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Old 12-13-2013, 10:32 AM
 
Location: 42°22'55.2"N 71°24'46.8"W
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Interesting stuff for other trail and rail fans. I found this old feasibility study performed in 1996 which determined ridership would not justify the cost. It's now being converted into a rail trail which will connect Berlin to Waltham. $36 million of state funding is making its way through Beacon Hill right now.

http://www.masscentralrailtrail.org/...tofc_and_1.pdf

2 decades ago the MBTA proposed 4 new stations at 495/Berlin, Hudson, Sudbury and Wayland to be built adjacent to an existing track which would require some refurbishing. It would link up to the Fitchburg line somewhere in Weston and continue into Cambridge/Boston. They concluded half of the new ridership would come from existing riders who drove up to Fitchburg or down to Worcester, so they killed the project.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parsec View Post
Interesting stuff for other trail and rail fans. I found this old feasibility study performed in 1996 which determined ridership would not justify the cost. It's now being converted into a rail trail which will connect Berlin to Waltham. $36 million of state funding is making its way through Beacon Hill right now.

http://www.masscentralrailtrail.org/...tofc_and_1.pdf

2 decades ago the MBTA proposed 4 new stations at 495/Berlin, Hudson, Sudbury and Wayland to be built adjacent to an existing track which would require some refurbishing. It would link up to the Fitchburg line somewhere in Weston and continue into Cambridge/Boston. They concluded half of the new ridership would come from existing riders who drove up to Fitchburg or down to Worcester, so they killed the project.
I remember that. I think this was proposed more recently as well. I believe Maynard was considered for a train station at one point.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:54 PM
 
Location: North Quabbin, MA
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Kind of sad that instead of re-extending to Gardner, the Fitchburg line will only be extended to West Fitchburg instead. But it's a step! Getting away from the northern tier which no one cares about anyway except those few of us stuck up here - The fact that Springfield and Amherst have no train line to Boston is just ridiculous. This is a very small state, and in terms of transportation, life was more civilized a century ago.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by FCMA View Post
Kind of sad that instead of re-extending to Gardner, the Fitchburg line will only be extended to West Fitchburg instead. But it's a step! Getting away from the northern tier which no one cares about anyway except those few of us stuck up here - The fact that Springfield and Amherst have no train line to Boston is just ridiculous. This is a very small state, and in terms of transportation, life was more civilized a century ago.
It is sad but to be honest with you FCMA, when I was commuting on the Fitchburg line and taking the express rail from South Acton, the cars were empty. There were maybe 2 Fitchburg people per car, usually sound asleep. Worcester or Fitchburg with an over 2 hour commute each way is not a realistic commute for most people.

Pre-extension of the train lines, I used to take the West Natick commuter line and everything ran seamless then.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
It is sad but to be honest with you FCMA, when I was commuting on the Fitchburg line and taking the express rail from South Acton, the cars were empty. There were maybe 2 Fitchburg people per car, usually sound asleep. Worcester or Fitchburg with an over 2 hour commute each way is not a realistic commute for most people.
My door-to-door commute from Lowell to the financial district was three hours round trip. I could not fathom doing something that was two hours each way. Ouch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
Pre-extension of the train lines, I used to take the West Natick commuter line and everything ran seamless then.
I am a firm believer that the MBTA commuter rail is overextended.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:31 PM
 
Location: North Quabbin, MA
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In my experience, Fitchburg to north Station is 80 to 90 min, not two hours. Substantial, but not unbearable.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by FCMA View Post
In my experience, Fitchburg to north Station is 80 to 90 min, not two hours. Substantial, but not unbearable.
Perhaps, if someone lived right next door to the Fitchburg station and worked right next door to North Station. Half the people on the Fitchburg line are getting off at Porter Square and switching at the red line. The rest get off at North Station and are walking to a different part of Boston or switching to the green or orange line from there.

It's too bad there isn't a weekend Amtrak line that would go between Boston and Gardner and/or a ski train up 93 in NH. The Gardner train could have a shuttle back and forth to Mt Wachusetts and the Gardner furniture factories and little artisan galleries in the area to bring interest to the Appleseed Trail. The Gardner people would be able to take a trip into Boston without driving.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 495neighbor View Post
The Gardner train could have a shuttle back and forth to Mt Wachusetts and the Gardner furniture factories and little artisan galleries in the area to bring interest to the Appleseed Trail. The Gardner people would be able to take a trip into Boston without driving.
There was a stop there long ago, which they must have not been able to justify keeping by the ridership there.

And it's "Wachusett Mountain"!
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:11 PM
 
19,741 posts, read 14,780,165 times
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Originally Posted by AtkinsonDan View Post
My door-to-door commute from Lowell to the financial district was three hours round trip. I could not fathom doing something that was two hours each way. Ouch!



I am a firm believer that the MBTA commuter rail is overextended.
I'm glad I'm not the only one. Not an efficient use of money at all.
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Old 12-15-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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Three hours might be a bit of an exaggeration from Fitchburg or Worcester, but yeah, a lot of people do it. Fitchburg a little less so, but I think that has a lot more to do with station access than anything - many commute part way. Keep in mind you can't change the consist halfway through the trip, so at the end stations, you have to carry empty cars for all those people who get on only a few stations short of your destination.

Keep in mind, of course, that this study is from many years ago. The situation has changed pretty radically from when this was done. Both the needs, and the opposition, have increased quite a bit.
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