Regional Rail (RUR) & North-South Rail Link (NSRL)

Equilibria

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American agencies and "piloting" proven concepts for years on end, name a better pair
Well, in this case it's more a way to start service where they have the electrification already with borrowed vehicles. The rest of the presentation doesn't sleep on the Fairmount and Lynn lines.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I wonder where they're going to get the vehicles. Can't be M8's even though Metro North has lots of extras now from the supplemental order. Those cars lack door traps and can't platform at any of the low-boarding stops, which certainly won't all be raised in time.
 

Stlin

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Considering one of the biggest benefits to EMU service here would be faster acceleration and (presumably) a higher running speed, does it make sense to do a pilot where you would be running with and behind the old GP40s? wouldn't any such pilot be limited to whatever is the lowest common denominator in the schedule? Given that, I would tend to assume we'd only see benefits on the schedule when the line is only stocked with whatever EMU equipment the T gets?

• Need to evaluate benefit/cost of high level boarding only and single versus bi-level EMUs • Investigating major procurements that have unneeded options which may be transferable • Talking to 3 entities that have options for delivery in the next 2-4 years • Investigating potential for a trial of an in service EMU
To me, that says NJT/SEPTA MLVs, but I suppose they could run NJT Arrow IIIs on a short term basis as they come out of service, or even SEPTA SilverLiner IVs and Vs.

Edit: I'd also like to point out this line from the CIP Preview, under new funding.

Capture.PNG
 

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stick n move

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I wonder where they're going to get the vehicles. Can't be M8's even though Metro North has lots of extras now from the supplemental order. Those cars lack door traps and can't platform at any of the low-boarding stops, which certainly won't all be raised in time.
Theres an interesting quote from ctdot about loaning the mbta some m8s for “testing”, I wish they went more in depth about what exactly that means and entails.

“CDOT may even have enough M8s to share a pair with MBTA in Boston for their testing, allowing for group orders of future cars. Testing of the M8s on Shore Line East is progressing (after six years).”

https://ctmirror.org/category/ct-vi...th-transportation-commissioner-joe-giulietti/
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Theres an interesting quote from ctdot about loaning the mbta some m8s for “testing”, I wish they went more in depth about what exactly that means and entails.
https://ctmirror.org/category/ct-vi...th-transportation-commissioner-joe-giulietti/
“CDOT may even have enough M8s to share a pair with MBTA in Boston for their testing, allowing for group orders of future cars. Testing of the M8s on Shore Line East is progressing (after six years).
They can't. Look at this thing:



Those transformers and resistors right underneath the doors. No trap-ee install-ee possible there. It's unusable at Canton, Sharon, Mansfield, Attleboro, and South Attleboro which only have 1-car mini-highs. Not one of those stations will be modified in time for 2024.


The article's author, Jim Cameron, is the chair-for-life of the CT Commuter Rail Council. And also a many-times-proven certifiable idiot for the number of foot-in-mouth events he's had in his career. Not a reliable source.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Considering one of the biggest benefits to EMU service here would be faster acceleration and (presumably) a higher running speed, does it make sense to do a pilot where you would be running with and behind the old GP40s? wouldn't any such pilot be limited to whatever is the lowest common denominator in the schedule? Given that, I would tend to assume we'd only see benefits on the schedule when the line is only stocked with whatever EMU equipment the T gets?
The one way they can ensure a better schedule in time for the trial is to complete the 80-car Rotem bi-level deliveries and the remainder of the F40 rebuild program so that Providence/Stoughton traffic can be gerrymandered to only the bi-level coach + HSP-46 loco fleets, which are certified for 93 MPH max speeds. The single-levels and all F40 + GP40 locos are capped at 79 MPH, and if a single member of them slips onto a Providence consist the trip is kneecapped to 79 MPH. And so is the all-day schedule, because of likelihood of any of those taking a rotation. The coach order displaces enough flats to make segregation possible, and when the F40 rebuilds are complete there'll be enough of them re-proliferating elsewhere to make the NEC MPI-only. The next step is to enact the equipment segregations, and re-factor the entire day's Providence/Stoughton schedules based on the assumption of all- 90 MPH capable equipment for every rotation with no bad-luck appearances of any slowpokes.

