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 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:05 pm

All MBTA rail services will be suspended at 7:00 p.m. This means no Subway, Trolleys or Commuter Rail trains will depart Boston after 7:00 p.m.
All MBTA rail services will be suspended at 7:00 p.m. This means no subway, trolleys or Commuter Rail trains will depart Boston after 7:00 p.m. Limited MBTA bus service will continue until the end of regular service hours, but customers are advised that connections to subway and Commuter Rail lines will not be available.

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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby tvachon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:26 pm

That is quite unexpected. Its dropping a grenade on the boiling kettle. It will possibly strand many people. If I got this notification RIGHT as it was came out, I would have at most 3 trains on my line I could make (all of which rely on the red line or a very long walk)
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby ns3010 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:00 pm

The entire CR schedule is out the window for the rest of the night...

MBTA Commuter Rail ‏@MBTA_CR 7m minutes ago
MBTA Commuter Rail Passengers: The regular schedule is not being followed tonight. We will post line departure updates here when available
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:06 pm

ns3010 wrote:The entire CR schedule is out the window for the rest of the night...


Generally that is what happens when service is suspended........
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby ns3010 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:22 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:
ns3010 wrote:The entire CR schedule is out the window for the rest of the night...


Generally that is what happens when service is suspended........


That was in regard to trains that will still be operating up until the suspension.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby jmar896 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:28 pm

I just got a notification from WCVB saying no rail service tomorrow. If true, that's where I draw the line. I know its hard to keep a transit system running, but having to close service tomorrow is completely unacceptable.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby harshaw » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:58 pm

These are extraordinary circumstances. Obviously the maintenance people have their backs up against the wall.

I don't think Governor Baker is helping either. Yes, the MBTA's performance is "unacceptable", but it doesn't seem like there is anything we can do about it in the short term. New DC motors, new switches, etc. will all take time.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby The EGE » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:22 pm

Unprecedented amounts of snow in a very compressed timescale - this is the highest 30-day accumulation recorded in the city - will overwhelm anyone. A vicious freeze-thaw cycle breaks metal things no matter how much care you put into them. Huge amounts of powdery snow will blow back on the tracks after being plowed or blown - you have to move it ten times instead of one.

If anyone is responsible for this, it is Governor Baker for every time he has told the T to stay open or blamed it for underperforming. Tomorrow will give the T an actual chance to deice, repair, and plow.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby jmar896 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:36 pm

I know its extremely hard to run the system in these circumstances, but 129,800 use the T to get to work every day. I bet most employers arnt going to be happy when there employees say "The T is shut down. I cant come in today". I wish the MBTA could find an alternative (Buses along the route or something similar), or run a weekend schedule but that's not going to happen. I wish they could of closed today instead of tomorrow. That's what im really trying to say.

Sorry for being off topic
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby Clean Cab » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:50 pm

Better to opt not to run rather than damage equipment and strand passengers on cold and dark trains. Clearly this is the harshest ongoing winter the T has ever had to deal with and I think it's a wise step to suspend all train and light rail operations for a day and give the T a chance to clear the tracks.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby NH2060 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:00 pm

If what has happened over the past 3 weeks -a snowstorm/blizzard each week dumping 12-24"+ of snow each time- this probably won't be the last time things get this bad. This winter could very well be the "Winter That Broke The T"!

What we should hope for is for the Governor/Legislature and the T really go head to head with each other and come out with a beyond mutual understanding that the T is in DIRE NEED OF FUNDING. The intensity of the weather aside it doesn't help that the Orange Line is using early Reagan-era built rolling stock and the Red Line is using cars that were built when the Beatles were still together.. We need a new "Ticket To Ride" ;-)

Even Metro-North and ConnDOT replaced almost all of their M-2s, 4,s and 6s and 48 of those cars are only around 20 years old and another 54 of them date from the late 1980s.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby BandA » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:30 am

I watched Gov. Charlie Baker's press conference. He was not pleased with the MBTA. I would expect some changes at the top, soon. Not sure how this would affect commuter rail as Keolis is responsible rather than the T itself, but the T is responsible for buying any needed capital equipment. Working for free is gonna start getting old for Keolis, so something will have to happen on their side too.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:13 am

I'm a bit confused as to which this thread to discuss the MBTA's Tuesday 2/10/15 shutdown decision so I'm reposting an entry here...

Somewhat ironically, Amtrak is operating a full weekday NEC schedule to/from Boston on Tuesday 2/10/15 but is cancelling Downeaster service:

Amtrak Alert excerpt:

"Amtrak Downeaster Service Canceled Tuesday

Feb. 9, 2015 8:30 p.m. ET

Due to the severe winter weather, all Amtrak Downeaster service (Boston - Brunswick, Maine) is canceled on Tuesday, Feb. 10
Amtrak is planning to operate Northeast Regional and Acela Express service, operating between Washington and Boston, as scheduled...."

This would suggest that MBTA commuter rail service should be able to operate Tuesday between Providence and Boston. While watching Monday evening news, a traffic cam's view of the Pike at Allston showed the switch heaters were functioning on the Boston - Worcester line. Is anybody aware of commuter rail failures on Monday? I'm sure there were delays. Stopping all commuter rail service on what is to be a partly sunny day today seems draconian.
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby jmar896 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:15 am

johnpbarlow wrote:While watching Monday evening news, a traffic cam's view of the Pike at Allston showed the switch heaters were functioning on the Boston - Worcester line. Is anybody aware of commuter rail failures on Monday? I'm sure there were delays. Stopping all commuter rail service on what is to be a partly sunny day today seems draconian.
The Lake Shore Limited using the Worcester line is going to operate. I think it must be lack of functioning locomotives on the CR. I'm sure there is a few switch and signal issues on some lines, but even on sunny & warm days they still can have issues with the switches and signals (especially on the Worcester Line)
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Re: 2015 Commuter Rail Delay Discussion Thread

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:17 am

johnpbarlow wrote:This would suggest that MBTA commuter rail service should be able to operate Tuesday between Providence and Boston.


No it wouldn't. Just because Amtrak is using the tracks doesn't mean that all of the commuter rail station platforms have been cleared, yards are accessible, crews are available, etc. There's a lot more involved.

Also, Amtrak is not running a full schedule:

Feb. 10, 2015
9:45 a.m. EST
Due to the recent snowfall in the New England area, Amtrak is operating a modified Northeast Regional and Acela Express schedule between New York and Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 10.
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