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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:04 AM   #161
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Old June 5th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #162
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Nexis, do you know why the bluk of NJT's services choose not to use EMUs?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 02:08 AM   #163
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Nexis, do you know why the bluk of NJT's services choose not to use EMUs?
We used to and still do , half the Electric fleet is EMU. Amtrak hates EMU's thats one of the reasons why there hasn't been a new fleet. The Double-Deckers have more capacity , thus no more EMU's. Although some Transit groups have lobbied for Double Deck EMU's. There refurbishing some of them and will use them on the Morris & Essex Network. They don't use them on the North Jersey Coast line anymore due to the different voltages. So there restricted to Hoboken Terminal and Northeast corridor.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #164
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Rail Runner issues

Apparently, Rail Runner commuter train in Nex Mexico is under some criticism.

(for the original, whole article by Bobby Magill (4/26/11) click here)
Quote:
First running the rails to small cities south of Albuquerque in 2006 and expanding service to Santa Fe in 2008, the Rail Runner Express opened two years before Utah’s FrontRunner began serving the Great Salt Lake region in 2008 and likely decades before Colorado’s densely populated Front Range urban corridor will see similar service connecting its major metro areas.


Rail Runner’s trains, which bullet down the median of Interstate 25 south of Santa Fe, are a reminder to road warriors that even if you like the autonomy of a car, the train gets you there with free WiFi, a good view and at a lower cost than driving.

The commute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe on I-25 is about 65 miles and just under an hour behind the wheel, the roundtrip journey costing maybe four gallons of gasoline in a fuel efficient car.

On the Rail Runner Express, the same trip takes about twice the time at half the cost — $7 one-way, or $8 roundtrip.

The train began service with a plan to connect Belen, 50 miles south of Albuquerque, with Santa Fe. Soon, Taos, Las Cruces and other far flung cities in New Mexico began expressing interest in connecting to the Rail Runner.

“It connects a corridor which has so many different potentials for jobs, for tourism, for promoting a cultural corridor from Los Lunas to Santa Fe and beyond,” Santa Fe Mayor David Coss said.

That connection comes at a price.

Built mostly on an existing freight rail line with new track laid between the Tewa Pueblo and Santa Fe, the Rail Runner initially cost $400 million. Voters in four counties along the Rail Runner’s route approved a sales tax increase to fund 50 percent of the train’s annual operating costs, 25 percent of which are subsidized by the state, with the remaining cost covered by ticket sales, said Rail Runner Express spokeswoman Augusta Meyers.

As ridership dipped in 2010 and anti-tax sentiment swept across the country, Martinez, whose office declined to respond to numerous requests for comment, skewered the train on the campaign trail, questioning whether it should be privatized, sold off or scrapped.


He said privatizing or selling the Rail Runner isn’t a likely option because “no private company would want to get into the business of running a train like that on their own because the potential for profit is really not there.”

Despite Martinez’s skepticism of the train and conservative calls to kill the project, lawmakers left the Rail Runner alone during this year’s legislative session, which ended March 19.

“She was able to solve the budget issue without eliminating train service,” Gessing said, referring to Martinez. “It’s a tough decision for a politician to take something that’s already had a significant investment of $400 million and abandon that — just have those tracks sitting empty.


The state needs to study how the train can make more money and increase ridership in a region with a fraction of the population of other major metro areas in the region, he said.

“How do we make it a better mode of transportation?” he said. “We don’t have the population (of a Denver or Phoenix-sized metro area) to really sustain it. It’s a matter of economics, looking at how we increase the ridership, increase the fee to where it’s not such a big loss for the taxpayer.

“When I go out and do a lot of public involvement with my job, people (say they) want an alternative way to connect with the rest of the state, the biggest city in the state and the state capital,” said Tom Murphy, Metropolitan Planning Organization officer for the city of Las Cruces, which neighbors El Paso, Texas. “I think the desire is there. We have to find out if the desire is equal to the desire to pay for it.


NMDOT is developing the rail plan for both passenger and freight rail. The plan is required in order to receive federal funding for rail projects, and it’s expected to be finalized by the end of the year.

The plan will consider new passenger rail corridors extending to Taos, Raton (located on I-25 near the Colorado border) and Las Cruces, while considering another commuter rail project linking Las Cruces with El Paso.

Meyers said the Rail Runner’s ridership numbers show New Mexicans turn to transit when gas prices are high, and they keep on riding the train when gas prices fall again.

The Rail Runner saw one of its greatest bumps in ridership during the first quarter of this year when gas prices began climbing well above $3 per gallon.

“Ridership increased 15 percent over the first quarter last year,” Meyers said.