That's a significant schedule savings right there, and a little more than half the battle overall towards reaching an idealized EMU-driven schedule free from bloat. Station spacing is such that there are stop pairs where sustained >80 MPH is possible, and the HSP-46's acceleration advantage over the weaker F40's/GP40's is wasted to large degree by the excess padding factored into the schedules for the sake of 79 MPH-capped equipment. Substantial improvement is possible with all-existing equipment. You just have to have fleet availability robust enough to pull off that sort of per-line segregation, which right now (esp. with the coaches) they don't have.

Even if the EMU's are only a handful of trips, you can battle-test them against a much tighter schedule if it's top-down factored on exclusively 90 MPH equipment, diesel or electric. It's only if you never optimize the schedule beforehand that EMU's vs. 79 MPH slack is kind of a pointless performance benchmark, because the schedule will still be full of enough legacy padding cruft that the advantages will be lost amid the sludge. So pre-optimization ends up a necessary step if they aim to collect real data on the self-propelled performance advantage.

To me, that says NJT/SEPTA MLVs, but I suppose they could run NJT Arrow IIIs on a short term basis as they come out of service, or even SEPTA SilverLiner IVs and Vs.
I doubt NJT will be loaning any self-propelled MLV's to other agencies during the testing & warranty phase. The vendor is knee-deep involved those first couple years of service, so it would be too jurisdictionally cumbersome to do. SEPTA's option orders are back-ended by a few years from NJT's base order and warranty testing. I also doubt with how much the Arrows are dropping like flies that they're in any tolerable enough shape period to be loaned out. There's tons of them stored out-of-service with various ailments...and NJT took advantage of COVID reductions to mothball bunches of operating ones that were clogging up the shop lines with constant aches and pains. Technically the revenue roster is 160, but it's been reported that only half or slightly less than that are actually operating. They're zippy as hell, but with how often they break down in their dotage it's pretty unlikely the T would want to take on the optics penalty of somebody's old garbage being used to push the next big thing.

It's not going to be Caltrain's pilot EMU's either; they aren't signal-compatible with East Coast cab signals or the Amtrak ACSES PTC system at all. And it's not going to be SEPTA's ancient Silverliner IV's because they aren't compatible with the voltage north of Penn Station. So would probably have to be some loaner Silverliner V's. They have door traps for low platforms unlike the M8's, are fully signal-compatible, and are electronically compatible with the 60 Hz 25 kV overhead on the New Haven-Boston NEC. However...only the Denver ones actually operate on 60 Hz 25 kV AC. SEPTA's run exclusively in 25 Hz 12.5 kV AC territory, and they've yet to even be component-tested on the other voltage. The only way for them to get certified here is if they spend some interregnum being bug-tested on NJ Transit's 25 kV branches. SEPTA isn't exactly overhwhelmed with spares and it would seem a stretch that they'd be magnanimous enough to risk any warranty repairs on out-of-territory 25 kV testing. So I think they need to elaborate a bit more on exactly where they expect this supply of spares is going to come from in only 3 years. Even the slim pickings that could work (Arrows + SL5's) aren't exactly great fits for a loaner.
 

Arlington

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Should I be happy with the timeline they have proposed For electrification?

It seems to have about six months worth of unexplained delay before the start of service, and I would have thought they’d have front loaded more conversions before 2030?
 
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Stlin

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I doubt NJT will be loaning any self-propelled MLV's to other agencies during the testing & warranty phase. The vendor is knee-deep involved those first couple years of service, so it would be too jurisdictionally cumbersome to do.
If Bombardier/Alstom really wants to, could they take on the risk from NJT under the assumption that that's a reasonable risk to take to potentially win the Ts order?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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If Bombardier/Alstom really wants to, could they take on the risk from NJT under the assumption that that's a reasonable risk to take to potentially win the Ts order?
Severely doubt it. Because BBD already made the vehicle extremely attractive for follow-on orders with the way NJT's slush options are structured: 636 home options beyond the base order and 250 SEPTA set-aside options that are not as of yet differentiated by car type (unpowered coach trailer, unpowered coach cab car, power car). The options can basically be laundered any way they please, so long as they are brokered off at NJT's specifications without excessive customization. And they can be laundered without being subject to onerous up-front testing + warranty coverage, because they're sequenced after the 113-car (of which 55 are never-before-seen power cars and the rest are standard cabs+trailers) base order that does all the shakedown work. That absolutely maximizes their currency to other agencies right there. The T, having its homegrown 200-car push-pull bi-level order coming up, could simply order MLV trailers and cabs for that agency order...then when the EMU order comes up make NJT an offer for 50 or so strictly power cars + extra cabs laundered out of the 636 NJT options. And net itself a complete self-propelled fleet matching up with the trailers + cabs of its own.

