Winter 2015 and Impact on MBTA

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

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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Hoopyfrood » Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:35 am

Sitting here in Shirley (11:34AM) just saw what I think was 3247 with one or more plows heading west towards Fitchburg. Looks like time to clear away some snow from the storm before we add another foot plus...
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Finch » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:31 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:Then where is the T "leadership" speaking up about how things really are and wheeling and dealing for more/better funding? The silence is (and has been for the last generation or two) deafening.

I don't claim to have the solution here, but it seems to me that this would just be begging to get their heads chopped off. I don't see much sympathy for the T anywhere in media or the public. The world outside the T does not understand what it's like to run a transit system. And maybe, as some here argue, there really is no good excuse anyway. Do your preventative maintenance, or suffer the consequences. Pull out all the stops to keep the line clear during the storm, or suffer the consequences.

I think elected politicians might be in a better position to advocate for the T than the T itself.

I know it's a lot more complicated than this. Just giving my quick take.

On another note, "snowzilla" (or whatever it's lovingly called) was active at Cabot yesterday clearing the carhouse leads.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby CRail » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:08 pm

Bramdeisroberts wrote:Then where is the T "leadership" speaking up about how things really are and wheeling and dealing for more/better funding? The silence is (and has been for the last generation or two) deafening.

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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Disney Guy » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:49 pm

A few days ago someone was announcing on the radio (I think WRKO) that if you see someone putting snow into the traveled part of the street, you should take a picture and send that to (I forget the address).

How about taking pictures of and having sanctions taken on road plow drivers going along with blade up when they should be plowing (analysis of driver's territory and location to be made by department to whom the picture is sent) and plow drivers leaving snow across trolley tracks?

Seemed to me as if the sled plows the T uses leave 3 or 4 inches of snow on the track. Shouldn't the snow be cleared as far down to the rail as possible without having the sled foul the track on vertical curves or at switches? Trains should not have to crunch through a layer of snow let alone blast through ridges and berms.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:07 pm

Disney Guy wrote:A few days ago someone was announcing on the radio (I think WRKO) that if you see someone putting snow into the traveled part of the street, you should take a picture and send that to (I forget the address).

How about taking pictures of and having sanctions taken on road plow drivers going along with blade up when they should be plowing (analysis of driver's territory and location to be made by department to whom the picture is sent) and plow drivers leaving snow across trolley tracks?

Seemed to me as if the sled plows the T uses leave 3 or 4 inches of snow on the track. Shouldn't the snow be cleared as far down to the rail as possible without having the sled foul the track on vertical curves or at switches? Trains should not have to crunch through a layer of snow let alone blast through ridges and berms.

The "Lead Sleds" are 1/3 of a Type 3. They clear excess snow from the space above the rails. What they lack is the "Shear Plow" under the middle of the Type 3, which pushes the remaining snow off the tracks, down to the railhead, and the "Boom Plow" to push the snowbank back and clear the platforms.

Running cars in snowstorms without proper plowing, causes eventual derailments, when the snowpack under the car takes the weight off the wheels.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby octr202 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:41 pm

Just announced by Gov. Baker, the MBTA will run on a reduced subway schedule on Monday, Feb. 9th. There is no travel ban this time.

Rush hour subway service will be every 9-14 minutes, depending on line. There will be shutdowns during the midday period for snow removal on surface lines:

Between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the MBTA will suspend Red Line service between Braintree and JFK/UMass Stations and Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Sullivan Stations so that jet engine powered snow blowers can be used to clear snow from the rights of way before the PM commute. The MBTA will provide very limited replacement bus service during this suspension of rail service, but weather conditions may severely challenge our ability to provide reliable or frequent bus service. Subway service will continue to operate all day from Ashmont to Alewife on the Red Line and from Forest Hills to Sullivan Stations on the Orange Line.


Commuter rail and the non-steel wheeled modes will attempt to operate their regular schedules (we can all imagine how that will go for commuter rail). Full details at:

www.mbta.com/winter
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:24 pm

octr202 wrote:Just announced by Gov. Baker, the MBTA will run on a reduced subway schedule on Monday, Feb. 9th. There is no travel ban this time.
Rush hour subway service will be every 9-14 minutes, depending on line. There will be shutdowns during the midday period for snow removal on surface lines:
Between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., the MBTA will suspend Red Line service between Braintree and JFK/UMass Stations and Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Sullivan Stations so that jet engine powered snow blowers can be used to clear snow from the rights of way before the PM commute. The MBTA will provide very limited replacement bus service during this suspension of rail service, but weather conditions may severely challenge our ability to provide reliable or frequent bus service. Subway service will continue to operate all day from Ashmont to Alewife on the Red Line and from Forest Hills to Sullivan Stations on the Orange Line.

Commuter rail and the non-steel wheeled modes will attempt to operate their regular schedules (we can all imagine how that will go for commuter rail). Full details at:
http://www.mbta.com/winter

I much prefer that they pre-commit to a reduced schedule (particulary shutdowns of vulnerable surface segments), than that they try to run it all and have it fail at random.

