New Boarding Procedures Discussion

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

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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby ck4049 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:52 pm

At Back Bay today, the "gentleman" in the next car vestibule had opened the door and stepped out when the train was going at about 15 MPH! The guy stumbled and nearly fell on his face. It doesnt end there, the man behind me stepped in front of me and opened the door on the 644 and stepped out when the train was still moving, only the train was going a little slower this time. What FOOLS! :P
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby octr202 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:12 pm

At the downtown terminals, the only long term solution to self-opening doors I can likely see is to activate the power doors so that the crew can open all doors on arrival. I can't see any crew being able to tell a fully loaded rush hour train that they can only exit out a handful of doors, or that they have to wait while the crew walks the whole train before they can get off. Either that or there will be a lot of arrests during the first few weeks...
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby Hoopyfrood » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:17 pm

Well I have been told that at NS and SS you can simply debark at all doors because it's a terminal station and the train isn't going anywhere (probably due to the fact that it's going to be re-crewed before it does). As for Back Bay, where the platforms aren't at door level, I suspect some major hostility next Monday if they do indeed make a show of force. I also want to be a bird on a tree in S. Acton Monday as they have had multiple problems there with 408 in the morning...
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:46 pm

The following is from the Delaware Valley Rail Passenger newsletter. Note that SEPTA negotiated a compromise with the FRA (bolding/ital mine). Perhaps MBCR can do the same?

Door Policy Will Slow Off-Peak Service
Though it might have been worse, SEPTA operating and management personnel are grumbling about a
new mandate from the Federal Railroad Administration regarding train doors. In the interest of preventing
accidents, the FRA is trying to get all passenger rail systems to close all the doors of their trains before
starting to move. That certainly will reduce accidents involving people trying to board or get off a moving
train, but if enforced to the letter, it could bring SEPTA nearly to a standstill. Silverliner doors all cover only
the top part of the doorway. They do not cover the traps, the part where the steps are. Thus in order to close
the side door, you must also close the trap door. Since most of SEPTA’s stations are low-platform, that
means opening the door, opening the trap, closing the trap, and closing the door at every station. Time spent
working the traps and the doors would often be longer than the time spent getting passengers on and off the
train. It would also eat into the time conductors and assistant conductors have to do other necessary tasks
like checking tickets and ensuring the safety of passengers on board.
Fortunately, FRA was open to a compromise. For now, the door closing requirement will only be applied
to trains on which the number of crew members (including the engineer) equals the number of cars in
service. That way, there will be one conductor or assistant conductor for every pair of traps that has to be
opened and closed. Trains with fewer crew members, including most peak trains, will be exempt from the
requirement
.
All two-car trains will have to comply. The new procedures took effect April 1. To expedite
detraining at station stops, crew members will be permitted to open the doors while the train is coming to a
stop at the platform.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby ck4049 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:11 am

[quote="Hoopyfrood"]Well I have been told that at NS and SS you can simply debark at all doors because it's a terminal station and the train isn't going anywhere (probably due to the fact that it's going to be re-crewed before it does).

Well, I usually see people jumping off the train when it is still at 10 MPH in this case. I think MBCR crews should lock the doors and then when the train is stopped, they unlock them. This business of people opening the doors and traps, especially when the train is still moving, is very unsafe and needs to stop before people kill themselves.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby GP40MC 1116 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:21 am

Locking any door is regarded as a absolute no! In case of emergency doors are primary ways of access to exit and for emergency personnel to enter. In todays world, a situation like this would never be presented as a smart initiative to solve this issue.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby ags » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:41 am

WARNING: strong words ahead! I'm opinionated and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with what I have to say. This is from the passenger's point of view, having made observations on dozens of occasions.

I sometimes think that the crew (and maybe I'm being too judgmental, but it is known to happen!) is lazy when it comes to opening doors. Sure they have a lot to do, but for crew-members at Back Bay on a rush hour train heading inbound to only open three doors (not pairs of doors) for 5 double-decker passenger cars IS lazy when the doors are fully-functional. Heading outbound the same happens at suburban stations, taking several minutes for passengers to disembark at their destination. Rather than walking outside the train to open additional doors, the crew-member opens a single door and waits outside that door until it's time to close that door and leave.