It would never...ever...be easier for them to pre-empt when they get everything they need aiming their home coach order accordingly and then just fishing for the few dozen extra plug-in pieces they need. And not have to be warranty-mod guinea pigs for that ease of effort. MARC would have similarly dead-easy path to going all- self-propelled for the Penn Line, since they already have a 54-car incumbent fleet of MLV's and would just need to fish for the power cars and supplemental cabs. Most definitely no other buyer of sane mind or leadership would be so impatient as to want to end-run their way up-front for the privilege of playing warranty-mod guinea pig alongside NJT. As NJT's system is varied enough (multiple voltages, multiple speed territories, multiple terminals, mixed high-and-low platforms, hugely varying train lengths by route, wide mixing of end-to-end and short-turn routings) to form the 'superset' of field conditions for any other East Coast agency to base their purchase decisions off of, the T can just sit and watch the Jersey rollout. So long as they're satisfied from afar with how the NJT data collection looks, they don't truly need to act until after the "guinea pig" test period is over. That's exactly how BBD teed this one up; they wouldn't have it any other way.
 

Riverside

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I wonder where they're going to get the vehicles. Can't be M8's even though Metro North has lots of extras now from the supplemental order. Those cars lack door traps and can't platform at any of the low-boarding stops, which certainly won't all be raised in time.
Surely there must be a way to do quick-and-dirty high-level platforms? Some temporary wooden platforms that are plopped down on top of the existing concrete?

Besides, if they are piloting EMUs only during off-peak service, then you could run them as two-car married pairs, in which case the existing mini-highs could probably "work" to some extent, albeit with only certain doors opening. (Though I'm not sure the M8s can be broken up into such short sets.)
 

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Surely there must be a way to do quick-and-dirty high-level platforms? Some temporary wooden platforms that are plopped down on top of the existing concrete?
No...not here. Mansfield and Attleboro are on the protected Plate F freight clearance route spanning Mansfield Jct. to Attleboro Jct. and need extra up-front work for freight passers. Extra crossovers @ Attleboro so the freight reverses to/from the Middleboro Secondary happen on the center not platform track; Mansfield done over with a center passing track, revamped junction, and entire southbound platform moved back. Amtrak is track maintainer, so the track work requires joint project planning. That isn't stageable in less than 3 years from a starting point of zero/no-proposal today. South Attleboro rebuild could be done by Q2 '24 (not at the rate the T is lollygagging platform construction these days, but maybe if they hurry up). No chance on the other 4.

Secondly: these have to be accessible to MA's tougher-than-ADA state-level accessibility regs. Plopping some erector sets on top of the platform with geometrically kosher ramps, enough ramps, kosher interfaces between the ramps and existing egress surfaces, and doing it in constrained spaces around the fronts of station buildings at 3 out of 5 offending stations without overtly harming currently-compliant accessibility is a tall order. The Mass. Architectural Board don't grant exemptions lightly. Sharon almost had to close entirely about 10 years ago because they were so loathe to grant them a waiver for the "temporary" mini-high that's there right now in lieu of a full rebuild that would've triggered Amtrak tag-team track work the T was loathe to fund. The M.A.B. are specific bastards about that stuff per their own tougher-than-thou charter. And inspired in large part by the anti-example set by the infamously inaccessible MTA in New York when LIRR had to blitz-raise a bunch of diesel platforms in the mid-90's to accommodate a new coach order designed without door traps. They got the platform raisings done in record time...without giving a flying fuck about ADA compliance on the egresses. Many of those stations are inaccessible to this day, 25 years later, because "quick and dirty" wink-wink. The M.A.B. has specific triggers for how much station modification raises it to the level of 'full' do-over that requires checking all the boxes on their regs. Platform height is definitely a significant enough mod to trigger that. Thems the rules; they're made so no one can pull an LIRR cut-and-run on compliance. Take it up with the Legislature if this is harshing on our vehicle lease options.

