Physical track connections between rapid transit lines?

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Physical track connections between rapid transit lines?

Postby FeeBear » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:27 am

Hey Railfans,

I have a Newbie question. While riding the orange line through Wellington Station I saw what to me looked like a Blue line car. That got me thinking how did it get there? So I ask all of you Masters of Rail and knowledge, I think I know some of the answers I am asking but I rather be sure than assume I am right.

1) Where is the interconnect for the trains? I am assuming that the Orange and Red would have connection to the Dorchester Yards. Red line would simply pull off to the side tracks when leaving JFK/Umass. Orange must have have a tunnel access to the Dot Yard via an underground tunnel as it is pulling towards chinatown (I am assuming). But HOw would the blue interconnect?

2) Visually to me the Red line cars look wider than the Orange and the Orange looks bigger than the blue. I am assuming the track are the same, can could they be interchange if needed ( know that the Blue has over head power lines but I believe they have the ability to use 3rd rail right?

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Postby e-m00 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:11 am

Those are a pair of the new Blue Line cars that are gradually coming into service. They start at Wellington and conduct their testing from there because all the cars have to travel 500 test miles before they can carry passengers. I'm not sure where the lines connect, but that's why they're there. Once they're done with testing at Wellington and going through the carhouse there they head to the Orient Heights yard and then enter service when ready.
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Re: MBTA track interconnects?

Postby tober » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:15 am

FeeBear wrote:Hey Railfans,

I have a Newbie question. While riding the orange line through Wellington Station I saw what to me looked like a Blue line car. That got me thinking how did it get there? So I ask all of you Masters of Rail and knowledge, I think I know some of the answers I am asking but I rather be sure than assume I am right.

1) Where is the interconnect for the trains? I am assuming that the Orange and Red would have connection to the Dorchester Yards. Red line would simply pull off to the side tracks when leaving JFK/Umass. Orange must have have a tunnel access to the Dot Yard via an underground tunnel as it is pulling towards chinatown (I am assuming). But HOw would the blue interconnect?

2) Visually to me the Red line cars look wider than the Orange and the Orange looks bigger than the blue. I am assuming the track are the same, can could they be interchange if needed ( know that the Blue has over head power lines but I believe they have the ability to use 3rd rail right?

Fee


Actually, there is no connection between the orange line and blue line - but you probably did see blue line cars at Wellington - specifically new not-yet-accepted 0700-series Siemens blue line cars. They are first brought to Wellington for testing (because there is a test track there which can be used without disturbing revenue service) and once accepted they are taken to Orient Heights by truck. With respect to your other question - yes, red line cars are indeed wider than blue and orange line cars and wouldn't be anywhere near able to make the clearances on those lines. Blue line cars are shorter than orange line cars but otherwise have similar dimensions. Blue line cars can almost run on the orange line, although to do so in revenue service would require changing the floor height, probably removing pantographs and other equipment from the roofs of the blue line cars, and adding ATC/ATO (Automatic Train Control/Operation - which is used on the OL but not the BL) controls to the blue line cars.
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Postby sery2831 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:36 am

The new Blue Line cars at Wellington are the first cars from the factory to come to Boston. They do not put the mileage on the cars there. They only are for prototype testing.

The last rapid transit connection to the outside world is by Wellington. The Green Line used to have one at Riverside but I believe they removed that connection to make a test track for the Type 8s. The Blue Line used to have one between Airport and Wood Island. All cars are now trucked now over the road to get to the various lines.

If you want some details about the cars then I recommend this site :-)
http://members.aol.com/rtspcc/roster/MBTAroster.html
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Postby Ron Newman » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:35 pm

There's no track connection at Braintree or in the Red Line yard near South Boston? I'm surprised.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:43 pm

No, there isn't. Instead, they place a temporary removable track between the FRA and FTA style tracks to get railcar deliveries in. They also do it in Washington DC's WMATA system.
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Postby dbperry » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:14 pm

sery2831 wrote:The Green Line used to have one at Riverside but I believe they removed that connection to make a test track for the Type 8s.


The connection between the green line and the Boston & Albany (CSX / MBTA Worcester - Framingham line) is intact as of yesterday, at least at the end of the 'test track' that intersects with the B&A. I don't know what exists at the other end (Riversdie terminal end) of the 'test track', but the rail connection at the B&A switch is still there and is only protected by a derail (and a chain link fence gate just before the catenary starts on the test track).

