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

BostonBoy

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Do you mean the former yard that's now 95% covered with a shopping center? The handful of remaining tracks, still in freight use, would not be nearly enough space to replace Cabot.



Absolutely infeasible. Between the need to switch modes at the portal and the limited speeds, throughput would go down to a level that could not justify the cost. Never mind the need to buy extremely customized equipment.
I just looked at it on google. I did not realize how small it had become. I used to switch there . Oh well. There's always the old dump, if you want to climb a mountain f rubbish. If the cogs work on the NSRL, maybe they could be put to good use there too. ;)
 

NSRL

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Absolutely infeasible. Between the need to switch modes at the portal and the limited speeds, throughput would go down to a level that could not justify the cost. Never mind the need to buy extremely customized equipment.
I'm not an engineer so please bear with me. How long do you think it would take to switch modes? Does the rack and pinion system require lower speeds than what you would have in a tunnel anyway? I know the equipment would be an expensive ongoing cost. The question is whether it is higher than what you save on the initial tunneling cost. A steeper grade would also add a degree of freedom which could allow a better route and station placement.
 

NSRL

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I have no idea whether such an idea is workable at all from an engineering standpoint. (Though I'm curious if there are any hybrid rack and normal railways.) It's absolutely infeasible from a political-financial standpoint. There's no way the NSRL gets built without substantial federal assistance, and there's no way that the feds are going to fund a tunnel that Amtrak can't use, and they're not going to agree to force Amtrak to buy specific compatible equipment, and MA has no means to force them to.
I read that the trains on the Pilatus Railway run on regular rail for maintenance. I don't know if there is a system which makes the switch during revenue service. I think there is a danger to trying to placate the Feds for funding purposes. Their goals can change over time and trying to please them can add a lot of cost.
 
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BostonBoy

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I read that the trains on the Pilatus Railway run on regular rail for maintenance. I don't know if there is a system which makes the switch during revenue service. I think there is a danger to trying to placate the Feds for funding purposes. Their goals can change over time and trying to please them can add a lot of cost.
I think it's a good question. It's the only way you can find out if anyone knows whether or not your suggestion makes sense.
 

Ayo

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I think the reasonable transit pitch for increasing grades to save money is the Alon Levy proposal to make the tunnel only for EMUs.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think there is a danger to trying to placate the Feds for funding purposes. Their goals can change over time and trying to please them can add a lot of cost.
It is almost certainly impossible for Massachusetts to build the NSRL on its own, and that's especially true if full-system electrification is a project requirement (which it would be if the tunnels are shortened by an EMU requirement). A project of this scale will require federal funding, and, unfortunately, that means complying with the conditions that come with it. The bulk of the benefits will accrue to MA/New England, but Amtrak will still have a meaningful (if relatively small) use for the tunnel, both in expanding Northeast Regional service to complement the Downeaster and, possibly, giving access to potential yard space (Woburn's old town dump has been floated on the forum) to help keep their planned NEC service expansions from swamping Southampton Street yard. At the end of the day, the choice isn't likely ever going to be between "perfect and state-funded" or "imperfect and federally funded" but between "imperfect and federally funded" or "no tunnel".
 

Tallguy

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I just looked at it on google. I did not realize how small it had become. I used to switch there . Oh well. There's always the old dump, if you want to climb a mountain f rubbish. If the cogs work on the NSRL, maybe they could be put to good use there too. ;)
There is enough space at Alewife, Caddington and Codman Yards(with the ongoing expansion) to store the new fleet. You could develop the Cabot Yard(but not the maintenance facility), but I would want to keep enough space for some form of RedX.
 

393b40

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I think most Old Guys With Money still think that they don't want to buy 'difficult' land. Like my father saying after a local gas station closed, "They'll open another one. It's the only thing that can go there! Who would pay to clean up the old tanks and all oil and gas soaked into that soil?"
Today, remediation is a fraction of the value. If I had the cash I'd buy that gas station and put up a 6-story building. Sorry, dad. Your logic doesn't play anymore.
Do we have the same Dad? 🤣
 

stefal

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I'm pretty sure F-Line has debunked every Cabot Yards and garage relocation scheme ever created. It's miles better to just deck over the parts you can, and, as unfortunate as it may sound, leave the critical facility and critical infrastructure in the critical location they are in...
 

