MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby Ron Newman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:17 pm

Cattle cars on the Green Line would be very before and after Red Sox games. Is it possible to modify a Type 7 or Type 8 in this way?
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby 3rdrail » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:50 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Cattle cars on the Green Line would be very before and after Red Sox games. Is it possible to modify a Type 7 or Type 8 in this way?


I'll bet it would void a warranty and I also think that you would never see them on surface routes due to the fact that they would be "out in the real world" with all the nuts driving autos. I have a sneaking suspicion that even if Ralph Nader himself came down with a magnifier and gave any cattle car his stamp of approval, that lawyers would have to take a deli-style number to get their lawsuits into court under the pre-text of "unsafe modification".
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby danib62 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:48 pm

I'm still not buying the standing is less safe then sitting argument. I argue when seated you are unrestrained and can easily take a header into the seat in front of you. When you're standing you are usually holding onto something which will prevent you from flying around.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby Finch » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:21 pm

I'll bet it would void a warranty

Is there any warranty left to void on the Type 8s?
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby RailBus63 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:44 pm

Are the ‘Big Reds’ or other all-standee cars any more or less safe than a standard subway car? Ever since the beginning of subway operations in the early 20th century, the rolling stock has typically been designed to accommodate far more standees than seated passengers. I find it difficult to believe that the standees in a regular 01800-series car with seats that is fully loaded would be much better off in a wreck than they would be riding in a Big Red car.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:46 pm

I don't see how standing on the red line is any less safe than this.

Image

And I cannot recall ever hearing about a serious injury on a cable car. And yes, they're out there with cars and buses and stuff. And the standees give high fives to other standees passing in the opposite direction.

People have been standing on transit for decades and decades. It's how transit works.

Have 40 people sitting and 100 standing is not any safer than having 200 standing.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:58 pm

The way I see it, the only reason people have seats is for convenience/relief and also by law for the elderly or disabled.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:21 pm

jamesinclair wrote:I don't see how standing on the red line is any less safe than this.


I can. I'll take the cable car any day in the event of a collision. The footboard riders on the 9 mph cable cars have an escape path and they are not going to be crushed by a rolling wave of 250 people - two at the most. Due to Newton's laws of motion, all three laws are going to come into play here and in the cattle car, that wave is going to be substantially greater than 250 x 120 pounds (an approximate). It is going to be enough to potentially crush people, especially the young, old, and fragile, and physically eject persons through the window glass out onto the ROW. (As an aside, the cable car has distinctive properties of energy that are different than most vehicles as it is driven by a very secure cable which is powered by a very powerful motor. As long as the body and frame holds out, that little car more than likely is going to continue on if the grip is not loosened or released from the rope. Although potentially disastrous, this may actually lower a sudden change in velocity, which kills, in an collision.) Let's see. Cattle car or cable car...hmmm. Let me know when we get to the Buena Vista !
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby Finch » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:03 pm

It seems that what Railbus63 and jamesinclair are getting at is this: When it comes down to it, how much difference would it make if you had "only" 150 people steamrolling you, rather than 200? Of course there is a difference, but if you're in a situation where this difference is demonstrated, the phrase that comes to mind is: "You've got bigger problems."

I don't mean to understate the importance of safety in the transit industry, but as mentioned above, large numbers of standees have been common in transit vehicles for generations now. And there seems to be no real limit to how tightly transit agencies are willing to pack them in. Or how willing the passengers are to pack themselves in, so they don't have to wait for the next train!
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:15 pm

Really, we can all make our assumptions and theories, but what it all comes down to is has this configuration been conscientiously and professionally tested to see if the cars are safe (or "as" safe) ? I don't think that that is too much to ask as a tax-payer and potential rider.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:59 pm

But that goes back to the former point, would the original red line cars, with seats, in sardine mode be any safer? Were they tested for crush load safety?

I think it is a lot to ask. Why spend money on consultants and tests to figure out that yes, in the event of a 55mph collision people will die.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:37 pm

jamesinclair wrote:But that goes back to the former point, would the original red line cars, with seats, in sardine mode be any safer? Were they tested for crush load safety?


You're asking the wrong person, James. I have absolutely no idea. I don't know how much plainer I can make that point.

jamesinclair wrote:I think it is a lot to ask. Why spend money on consultants and tests to figure out that yes, in the event of a 55mph collision people will die.


That's a ridiculously immature statement and makes me wonder now if I am responding to a pre-teenager's angst over losing a prototype to HO model. The fact is that engineers make these tests so as to protect people. In a Red Line crash, it makes a huge difference whether 10 or 20 people die, (particularly if they happen to be family members). If evaluation shows that even one more person would be seriously injured or die in a collision as a result of the modifications done in a cattle car, the cars should be reinstated to their original configuration.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby danib62 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:34 am

Just to play the other side. What if the testing came back and showed that the big red configuration would result in one less death on average in a collision: would you advocate ripping out the seats in all the remaining cars?
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:38 am

Nope. However, I would suggest that another evaluation needed to be done to make the seats and their environment safer as a higher degree of unrestrained mobility in a crash usually proportionately denotes a higher injury and death rate.
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Re: MBTA to remove seats from Red Line cars (Big Red)

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:37 pm

3rdrail wrote:That's a ridiculously immature statement and makes me wonder now if I am responding to a pre-teenager's angst over losing a prototype to HO model. The fact is that engineers make these tests so as to protect people. In a Red Line crash, it makes a huge difference whether 10 or 20 people die, (particularly if they happen to be family members). If evaluation shows that even one more person would be seriously injured or die in a collision as a result of the modifications done in a cattle car, the cars should be reinstated to their original configuration.


That statement is ridiculous.

So if one person more would be killed in a once every 20 years (at most) event...then we should cripple service every single day? With that kind of logic, we should shut down the entire MBTA system. Someone might die, and we wouldn't want that. I mean, exposed electric rails? Fast moving trains? It's a deathtrap.

That's the kind of stupid paranoia that leads to stop signs every 50 feet and 5mph speed restrictions all over the green line.

Here's the thing, if the red line can carry more people, and the green line is more reliable, then more people will ride them.

THAT SAVES LIVES! Transit is many, many times safer than driving, so we need to do everything to encourage people to ride the train, even if it means one person will die in a cattle car every 25 years. That's still less deaths than the same folks driving their cars every day.


On top of that, you say that if having seats is marginally safer, than they should do that. Well, even safer would be to have every seat facing backwards, and with seatbelts, high backs and padding. Why not do that then? Answer: Trains are already safe enough. The trade off is not worth it.
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