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

BostonBoy

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
There is one bold approach that isn't mentioned. If you want Rapid rail service like Metro North has between Stamford and NYC, why not re purpose the Old Colony Right of way to heavy rail and build a major hub station around Savin Hill Where you can transfer to the Red Line? That would enable South Coast rail to use the Middleboro line as well.
 

roy_mustang76

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
13
Reaction score
11
There is one bold approach that isn't mentioned. If you want Rapid rail service like Metro North has between Stamford and NYC, why not re purpose the Old Colony Right of way to heavy rail and build a major hub station around Savin Hill Where you can transfer to the Red Line? That would enable South Coast rail to use the Middleboro line as well.
Because there's no "there" to Savin Hill - it's almost entirely residential, not even a shred of demand from any of Old Colony to there, and a station location on a relatively quiet side street such that if you shifted the activity from JFK/UMASS there, you would have to re-engineer the entire station area, and enrage the surrounding community for something that doesn't benefit them at all (take a look at their cute little lot on Sydney St, and try to imagine UMASS shuttle buses there, and you'll see the problem).

It's far different from Stamford which has its own genuine bi-directional demand with office space nearby, and commuters coming from all directions. If you did want to cut back OC service to avoid the single track pinch, Braintree (as proposed) or Quincy Center would be less disruptive choices (and at least Quincy Center has something there... hardly a locus of demand but maybe just maybe something might be able to sprout up to take advantage of being the terminus of an OC shuttle?)

Once you do the cutback, converting to heavy rail frankly isn't necessary either, the station spacing isn't likely to change so why spend all that money - you don't need to convert everything over to heavy rail to get rapid service, just have those trains go back the other direction.
 
Last edited:

BostonBoy

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
My point was to convert the Braintree section of the Red Line back to heavy rail, but electrified. It would enable rapid service between Boston Quincy and Brockton and not be as expensive because it could use existing Red Line stations and right of way. The idea of a hub at Savin Hill could better be described as a way to connect Dorchester with the heavy rail service. I think it would most certainly improve service on the original Red Line
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,266
Reaction score
616
My point was to convert the Braintree section of the Red Line back to heavy rail, but electrified. It would enable rapid service between Boston Quincy and Brockton and not be as expensive because it could use existing Red Line stations and right of way. The idea of a hub at Savin Hill could better be described as a way to connect Dorchester with the heavy rail service. I think it would most certainly improve service on the original Red Line
Remove the Braintree branch altogether? In favor of urban-rail on 15-20 min headways? Why not just fix the Red Line and Old Colony pinch to have your cake and eat it too? This seems like reinventing the wheel when all it needs is some new spokes...
 

BostonBoy

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Because it connects Brockton to Quincy and Boston. It will improve the remaining service on the Red Line, and increases capacity to include South Coast service in that corridor. and It can be done without widening the current right of way where the Old Colony is single track.
 

BostonBoy

New member
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Call me crazy but I would also re locate the T Maintenance facility in Southie down to Savin Hill. And I would put the heavy rail on the existing bridge which goes over the old cut section where the Haul road is. The property there could make the T a lot of money (assuming the T actually owns it)
 

FK4

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
133
Took the train to Gloucester yesterday and rode around Gloucester and Rockport and caught the last train (Rockport, 10pm) home. Living in Roslindale, it's a real pity (and a pain in the ass) that I couldn't catch another CR home. There might have been enough time (doubtful) to get off at NS at 11:10 and catch the last train to Roz (11:21) from SS... but, the Rockport Line train was delayed by 15 minutes, and with the OL closed due to construction from Ruggles to FH, just biked home from NS. Overall, taking those NS trains up north is a great day's outing, though. We have a pretty good system but the NSRL would just make it infinitely better. I hope someday the politicians realize this and put some real money toward the project.
 

George_Apley

Not a Brahmin
Staff member
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
4,266
Reaction score
616
Took the train to Gloucester yesterday and rode around Gloucester and Rockport and caught the last train (Rockport, 10pm) home. Living in Roslindale, it's a real pity (and a pain in the ass) that I couldn't catch another CR home. There might have been enough time (doubtful) to get off at NS at 11:10 and catch the last train to Roz (11:21) from SS... but, the Rockport Line train was delayed by 15 minutes, and with the OL closed due to construction from Ruggles to FH, just biked home from NS. Overall, taking those NS trains up north is a great day's outing, though. We have a pretty good system but the NSRL would just make it infinitely better. I hope someday the politicians realize this and put some real money toward the project.
Absolutely. That said the Needham Line is gonna be the one that gets pinched out by the NSRL, so they also need to plan for OLX to WestRox and GLX to Needham ¯_(ツ)_/¯
 

sneijder

New member
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
Messages
85
Reaction score
20
Understand that none of this is groundbreaking or new info but:

I rode train 834 inbound from Canton (9pm) on a weekday evening last week. A full 8-car set of bi-levels on the run, with only the last car open with something like 6 or 7 riders in total. Understand that this was likely repositioning equipment for the next morning, but I can't help think what wonders a HSP hauling two bi-levels would do for acceleration and trip times. It'd help keep up with the Amtrak expresses and schedule a consistent 2tph, making off-peak CR that much more useful..
 

