New Blue Line Cars Discussion(Now in Service)

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Re: "Next Fall" for the Blue Line cars

Postby blink55184 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:44 pm

BigRock wrote:From today's chat on Boston.com :

bps: Has there been any planning done on attempting to get the Red, Orange, and Blue lines using the same cars?

Daniel_Grabauskas: We are currently adding new cars to the Green Line as you may know. You can expect to see new Blue Line cars next fall. In fact we are getting 94 new Blue Line cars which will allow us to increase the size of the trains from 4 cars to 6 cars. Orange and Redline new cars are a number of years away at this point.


Slightly off topic, but relevant to quote-

Saw what I think was a new Green Line train go thru Kenmore outboud towards BC this afternoon- car 3837.

Was running as a test train- It was VERY shiny and had different walls inside the car- There were tall walls from behind those single seats near the door, up towards the ceiling, and I think they had new ads on them.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:27 am

So looks like the 015/1600s on the Red Line will still take passengers till hopefully next decade even though they were made 1969/70, but the O line cars will be here till 2015 or 2018, since those are ten years newer (but the same age as the o600s), being built 1979-81.
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Re: "Next Fall" for the Blue Line cars

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:05 pm

BigRock wrote:From today's chat on Boston.com :

bps: Has there been any planning done on attempting to get the Red, Orange, and Blue lines using the same cars?

Daniel_Grabauskas: We are currently adding new cars to the Green Line as you may know. You can expect to see new Blue Line cars next fall. In fact we are getting 94 new Blue Line cars which will allow us to increase the size of the trains from 4 cars to 6 cars. Orange and Redline new cars are a number of years away at this point.

Nice how his answer has nothing to do with the question.
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Re: "Next Fall" for the Blue Line cars

Postby -Garrett » Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:06 pm

BigRock wrote:From today's chat on Boston.com :

bps: Has there been any planning done on attempting to get the Red, Orange, and Blue lines using the same cars?


Why would anyone want to do that, and how would they be able to? The Blue line and orange line have tunnels that are too narrow for Red Line Cars, and the platforms for the blue line and orange line are different at heights. The orange line used to use trollies I believe, and the blue line was an old converted narrow gague. So you are talking about having to make the platforms on both lines the same height, and if you want the Red line cars to match, you would either have make the rights of way wider for the blue and orange line at certain points, or use narrower cars in the red line and build up the platforms.

Given how the T is already strapped for cash, none of the above seems to make economical sense.

Also, if you look at the design of the New Blue Line cars, they are very similar in appearance to the 1800's on the red line (but the size of the current blue line cars)

And none of those cars will ever run on the Green line, and as has been discussed already, a plan to use heavy rail on th green line has already long ago been visited and abandoned.

Anyway, this indeed has nothing to do with the (delayed) status of the newest blue line fleet
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Re: "Next Fall" for the Blue Line cars

Postby mattster » Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:16 pm

-Garrett wrote:
BigRock wrote:From today's chat on Boston.com :

bps: Has there been any planning done on attempting to get the Red, Orange, and Blue lines using the same cars?


Why would anyone want to do that, and how would they be able to? The Blue line and orange line have tunnels that are too narrow for Red Line Cars, and the platforms for the blue line and orange line are different at heights. The orange line used to use trollies I believe, and the blue line was an old converted narrow gague. So you are talking about having to make the platforms on both lines the same height, and if you want the Red line cars to match, you would either have make the rights of way wider for the blue and orange line at certain points, or use narrower cars in the red line and build up the platforms.

Given how the T is already strapped for cash, none of the above seems to make economical sense.

Also, if you look at the design of the New Blue Line cars, they are very similar in appearance to the 1800's on the red line (but the size of the current blue line cars)

And none of those cars will ever run on the Green line, and as has been discussed already, a plan to use heavy rail on th green line has already long ago been visited and abandoned.

