North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

Tallguy

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Either the second one was supposed to be an edit to the first, or these two posts are two of the most ironic pieces of a back-and-forth I've seen in a while.

It's not entirely clear what your "24 tph, tops" number is referring to, but it is entirely clear that if there's a source for it, you didn't cite it in your post (if it was cited previously in the thread, I must have missed it) Even if that number is accurate (which it might be; I know TransitMatters had a significantly-higher number for Southside regional rail, but that is the busier side), while I agree with you that two tracks can generally accommodate 24 tph, I don't know if that figure applies to tracks feeding pretty much directly into a terminal (and at present each two-track bridge only serves half of NS; will the crossing-over needed to go from a two-track bridge to the ten-track terminal screw with capacity for one or both?). It bears repeating that these are moveable bridges, meaning there's a risk of them getting stuck (it's happened with the current ancient ones; new ones should be more reliable, at least for a while, though eventually they'll get old too), meaning there's value in redundancy that ensures a single failure doesn't completely cut off access to the terminal.



This is an ideological statement, not an argument. If you want to present argument and data showing how a Regional Rail north side CR system can operate through the NSRL with absolutely no need for the surface terminal, such would be welcome. (Though it's an option not without risk of waking a slumbering F-Line, who's been very vocal about NSRL not being able to eliminate the surface terminals altogether.)

Problem is, even if such data exists, and supports the argument that North Station would be rendered completely obsolete by the NSRL (and I suspect that at minimum it would require NSRL + OLX to Reading because trying to pair-match Reading through the NSRL without wreaking havoc on scheduling is probably going to be excruciatingly difficult), even then it requires that the NSRL be built. There is no prospect of it being built anytime soon. None whatsoever. We don't get to let the surface terminal become unusable because its bridges have rotted away because we're unhappy that the politicians have sandbagged a better option for so long. Your analogy is fallacious because the "meteor" here (NSRL) doesn't exist.



I'm all in favor of electrifying the Commuter Rail, and of getting rid of nasty, nasty fossil fuels as swiftly as possible, but, uh, if you're going to complain about people's lack of data, maybe don't put things like "we have 20 years" to do X without some kind of explanation?
I'm sorry, I thought the 24tph after mentioning RR, but TM has thoroughly covered this.
This does pre-suppose a non NSRL Reading service of some kind.
For the purpose of of this discussion there will be three lines.
Lowell/Haverhill
Because in part of the GLX, TM has suggested a max of 15 min service on each branch ........ 8 tph

Fitchburg
This has more potential of increased frequency due to density and lack of alternatives past Alewife............ . ................................................8tph

Eastern Route
Some combination of services involving a maximum 8tph to Nbypt, Rkpt, possibly Danvers and short turns................................................... 8tph.

Amtrak,might, at maximum, run 1tph to Portland, and 1tph to Concord. These are the only likely users in NSRL world.
 

Tallguy

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Tallguy, your passion for eliminating system fossil fuel dependence is admirable. That doesn't change the fact that even in God-mode with all figures rounded in a friendly direction, NSRL is an $ 11-figure project spanning double-digit years. These bridges are a $ 9-figure project spanning single-digit years, and already underway. You are fighting a pointless fight. I repeat: these bridges have nothing to do with delaying or putting off NSRL, and they are quite necessary and useful in the meantime (and even for system robustness/redundancy afterwards)
[/QUOTE
I've moved on from the bridges. And assuming that the obstructionists at MBTA-MassDOT dont succeed, we will have electrification, and NSRL will be a ten figure project.
And NS will be superfluous.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Short version: Those bridges have to happen now, because we suck and have sucked historically.

Might someone figure the station dwell times would be 4-5 minutes? Meaning 4 tracks with ~12 tph, or 48 tph peak, right?
Also, if NSRL were to get built I'd guess every self respecting city in New England would WANT electrification just to get people in and through Boston.
And... if freight were to go through a NSRL (off-peak, overnight of course) couldn't we require them to switch engines? Diesel is so 1928 hotness.

((Mods I believe I may have derailed this rerail convo. Feel free to migrate this conversation to the NSRL thread.))
 

Java King

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I've always thought that Tower A would make a very cool restaurant or train museum that could be accessible from the North Bank foot bridge. However, I think the only car access is via the Boston Sand and Gravel site. I've always felt that Boston needs a good train museum like you see in so many European cities.

Tower A.jpg
 

stick n move

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To be fair a couple proposals had nsrl not using north station due to half the catchment area being water. That said I personally think it should be included so ppl from west/south have a 1 seat ride to the garden, along with using an existing station with its terminal.

I think it would remove a ton of cars coming in from the suburbs/leaving all at once to watch games. I think that a lot of ppl would be inclined to take the CR to the garden from park n rides if it went straight to the garden and ppl dont even have to go outside in the cold to go from ns to their seat. I think ppl who wouldnt normally take the train would see its a better option in this situation and opt to take the train.
 

Brattle Loop

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To be fair a couple proposals had nsrl not using north station due to half the catchment area being water. That said I personally think it should be included so ppl from west/south have a 1 seat ride to the garden, along with using an existing station with its terminal.
Official proposals?