We're not going to be buying M8's. They're ridiculously overcustomized for New York, ridiculously expensive for all their overcustomization, ridiculously overweight, and a generally lousy template to follow unless you're specifically constrained by New York-size tunnels with highly unorthodox electrical switching. Kawasaki didn't bid them at all for the EMU RFI. They also don't play nice with any degree of platform curvature due to the quarter-point instead of vestibule door placement, so nothing resembling that interior layout would get considered here amongst single-level makes when curved platforms the likes of Salem and others need to be berthed on our first-wave electrifications. Contorting selves into pretzel with ugly hacks is not a thing that's going to pay off here on what's merely supposed to be a data collection trial. Regardless of whether ConnDOT has spares to lend before Penn Station Access gets built. That's something you do to trial a car make that resembles one you might actually buy...not for the one in a configuration you will never in a million years buy.

Besides, if they are piloting EMUs only during off-peak service, then you could run them as two-car married pairs, in which case the existing mini-highs could probably "work" to some extent, albeit with only certain doors opening. (Though I'm not sure the M8s can be broken up into such short sets.)
What would that possibly accomplish of any use? Demonstrate that via the superior acceleration of an EMU you can--if you were stubborn enough--take 3x as long to dwell a train by making everyone single-file through the front car at some of the busiest stops on the entire system? Demonstrate schedule efficacy on the first and last runs only of a Saturday/Sunday with no game-day traffic in Boston, because that's probably the only time non-COVID the entirety of a Providence trip will fit inside the confines of two single-levels? How does a boarding setup like that provide anything but utter-garbage data collection for these cars which the T will never be buying? It'll take longer to run than the diesel schedules if every onboard passenger has to single-file it around the front car's quarter-point doors.

C'mon...that's not a service trial, that's a drunken bar bet.


It's not going to be the M8's. The only person on the face of the earth who even sloppily hinted at such was Jim Fucking Cameron of the CT Commuter Rail Council. Cameron's rap sheet for unchecked bullshit as the head of that rider advocacy outfit is legion. Take EVERYTHING that flies out of his ass with a grain of salt. The paper that printed his free-association speak without a fact-check sure should've. It might be a Silverliner V on-loan from SEPTA if they have spares 3 years from now and aren't squeamish about warranty, and it might be an Arrow III on-loan from NJT if 3 years from now they're still operating with any semblance of reliability. Both of those have traps. Both of them also have question marks about fit and availability projecting 3 years hence...so nothing's certain. But you can collect actionable 'trial' data from the performance of either of them in ways you absolutely cannot with all the anti-efficient hackery required to platform an M8 under the guises of winning a lousy bar bet.

We all want the T to hurry up with CIP funding for level boarding, and all want them to hurry up with these service improvements. Demonstrably making Providence Line service flow worse for the sole bragging rights of "Look Ma! I got to board an EMU that one time at Mansfield!" is not the way to advance those goals.
 
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Stlin

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Amtrak is track maintainer, so the track work requires joint project planning. That isn't stageable in less than 3 years from a starting point of zero/no-proposal today.
Only minor detail: as of 2018 and the 2019 Asset Line Plan, Amtrak turned over maintance of the in state segment of the NEC/ Attleboro line back to the MBTA. Still probably requires Amtrak approvals and coordination though.

20200531_023222.jpg
 

ceo

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TransitMatters just dropped their proposal for Regional Rail on the Old Colony lines. Briefly:
  • Double-track the trunk north of Braintree by moving the Red Line split south of Savin Hill
  • Close Kingston and extend to Plymouth Center
  • Extend Middleborough/Lakeville to Hyannis
  • Electrify (obviously)
  • Add infill stations and double-track others at required meet points
  • Clockface 30-minute headways on most lines, 60 to Hyannis
 

F-Line to Dudley

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TransitMatters just dropped their proposal for Regional Rail on the Old Colony lines. Briefly:
  • Close Kingston and extend to Plymouth Center
  • Extend Middleborough/Lakeville to Hyannis
  • Electrify (obviously)
  • Add infill stations and double-track others at required meet points
  • Clockface 30-minute headways on most lines, 60 to Hyannis
These are all completely common-sense. Especially the new Plymouth Line intermediates, which are all at the historic NYNH&H locations that the T arguably goofed by bypassing during restoration. Hingham Depot isn't going to happen, however...the tunnel outright precludes it. The locals have to own that one.

