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  #1221  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 7:34 PM
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This Tiny Boston Tunnel Is the Missing Piece to Finally Connect the Entire East Coast

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nat...outh-rail-link

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- If you look at the 457 miles of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor (NEC) rail lines, you’d see what looks like uninterrupted service up and down the East Coast. The Acela Express line runs from Boston down through New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., while the Downeaster line connects Boston to northern reaches of New England, through New Hampshire and up to Portland and Brunswick, Maine. But zoom in on Boston, over the North Station and South Station, and you’ll find a tiny hole -- just 1.5 miles -- where the two lines don’t meet in the middle, splintering East Coast transit, snarling commutes on Boston’s T subway system, and fracturing regional rail lines. For decades now, proponents of what’s known as the North-South Rail Link have been fighting to connect the stations with an underground tunnel that would run underneath downtown Boston, and simultaneously fix commutes while unifying the entire east coast rail corridor.

- People who live on the North Side don’t really have access to the large job market in South Boston. Let’s say you have a job opening on the South Shore right now, you basically just can’t take that job, because no one is gonna do a two-hour, three-hour drive to work. But if you could get there by 40 minutes, on a clean, fast, modern, European-style train, then absolutely. It doubles or triples the job opportunities and the housing opportunities for everybody in Boston.--- A fully linked-up regional rail system would make the Massachusetts housing market more affordable because it would improve access to housing in places where it’s is cheaper. It would connect all the T system lines except the Blue. --- To understand the fear of the North-South Rail Link, we have to talk about the Big Dig, a colossal undertaking to reroute the Boston’s main highway into a tunnel. --- But while the North-South Rail Link is indeed another big underground project, it is a less complicated project that doesn’t carry the same risks or potential for cost overages, especially with advances in tunneling technology.

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  #1222  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 3:51 PM
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With An Eye Toward Lower Emissions, Clean Air Travel Gets Off The Ground

With An Eye Toward Lower Emissions, Clean Air Travel Gets Off The Ground

July 29, 2019
By Ari Shapiro
NPR


A Pipistrel Taurus Electro electric two-seat airplane flies above Ajdovscina, Slovenia. (Photo via NPR)

"Electric cars are all over the roads these days. But what about electric planes?

Air travel currently accounts for only about 2% of global carbon emissions. But it's expected to grow in the next century, and clean air travel is seen as a key part of slowing global warming.

"We're expecting to see massive growth," says Umair Irfan, who writes about climate change, energy and the environment for Vox. "The International Civil Aviation Organization projects upward of 700 percent growth by the middle of the century. So while it is small, it is going to be a larger and larger share..."

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/29/74627...off-the-ground
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  #1223  
Old Posted Jul 30, 2019, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
This Tiny Boston Tunnel Is the Missing Piece to Finally Connect the Entire East Coast

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nat...outh-rail-link
Per Big Dig Wiki
“The original Big Dig plan also included the North-South Rail Link, which would have connected North and South Stations (the major passenger train stations in Boston), but this aspect of the project was ultimately dropped by the state transportation administration early in the Dukakis administration. Negotiations with the federal government had led to an agreement to widen some of the lanes in the new harbor tunnel, and accommodating these would require the tunnel to be deeper and mechanically-vented; this left no room for the rail lines, and having diesel trains (then in use) passing through the tunnel would have substantially increased the cost of the ventilation system.”

In other words, it is practically impossible to dig a new rail tunnel between North and South Stations in Boston. And I would like to add, if it could be built, why do so? All Amtrak trains from the south use electric locomotives, all Amtrak trains from the north and west use diesel locomotives. Do you really think Amtrak will have the ability to switch all through trains locomotives at the platforms in either North or South Stations? So why even consider building it?

It would only make sense if every through train is powered with electric locomotives. Before even planning building this new tunnel, shouldn’t we start planing and building catenaries on the rail lines north of North Station and start buying new electric locomotives to run using them? These new electric locomotives could be used on the new electrified lines whether the new tunnels were built or not, the new tunnels couldn’t be used by diesel locomotives without spending additional millions of dollars on a larger ventilation systems.
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  #1224  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2019, 7:56 AM
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Building that N-S tunnel in Boston to run Amtrak through it makes little sense to me. The cities north of Boston are too small to make any real difference to passenger numbers for intercity trains.

Building it to turn the commuter rail into a through-running RER-like system makes perfect sense (including full electrification). Which I know has been proposed a few times already. Do that, and then have a few Amtrack trains run through it? sure, makes sense as well.
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  #1225  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 8:39 AM
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  #1226  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2019, 11:54 AM
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I was just at Beijing's airport two weeks ago. It's beautiful, no doubt. But the international terminal SUCKED. Very limited food options and ZERO places to just buy a drink and some snacks etc.. I was blown away.
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  #1227  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2019, 1:44 PM
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  #1228  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2019, 2:27 PM
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  #1229  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2019, 7:57 PM
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  #1230  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2019, 5:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Swede View Post
Building it to turn the commuter rail into a through-running RER-like system makes perfect sense (including full electrification).
I just discussed this on another thread, but I am not sure that there would be a sufficient market for cross-downtown trips using commuter rail.

I question how many jobs / other destinations are within walking distance of MBTA stations outside of the Urban core.

I also think that Greater Boston does not have a large enough population to maintain the train frequencies needed for a through-system where people will have to transfer.

I think I made enemies on the other thread, so I will end my post here haha.
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  #1231  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2019, 6:03 AM
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To me (having never been), the main holes in the Boston transportation system are:

1) No subway service to Codman Square

2) No subway service to Everett, Medford, or Lynn

3) Poor level of service on some commuter rail lines

4) Lack of a one-seat ride between North Station and South Station

I would put those three before a North - South rail link. Again, please correct me if I am wrong.
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  #1232  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2019, 10:30 AM
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I just discussed this on another thread, but I am not sure that there would be a sufficient market for cross-downtown trips using commuter rail.

I question how many jobs / other destinations are within walking distance of MBTA stations outside of the Urban core.

I also think that Greater Boston does not have a large enough population to maintain the train frequencies needed for a through-system where people will have to transfer.

I think I made enemies on the other thread, so I will end my post here haha.
Currently within walking distance. Create the service and you'll see an uptick of that. Add bike shares etc and the distances around stations increase as well. Build it and they will come.
Greater Boston does have the needed population. Several smaller European cities have such services since decades and it is something that generates more density around stations (if allowed to).
Other priorities? Sure. Extending the Blue line etc. A comprehensive long term plan is needed so the money is invested sensibly (few cities manage this).
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