BostonBoy

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I'm pretty sure F-Line has debunked every Cabot Yards and garage relocation scheme ever created. It's miles better to just deck over the parts you can, and, as unfortunate as it may sound, leave the critical facility and critical infrastructure in the critical location they are in...
The Cabot Yards used to be New Haven engine and coach yards. They were moved, To South Bay,which is in the Widett area, and then to Southhampton Yard where they still remain. Commuter rail took over the South Bay Yard from Amtrak and built a service facility , but built a repair facility in Readville, 11 miles south. Moving farther away has been done before. Where was the Redline's repair facility before Cabot? Could that be expanded? Decking over is very expensive and it will be a while before it's worth it. And decking over a facility where diesels are still used would be problematic. Think of Back Bay's platforms. Also, I was there to witness a multi million dollar addition to an inadequate ventilation system under the bus station at South Station and that area is relatively open. Decking is not the way to go where diesels sit for long periods of time.
 

jbray

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The Cabot Yards used to be New Haven engine and coach yards. They were moved, To South Bay,which is in the Widett area, and then to Southhampton Yard where they still remain. Commuter rail took over the South Bay Yard from Amtrak and built a service facility , but built a repair facility in Readville, 11 miles south. Moving farther away has been done before. Where was the Redline's repair facility before Cabot? Could that be expanded? Decking over is very expensive and it will be a while before it's worth it. And decking over a facility where diesels are still used would be problematic. Think of Back Bay's platforms. Also, I was there to witness a multi million dollar addition to an inadequate ventilation system under the bus station at South Station and that area is relatively open. Decking is not the way to go where diesels sit for long periods of time.
Here's the man himself.

It boils down to a simple (if terribly hyperbolic) set of analogies:

- "Why can't we move the bus garages out of our town and further away to redevelop the land?" Because we need the buses here, not travelling from there increasing cost and decreasing reliability.

- "Why can't we redevelop the Supermarket into housing and office space?" Because accessibility of a food source is a major priority and making it 100% car ownership-based in a city is a bad idea. Doing what the TD Garden did, however, absolutely prime.

- "Why can't we redevelop the fire stations into housing and move them into other towns? They're on prime real estate." (The most hyperbolic of them all)

The point is this: Cities requiring staging areas, industrial zones, and other infrastructure needs, etc., that no one wants to live next to and are in prime "land" because that's what is required to make the city work. Take them away and you get Hartford, CT (SHOTS FIRED ((New England's Rising Star)).
 

BostonBoy

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Here's the man himself.

It boils down to a simple (if terribly hyperbolic) set of analogies:

- "Why can't we move the bus garages out of our town and further away to redevelop the land?" Because we need the buses here, not travelling from there increasing cost and decreasing reliability.

- "Why can't we redevelop the Supermarket into housing and office space?" Because accessibility of a food source is a major priority and making it 100% car ownership-based in a city is a bad idea. Doing what the TD Garden did, however, absolutely prime.

- "Why can't we redevelop the fire stations into housing and move them into other towns? They're on prime real estate." (The most hyperbolic of them all)

The point is this: Cities requiring staging areas, industrial zones, and other infrastructure needs, etc., that no one wants to live next to and are in prime "land" because that's what is required to make the city work. Take them away and you get Hartford, CT (SHOTS FIRED ((New England's Rising Star)).
Touche! But then we never should have built the Moakley Courthouse, the Seaport, Beacon Park should still be a rail yard and who needs a Flower Exchange when we can grow a hospital? Also. some of the things we produce , but desperately need to dispose of, are better off a little bit farther away, like the incinerator that was replaced by a jail, for instance . En garde1
 

Tallguy

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I'm pretty sure F-Line has debunked every Cabot Yards and garage relocation scheme ever created. It's miles better to just deck over the parts you can, and, as unfortunate as it may sound, leave the critical facility and critical infrastructure in the critical location they are in...
Oh, well if F-line has debunked it....

42 trainsets purchased
The maintenance facility can hold at least 10 trainsets
Coddington can hold 8 trainsets
Codman(with expansion) can hold 22 trainsets
Alewife can hold 3-5 trainsets

In addition, the three terminal stations could hold 6 trainsets.
Codman also could hold 4-5 trainsets on the parameter track if needed
 

Brattle Loop

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The maintenance facility can hold at least 10 trainsets
Forgive my ignorance, but is the maintenance facility at Cabot? And can it be used for 10 trainsets of storage simultaneous with its function as a maintenance facility?

