MBTA Red Line / Blue Line Connector

Stlin

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THIS.

It’s a sad indictment on the way things work in this state that this hasnt been built. You mean to tell me there isn’t money in the state budget to pay for this? Give me a break.

It should be built and the ugly green siding on the bridge heading into the RL station be changed as well.

I’m curious if there will be an indoor direct connection to the red line upstairs as there would be to the blue line.

As noted previously it’s important the design does not make future extensions impossible.
? That "ugly green siding" is historical, and was explicitly preserved during the 2000 rebuild. "The platform canopies are the original 1932 Art Deco style structures with steel frames and copper exterior cladding," [1]

And no, the budget wasn't there previously, by the previous studies.
 

shmessy

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Maybe if this happens Mitt Romney will come back to re-hang the "Reverse the Curse" sign and create another huge traffic jam for a photo-op like he did in 2004.
Hey, it worked didn’t it?
 

NoShJFK

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? That "ugly green siding" is historical, and was explicitly preserved during the 2000 rebuild. "The platform canopies are the original 1932 Art Deco style structures with steel frames and copper exterior cladding," [1]

And no, the budget wasn't there previously, by the previous studies.
Wow, did not know that about the siding.

I’m not talking about the T budget but the state budget. It can be manipulated a million ways. From the rainy day funds, to spreading the cost out over a few years. It’s a relatively small cost for a project of such consequence
 

Arlington

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On Blue extension beyond MGH: Earlier designs showed the inbound and outbound tail tracks wrapping around the base of the RL station and pointing vaguely toward MIT. It was probably covered upthread
 

Stlin

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The T posted it's meeting materials way early today; these are some of the slides from today's slide deck. Notable inclusions are some more detailed design renders, as well as the formal deletion of Bowdoin, proposed budget and timeline, which in the near term appears to be proceeding.

As far as the design goes, I was under the impression that the 2004 rebuild of Charles/MGH specced for future BL entrances nested under the existing stairs? I suppose the current roll up door location could have been substituted sometime during design though. However, what about this 2000ft extension needs more rolling stock, especially without a Bowdoin stop? I hardly think that ... ~2 extra trains is going to really do anything to help headways, since to me it's basically a straight trade Bowdoin for MGH.
Screenshot_20210607-084444_Drive.jpg
 

millerm277

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The T posted it's meeting materials way early today; these are some of the slides from today's slide deck. Notable inclusions are some more detailed design renders, as well as the formal deletion of Bowdoin, proposed budget and timeline, which in the near term appears to be proceeding.

As far as the design goes, I was under the impression that the 2004 rebuild of Charles/MGH specced for future BL entrances nested under the existing stairs? I suppose the current roll up door location could have been substituted sometime during design though. However, what about this 2000ft extension needs more rolling stock, especially without a Bowdoin stop? I hardly think that ... ~2 extra trains is going to really do anything to help headways, since to me it's basically a straight trade Bowdoin for MGH.
I do imagine that Blue Line ridership is going to go up to a noticeable degree.

With that said, given that the "rolling stock" section is only $30m, perhaps we're more talking about some kind of modification to the existing fleet? I can't imagine what that would be besides reprogramming the roll signs, though.
 

Stlin

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I do imagine that Blue Line ridership is going to go up to a noticeable degree.

With that said, given that the "rolling stock" section is only $30m, perhaps we're more talking about some kind of modification to the existing fleet? I can't imagine what that would be besides reprogramming the roll signs, though.
Actually, you might be right. The BL fleet is circa what... 2007? By the time this thing opens, assuming that proposed timeline holds, it'll be due for midlife overhaul. Might just be a sneaky way of getting fta funding to help with that.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Actually, you might be right. The BL fleet is circa what... 2007? By the time this thing opens, assuming that proposed timeline holds, it'll be due for midlife overhaul. Might just be a sneaky way of getting fta funding to help with that.
2032 is when they'd be due for overhaul...which means vendor contracts inked and full CIP funding by '28. Relevant discussion fodder now 7 years prior if they're casting a wide net.
 

Equilibria

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Gotta love contingencies and escalations equaling the cost of the new tunnel structure.

