yes, it's got to do with BRT, but it's also a train?

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yes, it's got to do with BRT, but it's also a train?

Postby helium » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:33 pm

as i was gettting on the silver line (waterfront) today, i stopped to ask the "inspector" why the bus drivers need to be told when to leave the station at silver line way and south station.
the woman replied, "because they're on a schedule" to which i replied, "so are the trains in the T system."
then she says "but this is a bus". (take THAT, MBTA, it IS a bus!!)
of course it's a bus, that has a schedule, as do the trains.
so my question is, do the train drivers get told when to leave the termini or do they just go every 6 minutes, or whatever timetable they're on?
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Postby octr202 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:43 pm

Yes, trains do get signals to depart. On the Red Line, you'll hear a bell ringing that signals trains to depart. To my knowledge, these are controlled by the starters who work at each terminal, doing the same job as the inspector on the Silver Line -- monitoring the schedule, making sure vehicles depart on time, and making adjustments if theigs are off schedule.

I know Lechmere had a departure bell, and I've heard them at Alewife and Ashmont. I know BC and Cleveland Circle do not, can't remember if Riverside does. At BC and Cleveland Cir. the starters are close enough they could even give a visual signal to the trains.

The fact that there are starters is a sign that they're running the SIlver Line Waterfront as a rapid transit line. Trains get starters, whereas bus drivers are left to maintain schedules on their own for the most part.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby Diverging Route » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:57 pm

Next time you ride the Green Line, look on the operator's console. He or she may have left the job's schedule there, which is the scheduled departure and arrival times at the terminii. Of course, reroutes and other delays can change this, as directed by the starters.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Feb 10, 2005 1:41 pm

I believe Forest Hills also has a departure bell. Riders at termini are familiar with them -- they mean "run fast if you want to get on this train".
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Postby efin98 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:39 pm

All the terminals but Bowdoin have bells signalling when a train can leave the terminal(even Orient Heights, despite being rarely used), however I have seen trains held up at Wonderland for a few minutes to allow for riders transfering from a late 441 and 442 to board.

I never noticed the bell at Lechmere, I have only seen the inspector at the station giving the OK for trains to leave the station...then again things there operate differently than most of the other terminals in the system :wink:
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Postby octr202 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:27 pm

efin98 wrote:All the terminals but Bowdoin have bells signalling when a train can leave the terminal(even Orient Heights, despite being rarely used), however I have seen trains held up at Wonderland for a few minutes to allow for riders transfering from a late 441 and 442 to board.

I never noticed the bell at Lechmere, I have only seen the inspector at the station giving the OK for trains to leave the station...then again things there operate differently than most of the other terminals in the system :wink:


I'm 99% sure that there's a bell...could be that only some starters use it. I've also seen days where they give the 'highball' (to borrow a railroad term) over the radio too, instead.

Its alll a little fuzzy...I just don't seem to have caught a train at Lechmere in a long time... :wink:
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby CSX Conductor » Thu Feb 10, 2005 3:33 pm

Wellington has one also. :wink:
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Feb 10, 2005 6:55 pm

Harvard used to have one. For at least a few months, maybe a year, after the extension opened, cars would arrive from Porter and linger with their doors open at Harvard until the bell rang.
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Postby efin98 » Thu Feb 10, 2005 7:18 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:Wellington has one also. :wink:


Now this surprises me...is it new(meant for the signal upgrade) or is it something that's been there since 1975?
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Postby WonderlandMan » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:22 am

wonderland has one
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Postby fm535 » Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:46 am

Braintree has the bell and on each side of the platform, a neon sign that reads: START NOW
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Postby CSX Conductor » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:19 pm

Gentleman, of course Braintree and Wonderland have them. as someone posted earlier, all origin terminals have them. I simply added Wellington because it is sometimes used as an origin station for equipment comng out of the yard and into revenue service.

Ed, not sure how old the bell @ Wellington is, just remember hearing one there when i caught a train which was originating there.
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Postby BC Eagle » Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:09 pm

octr202 wrote:Yes, trains do get signals to depart. On the Red Line, you'll hear a bell ringing that signals trains to depart. To my knowledge, these are controlled by the starters who work at each terminal, doing the same job as the inspector on the Silver Line -- monitoring the schedule, making sure vehicles depart on time, and making adjustments if theigs are off schedule.


I can't speak for all of the terminals, but I don't believe the bell at Oak Grove is controlled by a starter, or actual person. I'm almost positive it is on some sort of automated timer. For example, the bell has rung at Oak Grove with no train even present. Even more frequent, many times the bell will ring just as the train is pulling in.
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Postby efin98 » Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:38 pm

BC Eagle wrote:
octr202 wrote:Yes, trains do get signals to depart. On the Red Line, you'll hear a bell ringing that signals trains to depart. To my knowledge, these are controlled by the starters who work at each terminal, doing the same job as the inspector on the Silver Line -- monitoring the schedule, making sure vehicles depart on time, and making adjustments if theigs are off schedule.


I can't speak for all of the terminals, but I don't believe the bell at Oak Grove is controlled by a starter, or actual person. I'm almost positive it is on some sort of automated timer. For example, the bell has rung at Oak Grove with no train even present. Even more frequent, many times the bell will ring just as the train is pulling in.


They have malfunctioned in the past, I've heard it frequently at Wonderland when a train was changing ends beyond the station...However the bulk are controlled by someone somewhere, I've seen the inspectors signal someone and not too long after the bell rung so someone had to have seen the signal.
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ring offs

Postby willfh » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:33 am

the bells are called "ring offs" and they are controlled from the OCC. they are at, alewife, ashmont, braintree, quincy center, wonderland, forest hills, and oak grove. Also there is one at wellington controlled by the wellington tower person. they are usually on what is called ATD "automated train dispatching" that ring when scheduled. but they can also be done maually by the line dispatcher.
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