MBTA issues

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Caesar La Rock

OBS Chief
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The Red Line was the crown jewel of MBTA heavy rail.

The Pullman-Standard cars need to be retired NOW - They have served the community well and actually have outlasted the orginal cars that ran from 1912 to 1963 which were replaced by the the Pullman-Standard Bluebirds that were retired in 1994 after 31 years.


Glad no one got hurt in the runaway and the train was brought to a stop. Seems like everyday, its something new with the MBTA. Derailments, new trains taken out of service, cancellations, etc. Nothing new in the world, but when it happens day after day, you have to ask what's going on? As for the CRRC cars to replace the fleet, gotta be patient.
 

Fenway

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Glad no one got hurt in the runaway and the train was brought to a stop. Seems like everyday, its something new with the MBTA. Derailments, new trains taken out of service, cancellations, etc. Nothing new in the world, but when it happens day after day, you have to ask what's going on? As for the CRRC cars to replace the fleet, gotta be patient.

CRRC Springfield is also assembling cars for the LA Metro and I am not aware of any issues with that contract and as far as I know, the CRRC plant in Chicago has not seen any major issues with the CTA contract.

CRRC delivers cars to Boston........ 🆘

The MBTA has dodged what could have been catastrophic accidents like this fiasco in 1975 - THREE trains colliding boggles the mind.

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There was a horrfic streetcar accident in 1916 that is all but forgotten

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There is a culture at the T that has been passed on from the BERy, MTA and now MBTA for over a century and nobody is accountable.

A lifelong friend was an operator on the Red Line for 35 years and he lamented the elimination of block signals for ATC 1.0 circa 1980. He missed the visual green, yellow and red signals and vividly remembers ATC giving him a go at the blind curve between Kendall and Central but he held back and there was indeed a train at Central - he simply said I just knew.
 

joelkfla

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Glad no one got hurt in the runaway and the train was brought to a stop. Seems like everyday, its something new with the MBTA. Derailments, new trains taken out of service, cancellations, etc. Nothing new in the world, but when it happens day after day, you have to ask what's going on? As for the CRRC cars to replace the fleet, gotta be patient.
The reporter says the train wasn't brought to a stop, it stopped on it's own. Probably reached a valley.

I'm thinking maybe the workers didn't bother to reattach the air line, or attached it but left the valve closed. Otherwise, wouldn't the brakes be applied when the hose separated?
 

jis

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More MBTA issues that was referred to in an earlier post, now being reported by Trains Magazine:

 
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and it continues

These "officials" who are blasting the MBTA include state legislators. It would be interesting to see these legislators' records regarding funding of transit vs. funding of highways. :) I mean, the state legislature does have the power of the purse, though I suspect that only a minority of them represent Boston and its inner suburbs which are served by these MBTA lines. So maybe paying proper attention to funding transportation in Boston and its inner suburbs isn't the highest priority of the majority of the state legislature.
 
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It's also incredibly mismanaged.
It’s very difficult to manage just about anything that is historically and chronically underfunded.

No one goes to their job every morning thinking “I’m planning on doing a terrible job.” Not that there aren’t things needing change, but I feel like this statement is the classic American issue:

Screaming “mismanagement,” therefore giving fuel to those who believe that anything mismanaged isn’t worth funding, further feeding the transit death spiral.
 
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These "officials" who are blasting the MBTA include state legislators. It would be interesting to see these legislators' records regarding funding of transit vs. funding of highways. :)
It would also be more helpful if journalists would take the effort to dig up these legislators' records regarding transit funding rather than taking the lazy way out and simply be a stenographer simply quoting the legislator.

I really hate it when the media use valuable airtime (or column inches) to simply record the bloviating of an elected official, thus letting these guys control the narrative. That's one reason I like listening to the BBC World Service, as they do that a lot less than American media outlets and are usually content to simply paraphrase the essence of what the politician said, and in a lot fewer words than the politician uses.

Unfortunately, the BBC World Service doesn't usually report on transit funding issues in American cities, but maybe the MBTA stuff is unique enough in that so many bad things are happening one right after the other that it might be newsworthy to an international audience.
 

Fenway

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These "officials" who are blasting the MBTA include state legislators. It would be interesting to see these legislators' records regarding funding of transit vs. funding of highways. :) I mean, the state legislature does have the power of the purse, though I suspect that only a minority of them represent Boston and its inner suburbs which are served by these MBTA lines. So maybe paying proper attention to funding transportation in Boston and its inner suburbs isn't the highest priority of the majority of the state legislature.

Current legislators are not to blame - this has evolved over decades.

As per Section 25, Chapter 161B of the Massachusetts General Laws, regional transit authorities in Massachusetts are not permitted to directly operate their service, but must instead contract with other entities to operate the buses WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE MBTA.

The legislature did not want to anger the Carmen's Union in Boston but they also made sure that no other RTA in Mass had that problem.



One other historical note. From 1978 - 1996 the most powerful politician in Massachusetts was Senate President William Bulger and all hiring at the T went through him with the exception of bus and train operators which was done by a racial and gender-based weighted lottery but he found a workaround to keep control. Nobody messed with Senator Bulger as his brother was a ruthless gangster.

In the 70s when the aging PCC cars on the Green Line needed to be replaced the US Government insisted the MBTA and MUNI in San Francisco order replacement cars made by Boeing.

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It became obvious that the Boeing cars were a disaster and the T was impressed by UTDC cars from Canada which passengers loved but....

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The T has done some things right this century starting with countdown displays in stations and providing accurate real-time data to third-party transit apps. Boston has done a good job in making subway stations ADA compliant - Boylston a major exception.