I'm also not sure why they're extreme-overcomplicating their meets math by leaving Quincy Center a single-track platform. The gravel fill on the CR side of the station is easily porous enough to trench the second track around a 2-track island. The Rube Goldberg-esque amounts of dispatching complexity they predicate this on aren't necessary.

  • Double-track the trunk north of Braintree by moving the Red Line split south of Savin Hill
This one, however, is a nonstarter. It would maim Red Line ops by making shift-change deadheads from Cabot Yard enormously harder to stage by not being able to slot into halved branch headways on one of the JFK platforms, staging the line splits so close to the foot of the Savin Hill platforms, and introducing more failure modes with the simplified junction that you will feel regularly when delays due to "switching problems" or disabled trains needing a deadheading escort through the overlap cascade over your commute X many times per month.

Savin Hill also wouldn't make up very much ridership with the outright doubling of frequencies because combo of lower-density neighborhood and zero connecting buses means that the coming RLT improvements to 6 min. branch frequencies pretty much attract all the riders it'll ever possibly attract. Lumping it on the Braintree Branch schedules at such little added benefit also complicates the alternating-headway math if you try to shiv a Neponset/Port Norfolk infill on the branch. It would take more run-as-directeds to plug the discrepancy, and that's not going to be worth the added ops cost for how few add'l riders the saturation frequencies bring to Savin Hill.

This doesn't have to be a megaproject. JFK Station has the inner busway to take for converting the CR platform into a double-track island. Columbia Jct. can be significantly compacted from its ramp sprawl. And a surface-level box tunnel with Braintree underneath and Ashmont riding atop the roof creates all the land necessary to DT commuter rail and give I-93 a set of shoulders around the area of maximum pinch. As well as massively compacting the currently outright duplicated electrical/signaling plant for much lower maintenance costs upstairs/downstairs. At no Red ops or ill-advised slashing of the mainline's margin-for-error for absorbing service disruptions.

Because the asphalt lobby has tried to hijack all other studies of this pinch for excuses to widen I-93, it appears they're just writing it off as a "Thar Be Dragons" political hot potato. Makes sense to some degree...but then again they seem to be underestimating how hard the politics are going to be for widening the cut at certain pinches abutting Wollaston (minor), Quincy Center (moderate due to bridge mods and temp interruptions of the street grid), and Quincy Adams (almost outright requires a lane-drop on Burgin Pkwy. to fit at all). Not to mention the curious avoidance of a 2-track Quincy platform in favor of Rube Goldberg meets/overtakes when that's not really a constraint and Quincy has already gotten used to the station being an open-ended "Pardon Our Appearance" zone because of the garage saga. The development plan here could use some fleshing-out. And probably also a re-weighting of engaged political constituencies. They're acknowledging that we can't easily steamroll over every party...but they're probably not taking a hard enough stand against the 93 HOV stans who can/should be put in their place, underestimating the complexity of widening the Quincy running cut, overestimating the complexity of widening Quincy Center station, and underestimating how much Dorchester is likely to push back on any potential threats to Red resiliency.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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RE: the infills. . .

Solid yeses
  • Columbian Sq. on Plymouth was the old NYNH&H South Weymouth stop, pooh-poohed in the restoration study because there's no surrounding space for giant parking lots. Excellent one, because of the surrounding density and bus routes. One of the absolute worst omissions of the original restoration.
  • North Abington was another bad whiff by the restoration study. That one would probably rake on ridership if Abington joined the BAT bus district and got route #10 or 11 extended there from Brockton, so also benefits from a potentially very large station catchment if the other modes get massaged accordingly.
  • Kingston Jct. was the old NYNH&H location in the walkable downtown. Pretty obvious one, though final siting can vary by which side of the grade crossing you put it on.
  • Plymouth Ctr. extension a duh-obvious one.
  • Wareham Center (existing Cape Flyer stop)
  • Bourne. The locals still have to fight out their stop siting politics (whither the ice rink or elsewhere), but this one does all of its stated job by existing in any form.