Anyway, this indeed has nothing to do with the (delayed) status of the newest blue line fleet


I was recently discussing this concept with someone because of the length of time it will be before we even see an order placed for new Orange Line cars. It would be nice to run equipment with the same parts and body designs, but at different size specifications obviously. It's also nice that each line has its own character. It's kind of said to see that the two sister lines will soon be running different equipment. Who knows what the Orange Line will get in the next 15 years.
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Re: "Next Fall" for the Blue Line cars

Postby jamesinclair » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:18 pm

-Garrett wrote:
BigRock wrote:. The orange line used to use trollies I believe, and the blue line was an old converted narrow gague. t


I believe you have to two mixed up.
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Postby jwhite07 » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:12 am

The orange line used to use trollies I believe, and the blue line was an old converted narrow gague.


Both scenarios refer to the Blue Line, actually. The East Boston Tunnel that the Blue Line uses was originally built as a streetcar subway, and on the surface the Blue Line was built on the right-of-way of the former Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn narrow gauge line.
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Postby hynespb » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:42 am

From today's globe....

T slams delays in Blue Line upgrade
Says train maker lags on delivery of 94 cars

By Mac Daniel, Globe Staff | November 29, 2006

The MBTA's plan to replace its aging Blue Line fleet is nearly three years behind schedule because of repeated delays and problems with the first of 94 new cars, including leaking doors and smoking air-conditioning systems.

Yesterday, the T's top official sent a fiery letter to the manufacturer, Siemens Transportation Systems, demanding a firm schedule for delivery of the new cars and threatening to freeze payments on the $174 million contract.

Siemens had been seeking an $8 million payment, saying it has reached another benchmark on the contract, even though it hasn't delivered four prototypes. The MBTA has paid $47 million to Siemens in the last five years.

"It appears to me that your company is far more interested in demanding money for work you have not performed, rather than completing the job," wrote Daniel A. Grabauskas, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The letter demanded that Siemens submit a revised schedule "that it unequivocally commits to achieving." Grabauskas also said the T's general counsel has started reviewing the contract and Siemens's "record of poor performance to determine what remedies are available to the MBTA."

Oliver Hauck, president and chief executive of Siemens, said the Blue Line project has been one of the most confounding in the company's history. The firm is based in Sacramento.

"We are both justifiably frustrated over the progress, and we will do whatever we can to finish this project as much on time as it is possible," he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The 94 new Blue Line cars are slated to replace 70 existing cars that carry fewer passengers and subject them to a jarring ride. Some have leaking roofs. Most of the current cars were put into service in 1979 and 1980 and are among the oldest in the T system.

Expanding the Blue Line fleet would allow six-car trains that would ease overcrowding on the popular line. The new cars, renovations at several stations, and longer platforms to accommodate the six-car trains are part of a $750 million project to modernize the Blue Line, which carries 55,600 passengers on an average workday.

The T board approved purchase of the new cars in November 2001, with delivery of the first ones scheduled for January 2004. The T agreed to delay the date to September 2004 after a company making the cars' suspension system went out of business. Also, the upstate New York company that was starting to assemble the cars changed ownership twice during the contract, Hauck said.

"There were a number of events that were not foreseen by us, and we were not able to manage," he said. "Overall, it was a very challenging contract. We are just as unhappy as the MBTA."

Siemens wanted the Blue Line to be the cornerstone of its efforts to get other subway and rail contracts around the world.

The first four cars that Siemens will deliver in Boston are prototypes that will be tested by the T to spot defects before the rest are built.

Grabauskas said he met with Siemens officials in March and was assured of the "timely delivery of the cars." But in August, he said, Siemens changed the delivery schedule again, saying the first pair of prototype cars would be shipped in October, followed by another in November and the last in December. In October, however, Siemens revised the schedule again, for delivery of the four prototypes early next year.

T officials say they have had no choice but to go along with the delays so far.

The price of cars has remained unchanged at $174 million. With engineering, spare parts, and other services, the T estimates the total price tag to replace the Blue Line cars at $200 million.