I know, it's pretty standard. Just like to hate money sometimes.
Yes and no. If you can get through design/permitting/funding identification sooner, both of those are reduced.
 

stick n move

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F-line, I think I remember you saying that if the bowdoin loop is removed the blue will be able to use orange size cars, am I remembering that right? If so maybe they can just mod the crrc cars for overhead catenary, paint em blue, and order from springfield instead of having to start completely from scratch.
 

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F-line, I think I remember you saying that if the bowdoin loop is removed the blue will be able to use orange size cars, am I remembering that right? If so maybe they can just mod the crrc cars for overhead catenary, paint em blue, and order from springfield instead of having to start completely from scratch.
*Almost* Orange. State St. curve becomes the next ruling curve after Bowdoin is zapped, and it's *closer* but not quite Orange-dimension in its current state. To get exactly Orange the "BLT" effort will have to study costs for modifying State curve after Red-Blue is approved for sunsetting Bowdoin, and then they can make a decision on whether the numbers look good enough to go for it. Note also that the existing BLT study is examining the economics of ripping down all the overhead catenary to make Blue a strictly third-rail operation all the way to Wonderland, as well as adopting updated signaling like the other lines. So Blue ops are likely going to converge closer to Orange/Red regardless of any dimensional change.

The physical size difference in carbodies between lines is not a big variable for unit pricing. Red and Orange CRRC cars cost exactly the same to make. Therefore it's no defeat if modding State curve proves too expensive and you can't run stock Orange cars. Spare-no-expense for OCD perfectionism is not a thing that's going to drive the BLT study. It's a nice-to-have if State mods price out attractively, but hardly anything essential because there's no way Blue and Orange could ever physically interline (for one, the floor heights are still different and require a shop adjustment of the air ballast). Next-gen orders, because of Bowdoin Loop's deletion, will be able to pack many more seats per car and possibly an extra set of doors regardless of whether they hit *exact* Orange dimensions. Simply because Bowdoin is that outsized a limiter with its trolley-era residue turning radius.
 

Arlington

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Is height a big deal? The Blue 3½" lower from rail to platform (orange cars floors would be above blue platforms), so you'd have to lower the blue's ballast, thicken the Blue's platforms to operate interchangeably, or you'd have to make sure the suspension squatted down 3½"
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Is height a big deal? The Blue 3½" lower from rail to platform (orange cars floors would be above blue platforms), so you'd have to lower the blue's ballast, thicken the Blue's platforms to operate interchangeably, or you'd have to make sure the suspension squatted down 3½"
It's within the bounds of air ballast adjustment. It just requires a quick trip to the shop for a manual adjustment before running at the different platform height, since the ballast isn't a precision auto-adjusting thing. Auto-setting Jetsons Shit is a premium feature the T would have no reason to pay extra for so long as the lines don't interline and have no foreseeable practical need to ever interline within the lifespans of any of the current cars. But the manual adjustment isn't a big production...quick in-and-out at the shop + leveling inspection is all that's required. Incompatible signaling (for now...BLT as mentioned is studying an upgrade) is honestly the way bigger impediment to making the Siemens 0700 cars Orange-worthy in any functional way. They did test the original pilot cars on the Wellington test track, but they couldn't shunt on the mainline unless it was the overnight shift, the signal system was intentionally disabled, and the line was kept clear of all other vehicles while they tested. Until BLT gives Blue a matching set of modern signals, that incompatibility is still a deal-breaker for sharing equipment.


Before the Blue 0600's were retired the T considered putting the entire 120-car Orange 01200 fleet through a full-scale midlife overhaul, and were going to grab 24 of the best-of-the-rest displaced Blue cars to also send into that overhaul program so Orange could still get its needed fleet increases for running 3 minute headways. During overhaul the pantographs would be removed, air ballasts adjusted for the platform height difference, and signaling would be upgraded to make them compatible with Orange's ATO system. Rush-hour on Orange would've then run with way more frequent but slightly 'stubbier' 6-car sets of 4 01200 cars sandwiched around a single pair of 0600's. The plan was quickly scrapped because the 0600 carbodies were found to be too badly corroded by all the years of exposure to the air off the saltwater and they couldn't find 2 dozen bodies in decent enough shape to put through abatement without cost blowout.