Solid no's
  • As stated, no-dice on Hingham Depot. Not possible to build this one without blowing that expensive single-track tunnel albatross up and pouring a whole fucking new wider one at twice the price. Those assholes not only made their bed with the tunnel decision 15 years ago, but they still don't want the stop in Downtown. We aren't going to dictate this over their unwilling heads, nor is there much reason for the outside world to attempt to try. I get that the non-judgmental data points line up here...but: spilt milk and how to read a room.
  • Braintree Highlands on the M'boro line is way super iffy. It was an obscure NYNH&H flag stop back in the day, but that was before the Red Line implanted a high-frequency bus transfer point 1.5 miles up the street. The cited Columbian Sq. analogy doesn't hold up at all on comparable density. There's not much there (even less so on the M'Boro side vs. the Plymouth Line side of the neighborhood), and Washington St. has existing 20-minute frequency bus coverage with the 230's very fast deke into Braintree Station. The 230 is a pedestrian 74th in ridership on the system, and despite its pretty vast coverage area (Quincy Ctr.-Braintree-Montello) it doesn't show any tangible ridership clumping indicating latent demand for something more. The writeup on this one is paper-thin and hangs most of its hat on the supposed ops-noninvasiveness of being able to fit [some/any] stop rather than ridership bona fides...but with ops that hinge on some secret sauce of somehow running the line at Class 6/100 MPH track speeds while making all stops. Wildly impractical on cost, and a motion-sickness special if you're seriously attempting to do warp-drive acceleration from that many stops on a stock EMU that isn't pre-built with premium-class tilt mechanisms. So the Hyannis runs are--with near-100% certainty--going to need to skip this stop for basic timekeeping, because the ops methodology they cite is flat-out not a world best-practice thing. Which means the tippy-top frequencies @ BH are going to be somewhat worse than :15 Urban Rail, and thus worse in frequency than the full-existing bus that is hardly overloaded. This probably ends up one of the 3-4 worst-ridership intermediates on the southside as a result.

Iffy/"Perfect is the enemy of good"
  • Bridgewater Center is a scant half-mile from the BSU stop (or less, depending on what side of the grade crossing it gets plunked on). It would be slightly more walkable for downtown, and thus is a conversation piece. But it's not a dense downtown to begin with and the BSU stop certainly isn't un-walkable by any stretch; the '90s restoration probably did peg the stop selection correctly for leveraging highest ridership. Bridgewater's economy is comparably very rural compared to even its neighbors Abington & Whitman (observe the pickup truck ownership per capita and you'll get a sense!), such that there isn't a heaping ton of townie transit shares to chase apart from the students and campus. So the inclusion would add extremely little to the topline while adding lots of minutes to a Hyannis schedule that is not going to be hitting 100 MPH spec in any best-practices universe. Aggregate effect is that it likely dilutes the ridership for the campus stop enough that they both kinda crater the line-wide station ridership averages. It's one or the other, but very likely not both.
  • Middleboro Center St. They want to blow up the all-new South Coast FAIL shit sandwich Pilgrim Jct. station and built yet another new one a splitting-hairs 1/3 mile further north. The ex-NYNH&H depot used to be at the mid-block between the SCR build and this yet-another location they want to build...so even the townies don't bother splitting hairs as finely as this rec seems to want to. How about we just try to make all the stuff we have already built in this town work optimally before going completely off the deep end with OCD perfectionism?
  • Cohasset Center. The town overtly preferred the current one because it's near 3A and Downtown ain't; it wasn't a NIMBY thing. Cohasset doesn't have any local bus routes, and isn't a 'burb that pays to build out complete residential sidewalk coverage. Car shares thus are what they are for this area, and walksheds are intrinsically small...so in actual usage the decent-looking-on-Google Downtown location is kinda problematic because it's at the absolute furthest accessibility point from Route 3A. What you'd gain in walkup density would be offset by ridership diversions to Nantasket Jct. and North Scituate, and that's just how it's going to be until car ownership shares move into a completely otherworldly era. Unless somebody's got a magic wand to totally change local transportation behavior and build a whole lot more sidewalks, the ideal Cohasset station probably is not dead-centered on Downtown. Very big "outside-in" glossing-over with this pick, eschewing readily-available sources of info that show how the townies actually move about. I get that vibe from a few of these more marginal picks.
  • Barnstable Village. Strange inclusion because the West Barnstable stop already exists with bus connections, direct US 6 access, adequate density in a much more pronounced station spacing gap...and very ample study data via the Cape MPO and Cape Chamber of Commerce on where the transit nodes truly cluster. Barnstable Village @ Town Hall is very direct by bus to Hyannis Transportation Center because of the street grid orientation, but it's at the furthest point of inaccessibility from Route 6 of any stop on the whole Cape. And in another municipality with microscopic walksheds because of few sidewalks. What's the audience here??? Everyone with a car is going to Hyannis or West Barnstable instead. West Barnstable was retained for 40+ years of excursion service and 10 years of Amtrak Cape Codder service for well-documented reasons, and this one was never proposed for any of those services for the very same reason. Much like Cohasset Center, strong outside-in overreading with this pick and an interpretation of demand that's totally askew to how actual Cape Codders and visitors move around.