The procurement of rolling stock has been an issue for decades and always to the low bidder which hasn't worked well in most cases.
 
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It became obvious that the Boeing cars were a disaster and the T was impressed by UTDC cars from Canada which passengers loved but....
It did influence the procurement of the Type 7s from Kinki Sharyo which was one of the bright spots in MBTA procurement in the last few decades.
Unfortunately they followed that up with the Type 8's where they reverted to form.

Admittedly the heavy rail procurements have generally been good - the Hawker Siddley cars on the Blue and Orange lines and the Siemens Blue Line cars all seem to have worked out OK. I hear mixed things about the Red Line Bombardier 1800 cars as needing more maintenance than the older cars.
 

joelkfla

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The T has done some things right this century starting with countdown displays in stations and providing accurate real-time data to third-party transit apps. Boston has done a good job in making subway stations ADA compliant - Boylston a major exception.
Isn't Boylston one of the oldest subway stations in the U.S. (if not the world), and located in a highly congested area with a lot of ancient infrastructure?
 
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Isn't Boylston one of the oldest subway stations in the U.S. (if not the world), and located in a highly congested area with a lot of ancient infrastructure?
No, that's Park St., which is ADA compliant, although a bit of a maze to find the elevators that get you where you want to go. When I pass through, I feel like a rat in a psychology experiment.
 

Fenway

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Can't blame the T for this

Oh great. In less than 2 weeks, I'm coming down from Maine on the Downeaster and spending the night near North Station, and then catching an Acela the next day at South Station. This ride involves either the Orange Line or the Green Line. I hope they get the tunnels stabilized by then, or it's Uber for me.
 

Fenway

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Oh great. In less than 2 weeks, I'm coming down from Maine on the Downeaster and spending the night near North Station, and then catching an Acela the next day at South Station. This ride involves either the Orange Line or the Green Line. I hope they get the tunnels stabilized by then, or it's Uber for me.
Hopefully it will be addressed before your trip

 

Fenway

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Isn't Boylston one of the oldest subway stations in the U.S. (if not the world), and located in a highly congested area with a lot of ancient infrastructure?
Boylston opened the same day as Park Street with Haymarket, Scollay (Government Center), and Adams (closed 1963) opening a year later.


Boylston has changed very little in 125 years, it is a true time warp.


1656046303495.png has
 
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It's strange that (according to the alerts I have received) they suspended the Green line between Park and Lechmere. Why they can't run from Union Sq. to North station? Maybe the arrangement of crossovers doesn't allow reversing trains coming from the North side. Amusingly the alert for the Orange Line (which is suspended between Back Bay and North Station) says to use the Green Line instead :)

I suspect Boylston, being one of the lesser used downtown stations, is lower on the priority for ADA compliance than other stations.

The T is having a perfect storm right now between this tunnel problem and the withdrawal of the CRRC cars yet again due to battery problems.
 
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Oh great. In less than 2 weeks, I'm coming down from Maine on the Downeaster and spending the night near North Station, and then catching an Acela the next day at South Station. This ride involves either the Orange Line or the Green Line. I hope they get the tunnels stabilized by then, or it's Uber for me.
Honestly, Uber is the better option to begin with if you ask me. It’s $12 for an Uber, which to me is well worth it compared to the Orange Line to Back Bay station, especially if you’re carrying stuff.
 

jis

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Honestly, Uber is the better option to begin with if you ask me. It’s $12 for an Uber, which to me is well worth it compared to the Orange Line to Back Bay station, especially if you’re carrying stuff.
I agree. With significant baggage getting from North Station to South Station is definitely not a really viable option unless you are Popeye the Sailor Man on several cans of Spinach. Back Bay Station is just manageable as it is a straight shot on the Orange line, but yes, at my age I would opt for Uber.
 

Fenway

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I suspect Boylston, being one of the lesser used downtown stations, is lower on the priority for ADA compliance than other stations.
The last ridership numbers (2019) show Boylston with an average of 5,265-weekday entries into the system.


Oak Grove6,637
Broadway6,020
Tufts Medical Center5,976
Chinatown5,747
Andrew5,721
Lechmere5,697
Massachusetts Avenue5,627
Jackson Square5,284
Boylston5,265
Aquarium5,130
Fields Corner4,948
Quincy Adams4,665
Roxbury Crossing4,501
Braintree4,473

Emerson College moved its dormitories to that neighborhood and it is also the closest station to MBTA HQs.

Boylston has never had even a modest renovation in 125 years.
 
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I agree. With significant baggage getting from North Station to South Station is definitely not a really viable option unless you are Popeye the Sailor Man on several cans of Spinach. Back Bay Station is just manageable as it is a straight shot on the Orange line, but yes, at my age I would opt for Uber.
First, I would never want to have to wait for a southbound NEC train at Back Bay. I'd rather be sitting in the Club Acela at South Station.

Second, when I did this last March, I rode from North Station to South Station using the Green Line and Red Line. I was pulling a roller bag and carrying a small backpack. It was really no problem, even for an aging geezer like myself. All the stations involved are ADA compliant, so I made use of the elevators provided. The Red Line, and even many of the cars on the Green Line, have level boarding. The only challenge is finding the correct elevator to use at Park St. to make the connection. As arriving the day before, I'll probably by a 24 hour day pass, so I'd like to be able to use the T to get to South Station for essentially free and thus save myself $12 on an Uber ride.
 

Fenway

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At some point you have to think they're doing it on purpose.
 
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