For one thing the depth of the tunnel and the position of the inclines means that the NSRL North Station (on the Artery alignment anyway) would be basically between current North Station and Haymarket. More to the point, it seems ludicrous to the point of malpractice to even contemplate building an NSRL that doesn't have a Green Line connection and only a partial Orange Line connection (for those trains that serve Back Bay).

I think it would remove a ton of cars coming in from the suburbs/leaving all at once to watch games. I think that a lot of ppl would be inclined to take the CR to the garden from park n rides if it went straight to the garden and ppl dont even have to go outside in the cold to go from ns to their seat. I think ppl who wouldnt normally take the train would see its a better option in this situation and opt to take the train.
It would make taking the train somewhat more attractive, but, that said, Garden events isn't the primary driver of the project. (And does the Garden even care how people get there? I suppose that depends on whether Delaware North owns that parking garage under it.)
 

Tallguy

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I am sorry for any confusion. I meant that a multi-track, above ground NS would be superfluous in NSRL.
Not one of you claiming a role for the present NS has yet to show ANY actual analysis, as I have done.
 

BeyondRevenue

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Analysis! Who has the time. I use my eyes,
Today people use the Orange and Green Lines as the NSRL -- and they hate it.
And the locals hate the suburban commuters for clogging up rapid transit.
And proponents of both hate freedom... or at least that's what they teach me at Prager U. (I'm working on my Bachelors Degree in Asynchronous Randism and minoring in Boundless Outrage).
 

guitarguynboston

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If I remember correctly per one of F-lines old posts about NSRL, some trains would need to turn at both North and South Stations and not have every single trainset go straight through in order to keep the 15 & 30min headways on all the lines.

There was also some other reasons for why it wouldnt make sense to run every trainset straight through.
 

stick n move

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Official proposals?

More to the point, it seems ludicrous to the point of malpractice to even contemplate building an NSRL that doesn't have a Green Line connection and only a partial Orange Line connection (for those trains that serve Back Bay).
Pg 28
https://www.mass.gov/doc/chapter-5/download

They propose a new state/haymarket station instead of north station. This keeps the green/orange connections while adding a blue connection. Its not a bad proposal 1 because the alignment is better and 2 the wasted potential at north station due to the water catchment issue. Its a solid alignment because it puts the station square in the middle of the busiest part of downtown vs at the edge at the river. Im not completely sold, but they definitely made a viable alternative, and its good to have different options with their own ups and downs.
 
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Brattle Loop

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Pg 28
https://www.mass.gov/doc/chapter-5/download

They propose a new state/haymarket station instead of north station. This keeps the green/orange connections while adding a blue connection. Its not a bad proposal 1 because the alignment is better and 2 the wasted potential at north station due to the water catchment issue. Its a solid alignment because it puts the station square in the middle of the busiest part of downtown vs at the edge at the river. Im not completely sold, but they definitely made a viable alternative, and its good to have different options with their own ups and downs.
Ah, thank you. The wording of your original post had me thinking they were just omitting a North Station-vicinity stop, as opposed to picking a different siting that still had the GL/OL connection.

I am sorry for any confusion. I meant that a multi-track, above ground NS would be superfluous in NSRL.
Not one of you claiming a role for the present NS has yet to show ANY actual analysis, as I have done.
I'm assuming the analysis you speak of was the earlier post with the lines' trains per hour, implicitly arguing that the NSRL could handle the raw numbers? If you're referring to something else, I must have missed it; in that case, disregard the rest of this paragraph. Again, if there's more I've missed, by all means correct me, but the NSRL having the raw capacity to handle the number of trains being thrown at it is not the only relevant factor for whether the surface terminal becomes entirely redundant. They have to pair-match the lines, with scheduling considerations that have to be taken into account, in order to get the most out of the tunnel, and raw capacity numbers don't and can't tell you if there are going to be times when there are too many trains that need to use the tunnel, or when something could technically fit but has no scheduled run it can fill on the other side and so needs to be turned around.

If there's a document somewhere, be it from TransitMatters or, ideally, the state, that says outright that NSRL (alone or in combination with Reading/Needham mode changes) completely eliminates the need for the surface terminals, please link to it. It'd conclusively end the debate. (What it would not and cannot do is change that no matter what, we're going to be stuck with the current North Station for a while yet.)
 

Teban54

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Ah, thank you. The wording of your original post had me thinking they were just omitting a North Station-vicinity stop, as opposed to picking a different siting that still had the GL/OL connection.



I'm assuming the analysis you speak of was the earlier post with the lines' trains per hour, implicitly arguing that the NSRL could handle the raw numbers? If you're referring to something else, I must have missed it; in that case, disregard the rest of this paragraph. Again, if there's more I've missed, by all means correct me, but the NSRL having the raw capacity to handle the number of trains being thrown at it is not the only relevant factor for whether the surface terminal becomes entirely redundant. They have to pair-match the lines, with scheduling considerations that have to be taken into account, in order to get the most out of the tunnel, and raw capacity numbers don't and can't tell you if there are going to be times when there are too many trains that need to use the tunnel, or when something could technically fit but has no scheduled run it can fill on the other side and so needs to be turned around.

