East-West Passenger Rail, MassDOT

Discussion in 'Commuter Rail and Rail Transit Discussion' started by lonewolfette9847, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:54 PM.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:54 PM #1

    lonewolfette9847

    lonewolfette9847

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  2. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:50 PM #2

    Palmetto

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    I think that Springfield will probably be the western terminus of frequent intra-state passenger rail service in Massachusetts. Springfield is the Commonwealth's third largest city. The first thing that needs to be done is put back the second track east of Springfield and west of Worcester and add a few universal crossovers. I cannot remember the number of miles, but it's in the area of 35 to 40 miles, give or take. MassDot has had that on their radar, but it seems not to be a very big blip.

    Once you have the cooperation of CSX [quite a big "if"], and the double track, more frequencies can be put into the schedule for commuters, Amtrak can run the Inland Route if it desires, and the planned service between Boston and Montreal can begin when there is equipment available.

    Going west from Springfield, there are only two towns between it and Pittsfield: Westfield, and Chester. But you have the long, slow climb over the Berkshires, and that could be the show stopper for any relatively quick passenger rail service between Pittsfield and Springfield. Some have suggested a bus connection, and at least now, I agree with that.

    From the article: “Pittsfield doesn’t have any facilities for a train,” said Turon. It appears, Mr. Turon is unfamiliar with Pittfield. There is a small yard to the east of the station, and there is just about nothing in it. Train equipment could be stored there, with the nod from CSX, of course.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 8:56 PM
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  3. Feb 14, 2020 at 12:58 PM #3

    lordsigma

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    I went to the meeting. Lots of support, but there is some concern that the state is sand bagging by overestimating costs and underestimating ridership. The governor vetoed the study twice before allowing it and it is known that he is very friendly with Peter Picknelly of Peter Pan bus who would see competition from such a service. However there were a lot of hard hitting questions. There are six alternatives ranging from a SPG - WOR shuttle connecting to current MBTA service to a fantasy land high speed rail built on a new corridor along the mass pike. 2 involves express service all the way in to Boston separate from MBTA, 3 is the same but extends service to PIT. Alternatives 1-3 involve double tracking and improvements to the existing CSX line. Alternative 4 involves the same improvements west of SPG as 3, but builds a completely separate passenger track setup East of Springfield on the current CSX property but set away from the freight tracks and would allow higher speeds. Alternative 5 is from Springfield only and takes 4 and adds some straightening out of curves in some spots which would involve the new passenger alignment leaving the CSX right of way in spots and rejoining it. Alt 6 is the high speed corridor that would be along the mass pike out to Lee and then use an existing. rail right of way from Lee to Pittsfield. All the alternatives can be viewed on that link above.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2020 at 7:14 PM #4

    Just-Thinking-51

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    If your going west pass Springfield you don’t stop into the train gets to Albany-Rensselaer Station. Maintenance available, and connections available.

    If you should go west after Springfield is a valid question. Do you want to serve Western Massachusetts, or not? That’s a political question.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2020 at 12:36 AM #5

    Dutchrailnut

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    bigger question is is CSX willing to let passenger trains on B&A besides LSL extension of Amtrak . ??
     
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  6. Feb 15, 2020 at 1:25 AM #6

    west point

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    I would suspect that if they get a guarantee of two main tracks Worchester - Springfield. Better still sell the route to MASS DOT eliminating property taxes and getting a tax infusion to pass on to share holders they would be willing.
     
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  7. Feb 15, 2020 at 7:29 PM #7

    Palmetto

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    A good part of the line is already 2MT: single iron is CP45 [west of Worcester] to CP79 [east of Palmer]. then CP83 over to CP92. Springfield is at MP 98 or so. Going west Springfield to Pittsfield, there's one stretch of single track between CP109 and CP123. There was a plan to double CP45 to CP92
     
  8. Feb 15, 2020 at 8:05 PM #8

    west point

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  9. Feb 15, 2020 at 8:06 PM #9

    west point

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    So approximately 43 miles to double to Springfield. $ 3 - 4 M = ~$150M + 5 full CPs @ 1.5 each . $160M + Any Bridges + Any crossings ?.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2020 at 5:51 PM #10

    neroden

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    It was definitely sandbagged. The costs are out of line with other projects. The ridership estimates are lower than on projects which go through places with less population. And they specifically pretended that there will be no transfers from the Vermonter / Northampton / Greenfield service to East-West Rail, which is obvious and ridiculous. They need to be forced to do the study properly, and whoever did the study needs to NOT BE PAID for a clearly bogus study.
     
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