface if they don't want to bogart any on-platform space) the handicapped Charlie gates dedicated to them.
 

The EGE

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I just learned (upthread) that the Little Building had its own entrance. Maybe that gap on the right was to allow people to walk around these stairs to get to the Little Building?
The Little Building tunnel was on the left side of the stairs. A small door is still there; the passage may or may not still exist.
Door_to_Little_Building_from_Boylston_station,_July_2019.jpg


The gap at the right side of the stairs led to a maintenance staircase down to the southbound lower track (to Pleasant Street):

Boylston 1942 detail.png


I'm not quite sure what the garage door leads to, but it's not the former Little Building tunnel.
 

Arlington

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Awesome blueprint, EGE! So I was wrong in saying that the gap on the right (as one looks up the stairs) was for getting to the Little Building. Rather the Little Building was accessed by going to the LEFT of the stairs

Instead your blueprint shows that the gap to the right as one looks up the stairs ( on on the bottom in the blueprint, above) was actually to access the stairs labeled "CLOSED" ...where did they go?
 

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