Coincidentally, almost a year ago to the day, I wrote about this very idea. In my opinion, it's unlikely to be worth it, except perhaps for serving a reverse-commute market to Providence. The big issue is travel time (in my opinion):So, this has probably already been discussed plenty of times - with F-List explaining why its a bad idea. But I’ll ask anyway: could we extend service south from Foxboro, down to Mansfield and maybe as far south as Providence?
The only way I see it working is if Mansfield ratchets up the TOD around the station to the max, but even then it's a long-shot.At best, running largely non-stop, a train from Foxborough Patriot Place takes 45 minutes to get to South Station. Tack on another 5 minutes to travel to Mansfield, and your travel time from Mansfield to South Station clocks at 50 minutes. By contrast, a mid-day local from Mansfield via the NEC, stopping everywhere including Canton Junction and Hyde Park, clocks in at 44 minutes. Pre-pandemic, the morning expresses from Mansfield -- making about as many stops as the 45-minute Foxborough Express -- clocked at 36 and even 31 minutes on the timetable.
(A Foxborough Local, pre-pandemic, was timetabled at 55 minutes, which would make it an even hour from Mansfield.)
60 minute local/50 minute express vs 44 minute local/36 minute express -- in both cases, traveling via Foxborough adds about 37% to your travel time.