The number of Rail Runner riders in March increased 15 percent over March 2010 ridership.

“Ridership isn’t declining,” she said.

Coss, the mayor of Santa Fe, said the he’s convinced that during her first months in office, Martinez has realized support for the Rail Runner is deep, even in a weak economy.
The whole discussing is interesting. The system was constructed on time and on budget. However, there isn't just any possible equilibrium between a fare high enough to cover operation costs and low enough to attract car riders for a journey that takes twice the time.

People "support" the train in polls and so do politicians, but their support wanes when it comes to pay bills for the train deficit in terms of higher taxes.

Then, you have tricky transit advocates comparing roadway maintenance costs with train operation costs, two different concepts (trackage maintenance for the Rail Runner is rather low considering its single-track, non-electrified design).

Then, you take a look at the timetable: not many services throughout the day:


The alignment is quite good, considering the demographics of the region



Part of the cost problem is the use of oversize locos for short trains without perspective of being lengthened anytime soon. It's an overkill, considering they have 9 locos and only 24 cars...


What do you think about the Rail Runner? Should it be scrapped in face of NM budget problems? The trains are quite new, entered service in 2006. Who would be interesting in buying the trains if Rail Runner closes - Amtrak?

There is some criticism in other NM newspapers about the need to widen I-25 all the way, improve some exits and how the train ridership (below 5000 passengers/daily) is negligible compared to I-25 traffic.

Promises of new developments around stations didn't materialize, but there is a sensible case of blaming at least this on the overall economic crisis that hit every investment plan last 3 years.

Shouldn't they have gone after a more modest plan, like connecting only some Albuquerque suburbs instead of going to Santa Fe? Or adopted some speficications like the Front Runner in Salt Lake City?
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Old June 8th, 2011, 01:26 AM   #165
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the Rail Runner should be kept but they should have bought Stadler FLIRT or GTW or Siemens Desiro like in San Diego SPRINTER service uses
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Old June 8th, 2011, 02:20 AM   #166
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I don't there scrapping it ,more riders are using the line and more developments are going up along the line. There also extending the line and adding stations as we speak.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #167
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Old June 8th, 2011, 02:32 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Apparently, Rail Runner commuter train in Nex Mexico is under some criticism.

(for the original, whole article by Bobby Magill (4/26/11) click here)


The whole discussing is interesting. The system was constructed on time and on budget. However, there isn't just any possible equilibrium between a fare high enough to cover operation costs and low enough to attract car riders for a journey that takes twice the time.

People "support" the train in polls and so do politicians, but their support wanes when it comes to pay bills for the train deficit in terms of higher taxes.

Then, you have tricky transit advocates comparing roadway maintenance costs with train operation costs, two different concepts (trackage maintenance for the Rail Runner is rather low considering its single-track, non-electrified design).


Part of the cost problem is the use of oversize locos for short trains without perspective of being lengthened anytime soon.

What do you think about the Rail Runner? Should it be scrapped in face of NM budget problems? The trains are quite new, entered service in 2006. Who would be interesting in buying the trains if Rail Runner closes - Amtrak?

There is some criticism in other NM newspapers about the need to widen I-25 all the way, improve some exits and how the train ridership (below 5000 passengers/daily) is negligible compared to I-25 traffic.

Promises of new developments around stations didn't materialize, but there is a sensible case of blaming at least this on the overall economic crisis that hit every investment plan last 3 years.

Shouldn't they have gone after a more modest plan, like connecting only some Albuquerque suburbs instead of going to Santa Fe? Or adopted some speficications like the Front Runner in Salt Lake City?
The line is seeing increased ridership due to high gas prices and is profitable for several days of the week. The criticisms are old and don't reflect the general consensus here. Governor Martinez has chosen to not exercise an option to buy track from BNSF between Lamy and Raton which is disused, and save taxpayers $5 million per year in maintenance and insurance costs. The state's budget is in balance and no fire sales of any additional state properties are anticipated. (oil and gas revenue has helped)

A southern leg to Las Cruces is still in discussion but more likely is a line between Las Cruces and El Paso which may be funded locally, depending on some preliminary studies.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #169
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Wait RR has been profitable? That is not what I have heard from my grandparents in Albuquerque, NM. Usually, commuter rail has to be subsidized. Not saying it is a bad thing but that is what I know unless fares are about $20 per ride like with the West Coast Express in Vancouver, BC. Now, the criticisms are not new, they are all the same old stuff. I thought they could not widen I-25 through the Pueblo lands which is why Richardson built the Rail Runner? If Martinez thinks she can run more freeway through Pueblo land, she is in for a rousing.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:01 PM   #170
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Wait RR has been profitable?
I guess desertpunk was referring to the fact that some of the daily runs of RR are operationally profitable, meaning the fares they collected on them are enough to pay for the marginal costs of operation those specific trains (e.g., the costs incurred by running the train on that day/time instead of leaving it parked on the depot, like fuel, wear & tear, depreciation by use and manpower).

