Saturday, November 19, 2011

Public meeting scheduled on possibility of Grand Junction Passenger Service

1. Meeting announcement.
2. Reality in Cambridge.

1. Meeting announcement.

The following email was received from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on November 18:


Grand Junction Commuter Rail Feasibility Study -- Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce a community meeting to discuss progress on the Grand Junction Commuter Rail Feasibility Study.

This meeting will be held:
Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm-8:00pm
Kennedy-Longfellow School – Auditorium
158 Spring Street, Cambridge

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss an ongoing study of the potential use of the Grand Junction Railroad for supplemental MBTA Commuter Rail service to Cambridge and North Station. At this meeting, MassDOT staff members will discuss results of a ridership analysis and traffic impact analysis, as well as overall study findings, and next steps. This meeting follows up on a community meeting held last June. For more information on prior meetings, see out study website at:

All are welcome at the meeting, and please feel free to share this notice. For more information, or to request alternative language or other special accommodations, please contact Matthew Ciborowski at, or (617) 973-7180.

Please join us on December 8th!

Matthew Ciborowski | Office of Transportation Planning
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
10 Park Plaza, Room 4150, Boston, MA 02116
phone 617.973.7180 | email


2. Reality in Cambridge.

The same group which “protected” Alewife is extremely visible in this effort, just different faces.

The Cambridge proposal is highly destructive of the environment on the Charles River and, as usual, destructive to the causes they claim to stand for.

The Pols are fighting for commuter passenger service on the Grand Junction railroad, the track that goes through the edge of the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese.

Their proposal would cross at grade a number of very active streets in the eastern part of Cambridge with associated disruption of traffic and environmental pollution from standing, idling cars.

This railroad track has seen perhaps four trips a day in connector service between the railroad yards associated with Boston’s passenger oriented North Station and the freight dominated Beacon Yards.

Harvard University owns Beacon Yards along with the adjacent exit ramp from the Massachusetts Turnpike to Cambridge and the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. Harvard bought Beacon Yards and the Massachusetts Turnpike exit shortly after a state agency demonstrated that it is possible to put an off ramp from the Massachusetts Turnpike to Cambridge over the rail bridge under the BU Bridge which is part of the Grand Junction Railroad.

The Pols claim that the adding passenger trains would benefit Worcester. The Pols claim to oppose the “existing plans.” They give the impression that their opposition is to passenger service on the Grand Junction. The reality is that there are no “existing plans,” just a study.

Worcester currently has all its passenger service run out of Boston’s South Station. South Station is being expanded to add trackage which would be needed for service to New Bedford and Fall River, plus a lot of extra tracks. Worcester has no need to use the Grand Junction. Studies have shown only a small percentage of Worcester residents would have any benefit from the use of that line.

On the other hand, going inbound on the South Station - Worcester line from the point where traffic would be diverted to the Grand Junction, you come to Yawkey Station.

Cambridge wants an irresponsible subway line which would cross the Charles at a point that requires moving Yawkey Station. The legislature is spending millions upgrading Yawkey Station in place. Yawkey Station in place is an integral part of the responsible subway alternative to Cambridge’s irresponsible subway proposal.

Moving ALL Framingham trains to the Grand Junction would make Yawkey Station useless in the subway plans.

Additionally, passenger service on that line would support the massive development Cambridge is building in that area.

Cambridge claims its plan only would create a few passenger trains on the Grand Junction.

Cambridge also claims it is “only” destroying the core of the Alewife reservation, but that proposal cannot do what it claims to with those stated limits either.

Fake limits are the norm with these people.