So it's interesting the that "inner" system ends at Sullivan on the Orange (so no Assembly). Seems like that takes advantage of being "covered" even if not subterranean. Why might they have chosen JFK as the southern end? Yard access?
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby TrainManTy » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:43 pm

Arlington wrote:Why might they have chosen JFK as the southern end? Yard access?


Could be. JFK also has multiple platform tracks available for trains to change ends, whereas at Andrew all trains would have to use the outbound platform since there's no facing point crossover nearby. (See page 22 of the Blue Book)

I imagine shuttle bus access and routing also plays a part in these decisions.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:53 pm

TrainManTy wrote:
Arlington wrote:Why might they have chosen JFK as the southern end? Yard access?


Could be. JFK also has multiple platform tracks available for trains to change ends, whereas at Andrew all trains would have to use the outbound platform since there's no facing point crossover nearby. (See page 22 of the Blue Book)

I imagine shuttle bus access and routing also plays a part in these decisions.

Is that what favors Sullivan too (certainly good bus Access vs Community College or Assembly). Does the Community College - Sullivan stretch benefit from being under I-93? I'd think so.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Red Wing » Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:30 pm

Sullivan and JFK have island platforms, making it easier for the average commuter.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Arlington » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:04 pm

Red Wing wrote:Sullivan ... island platforms, making it easier for the average commuter.

Community College and Assembly hav island platforms too. I'm curious what combination of factors caused them to "press onward" to Sullivan, but stop short of Assembly?
Sullivan seems to have the optimal mix of:
- Bus Connections (which Assembly lacks)
- Island Platform (which they all have)
- Keep Mayor Walsh happy (his city stays 100% open)
- (ridership?)
- Sheltered by I-93 (some snow "intercepted" before it gets to the tracks & station
Last edited by Arlington on Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Gerry6309 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:27 pm

Red Wing wrote:Sullivan and JFK have island platforms, making it easier for the average commuter.

Sullivan makes good sense, as does JFK if trains must terminate there. For a disabled person, like myself, transferring from train to bus is torture.
-No Elevator to busway!
-Stairs are steep.
-Ramp is exposed.
-Most of passageway to stairs/ramp is exposed.

By comparison, Andrew is only mildly inconvenient.
+Covered busway.
+Escalator from outbound platform to busway.
+Elevators to all levels.
-Long passageway to/from trains, but
+at least it is underground.
+Stairs are less steep.

On a scale of 0-10 JFK gets a 0.
Andrew gets a 9.

Why do they use JFK when they don't have to?
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:23 am

Arlington wrote:
Red Wing wrote:Sullivan ... island platforms, making it easier for the average commuter.

Community College and Assembly hav island platforms too. I'm curious what combination of factors caused them to "press onward" to Sullivan, but stop short of Assembly?
Sullivan seems to have the optimal mix of:
- Bus Connections (which Assembly lacks)
- Island Platform (which they all have)
- Keep Mayor Walsh happy (his city stays 100% open)
- (ridership?)
- Sheltered by I-93 (some snow "intercepted" before it gets to the tracks & station


I can confirm from using Sullivan during a snowstorm that it's very well-buffered from the elements. Not just the highway 'roof' but the wind protection from the retaining walls on each side of the cut. If there's one station you absolutely 'have' to use on a morning like this, that one's better than most. You get none of that protection at Assembly where drifts are going to be a problem both off the parking lot side and off the open Mystic side. And trackside drifts are going to be a problem there too with snow piling up fast under the platform overhang. Above the level where the traction blowers are going to suck those drifts right up. So they may simply want to ration their moves through Assembly to the minimum possible for getting in/out of the yard. Or even swing wide around the station by taking a crossover onto the express track for yard moves if that's operationally feasible.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:33 am

Gerry6309 wrote:
Red Wing wrote:Sullivan and JFK have island platforms, making it easier for the average commuter.

Sullivan makes good sense, as does JFK if trains must terminate there. For a disabled person, like myself, transferring from train to bus is torture.
-No Elevator to busway!
-Stairs are steep.
-Ramp is exposed.
-Most of passageway to stairs/ramp is exposed.

By comparison, Andrew is only mildly inconvenient.
+Covered busway.
+Escalator from outbound platform to busway.
+Elevators to all levels.
-Long passageway to/from trains, but
+at least it is underground.
+Stairs are less steep.

On a scale of 0-10 JFK gets a 0.
Andrew gets a 9.

Why do they use JFK when they don't have to?


It's protected better than most from snow drifts by the I-93 and Columbia Rd. overpasses, and the east-side embankment for the nearby Morrissey Blvd. overpass. West-side entrance to the side streets is completely under 93 for walkers, and the 93 exit makes vehicular access easier than most. Since they have to keep Columbia Jct. dug out all day for Cabot access, it makes sense to stop here at the surface stop that's one of the half-dozen easier ones on the system to keep clear.
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Re: Winter Storm of January 26-27, 2015 and Impact on MBTA

Postby Red Wing » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:41 am

Is it time for the T to reassess their snow equipment needs? Sure the commuter rail is probably fine, but running trains back and forth on the subways doesn't seem to be cutting it. Other than a jet blower and and the sleds on the Green Line what do they have?
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