F-Line to Dudley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
5,677
Reaction score
557
Understand that none of this is groundbreaking or new info but:

I rode train 834 inbound from Canton (9pm) on a weekday evening last week. A full 8-car set of bi-levels on the run, with only the last car open with something like 6 or 7 riders in total. Understand that this was likely repositioning equipment for the next morning, but I can't help think what wonders a HSP hauling two bi-levels would do for acceleration and trip times. It'd help keep up with the Amtrak expresses and schedule a consistent 2tph, making off-peak CR that much more useful..
The minimum set you can run systemwide is 4 cars given the way the signal interface in locos/cabs are configured. You can go shorter (Metro North shuttles do) with a reprogramming, but 4 is an efficient enough catch-all.

FWIW car count isn't a huge weight factor on the propulsion...
human weight is. Those Sun. night positioning runs of Mon. morning rush hour sets are effortless to haul and use very little fuel. The same 8-pack when it's filled to the brim with passengers will strain even a very powerful engine.

(Yes, same thing happens to lesser degree with empty vs. full EMU's.)
 

ErnieAdams

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
238
Reaction score
53
Last edited:

Equilibria

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
4,383
Reaction score
658
^ Of course the Globe's top-line takeaway is "Express train to Providence is on the table." Staring a hole through a single tree and missing the forest. No link because they don't deserve the traffic.

(edited to add link post-page jump)
In their defense, they're down there reporting on the NGA conference, which was the context for Baker's remarks. The discussion between him and Raimondo would have seemed like the bigger deal.
 

cadetcarl

Active Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
Messages
421
Reaction score
13
Is there not already an express train to Providence? It's pretty fast, it just costs a bunch of money.
 

HenryAlan

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,285
Reaction score
275
Is there not already an express train to Providence? It's pretty fast, it just costs a bunch of money.
I've wondered whether this is more of an opportunity to partner with Amtrak on subsidized fares between Boston and Providence rather than an express MBTA service.
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
358
Reaction score
35
Two problems with Amtrak-as-express-commuter-rail:

1. Doesn’t stop at Ruggles, which is a major commuter draw (but less of an intercity draw).

2. Not really viable on current schedule for morning commute. Basically only one train, leaves PVD at 7, and is actually the tail end of an overnight journey from DC, meaning — you guessed it — it’s not almost the most reliable, scheduling-wise. You have to build a significant amount of buffer into your schedule, at which point you might as well take the semi-express 7:13 AM train that expresses after Mansfield and is pretty reliable.

1 isn’t a dealbreaker, but 2 definitely is, especially since a monthly commuter rail pass includes subway and bus fares to help with the last mile, while an Amtrak monthly pass does not, and is itself more expensive.

If Amtrak (or a New England Inter-State rail authority) ran some early morning trains from New Haven, maybe it might make more sense. But not for now.
 

jass

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
4,653
Reaction score
133
MBTA wants electric trains.

Amtrak is retiring the current Acelas in two years.

Providence-Boston is one of two spots where the Acelas work well.

The Acelas are old, yes, but their life could be extended by running on a short corridor rather than 500 miles every day. Could also do well limited to 135mph or some other random number.

Let's do it gang!
 

HelloBostonHi

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
609
Reaction score
358
MBTA wants electric trains.

Amtrak is retiring the current Acelas in two years.

Providence-Boston is one of two spots where the Acelas work well.

The Acelas are old, yes, but their life could be extended by running on a short corridor rather than 500 miles every day. Could also do well limited to 135mph or some other random number.

Let's do it gang!
Acelas really work best with all high level platforms, something the MBTA doesn't yet have. Acelas also have pretty poor seating density for a commuter service. They're made for business class long distance travel. If the T were to completely overhaul the interiors and add steps for low level platforms then sure... But at that point why not just get some Siemens electric locos that already run on the NEC without issue.
 

Riverside

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
358
Reaction score
35
I would assume that adoption of any electric rolling stock on the Providence Line would be coordinated with construction of full-highs.

But yeah, the seating density (to say nothing of the cafe car) is intended for intercity, not commuter, rail.
 

Top