Time On The Commuter Rail

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Time On The Commuter Rail

Postby NRGeep » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:27 pm

Didn't want to nit pick here after the first time, but it happened twice in the last month. For starters, I WAS cutting it close. Two times recently I ran down to the platform and the digital clock on the platform and my phone both read 10:34pm and the train was pulling out of the station. The first time (both Friday nights) the conductor got on the radio and told the engineer to "stop the train" (it didn't stop). The second time, (last Friday) it was 2234 and around 20 seconds and when I got to the platform the back loco was exiting the platform. Again, in a better scenario I would have allowed more time, though it seems it's just as bad to leave early ( however slim) than to depart late.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby AEM7AC920 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:58 pm

You know our moderator isn't going to let this discussion fly, if you have a complaint write to the T. As you said you were cutting it close, unless your phone is dead on with the naval (standardized time) then you really have no gripe. The digital clocks in the stations are 15-30 seconds behind and departure times are on the conductors watch (which is required to be set to standard time).
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby NRGeep » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:16 pm

AEM7AC920 wrote: The digital clocks in the stations are 15-30 seconds behind


Why?
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby Mcoov » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:27 pm

NRGeep wrote:
AEM7AC920 wrote: The digital clocks in the stations are 15-30 seconds behind


Why?

For any number of reasons, mainly that they are neither atomic clocks nor are they synced to one, thus making it much easier to get behind by up to a minute. Be glad the MBTA pays attention and doesn't let their clocks fall way far behind.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby jr145 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:12 pm

You really cant make it to the station a minute or two early?
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby sery2831 » Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:36 pm

As stated above, if you have a complaint, please address it directly to the MBTA or MBCR Customer Service. I will gladly provide you with the correct contact info in a PM. First off, most cell phones(my Verizon phone) and the station info boards display the incorrect time. My watch is set to the US Naval Clock and that the time I operate my train by. I have complained about the station clocks numerous times and it appears it will take an act of congress to get them changed. And just a side note, if you show up for the train AT 10:35p, expect it to be gone... That's the departure time, so if you are not at 10:34 and 30 seconds you missed the train!
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby NRGeep » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:17 pm

Mea culpa/my bad!!! Mod: please delete.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby butts260 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:27 am

sery2831 wrote:As stated above, if you have a complaint, please address it directly to the MBTA or MBCR Customer Service. I will gladly provide you with the correct contact info in a PM. First off, most cell phones(my Verizon phone) and the station info boards display the incorrect time. My watch is set to the US Naval Clock and that the time I operate my train by.

I just compared my iPhone World Clock for Boston time with Canada's CHU radio time signals and they are synchronous to well within 1/25 second (I am so old that I used to use photo lenses with mechanical shutters so I know what a 1/25 of a second is like), and I am sure the difference between CHU time and US Naval Clock time is small enough for railroad work!
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby AEM7AC920 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:58 am

I actually found the one in Lawrence today to be ahead by 15-20 seconds.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:04 pm

Are there no Standard Clocks any more? Admittedly accuracy to the second is not as important as it used to be in the days of timetables and train orders, but it's certainly the end of an era, if so ...
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby AEM7AC920 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:16 pm

The station clocks have issues yes, crews have complained about them and a notice was put out saying there is an issue out of the T's control. On the other side (no offense to the original poster) if seconds are that big of a deal for you to miss a train then I'd say you are at fault for cutting it that close in the first place. As much as people complain about delays to the train, most don't help by strolling up at the last min either.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:33 pm

I agree 920, give yourself that extra minute to get onto the train
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby Komarovsky » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:22 pm

Your phone's clock is updated by he cell towers it is receiving signals from. The cell tower's clocks are synched with the those of the GPS satellite, which is the same as the us naval observatory's click IIRC. Out of all the timepieces out there, your phone is likely one of the most accurate.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby rdeastcl » Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:32 pm

I haven't had a problem with missing a train, but on occasion noticed them leaving a minute or so early.
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Re: 10:35pm Lowell departure

Postby Tadman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:49 pm

Interesting that I find this discussion today. Earlier I was in a Metra station, moments from departure, waiting for the train. I went looking for a clock, figuring I'd find some big digital Solari-type affair. Nope, it was a consumer-grade atomic signal clock that looks like it was bought at Target or Walmart. Go figure... I can't remember if the train left on time, I was too busy trying not to freeze solid before climbing aboard.
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