There used to be a pile of ballast and railroad ties on top of the test track, near where the chain link gate is, but they removed that debris a few(?) years back when they were using the 'test track' to store CSX MOW equipment during some work on the B&A. Perhaps there is a more permanent barricade or rail disconnection system at the Riverside terminal end of the 'test track'. Is the test track still in service for green line cars?

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Postby sery2831 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:25 pm

I wasn't sure if the switch was removed or not. But I bet they used that connection last summer to bring all the MBCR track machines in to do the work during the shut down.

I am curious to the status of the test track myself...
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Postby Veristek » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:32 pm

sery2831 wrote:I wasn't sure if the switch was removed or not. But I bet they used that connection last summer to bring all the MBCR track machines in to do the work during the shut down.

I am curious to the status of the test track myself...


Someone put up a photo of a F40PH a few dozen yards away from a green line hub with running green line trains. The photo was taken when there was some flooding of some sort of CR equipment, I believe?
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Postby sery2831 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:39 pm

That was the great of flood of '97 that shut down the Green Line through Kenmore. They ran shuttles from Riverside to South Station with CR equipment. I was fortunate to ride from South Station to Riverside when this happened.
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Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:54 pm

The only intact connection between any of the rapid transit lines is a switch between the Mattapan high-speed trolley line and the Red Line at Ashmont. There used to be one between the Blue Line and Red Line that went over the Longfellow Bridge, but that was removed when Orient Heights opened in 1952
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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:27 pm

The Red Line 01700's were delivered in 1987-88 on rail via a porta-connection with with the CR tracks.

Today only the Red-Mattapan connector at Codman is "active", although a PCC hasn't hitched a ride on the back of a Red Line car since the old yard at Harvard was still active (more convenient place to hitch a trolley up to a trailer for transfers to the Green Line than Mattapan yard is). It would be possible, though, to haul one to Cabot if they ever wanted to do the air conditioner installs there. Riverside CR-Green connector is fully intact, but has to be superficially blocked with fences and chained ties because of FRA regulations.

As mentioned, in the past Blue Line cars were daily moved to the Red Line prior to the 1952 extension because pre-Orient Heights there wasn't enough storage space in the subway for more than the day's active contingent...so the rest were stored at Harvard and serviced in the Eliot shops. There was also an extremely roundabout Green Line-Orange Line connection in the Charlestown El days when the GL had northbound branches to Charlestown off of North Station Under. Sullivan yard had a trolley incline from street level to move shared trolley/rapid-transit work equipment, so it was theoretically possible to get a trolley onto the El from the Central Subway via one of those North Station branches. Also, until the TT-stitution of the 71 in 1958 (and a few years after when the tracks were still used for non-revenue runs) you could go from Watertown Carhouse on the Green Line directly to Eliot Shops and the yard on the Red Line, attach a PCC onto the back of a Red Line car, haul it to Codman, and send it down the Red-Mattapan connector on a three-line/all-rail/light-to-heavy-to-light rail equipment exchange...which actually happened fairly routinely because Watertown and Eliot were busy trolley repair shops.
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Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:07 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:he only intact connection between any of the rapid transit lines is a switch between the Mattapan high-speed trolley line and the Red Line at Ashmont.


It hasn't been used in close to 40 years. They used to maintain Mattapan cars at Eliot or before that Bennett St. There was a special adapter coupler to link the streetcars to the CD cars. Such moves were common from about 1955 to 1965
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Postby dbperry » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:18 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: Riverside CR-Green connector is fully intact, but has to be superficially blocked with fences and chained ties because of FRA regulations.


Given the recent Canton incident, I'm really surprised there isn't a split switch derail in place at this location. Granted it would take a lot to get from the commuter rail to a light rail track that carries revenue service passenger carrying green line trains......

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Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:41 pm

dbperry wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote: Riverside CR-Green connector is fully intact, but has to be superficially blocked with fences and chained ties because of FRA regulations.


Given the recent Canton incident, I'm really surprised there isn't a split switch derail in place at this location. Granted it would take a lot to get from the commuter rail to a light rail track that carries revenue service passenger carrying green line trains......

Dave


The connector is almost 1/4 mile long, so it would take a hell of an unprecedented mishap on multiple levels for an out-of-control loco to land in the light rail yard. It's so improbable that it's virtually impossible. A train could basically coast to a stop well before the yard by cutting power if the CR switch were ever in the wrong position and it landed on the connector track. Actually, the fences and chained ties are unnecessary in practical terms so long as the switches are securely locked, but FRA regs are extremely strict about that.

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