2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

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

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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby nomis » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:19 pm

Killing the Death Cycle - Haverhill Line Trains 207 (12:20 pm from North Station) and 216 (1:25 pm from Andover) cancelled today due to snow
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby Screamer 1000 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:50 pm

I spent the morning at Reading Depot today. Trains 259 and 260 (turns around in Reading) were canceled. There had to be over 200 freezing passengers standing on the platform waiting for 261 to arrive. It was 25 mins late. 263 came in a few minutes after 261 turned around inbound and became 262. Nothing but F40PH-2Cs, no screamers :(
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby emannths » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:34 am

What's the cause of the current delays? For example, why was train 500 30+ minutes late today? T-Alerts just say "snow conditions." What's causing these delays that clearly aren't due to mechanical failures, equipment shortages, or congestion?
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby octr202 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:57 am

Last night as I was leaving the city (driving, didn't play commuter train roulette yesterday), 1003 was leaving outbound - so at least one screamer was still working!

I was logging all the cancellations here at work yesterday morning. Up roughly to lunchtime, I counted the following # of trains cancelled north:

Lowell - 12
Haverhill - 6
Eastern Route - 6
Fitchburg - 4

Those are just what I could see listed in T alerts emails as cancelled. There's many most of the rest were moderately to severely delayed.

Has sounded a lot better this morning. I heard from one of our other correspondents that 351/352 even ran!
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby tvachon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:51 pm

Fitchburg was not better this morning. Delays on every train 30 mins or longer.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby Diverging Route » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:10 pm

tvachon wrote:Fitchburg was not better this morning. Delays on every train 30 mins or longer.


Most Providence/Stoughton trains today delayed 20-30 minutes, with some an hour or more.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:41 pm

At 4:40 PM MBTA.com is listing the Fitchbirg line as "Normal". Have they given up?
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby saulblum » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:30 pm

Gerry6309 wrote:At 4:40 PM MBTA.com is listing the Fitchbirg line as "Normal". Have they given up?


The 6:00 train is running 30 minutes late. No alerts.

"Normal"
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby octr202 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:33 am

Last night was an absolute cluster at North Station. I got there just after 530 (333), found out the 530 Lowell was cancelled. All trains between 5:30 and 6:00 were boarding 10-15 mins late waiting for inbound equipment.

They finally got a six car (all flats) set to do the work of 333, 335 and part of 337, since we didn't actually leave until 6:15. There had to be far more people wanting the train than could fit, so it could be that the 10-15 min delay was just the poor train crew trying to get people away from the train so it could leave. All six cars were stuffed end to end, every available space used. I'm actually surprised no one tried to ride in the restroom of whatever MBB was on the train.

I wonder if any of the overcrowded trains sparked any issues, especially with any slightly inebriated parade goers around. There didn't seem to be any Transit Police or any other crowd control presence, just an increasingly desperate PA announcer doing her best to keep everyone updated (and she was doing a really good job!).
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby boblothrope » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:15 pm

Can anyone recommend a good source of train status information? Something like nextbus.com, where you choose a station and it tells you when the next few trains will actually show up.

I've tried T alerts, Google Maps transit directions, http://t-on-time.com, http://sites.harvard.edu/~wuensch/T/com ... l-map.html , and the scrolling signs on the platforms. All have let me down in various ways.

No delays listed and the train is 30 minutes late. A 20-minute delay listed and the train is 45 minutes late. A 60-minute delay alert issued 75 minutes after scheduled departure. A sign announcing "Next train to Boston in 27 minutes", and a minute later the train pulls into the station.

Of course if the underlying data just isn't there (if, say, a train's PTIS unit isn't working and the T doesn't manually fix the data feed), then no website or sign can know when a train is going to show up. And there's no way to predict a delay that hasn't happened yet.

But they can do a lot better. If the previous trip for a trainset is really late, is the system smart enough to predict that its next run will have to be late as well?
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby saulblum » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:57 pm

Try http://www.mbtainfo.com

If you're going outbound but not boarding from North or South Stations, especially useful is the departure board display at http://www.mbtainfo.com/commuter_rail/s ... departures

Last night I was waiting at Porter, no alerts of any delays, yet 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival of the train I finally saw a track had been posted at North Station.
Last edited by saulblum on Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby deathtopumpkins » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:00 pm

boblothrope wrote:Of course if the underlying data just isn't there (if, say, a train's PTIS unit isn't working and the T doesn't manually fix the data feed), then no website or sign can know when a train is going to show up. And there's no way to predict a delay that hasn't happened yet.


I'd say you answered your own question there.

The trains have GPS, which is used for things like Stefan's tracker (although there is lag of up to 5 minutes), but there are frequently a variety of issues with this, mainly because it's a higher priority just to get the trains to actually run. Many trips the crew is too busy dealing with crush loads of passengers and equipment malfunctions to ensure the PTIS is set up correctly.

The data will only be so accurate, and the system will never work 100% of the time.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby The EGE » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:08 am

Stefan's tracker is pretty much a direct pipe to the T's dataset. So if it's missing trips, the T isn't reporting them properly.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby ST214 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:42 am

402 is currently dead in the water at Concord. Waiting for 404 to give a shove.

For the record, the power on 402 is 011.
Hoping for a rebirth of the Screamer fleet.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby Diverging Route » Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:34 am

902 from Stoughton unable to depart due to stuck brakes. 904 on-time. 804 from Providence 15 minutes late. Both would approach Canton Junction at the same time. A smart dispatcher switched 804 to Track 1, so that both trains approached Route 128 simultaneously. Passengers at The Route (from the cancelled 902 as well as the on-time 904 and late 804) were huddled on the bridge deciding which to take. Half descended the stairs to T1 and half to T2. I chose 904 on T2, a 3K/2F set, figuring that the move from T1 to T3 for 804 to make Ruggles would slow it down (though 904 stops at Hyde Park). 804 was its usual 7K set.

904 won the race to BBY and BOS, as 804 got hung up behind 602 on T3 inbound from Needham. Just another day on the Commuter Rail.
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