If there's a document somewhere, be it from TransitMatters or, ideally, the state, that says outright that NSRL (alone or in combination with Reading/Needham mode changes) completely eliminates the need for the surface terminals, please link to it. It'd conclusively end the debate. (What it would not and cannot do is change that no matter what, we're going to be stuck with the current North Station for a while yet.)
In the 2018 MassDOT feasibility study, all 4 options indicated North Station could be eliminated and land freed up for future development, while South Station would be kept for Old Colony lines.

This was mentioned in the Wikipedia article. I remember the study itself mentioning this as well.
 

themissinglink

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Not one of you claiming a role for the present NS has yet to show ANY actual analysis, as I have done.
Are you able to provide any proof or analysis that the planned drawbridge replacements will be "obsolescent" as you claimed? Even if North Station surface would be eliminated with the NSRL, it's not happening soon enough to have any impact on the drawbridge replacements. Arguing against the drawbridge replacement project and justifying it with a hypothetical, politically-charged tunnel project that is at least 20 years out does not make sense to me.
 

Brattle Loop

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In the 2018 MassDOT feasibility study, all 4 options indicated North Station could be eliminated and land freed up for future development, while South Station would be kept for Old Colony lines.

This was mentioned in the Wikipedia article. I remember the study itself mentioning this as well.
Thanks for that. The state presentation slides are kind of weaselly with "there is the potential" language with regards to eliminating the surface terminal at North Station. For one thing, I'm confused as to whether that study's assuming Regional Rail level traffic (I think it is, but I'm not sure), and for another there's a big difference between "potentially possible on paper" and "operationally possible"; there's clear indications that some of the possibilities and assumptions are uncertain given they haven't been tested (notably they put a 21-tph-per-two-track bore number instead of 24, partially I expect to account for that uncertainty).

It also comments in passing on line pair-matching though I don't think that feasibility assessment did any kind of deep-depth, granular operational modeling (like what might answer the question of whether Reading and Needham are too wobbly to reliably be run-throughs, which sets up a question of replacement by rapid transit, politically unacceptable service cuts, or keeping the surface terminal for some purposes). All somewhat immaterial, especially to this thread's discussion, because, after all, the prerequisite in that document for getting rid of the surface terminal is NSRL being built in the first place and the existing NS drawbridges will have rotten through and collapsed into the river before that thing gets built.

The approach tracks would be a nice-and-tricky set of land to try and develop, especially on the Charlestown side, what with all the highway ramps constraining it. (It's worth noting that regardless of the fate of the surface terminal itself, the Garden isn't going anywhere, so we're really only talking surface construction versus air rights construction.)
 

Teban54

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Thanks for that. The state presentation slides are kind of weaselly with "there is the potential" language with regards to eliminating the surface terminal at North Station. For one thing, I'm confused as to whether that study's assuming Regional Rail level traffic (I think it is, but I'm not sure), and for another there's a big difference between "potentially possible on paper" and "operationally possible"; there's clear indications that some of the possibilities and assumptions are uncertain given they haven't been tested (notably they put a 21-tph-per-two-track bore number instead of 24, partially I expect to account for that uncertainty).

It also comments in passing on line pair-matching though I don't think that feasibility assessment did any kind of deep-depth, granular operational modeling (like what might answer the question of whether Reading and Needham are too wobbly to reliably be run-throughs, which sets up a question of replacement by rapid transit, politically unacceptable service cuts, or keeping the surface terminal for some purposes). All somewhat immaterial, especially to this thread's discussion, because, after all, the prerequisite in that document for getting rid of the surface terminal is NSRL being built in the first place and the existing NS drawbridges will have rotten through and collapsed into the river before that thing gets built.

The approach tracks would be a nice-and-tricky set of land to try and develop, especially on the Charlestown side, what with all the highway ramps constraining it. (It's worth noting that regardless of the fate of the surface terminal itself, the Garden isn't going anywhere, so we're really only talking surface construction versus air rights construction.)
Question: What's wrong with the Reading and Needham lines? Do they have poor on-time performance or something, and if yes, why?
 

Tallguy

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Are you able to provide any proof or analysis that the planned drawbridge replacements will be "obsolescent" as you claimed? Even if North Station surface would be eliminated with the NSRL, it's not happening soon enough to have any impact on the drawbridge replacements. Arguing against the drawbridge replacement project and justifying it with a hypothetical, politically-charged tunnel project that is at least 20 years out does not make sense to me.
So how many times do I have to say "IN NSRL WORLD"????
 

Tallguy

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Are you able to provide any proof or analysis that the planned drawbridge replacements will be "obsolescent" as you claimed? Even if North Station surface would be eliminated with the NSRL, it's not happening soon enough to have any impact on the drawbridge replacements. Arguing against the drawbridge replacement project and justifying it with a hypothetical, politically-charged tunnel project that is at least 20 years out does not make sense to me.
Stated above that I was no longer contesting the bridges. Again, for about the eighth time, the entire NS is not needed IF, AND ONLY IF, NSRL is built.
 

stick n move

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