Seaport Transportation

odurandina

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Re; Gillette HQ Bldg thread

That's a ton of develop-able land for labs and innovation space. The FAA height limit is about 275~280'. Gonna be insane. Could this create an opportunity for adding rail ROW including a possible rail station linkage to developers receiving permits to build.
What say you T experts?
 

Arlington

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The reference to rail transit is probably a reference to the Track 61 proposal. Note how direct the route would be if it could cross both the FPC and the Gillette site to connect from the South Station Leads to the rail ROW in South Boston.

Going from west to east, You'd still have to build a flyover (to jump over the Old Colony lines and Dot Ave), but then you'd land in Gillette's parking lot, cross through the Gillette site exit on Iron St or Cypher St and tie into the rail line at the southwest corner of the Convention Center property. (at the "K" in "Track 61" below)
mbta-boston-track-61.png
mbta-boston-track-61.png
 
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odurandina

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If your map is right, it's hard to imagine the State not acquiring that ROW!
Could that be their answer to finally getting trains to the Seaport??? !!!
 
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Arlington

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If your map is right, it's hard to imagine the State not acquiring that ROW!
Could that be their answer to finally getting trains to the Seaport??? !!!
I think F-Line will note that a real map will have to answer whether the line ties to the Worcester (north) or Providence (south) side of the tracks that approach SS from the west. The grades could be difficult, but I'd think a passenger train could do it (particularly if electrified)

{EDIT: the Track 61 proposal assumed the trains would turn on the Worcester Side on Track 5 (see below) and be a single-track ping-pong, which was bad for all kinds of reasons, including fouling the other lines and sucky-low frequency service}
 
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jklo

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If your map is right, it's hard to imagine the State not acquiring that ROW!
Could that be their answer to finally getting trains to the Seaport??? !!!
Can't imagine the State being able to afford it. GE got $250M for their site and this footprint is much bigger.
 

odurandina

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^^Don't they possess the authority to cut through the property by eminent domain to achieve the ROW?
actually acquiring only a small portion of it?
Or just build over the trains running through like Market East Station.
 
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Arlington

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Can't imagine the State being able to afford it. GE got $250M for their site and this footprint is much bigger.
This is the kind of site where the state need only acquire a strip 25' wide on about the same path that a new street grid would go (the new owners probably dont want/need the same unbroken footprint that a factory floor demands).

Up until now, So long as there was a quarter billion dollar manufacturing plant there, nobody was going to touch it (Just as Gillette persuaded the state to build the casting-basin tunnels rather than a bridge over FPC). Once we know the site is going to be demolished and rebuilt (1) there'll probably be a demand for cross-streets within the parcel any way and (2) might work well as a rail ROW.

But this is also more like a site where the new owners would negotiate to win the presence of a transit stop and potentially even pay for it (similar to Assembly and Boston Landing).

As noted, the site is not particularly easy to get to, even if it is supremely central. Being at rail shuttle stop midway between Back Bay and BCEC would make a lot of sense.
 

George_Apley

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Re; Gillette HQ Bldg thread

That's a ton of develop-able land for labs and innovation space. The FAA height limit is about 275~280'. Gonna be insane. Could this create an opportunity for adding rail ROW including a possible rail station linkage to developers receiving permits to build.
What say you T experts?
Which line and from what direction? The best option for Seaport Rail is by getting the Green Line into the Transitway Tunnel. Unless there's some other rail line coming from the Dorchester direction, I don't see how the Gillette site is going to be useful. And don't start thinking that there can be a Red Line diversion or split into the Seaport; that would fuck up the line so badly.
 
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Arlington

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I've colored it Orange, but, as with Track 61, I think it is just some kind of heavy-rail shuttle (EMU) made possible because the current Gillette plant really blocks the straight shot heavy rail routing:
BackBay to Seaport.png
 

fattony

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I’m not familiar with the track configuration at Back Bay. Could you turn/reverse a shuttle there? Could it be a cross-platform transfer? And what kind of frequency can you squeeze out of it?

I think this complements GL-Transitway, it’s not redundant.
 

George_Apley

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I don't know about space at BBY, but I doubt there's room for a turnback. Anyone know more? I think a shuttle on the MBCR tracks with multiple stops between Back Bay and the split to the Seaport would royally fuck with SStation dispatching. Let's be careful about assigning mode to purpose. CR/RUR service is probably not the best mode to bring rail transit to the Seaport. Rapid transit is. Let's focus on NSRL to funnel RUR between northside and southside regional lines. Diverting to the Seaport seems like the wrong idea.

GL to transitway can always become part of a bigger project to get the E out of the Boylston St subway by running parallel to the Pike under Marginal and/or the turnpike/B&A ROW to Back Bay and then joining the Huntington Ave Subway, which would then be tunneled for its length and join the Riverside Line at Brookline Village, with a street-level turnback to Heath Street.

This has been discussed a lot in Green Line Reconfiguration as well as Crazy Transit Pitches. Visualized on this fantasy map.
 

Arlington

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I’m not familiar with the track configuration at Back Bay. Could you turn/reverse a shuttle there? Could it be a cross-platform transfer? And what kind of frequency can you squeeze out of it?

I think this complements GL-Transitway, it’s not redundant.
Here is a diagram of the relevant tracks (with a "why Track 61 was such a bad idea" overlay).
  • Tracks 3,1,2 == Northeast Corridor & Providence
  • Tracks 5 & 7 == Yawkey - Boston Landing - Framingham - Worcester
  • The "RED 1" in between is where the Orange line tracks are.

As you can see the original Track 61 proposal used the fact that the Worcester line tracks (5 & 7) were less-busy than the NEC tracks (3, 1, & 2). If you were going to re-propose it now, I think you'd turn it out at West Station or beyond.
My proposed "shortcut via Gillette" is in orange (and requires an expensive bridge...but not much more)

(Compass NORTH is on the left of this map, and those are South Station's platforms at the far left)
(Compass WEST is on the bottom of this map, and shows Back Bay Station's tracks but not its platforms)

BackBay-to-Track61.png




Track 61 died as an idea partly because, in its unsuccessful attempt to use existing rails it ended up fouling every line that uses South station. Just as bad, as a crazy-circuitous and single track operation, it was slow and severely frequency-limited

Also, though, we've come a long way in our thinking on stuff we'd want to connect to the West of BBY.
So my RUR pitch is probably something like:
  • Boston Landing
  • West Station (or a good place to turn)
  • Yawkey (GL-ish)
  • Back Bay (NEC & Orange)
  • Washington St SL4/SL5
  • Gillette
  • Convention Center
  • Haul Rd SL1/SL2/SL3
  • Black Falcon
 
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CSTH

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I've colored it Orange, but, as with Track 61, I think it is just some kind of heavy-rail shuttle (EMU) made possible because the current Gillette plant really blocks the straight shot heavy rail routing:
View attachment 1144
My dudes, is there not already a clear shot through the parking lots just north of the gillette building (i.e. directly over the pike extension?
 

Arlington

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My dudes, is there not already a clear shot through the parking lots just north of the gillette building (i.e. directly over the pike extension?
Good question. It seems like an obvious way to go: atop the tunnels where you can't build tall and where, today, we're going to get open space.

Seems worth a try, but I think the answer might come back "too much bridge" (if you have to leap the channel) or "too much waterfront" (if you have to snake around).

Either way, as we plan both places, some ROW preservation would be good thinking.
 
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