Missing in Action
  • Wareham Crossing. The last Buzzards Bay CR extension study proposed this one, wrapped around TOD of the shopping center. Positioning at the crossroads of 195/495/28 gave it great ridership, and that's a big-box Mall that could benefit lots from densification-oriented TOD redev of the kind envisioned. The CR study did not include Wareham Center...but that was back when they didn't know how parking shares would play in Downtown, before Cape Flyer's success largely put those concerns to rest. Given the other marginal stuff they're larding onto the M'boro/Cape schedules, WC is a baffling omission. Like, wanna improve bridge traffic loads at all?...BUILD THIS.
  • West Barnstable. As above, fills more of a need than the Barnstable Center they opted for instead. Invert the intermediates stop selection from there to here. And listen to the Cape MPO and Chamber of Commerce who've done tons of prior studying on where the demand nodes of importance are, because they've long had it sorted on calls like this.
  • Sagamore. Ex-NYNH&H depot was on Bridge St.; Cape Flyer studies by the locals did some poking-around of the industrial lots directly underneath the Bridge, right by the exit ramp traffic light. Viability of it would mildly depend on where the Bourne stop gets sited, but realistically both 28 & 6 could use some considerable load-diversion before hitting the bridges so both would likely do very well at hourly service levels. Given the ^^extreme marginal^^ recs that ended up getting included instead, it's a head-scratcher that nothing was so much as an asterisked as a possibility here. The "outside-in" view of the recs seems to be taking an unusually hard-line "fuck highways...they shouldn't exist" interpetation of car shares vs. walk shares turning on their head by the mere existence of this service in as little as 1 decade. And that's...well...just a bit naff. Again...the MPO's did deep-dive studying at least quantifying any of these stops as strong 'possibles', but that fairly rich study history of actual Cape travel patterns ends up conspiciously downplayed in favor of a few real fringe cases.
 
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Java King

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I think F-Line is totally correct with his assessments.
Cohasset has constructed apartments and retail near the current train station. I seriously doubt they would want to abandon that. I think a Cohasset Village station would be useful, but mostly for reverse trips enabling people to visit the village center, restaurants, and retail. There is probably such small demand for that, and a station would be hugely expensive for just a few day-trippers from Boston. There are plans to rezone the whole Cohasset Harbor to allow for multi-family housing, but I doubt there would be enough to generate the need for a Cohasset Village Station. (........as much as I would like that.)

I'm surprised the report didn't mention the considerable development around Greenbush Station. The VAST wasteland of an upper parking lot will soon become apartments and retail. (Construction fence went up this week!) There are a ton of planned developments in the pipeline. (Well........at least a lot for Scituate. LOL)

If you are someone from Boston coming out to Scituate for day, it's not easy to access the beaches or downtown Harbor District on foot from either Greenbush or North Scituate. GATRA does operate a shuttle that is supposed to be timed to the trains, but I don't think very many people used the service. (Pre-pandemic)

I think the report is a good start for a healthy discussion on regional rail for the Old Colony lines. There are quite a few "pie in the sky" statements, but the ultimate goal of 30 minute headways on all lines is a good goal.

I also thought the short statement about South Coast Rail didn't really address the problems that it will cause for all 3 Old Colony Lines. The report just brushed it off as something that would change very soon as South Coast Rail Phase 2 is implemented. However, I'm not so confident in a quick jump to Phase 2.

As I read through the report, I kept saying "I'll never be alive to see this happen." However, I'm happy to be proven wrong. :)
 

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