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Boston Considers Downeaster Link To South Station, East Coast Corridor


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#41 Palmetto

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:08 PM

You do know that Pan Am's Worcester Main is a 10 MPH railroad, don't you?  That's the worst of it between Lowell Jct and Worcester, but the rest of it isn't much better.  I don't think Amtrak would dare to put one of their trains on it! ;)

 

The plan is to run more trains via the Inland Route, since the Shore Line is maxed out.  That will give Worcester lots more access to NYC than it has now, fortunately.



#42 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:08 PM


 

Maine to New York trains could go via Lowell, Ayer, and Worcester. 

I don't think Maine has the population density to support high frequencies, so it would be better to utilize the few trains that run there to serve both Boston and New York. Besides, Amtrak is only a small part of the North-South Rail Link when compared to MBTA, whereas your proposed routing would probably have to be built just for Amtrak. Lowell would be roundabout, but passengers could easily travel from Maine to Worcester via just one transfer in Downtown Boston if South and North stations are connected.
 
This would be a cheaper alternative. It would also give Worcester a direct train to NYC.
It would be cheaper, but the cost per passenger would be much higher. The line connecting that used by the Downeaster to Worcester would have to be upgraded, and CSX approval would have to be gained from Worcester to Springfield. Meanwhile, only a select number of Amtrak passengers would benefit. The tunnel through Boston would benefit even more Amtrak passengers as well as a large number of MBTA passengers and would likely even reduce operating costs.
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#43 west point

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 05:59 PM

You do know that Pan Am's Worcester Main is a 10 MPH railroad, don't you?  That's the worst of it between Lowell Jct and Worcester, but the rest of it isn't much better.  I don't think Amtrak would dare to put one of their trains on it! ;)

 

The plan is to run more trains via the Inland Route, since the Shore Line is maxed out.  That will give Worcester lots more access to NYC than it has now, fortunately.

 

That unfortunately would eliminate BOS <> inland route station service.  That is a non starter IMHO



#44 Lonestar648

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:02 AM

Looks like the N-S Link is the only way.  I think with good marketing and connection Boston South, there could be many seasonal extra trains especially if Maine had bus companies sell tour connections.



#45 Palmetto

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:54 AM

 

You do know that Pan Am's Worcester Main is a 10 MPH railroad, don't you?  That's the worst of it between Lowell Jct and Worcester, but the rest of it isn't much better.  I don't think Amtrak would dare to put one of their trains on it! ;)

 

The plan is to run more trains via the Inland Route, since the Shore Line is maxed out.  That will give Worcester lots more access to NYC than it has now, fortunately.

 

That unfortunately would eliminate BOS <> inland route station service.  That is a non starter IMHO

 

I don't think so.  The Lake Shore Limited already runs between Springfield and Boston on CSX and MBTA tracks on the route.  It's just a matter of adding more Inland Route trains in the future, which is part of the MassDOT plan.  The proposed Boston-Montreal train would also use those tracks.



#46 P42 AC/DC

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 02:55 PM

Having done the transfer from BOS or BBY to BON by the T, a connection from South to North Station would be a lot faster, and I personally think could bring more folks up to Maine. If Amtrak sees the Downeaster doing better ridership wise perhaps it can provide a better profit margin, with an easier one seat ride to NYP/NWK/PHL/WAS

#47 railiner

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 03:30 PM

Having done the transfer from BOS or BBY to BON by the T, a connection from South to North Station would be a lot faster, and I personally think could bring more folks up to Maine. If Amtrak sees the Downeaster doing better ridership wise perhaps it can provide a better profit margin, with an easier one seat ride to NYP/NWK/PHL/WAS

Welcome to AU... :)

 

You are absolutely correct, but I believe 'that ship sailed', when they had not taken the opportunity to do just that during the construction of "The big dig", several years ago...

It would probably be prohibitively costly to do it now.... :unsure:


metroblue?

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#48 west point

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:24 PM

Speculation of the politics.  Is this mainly BOSTON politicians being able to say we have the connection ?  Would not expect for many commuters to cross over to far station as Orange and Green lines provide better service to jobs ?  For Amtrak riders the few that need to carry on would be the double reverse by Grand crossing if there was a direct connection from Grand to the inbound B&A tracks. The Down-easter and other trains in future would push into BON then pull into BOS then a regional could back onto the DE cars and pull toward NYP.  From NYP loco would back onto the rear of a Regional go to wye and back into BON then pull DE.

 

The money needed for the tunnel connection could do much better for other projects, Building the Grand connection listed above, buying and double main tracks to Springfield, expansion of NEC capacity, Electrifying the Fairfield line, and other MBTA projects desperately needed.  In meantime left over funds could start engineering and environmental work.  Meanwhile the actual demand for traffic between stations would be assessed.  Another point is how the OBS service for the DE could possibly be resolved.

Before a direct connection 'Grand to B&A there would be no reason that some trains arriving BON could pull trains Springfield - New Haven for connections to NE regionals.  Connecting at New Haven will probably be required until CT DOT finishes replacing all the draw bridges New haven - Shell due to the capacity restraints caused by 2 tracking over each draw during replacements.



#49 cpotisch

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:29 PM

You do also have to take into consideration the fact that the Downeaster is state funded and operated, and operates push-pull, unlike all the other Amtrak trains that serve Boston, which might complicate things if equipment is you have through cars or through service with a Regional.


Edited by cpotisch, 07 September 2018 - 07:30 PM.

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#50 Palmetto

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 06:42 AM

They operate push pull because there's no easy way to turn the trains at North Station.  Extending Downeasters to South Station would allow them to go to Southampton Yard, and around the loop there in order to head north.  


Edited by Palmetto, 08 September 2018 - 06:43 AM.


#51 cpotisch

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 07:03 AM

They operate push pull because there's no easy way to turn the trains at North Station.  Extending Downeasters to South Station would allow them to go to Southampton Yard, and around the loop there in order to head north.  

So they have facilities to turn the trains in Brunswick and Portland?


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#52 Palmetto

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 01:21 PM

 

They operate push pull because there's no easy way to turn the trains at North Station.  Extending Downeasters to South Station would allow them to go to Southampton Yard, and around the loop there in order to head north.  

So they have facilities to turn the trains in Brunswick and Portland?

 

I believe they do.  






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