Although not yet perfect, that is as close as you can get when comparing "equally subsidized" rail and road systems. That comparison only misses the need to include capital cost of the locos and cars.
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I guess desertpunk was referring to the fact that some of the daily runs of RR are operationally profitable, meaning the fares they collected on them are enough to pay for the marginal costs of operation those specific trains (e.g., the costs incurred by running the train on that day/time instead of leaving it parked on the depot, like fuel, wear & tear, depreciation by use and manpower).

Although not yet perfect, that is as close as you can get when comparing "equally subsidized" rail and road systems. That comparison only misses the need to include capital cost of the locos and cars.
I believe that the term is 'above the rail'. MANY services are profitable 'above the rail', it's when the infrastructure costs start getting figured in where the finances often start breaking down.

Mike
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #172
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So far, the only figures I have gotten that it is estimated the operations expense is $22 million. Revenue is only about $1.9 million. The subsidy rate is quite high for the Rail Runner operationally. Until the travel time is reduced, then I do not think travellers will flock to the Rail Runner. Adding new Park & Rides will definitely help a bit but at $19 million per year to run, it is hard to justify a train system. Based off what I am seeing, the revenue for one train trip with 100% occupancy of a 5 car train and $5 average fare would be $3600. Is that enough to pay for the operation from ABQ-Santa Fe?
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Old June 9th, 2011, 02:36 AM   #173
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Adding new Park & Rides will definitely help a bit but at $19 million per year to run, it is hard to justify a train system.
$19 million a year is chump change. Road maintenance budgets are 50X that in most states.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 12:50 AM   #174
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Old June 13th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #175
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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:20 AM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G5man View Post
Wait RR has been profitable? That is not what I have heard from my grandparents in Albuquerque, NM. Usually, commuter rail has to be subsidized. Not saying it is a bad thing but that is what I know unless fares are about $20 per ride like with the West Coast Express in Vancouver, BC. Now, the criticisms are not new, they are all the same old stuff. I thought they could not widen I-25 through the Pueblo lands which is why Richardson built the Rail Runner? If Martinez thinks she can run more freeway through Pueblo land, she is in for a rousing.
Railrunner ran a $254,000 surplus last year. I-25 is on a federal right of way and is planned for a full widening in the future. A 3rd lane from Albuquerque to US 550 opened last year. The funding mixture of dedicated gross receipts tax money ($12 million) that VOTERS IN EACH OF THE COUNTIES SERVED BY RAILRUNNER APPROVED, plus farebox revs of $3 million contributed to the overall 'surplus' recorded for 2010. I've yet to see any discussion of "profitable freeways or interstates" to balance this debate. The system is running, popular and is above projection on ridership. That's why Governor Martinez quickly backed off some of the ham-handed campaign rhetoric about Railrunner after she entered office.
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Last edited by desertpunk; June 14th, 2011 at 04:30 AM.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 04:36 AM   #177
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I believe that the term is 'above the rail'. MANY services are profitable 'above the rail', it's when the infrastructure costs start getting figured in where the finances often start breaking down.

Mike
That's only true where the revenue streams of farebox and recurring tax subsidies and other income fails by far to meet debt service on the bonds used to build a system. If New Mexico spent $1.5 billion to do Railrunner, there would be a serious crisis. But the state only spent $400 million for 100 miles of heavy commuter rail. The recurring revenue meets those debt obligations without difficulty. If gas drops below $2 a gallon there could be a falloff in revenue. Think that will happen??
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Old June 14th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #178
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Quote:
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Railrunner ran a $254,000 surplus last year. I-25 is on a federal right of way and is planned for a full widening in the future. A 3rd lane from Albuquerque to US 550 opened last year. The funding mixture of dedicated gross receipts tax money ($12 million) that VOTERS IN EACH OF THE COUNTIES SERVED BY RAILRUNNER APPROVED, plus farebox revs of $3 million contributed to the overall 'surplus' recorded for 2010. I've yet to see any discussion of "profitable freeways or interstates" to balance this debate. The system is running, popular and is above projection on ridership. That's why Governor Martinez quickly backed off some of the ham-handed campaign rhetoric about Railrunner after she entered office.
The subsidy rate from non-user taxes then isn't bad. 40% subsidy rate is a fairly good rate from non-user. It also helps that the State owns the ROW so they can have track use fees. Interstates typically recovery in the realm of 66-70% is the figure from what I have heard. That is to keep them substandard though with structurally deficient bridges. I am sure it would be less if they had to be kept in an SOGR with adequate pavement surfaces.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 08:44 AM   #179
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New Haven line - Penn Station Extension
Penn Station
Hunts Point
Parkchester
Co-Op City