The dispute between the T and Siemens is similar to a quarrel with another company over new trolleys for the Green Line.

The MBTA ordered 100 Breda trolleys from an Italian manufacturer in 1995, but problems emerged. After paying about $143 million of the $222 million contract, T officials halted payments in 2004 and refused to take delivery of 53 vehicles not received by then. The T finally worked out a new deal on the Breda cars in December 2005, and they are being put into service on the Green Line by January. By yesterday, 70 of 85 Breda cars had been delivered.

The standoff with Siemens is worse, Grabauskas said. "It has been perhaps the most frustrating procurement that we've engaged in a long time," he said in an interview yesterday. "This makes the Breda car fiasco look like -- " He trailed off.

"I guess the thing that upsets me most on this is that we are spending more than $200 million on this . . . and with a procurement of this size, you'd think people would be taking this seriously," Grabauskas said. "I've been yesed to death, and I'm sick of it. This is a major multinational company, and they can't seem to deliver on something as simple as a rail car."

T officials are considering waiving a host of problems with the prototypes, discovered by Siemens during early testing, just to get them delivered so the T can begin its own trial runs.

Both front and side doors in the prototype cars leaked during water-tightness tests. The seams of floor coverings didn't meet smoothly and had to be whittled down with knives, T officials said.

"It looked like a kid had done this," Grabauskas said. "This is the equivalent of having linoleum installed in your kitchen, and they can't even do that. . . . The word, in plain English, is sloppiness."

Several Blue Line passengers interviewed yesterday said they can't wait for more modern cars on a line that serves some of the poorest communities in Boston and on the North Shore.

"It's not as updated as the other ones," said 20-year-old Arielle Zair, a sophomore at the Art Institute of Boston. "The Orange Line's a little bit worse to me, but [the Blue Line] deserves new trains."

Christian Marcus, 20, of the West End agreed. "It's been like this for 10 years," he said. "If it's for people that are unfortunate, and it's public, they just leave it the way it is."

April Simpson of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Mac Daniel can be reached at mdaniel@globe.com
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Postby stevefoley » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:32 am

hynespb wrote:From today's globe....

T slams delays in Blue Line upgrade
Says train maker lags on delivery of 94 cars



Perhaps the T might learn something about buying off the shelf proven subway car designs from builders that make 1000's of these every year.
A lot of this nonsense is the fault of the T, and how it chose the supplier and design in the first place. Plenty of other subway systems around the world DON'T have the problems the T keeps having.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:42 am

stevefoley wrote:
hynespb wrote:From today's globe....

T slams delays in Blue Line upgrade
Says train maker lags on delivery of 94 cars



Perhaps the T might learn something about buying off the shelf proven subway car designs from builders that make 1000's of these every year.
A lot of this nonsense is the fault of the T, and how it chose the supplier and design in the first place. Plenty of other subway systems around the world DON'T have the problems the T keeps having.


I'm not sure there really is such a thing anymore, unless you're able to buyt he same car that NYC MTA gets.

And the Blue Line is a special creature requiring a non-standard design anyways.

I'm surprised somewhat that Siemens is having so much trouble. They've got a pretty good record in the light rail sector both in North America and Europe.
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Postby mattster » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:46 am

I knew something was up with these cars considering how little we've heard about them over the last 5 years, but I'm shocked by Grabauskas' attitude. He should be pissed, but he shouldn't be whining to the press about it. He's said a lot of things there that will bite him in the ass later I'm sure. You don't talk * about a company that is still in the process of building your subway cars. Bad move.

stevefoley wrote:Perhaps the T might learn something about buying off the shelf proven subway car designs from builders that make 1000's of these every year.
A lot of this nonsense is the fault of the T, and how it chose the supplier and design in the first place. Plenty of other subway systems around the world DON'T have the problems the T keeps having.


Exactly.
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Postby DLahey » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:05 am

octr202 wrote:
stevefoley wrote:
hynespb wrote:From today's globe....

