A MassDOT environmental report details plans to expand South Station over nine years that would hinge on getting the Postal Service to finally abandon its giant facility along Fort Point Channel and moving the food-distribution companies of Widett Circle someplace else.
Also, Readville residents would get an 18-foot-tall, 800-foot long noise barrier to protect them from the noise of new tracks and trains in the Yard 2 rail facility there.
One thing the report does not do is consider a possible tunnel link to South Station - an Alternatives section of the report only considers different ways to reconfigure the tracks immediately around South Station.
The report says that South Station needs both additional tracks at the station itself to accommodate increased numbers of both MBTA and Amtrak trains over the next 15 or so years - and places to store trains between trips.
The report calls for adding four new platforms and seven new tracks at a station expanded into the area now occupied by the Postal Service building - as well as re-opening the long closed Dorchester Avenue along the channel to the public.
Beyond the station itself, MassDOT says the station needs a far greater number of "layover" tracks to hold trains not immediately needed. It proposes to turn Widett Circle into a large layover facility, to add another new layover area at Beacon Park, near where the Framingham Line now crosses under the soon to be reconfigured Allston/Cambridge turnpike ramps, and by adding additional tracks to an existing facility in Readville to allow for the storage of eight new trains there, in addition to the ten that already use that yard.
The existing noise berm and barrier at Readville would be extended and increased in height to shield single-family homes along Wolcott Street and Wingate Road and apartment buildings on Riley Road and Sierra Road from noise that would otherwise exceed federal limits.
H/t Jameson Brown.