I'd also be curious as to whether the Codman-heavy storage pattern (given how small Caddigan is at Braintree) would cause operational issues taking trains in and out of service without Cabot.

Not for nothing, and I'm not taking a position on the feasibility of replacing Cabot (because as demonstrated above I'm lacking in specific-enough knowledge to do so), I do think it doesn't make sense to hamstring future service expansion (both through the current system with lower headways and more frequent service requiring more trainsets, and potential expansions of various nature) in order to develop some land, especially since the northern portion of Cabot is capable of being decked over relatively easily (as decking goes anyway) and the southern portion has the maintenance facility that both doesn't have a nominated replacement and, at least in my understanding, you earmarked for car storage if the yard tracks were eliminated. I get that opinions can differ and that's fine, but to me it seems like considerable (potential) long term pain in unnecessarily compromising the Red Line in exchange for a little less short-term pain from decking the parts of Cabot best suited for it.
 

Tallguy

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Forgive my ignorance, but is the maintenance facility at Cabot? And can it be used for 10 trainsets of storage simultaneous with its function as a maintenance facility?

I'd also be curious as to whether the Codman-heavy storage pattern (given how small Caddigan is at Braintree) would cause operational issues taking trains in and out of service without Cabot.

Not for nothing, and I'm not taking a position on the feasibility of replacing Cabot (because as demonstrated above I'm lacking in specific-enough knowledge to do so), I do think it doesn't make sense to hamstring future service expansion (both through the current system with lower headways and more frequent service requiring more trainsets, and potential expansions of various nature) in order to develop some land, especially since the northern portion of Cabot is capable of being decked over relatively easily (as decking goes anyway) and the southern portion has the maintenance facility that both doesn't have a nominated replacement and, at least in my understanding, you earmarked for car storage if the yard tracks were eliminated. I get that opinions can differ and that's fine, but to me it seems like considerable (potential) long term pain in unnecessarily compromising the Red Line in exchange for a little less short-term pain from decking the parts of Cabot best suited for it.
On the first point, there are nine full trainset bays in the maintenance facility. I am assuming that either they will have trainsets in need of maintenance or could be used as storage. Two sets could be stored to the west of the building and one to the east without blocking access, and there are four places large enough to store a trainset that would interfere with access.
In re Codman, I assume that the T wouldn't be adding 6 new tracks.
 

BostonBoy

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Forgive my ignorance, but is the maintenance facility at Cabot? And can it be used for 10 trainsets of storage simultaneous with its function as a maintenance facility?

I'd also be curious as to whether the Codman-heavy storage pattern (given how small Caddigan is at Braintree) would cause operational issues taking trains in and out of service without Cabot.

Not for nothing, and I'm not taking a position on the feasibility of replacing Cabot (because as demonstrated above I'm lacking in specific-enough knowledge to do so), I do think it doesn't make sense to hamstring future service expansion (both through the current system with lower headways and more frequent service requiring more trainsets, and potential expansions of various nature) in order to develop some land, especially since the northern portion of Cabot is capable of being decked over relatively easily (as decking goes anyway) and the southern portion has the maintenance facility that both doesn't have a nominated replacement and, at least in my understanding, you earmarked for car storage if the yard tracks were eliminated. I get that opinions can differ and that's fine, but to me it seems like considerable (potential) long term pain in unnecessarily compromising the Red Line in exchange for a little less short-term pain from decking the parts of Cabot best suited for it.
I think its location between Between Andrew and Broadway Stations is hot and the closer to Boston the hotter the property. I think the T could make some serious money if they explored the possibilities . Decking over large swaths of properties seems almost impossible to do these days ( as F Line mentioned, in a response to a question I posed to him about decking over the Pike. ) Personally I wish the Railroad never sold it to the T. It was so close to South Station. Ideally Amtrak should have been where Cabot Yard is and Cabot should be at Southhampton, closer to the Red Line . But that's a whole n'other story.
 