T slams delays in Blue Line upgrade
Says train maker lags on delivery of 94 cars



Perhaps the T might learn something about buying off the shelf proven subway car designs from builders that make 1000's of these every year.
A lot of this nonsense is the fault of the T, and how it chose the supplier and design in the first place. Plenty of other subway systems around the world DON'T have the problems the T keeps having.


I'm not sure there really is such a thing anymore, unless you're able to buyt he same car that NYC MTA gets.

And the Blue Line is a special creature requiring a non-standard design anyways.

I'm surprised somewhat that Siemens is having so much trouble. They've got a pretty good record in the light rail sector both in North America and Europe.


Why can't we get what the NYC MTA has? Or rather, what is it about their maintenance program that can allow the R32 which has been in service since the early 1960's still be in service while we're fretting about replacing things built in 1980?
It seems like in Boston, every time we want to replace an MBTA vehicle, we insist that the manufacturer either re-invent the wheel to give us what we want (the Seimens issue) or we ask someone who doesn't built trains to give us someting (when Boeing made the LRV). We've had good luck with the Bombardier 01800's on the Red Line and they already make subway cars for NYC MTA (R142). Why don't we just call them up and ask them to put us down for a few more and this time, paint them blue. Sure, I know it's not that easy, but its simplicity might be the key to solving so many of the MBTA's myriad equipment problems.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:14 am

DLahey wrote:
octr202 wrote:
stevefoley wrote:
hynespb wrote:From today's globe....

T slams delays in Blue Line upgrade
Says train maker lags on delivery of 94 cars



Perhaps the T might learn something about buying off the shelf proven subway car designs from builders that make 1000's of these every year.
A lot of this nonsense is the fault of the T, and how it chose the supplier and design in the first place. Plenty of other subway systems around the world DON'T have the problems the T keeps having.


I'm not sure there really is such a thing anymore, unless you're able to buyt he same car that NYC MTA gets.

And the Blue Line is a special creature requiring a non-standard design anyways.

I'm surprised somewhat that Siemens is having so much trouble. They've got a pretty good record in the light rail sector both in North America and Europe.


Why can't we get what the NYC MTA has? Or rather, what is it about their maintenance program that can allow the R32 which has been in service since the early 1960's still be in service while we're fretting about replacing things built in 1980?
It seems like in Boston, every time we want to replace an MBTA vehicle, we insist that the manufacturer either re-invent the wheel to give us what we want (the Seimens issue) or we ask someone who doesn't built trains to give us someting (when Boeing made the LRV). We've had good luck with the Bombardier 01800's on the Red Line and they already make subway cars for NYC MTA (R142). Why don't we just call them up and ask them to put us down for a few more and this time, paint them blue. Sure, I know it's not that easy, but its simplicity might be the key to solving so many of the MBTA's myriad equipment problems.


Well, with the Blue Line, anything running on NYMTA would be too long, and not having the proper wiring and structural provisions to support a pantograph.

The Red Line could theoretically share equipment with the BMT/IND side of NYCMTA, as the BMT/IND, Red Line, and Philadelphia's Broad Street Line all share the same clearances (loading gauge). Of course, all three use different signal/control systems, so that might present electricall challenges.
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Postby StevieC48 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:20 am

On the Local News radio Station 1030Am Reported today; That the t's general manager has suspended payment to Siemans Co for failure to deliver product. the station also reports that cars are 3 years behind due to HVAC Problems, Door Leakage Problems and Other stuff they didnt get in to. From the GLOBE

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articl ... e_upgrade/
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:21 am

Don't forget, the Red Line's 015/1600s are even OLDER than the Blues, being build from 1969/70, which makes them 36.5 years of age, and therefore the oldest of the three lines. Also, thse cars could well trainline with NYCTA's B IND/BMT division sice they are the same length, which leads me to ask this question on another thread which I'm about to originate.
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