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The congressman takes the train

But he's not very happy about it this morning. Seth Moulton tweets:

No a/c on the train from Salem this morning! Come on, @MBTA and @KeolisNA! #sweltering #ma6 #mapoli

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That @mbtasnafu on Twitter didn't give him his trademark response to the congressman this morning,

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If congressman Moulton wants a real scandal, he should try taking the Blue Line from Lynn.

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the orange, red, and green lines. All of them. Over crowded trains that stop and go, stop and go, stop and go ...and by stop, I'm not referring to stops to pick up passengers. Chronic systematic failures on a daily basis, rolling stock that should have been retired and scraped years ago .................then there's the bus system. Major sections of (for example) Boston, areas with no rail access except for occasional commuter rail, are, especially on weekend afternoons and evenings, served by one or two single buses that operate at best every half hour, more commonly every hour. Speaking ofA.C., try waiting in a crowded (is there any other kind?) underground station, especially the green line, withno A.C. and giant,ancient fans blowing around stagnant hot air like a blast furnace.

Metro Boston's transit system has not kept up with the times and in 2015 still is laid out and operates like it's the 1950s - 60s.

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To my understanding, if they were running like they were back in the 50's and 60's (with coverage like today). The MBTA would be running pretty smoothly.

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A belated congratulations on dispensing with your primary opponent and on your thus far excellent career (both in the service and after).

Thanks for Tweeting about this. As you know, and notwithstanding the ridiculousness of it, one tweet from a Congressman is worth 10,000 tweets from commuters who are not elected officials.

I'd like to request that you stay "on this track" and talk not only about the decrepit hot mess the T has become, but also start talking loudly about how ridiculous it is that we don't have real high speed rail up here in the NEC, where we already have tons of evidence to show that it would be successful. Given your experience with Texas Central and status as a Congressman, you certainly have more street cred than the average schmuck (like me).

Let's also make sure that the good work of the Northeast Corridor Commission is appreciated and its recommendations are not ignored.

Thanks very much!

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Tell him to take the money from pork barrel high speed rail to nowhere in CA and use it to upgrade the NEC!

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Not that I'm a fan of what's happening in California, but plenty of money has been spent on the NEC over the last 30 years.

From my point of view as a passenger, the problem with Amtrak in the Northeast is the offensively high price, and the infrequent schedule. That's why I usually take the bus.

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LA, SF and intermediate cities certainly aren't "nowheres" but the rail market between those cities is not tested (at least not with HSR). That combined with California's renowned "car culture" certainly makes it a riskier investment for federal dollars than the NEC would have been.

That said, since the train has left the station (so to speak) on CAHSR, it had better succeed or we will never see true HSR anywhere in this country (unless we pay to send each skeptic for a ride on the TGV, in which case nearly every one of them will come back saying "we need some of these!").

That's the thing that boggles my mind. We have a tremendous amount of data on rail ridership in the NEC, and so far as I am concerned, nearly all of it supports the case for major investment in a real HSR system (200 mph+) between Boston and DC. Notwithstanding that, the federal government sent the billions to California. I think that it was about more than just poor decision making - I think that it speaks to the perceived ability of a single jurisdiction (CA) to execute a project vs. at least 9 or 10 (the several states and DC) collaborating to get one done. That's a big problem for us up here, and we need to fix it or we're screwed. My proposals include giving Amtrak greater authority in this limited realm, or the creation of a federal HSR Authority modeled on something like the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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rights of way. To achieve HSR on the NEC would require re-alignment of portions of the existing right of way.

Given how long it's taking us to get a low speed right of way (South Coast Rail) built because some paranoid envionmentalists insist that building a trestle across a swamp (which railroads have been doing for a century and a half) will somehow cause the earth to spin off its axis and give every resident in Southeastern Massachusetts incurable diseases, I don't hold much hope for seeing real HSR anytime soon.

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Which is why the only plausible way to build it up here is to take the inland route to NYC along existing rights of way (mostly highway, some rail, some utility).

I for one, would love to be passed by a train doing 200 mph along the Pike and I-84 on the way to Hartford. (Of course, I would much more likely be doing the passing, as I would be on board the train rather than sitting in the traffic that has gone from only some holiday weekends 15 years ago to every single weekend.)

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the grossly underutilized and excessively wide 24-7-365 HOV lanes on I-84 between Vernon and East Hartford would be a good start to establishing a new NYC to Boston HSR right of way.

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Yeah, those 11 miles out of 215 make all the difference.

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Even with tilting technology neither the Pike nor 84 are anywhere near straight and flat enough for speeds above 100 at most.

It's not as simple as plopping down tracks along a freeway median.

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I find the 100 at most notion difficult to believe, as I believe that much of the (rural) interstate system was designed to accommodate (1950s and 60s era) car traffic at or near 80 mph (roadman, can you shed any light on this?).

Also, who said anything about staying in a median? As in other countries alignments straightened by bridging over as required, etc. Similarly, topography is dealt with, for example, the hills in NE CT would almost certainly be tunnelled through.

This is all eminently doable, but it won't be cheap. That's why we need a better presentation to the public on what the ridiculous traffic congestion along the NEC costs us everyday. Then the thing that looks most expensive is the do nothing alternative.

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Build elevated concrete viaducts for high speed rail. Much easier to go over the terrain, roads, buildings, etc. in the way than around them.

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That trestle is one problem with the South Coast Rail proposal, but it's not the only one.

The whole thing is a case of let's-spend-as-much-as-possible-for-no-reason.

For example, why are they adding millions to the price to make it the only electrified line, despite the moderate predicted passenger counts, while they run diesels on the Providence Line which is by far the busiest and ALREADY HAS THE WIRES?

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Is that any of the in-between cities that would have been useful or logistically sound stops got all NIMBY and blocked it.

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I don't know - it seems to be actually under construction to me.

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along with long pants and a tie. Of course you will be uncomfortable, silly.

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Not that I want to encourage anyone, but you could be stark naked on an airless MBTA/commuter rail car, and you'd still be miserable.

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If only windows opened like on the Karachi Express.

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No AC needed.

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