New Rochelle
Harrison
Stamford


Hudson line - Penn Station Extension
Penn Station
West 62nd Street
West 125th Street
Dyckman St

Riverdale
Yonkers


Beacon / Maybrook line
Beacon
Beacon Town Center
Fishkill
Brinckernoff
Hopewell JCT

Brewster
Danbury
Newton
Derby-Shelton


Stewart Airport Express
Grand Central Terminal
Harlem-125th Street
Yonkers
Nyack
East Suffern
Stewart Airport


I-287 Rail Corridor
Hillburn
East Suffern
Airmont
Monsey

Spring Valley
West Nyack
Nyack
Tarrytown
Elmsford
Fairview

White Plains Transit Center
Downtown White Plains
East White Plains
Port Chester


I-287 Rail Corridor GCT spur
Hillburn
East Suffern
Airmont
Monsey

Spring Valley
West Nyack
Nyack

Irvington
Yonkers
Harlem-125th Street
Grand Central Terminal


West Shore line
Hoboken Terminal
Secaucus JCT
Meadowlands Sports Complex
Vince Lombradi Park & Ride
Ridgefield Park
Cedar Lane - Teaneck
West Englewood
Bergenfield
Haworth
Harrington Park
Tappan
Blauvelt
Valley Cottage
Congers
Haverstraw
Stony Point
Bear Mountain
Highland Falls
West Point
Cornwall on Hudson
Newburgh
Milton
Kingston


Cape May Branch

Philadelphia-30th Street Station
Pennsauken Transit Center
Cherry Hill
Lindenwood
Atco
Woodbine
Cape May Courthouse
Rio Grande
North Cape May
Cape May



Pompton Branch

Butler
Pompton Lakes
Pompton Plains
Pequannock
Wayne Town Center

Mountain View-Wayne
Wayne-Route 23
Little Falls
Montclair State University
Montclair Heights
Mountain Avenue
Upper Montclair
Watchung Avenue
Walnut Street
Benson Street
Rowe Street
North Newark
Arlington
West Arlington
Laurel Hill State Park

Hoboken



MOM Network

Red Bank Branch

Manchester / Lakehurst
Jackson
Lakewood
Howell - Glen Road
Howell - Route 33
Eatontown

Red Bank
Middletown
Hazlet
Aberdeen-Matawan
Laurence Harbor
South Amboy
Perth Amboy
Woodbridge
Avenel
Rahway
Linden
Broad St. Elizabeth
North Elizabeth
Newark Airport
Newark Penn
Hoboken


Jamesburg Branch

Manchester / Lakehurst
Jackson
Lakewood
Howell - Glen Road
Freehold
Freehold Boro - Throckmorton Street
Manalapan
Jamesburg
South Brunswick

Jersey Ave (Southbound only)
New Brunswick
Edison
Metchun
Metropark
Rahway
Linden
Midtown Elizabeth
North Elizabeth
Newark Airport
Newark Penn station
Secaucus JCT
New York Penn


Matawan Branch

Manchester / Lakehurst
Jackson
Lakewood
Howell - Glen Road
Freehold
Freehold Boro - Jackson Street
Marlboro
Morganville

Aberdeen-Matawan
Laurence Harbor
South Amboy
Perth Amboy
Woodbridge
Avenel
Rahway
Linden
Broad St. Elizabeth
North Elizabeth
Newark Airport
Newark Penn
Hoboken



South Amboy Branch

Manchester / Lakehurst
Jackson
Lakewood
Howell - Glen Road
Freehold
Freehold Boro - Throckmorton Street
Manalapan
Jamesburg
Helmetta
Spotswood
Route 18 Park & Ride
Madison Park
South Amboy

Perth Amboy
Woodbridge
Avenel
Rahway
Linden
Broad St. Elizabeth
North Elizabeth
Newark Airport
Newark Penn
Hoboken
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Last edited by Nexis; July 30th, 2011 at 07:02 PM.
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Old June 28th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #180
Nexis
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Along the Rails of North Jersey..
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What the Regional Rail system in Massachusetts and Rhode Island could look like in 2040.

