As discussed in an earlier post, and now confirmed, the current rail destressing project is complete between Boston and Framingham. Therefore, we will see better schedule performance for trains on this stretch.
To simplify the story, I have created this little table. The number in the table indicates which track the train USUALLY runs on. Green indicates that rail destressing was scheduled, executed, and is now complete for that track. Yellow indicates the rail destressing project is scheduled and underway for that track. Red indicates that rail destressing on that track is NOT funded, NOT scheduled, and is NOT on the MBTA capital projects plan (in other words, NEVER scheduled to happen).
1) Where the rail destressing project is NOT complete (in other words, any yellow or red on the table), the max speed of any train during a heat restriction is 30 mph.
2) Weston is the location of the "CP 11" set of switches that allows trains to change tracks. It is next to the golf course, just west of Route 128, and between Wellesley Farms and Auburndale stations.
3) Framingham is a station stop where all trains stop, so rail destressing doesn't really matter there, since all trains are going slow anyway. I'm not sure if they are even doing rail destressing in that area.
4) P525 and P529 terminate in Framingham, so "N-A" for them past Framingham.
Also note that when heat restrictions are in place, the entire schedule is put into jeopardy due to cascading delays. For example, a late inbound train may occupy the single track in Allston, delaying an otherwise unaffected outbound train. So this table is NOT a guarantee of anything - delays may occur to any train for multiple reasons when heat restrictions are in place. What this table can tell you is where delays are MORE LIKELY to occur during a heat restriction. For example, if you are going outbound to anywhere west of Framingham, there is almost a guarantee that you will be delayed on that stretch during a heat restriction (unless the heat restriction gets cancelled).
The completed project between Framingham and Boston helps all riders on the line - and actually may benefit 'express' trains more, since they can run at full track speed for a longer time than the locals.
As mentioned in the earlier post, P583 is the one interesting train on this table. The takeaway from this analysis (and explained in more detail in the earlier post) is that P529 will most likely arrive in Framingham BEFORE P583 when heat restrictions remain in place for the duration of P529 or P583's trip to Framingham.
According to the MBTA, the third phase of the rail destressing project (from Framingham to Westboro) is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.
Eventually I plan to update the table to include the entire schedule.
This is one of multiple blog posts regarding heat restrictions. Click here to read them all.