64 photos of Track 61

John Keith is so liking the idea of a rail connection between Back Bay and the South Boston waterfront that he went out and took lots of photos - including of the parking lot where cars now park right on the tracks.



Free tagging: 


Last year

Last year, MassDOT in coordination with CSX, was suppose to run a locomotive up to the design center parking area. They even warned people to vacate the spaces. Ultimately, they never even tried it, despite carving out the channels for the locomotive's wheel's flanges in some spots.

Check out the railroad Forums

I read about this while on Amtrak to NYC yesterday and spent the entire train ride back reading about it. (I'm a closet RR nerd.) Anyway, people interested might want to check out this thread at railroad.net regarding the subject.

The general agreement on that forum seems to be that getting DMU's is terrific but that section of track is going to be extremely problematic as it crosses over many other heavily used rail lines this greatly increases the switching and dispatching complexity.

I'm totally in favor of the DMUs and I liked this idea at first but I'd be hesitant if putting this into production would negatively impact much more important MBTA and Amtrak lines. I just hope they get the DMU's regardless.

"Connection needed"?

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Two simple words...but what are they planning for that part? Because that's the entire rail yard they're trying to skip over to connect to that loop to come back North through the rail yard again. If it's at grade with the other tracks, then it only gets to go whenever there isn't a train coming or going into South Station.

What's THAT schedule look like?

most commuter rail and amtrak

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most commuter rail and amtrak go through back bay, which doesn't even touch the "Connection Needed" part. From what I can tell, trains from South Station that go along that route would end up on an overpass over the current tracks if they want to go anywhere south of the city. The needed connection is just the fact that currently is no way without going up to south station to switch tracks.

Track 61 is going under the

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Track 61 is going under the tracks the Red Line uses on the surface to reach the repair yards near Broadway just before this crossing, so I don't think it will be practical to build anything going over these tracks (grades would be too steep). So the line is going to have to go under the Red Line yard lead tracks, cross the Old Colony line tracks at grade, cross the access tracks to the Southampton Amtrak storage yard at grade, go around the loop tracks, briefly merge with the Fairmount Line tracks at grade, take a left at the single-track wye track towards Back Bay (near the former Herald plant site), possibly have to cross some of the tracks between Back Bay and South Station at grade (depending on which platform the use at Back Bay) and then occupy one of the tracks at Back Bay station while the train unloads/loads and changes ends to return.

I don't think the article said anywhere just how often this would run, but in the rush-hour, they would be lucky if they could even run it every 30-40 minutes with all the obstacles it will encounter from other trains. That might be the plan though, have a few select trips specifically timed to avoid conflicts with other trains while getting people to their convention. If that's the case, it might not be as exciting an idea as first thought.

Nice map, though it doesn't

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Nice map, though it doesn't show the Fairmount Line splitting off in the yard.

I'm reading all of this with great interest, but under the assumption that it won't be "regular" transit service - definitely weighted to the traffic generated by Copley/Back Bay hotels and the Convention Center (as the articles have pointed out).

As long as that's the idea, they might as well go ahead and develop an additional stop somewhere around the Black Falcon. It would be interesting to see stats on current cruise ship traffic (in our few weeks of activity spring and fall) and how many passengers just fly/drive into town just timed for their cruise connection. Then imagine if they could start marketing packages. "Book your cruise, book a couple of nights on the town, direct (sinuous) rail connection from your hotel to the ship..."


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Why, was it rockin'?

Seriously, that's a lot of grade crossings and parking lots to be flying through. It's a good thing DMU's can only go about seventy-five.