Station by Station

Current , Proposed , Planned Stations


South Station
Fairmount line
South Station
New Market
Uphams Corner
Four Corners / Geneva
Talbot Ave

Morton Street
Blue Hill Ave
Fairmount
Readville


Providence / Kingston line
South Station
Back Bay Station
Ruggles
Westwood / Route 128
Canton JCT
Sharon
Mansfield
Attleboro
South Attleboro
Pawtucket
Providence
TF Green
Wickford JCT
Kingston


Needham Line
South Station
Back Bay
Ruggles
Forest Hills
Roslindale Village
Bellevue
Highland
West Roxbury
Hershey
Needham JCT
Needham Center
Needham Heights


Worcester Line
South Station
Back Bay
Yawkey
Newtonville
West Newton
Auburndale
Wellesley Farms
Wellesley Hills
Wellesley Square
Natick
West Natick
Framingham
Ashland
Southborough
Westborough
Grafton
Worcester


Greenbush line
South Station
JFK / UMass
Quincy Center
Weymouth Landing/East Braintree
East Weymouth
West Hingham
Nantasket Junction
Cohasset
North Scituate
Greenbush


Milford / Franklin line
South Station
Back Bay
Ruggles
Hyde Park
Readville
Endicott
Dedham Corporate Center
Islington
Norwood Depot
Norwood Central
Windsor Gardens
Plimptonville
Walpole
Norfolk
Franklin/Dean College
Forge Park/495
Bellingham
Milford


Old Colony lines

Kingston line
South Station
JFK/UMASS
Quincy Center
Braintree
South Weymouth
Abington
Whitman
Hanson
Halifax
Kingston / Route 3


Plymouth branch
South Station
JFK/UMASS
Quincy Center
Braintree
South Weymouth
Abington
Whitman
Hanson
Halifax
Plymouth


Middleborough/Lakeville Line
South Station
JFK/UMASS
Quincy Center
Braintree
Holbrook/Randolph
Montello
Brockton
Campello
Bridgewater
Middleborough/Lakeville


North Station

Rockport Line
North Station
Chelsea
River Works
Lynn
Swampscott
Salem
Beverly Depot
Montserrat
Prides Crossing
Beverly Farms
Manchester
West Gloucester
Gloucester
Rockport


Portsmouth / Newburyport line
North Station
Chelsea
River Works
Lynn
Swampscott
Salem
Beverly Depot
North Beverly
Hamilton/Wenham
Ipswich
Rowley
Newburyport
Salisbury
Hampton
Portsmouth



Haverhill Line
North Station
Malden Center
Wyoming Hill
Melrose/Cedar Park
Melrose Highlands
Greenwood
Wakefield
Reading
North Wilmington
Ballardvale
Andover
Lawrence
Bradford
Haverhill
Plaistow


Concord / Lowell line
North Station
West Medford
Wedgemere
Winchester Center
Mishawum
Anterson RTC
Wilmington
North Billerica
Lowell
North Chelmsford
Tyngsborough
Nashua
Merrimack
Manchester Airport
Manchester
Southern New Hampshire University
Hooksett
Concord


Greenfield / Fitchburg line
North Station
Porter SQ
Belmont
Waverly
Waltham
Brandeis/Roberts
Kendal Green
Hastings
Silver Hill
Lincoln
Concord
West Concord
South Acton
Littleton/Route 495
Ayer
Shirley
North Leominster
Fitchburg
Wachusetts
Gardner
Athol
Orange
Greenfield


Planned / Proposed lines

New Bedford line
South Station
Back Bay Station
Ruggles
Westwood / Route 128
Canton JCT
Canton Center
Sloughton
North Easton
Easton
Raynham Park
Taunton
East Taunton
Kings Highway
Whales Tooth / Downtown New Bedford


Newport / Fall River line
South Station
Back Bay Station
Ruggles
Westwood / Route 128
Canton JCT
Canton Center
Sloughton
North Easton
Easton
Raynham Park
Taunton
East Taunton
Freetown
Fall River Depot
Battleship Cove
Tiverton
Middletown
United States Naval War College
Newport Waterfront


Woonsocket / Quonset line
Woonsocket
Manville
Route 295 Park / Ride
Cumberland
Valley Falls
Pawtucket
Smithfield Ave

Providence
Olneyville
Reservoir
Park Ave
Jefferson Boulevard

TF Green Airport
Apponaug
East Greenwich
Frenchtown Plaza
Quonset Gateway
Quonset Point
__________________
My FLICKR Page < 54,100+ Photos of Urban Renewal , Infrastructure , Food and Nature in the Northeastern US
Visit the Reorganized New York City Section
My Photography Website
Visit the New Jersey Section

Last edited by Nexis; July 29th, 2011 at 09:30 PM.
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