Brattle Loop

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I think its location between Between Andrew and Broadway Stations is hot and the closer to Boston the hotter the property. I think the T could make some serious money if they explored the possibilities . Decking over large swaths of properties seems almost impossible to do these days ( as F Line mentioned, in a response to a question I posed to him about decking over the Pike. ) Personally I wish the Railroad never sold it to the T. It was so close to South Station. Ideally Amtrak should have been where Cabot Yard is and Cabot should be at Southhampton, closer to the Red Line . But that's a whole n'other story.
My read of F-Line's comments on the subject dating back quite some time is that he seems to be saying that there's not so much physical/engineering obstacles to decking (in general) so much as there is political and developer reluctance to do so. I know that area around Broadway-Andrew has been heating up, development wise, but Cabot Yard proper is not the only obstacle there. Cabot's Red Line maintenance facility has no identified candidates for replacement (and in this thread has been suggested, of uncertain viability, as storage space for replacing yard tracks) and cannot be relocated to free up its land without a replacement. It's almost immaterial, though, because the Cabot bus garage is critical for the bus network and is if anything even harder to replace. (Relatedly the even-more-desirable Albany garage property cannot be redeveloped because Cabot does not have room to take on those buses.) Until and unless replacements can be found, the super-block between Broadway and Andrew containing Cabot's Red Line maintenance facility and the Cabot bus garage cannot be taken out of service without massive disruption to both the RL and the bus network. Not only does compromising their transportation mission for land money make no sense to the T, development of specific parcels taking precedence over the region's transportation needs is (at least in my opinion) dreadful public policy. (Hence the apprehension in certain circles over the prospect of the ideal-for-CR-storage Widett Circle property potentially being redeveloped.)

I don't know if F-Line is right about the impossibility of clean-sheet replacing Cabot (yard+bus garage), but until and unless proper, viable replacements are located, it's a moot point, at least outside the confines of the Crazy Transit Pitches thread.
 

Tallguy

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My read of F-Line's comments on the subject dating back quite some time is that he seems to be saying that there's not so much physical/engineering obstacles to decking (in general) so much as there is political and developer reluctance to do so. I know that area around Broadway-Andrew has been heating up, development wise, but Cabot Yard proper is not the only obstacle there. Cabot's Red Line maintenance facility has no identified candidates for replacement (and in this thread has been suggested, of uncertain viability, as storage space for replacing yard tracks) and cannot be relocated to free up its land without a replacement. It's almost immaterial, though, because the Cabot bus garage is critical for the bus network and is if anything even harder to replace. (Relatedly the even-more-desirable Albany garage property cannot be redeveloped because Cabot does not have room to take on those buses.) Until and unless replacements can be found, the super-block between Broadway and Andrew containing Cabot's Red Line maintenance facility and the Cabot bus garage cannot be taken out of service without massive disruption to both the RL and the bus network. Not only does compromising their transportation mission for land money make no sense to the T, development of specific parcels taking precedence over the region's transportation needs is (at least in my opinion) dreadful public policy. (Hence the apprehension in certain circles over the prospect of the ideal-for-CR-storage Widett Circle property potentially being redeveloped.)

I don't know if F-Line is right about the impossibility of clean-sheet replacing Cabot (yard+bus garage), but until and unless proper, viable replacements are located, it's a moot point, at least outside the confines of the Crazy Transit Pitches thread.
I have only suggesting the re-use of the area north of 4th St.
I am not suggesting the the maintenance facility be used for storage INSTEAD of maintenance operations, I am suggesting that, say 7-8 trainsets, would be in need of some level of maintenance at any one time
 

Brattle Loop

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I have only suggesting the re-use of the area north of 4th St.
I am not suggesting the the maintenance facility be used for storage INSTEAD of maintenance operations, I am suggesting that, say 7-8 trainsets, would be in need of some level of maintenance at any one time
It was unclear what the original reference to the maintenance facility's capacity was. I read it as an implied suggestion of replacement storage space for Cabot based on the context of the discussion, clearly I was mistaken at least as far as the reference to the maintenance facility, so thank you for the clarification.

I've no objection to redevelopment north of Fourth Street. In the F-Line post that was linked earlier in the thread that area was specifically cited as already suitable for decking, more easily than the rest of the Cabot-Southampton parcels. I think it'd be awkward trying to redevelop on the ground level (replacing Cabot Yard's northern storage tracks), especially between Fourth and Traveler, because of the road bridges that will still have to clear the CR/Southampton Yard lead tracks. But in any event hashing out the deck-or-not-to-deck debate north of Fourth is a whole different animal to the much-harder-to-move obstacles south of there.
 

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