But that was a very serious proposal 15 years ago, illustrative of exactly how similar the cars are overall.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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As far as the design goes, I was under the impression that the 2004 rebuild of Charles/MGH specced for future BL entrances nested under the existing stairs? I suppose the current roll up door location could have been substituted sometime during design though.
View attachment 13663
AFAIK that's always been the plan for the tie-in to the Red Charles lobby, earmarked as such in the pre-'04 station reno plans. These renders don't look much different to what was depicted 17+ years ago. They merely go into way more detail than before as to what the actual Blue level is supposed to look like, whereas before the concepts got the lobby interface down but left much else about the Blue level to the imagination. The renovated lobby's easterly-facing 'belly' where the flower vendors usually set up shop is conspicuously large like it is explicitly because of this provisioning.
 
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Stlin

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The physical size difference in carbodies between lines is not a big variable for unit pricing. Red and Orange CRRC cars cost exactly the same to make. Therefore it's no defeat if modding State curve proves too expensive and you can't run stock Orange cars. Spare-no-expense for OCD perfectionism is not a thing that's going to drive the BLT study. It's a nice-to-have if State mods price out attractively, but hardly anything essential because there's no way Blue and Orange could ever physically interline (for one, the floor heights are still different and require a shop adjustment of the air ballast). Next-gen orders, because of Bowdoin Loop's deletion, will be able to pack many more seats per car and possibly an extra set of doors regardless of whether they hit *exact* Orange dimensions. Simply because Bowdoin is that outsized a limiter with its trolley-era residue turning radius.
I have no knowledge this granular, but what was the target platform length when they extended them for 6 car trains on the Blue Line? As in... did they accommodate for the longer 65ft OL length cars, or did they build to the 48ft BL? Bc if it's the latter, it'll probably be rather invasive.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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I have no knowledge this granular, but what was the target platform length when they extended them for 6 car trains on the Blue Line? As in... did they accommodate for the longer 65ft OL length cars, or did they build to the 48ft BL? Bc if it's the former, it'll probably be rather invasive.
All of the above-ground stations were redone '02-04 with slack for further extension up to Orange length, because Red-Blue's feasibility study with its Bowdoin Loop deletion was pre-existing when they embarked on that lengthening project. They did indeed think of this as a design consideration, even though they didn't outright pre-build for it back then. Pan overhead on Google one-by-one over the above-ground stations and you can easily spot the 'tells' for this provisioning on most of them. Notice in particular the subtle offsetting of platforms at Wonderland, Revere Beach, and Orient Heights where one platform's overshoot on each end is destined to be matched up by the other platform's future extension; and also the over-long retaining walls at Wood Island. Maverick and GC also have some generous walled-off additional slack to tap and should be fine (Maverick way waaaay more than fine). Aquarium would probably need more in the way of the same '02-04 tunnel-notch mods (though not quite as extensive this time around), and State's an "it depends" because of the will-they/won't-they status of the curve. State is much like GC in that there's a little bit of old trolley platform overspilling the ends of the high-level which they can tap for lengthening, but what exactly they do here is entirely dependent on whether the curve gets modded and how much.

Definitely not invasive since they had their ducks in order the last time they did this. Probably not terribly expensive in the absolute. Definitely a pretty good value given what margins additional seating capacity per headway is capable of generating in the future. The only question is whether the final verdict is going to be "longer than today up to the bounds of existing State curve" or "mod State curve to go full-on Orange", which is fully dependent on how pricey the curve mods study out to.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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This is State curve, BTW. . .

Quirkily sharp little hook that veers very close to the platform, and the quirkiness belies its old-timey trolley heritage. But not a big directional change overall, so mercifully compact project area if they wanted to widen the angle by reworking 100 ft. of tunnel. Proximity to platform (and thus needing to lengthen more out the other direction to compensate) + utility relocation would be the main cost variables, so it's worth a thorough study to see exactly what we've got here.
 

stick n move

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Thanks for the detailed answers! One more question, why would they want to get rid of the overhead catenary on blue? It seems that the majority of new heavy rail transit systems being built today are opting for overhead catenary vs 3rd rail. Im not sure why, but its definitely a trend, so thats interesting that they would want to go the other direction.
 

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