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EMUs proposed for Providence Boston 45 min service

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Riding from Providence to Boston by train should take 45 minutes — not 70 minutes — an influential Massachusetts transit advocacy group said Tuesday in a new report aimed at reinventing commuter rail in the region.

 

And that service should be reliable and frequent, the group, TransitMatters, wrote, with northbound trains pulling out of Providence Station every 15 minutes and fewer breakdowns than the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority riders are now used to.

 

. . . . .

 

“Regional Rail promises passengers freedom of access by transit from wherever they are to wherever they are going across the region. With train service at frequent intervals, passengers won’t be burdened by multi-hour waits.”

 

To do this, the group proposes a series of changes, including abandoning the diesel locomotives that now pull MBTA trains in favor of self-propelled electric cars, known as EMUs, like those used in subways and the commuter railroad between Connecticut and New York City.

 

The electric trains are more reliable, less expensive, produce no emissions and both stop and start faster than locomotives, the report states.

 

Transit group: Changes to MBTA Providence Line would shorten trip to Boston

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When I read the subject I was picturing Springfield MA instead of Providence and thought - WOW! Who is proposing electrifying that line?

 

But this is a great idea and goes a long way towards creating a commutable New England Mega Region (with resultant sprawl however...).

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Acela Express currently takes about 35 minutes, give or take; Northeast Regional, 40. There is no way--EMUs not withstanding--that there will be a 45-minute run between Boston and Providence unless most of the commuter stops were cut out.

Edited by Palmetto

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You can find the report here: http://transitmatters.org/regional-rail/

 

High-performance EMUs (which would have better acceleration than locomotive-hauled Amtrak trains), combined with high-level platforms at all stations, is expected to drastically reduce travel times. I believe Stadler FLIRTs were used to model travel times. As for the 45-minute travel time (actually 46 minutes BOS-PVD), the schedules proposed are predicated upon the completion of the NSRL, which would remove (or bypass by tunnel) the slow terminal tracks at South Station. So add a few(?) minutes if we're stuck using the existing South Station.

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Besides MBTA and Amtrak do not have to give this fantasy trackage rights , its a pipedream no matter what.

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Besides MBTA and Amtrak do not have to give this fantasy trackage rights , its a pipedream no matter what.

Since it is MBTA that will run it if anyone does, I guess there will be a huge fist fight between MBTA and MBTA to get trackage rights on their own track :P

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Besides MBTA and Amtrak do not have to give this fantasy trackage rights , its a pipedream no matter what.

 

What does this have to do with trackage rights? It's a report calling for MBTA to switch to EMUs.

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Putting EMU's on the run isn't a bad idea, but making the whole thing dependent on an expensive North Station/South Station tunnel puts it out of the realm of realism.

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Putting EMU's on the run isn't a bad idea, but making the whole thing dependent on an expensive North Station/South Station tunnel puts it out of the realm of realism.

 

It's not dependent upon the NSRL. The report mentions that the NSRL ought to be pursued as the ultimate goal, but that electrification and high-level platforms systemwide are worthwhile with or without NSRL. It's just that the specific schdules in the report, for the Providence/Stoughton Line and the Fairmount Line, assume the NSRL is built. Without NSRL speeding the approach to South Station, the schedules would presumably be a few minutes longer.

 

The beauty of the report, in fact, is that the project can be broken down into smaller, more easily achievable pieces, raising platforms and electrifying tracks line by line.

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There is one negative to switching to EMUs on the Providence Line: lack of the ability to use it anywhere else on the system.

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"Every 15 minutes" seems a bit much, I think 30-minute headways would be sufficient, but nobody asked me. :)

 

Pretty sure it suggested 15-minute peak headways, 30-minute off-peak headways.

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MBTA has openly said no electric service , due to high cost charged by Amtrak and it would need to many facilities build to service such electrics.

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MBTA has openly said no electric service , due to high cost charged by Amtrak and it would need to many facilities build to service such electrics.

That can change. Afterall MBTA is as much a creature of politics as anything. The whole point is to get the political winds to blow differently. We already know that left to themselves the railroads will do nothing other than slowly go out of business moaning victimhood :)

Edited by jis

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