This system works when both passengers and crew cooperate. I am in FULL SUPPORT of passengers opening their own doors and traps when the crew intentionally does not open fully-functional doors/traps on a fully-loaded train, when their reason for not opening the doors is because they do not want to make the effort. 5-10 minute unloading times are absolutely unacceptable.

The MBCR crew is unionized and justifiably would not want their job security jeopardized if a passenger could open a door and trap without hurting themselves. It happens all the time! It may be against their rules, but sometimes I question whether the rules are really there for passenger safety and convenience.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby octr202 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:45 am

Diverging Route wrote:The following is from the Delaware Valley Rail Passenger newsletter. Note that SEPTA negotiated a compromise with the FRA (bolding/ital mine). Perhaps MBCR can do the same?

Door Policy Will Slow Off-Peak Service
To expedite
detraining at station stops, crew members will be permitted to open the doors while the train is coming to a
stop at the platform.


That's the most common sense interpretation of any of the new procedures I've seen yet! As long as crews can be opening/closing the doors that they are at while approaching or departing stops there's hope that this won't slow things down too much. Perhaps someone at MBCR will talk to SEPTA about this...

The ultimate answer is still the power doors. Keeps people from routinely opening them at every stop, in an emergency they (at least should, I've never been on the T's power door cars) have a release on them.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby CRail » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:00 pm

octr202 wrote:an emergency they (at least should, I've never been on the T's power door cars) have a release on them.


The red handle above the door (looks like an emergency brake valve) is the door release.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:12 pm

ags wrote:WARNING: strong words ahead! I'm opinionated and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with what I have to say. This is from the passenger's point of view, having made observations on dozens of occasions.

I sometimes think that the crew (and maybe I'm being too judgmental, but it is known to happen!) is lazy when it comes to opening doors. Sure they have a lot to do, but for crew-members at Back Bay on a rush hour train heading inbound to only open three doors (not pairs of doors) for 5 double-decker passenger cars IS lazy when the doors are fully-functional. Heading outbound the same happens at suburban stations, taking several minutes for passengers to disembark at their destination. Rather than walking outside the train to open additional doors, the crew-member opens a single door and waits outside that door until it's time to close that door and leave.

This system works when both passengers and crew cooperate. I am in FULL SUPPORT of passengers opening their own doors and traps when the crew intentionally does not open fully-functional doors/traps on a fully-loaded train, when their reason for not opening the doors is because they do not want to make the effort. 5-10 minute unloading times are absolutely unacceptable.

The MBCR crew is unionized and justifiably would not want their job security jeopardized if a passenger could open a door and trap without hurting themselves. It happens all the time! It may be against their rules, but sometimes I question whether the rules are really there for passenger safety and convenience.


Unfortunately you are not really part of the general make up of the riding public. You are educated on how some of the railroad works if you read these forums. Most passengers don't care how they get off the train or when. Just as long as they can be first out of the parking lot. This leads to bad things happening. These rules are being put in place due to a large number of people getting hurt at doors/traps/steps that are not manned. Believe it or not the majority of injury's to conductors are either door or trap related, and think about that, conductors are trained to use these over and over again.

I just need to point a few things. It always has been forbidden to open and close doors from the ground. With these news rules in place, the company and the FRA will be observing train crews to make sure these new rules are being followed. So any crews that had walked back to close doors from the ground in the past will no longer be able to on Monday. That the conductor will be held responsible for all doors being closed when moving, either by MBCR or the FRA. Forget the Union, they have NOTHING to do with these new procedures.

Now a personal experience at rush hour. I work on the North Side where people generally do not operate their own doors. But when you pull in a station they flood the vestibule leaving you NO room to operate the traps. Sometimes instead of fighting and dancing with bodies in the vestibule I only open one trap, which in the end is faster because by the time I get the second trap open everyone is off at my two cars.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby ck4049 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:34 pm

[quote="GP40MC 1116"]Locking any door is regarded as a absolute no! In case of emergency (hose doors are ways of access to exit and for emergency personnel to enter.. I highly doubt the the MBTA or MBCR would allow such a thing to occur.[/quThis has happened before when I saw the conductor locking the exterior doors after everyone boarded. When we got to the last stop, at least four passengers couldnt get through that door, so I know it wasnt stuck. :wink:
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby GP40MC 1116 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:11 pm

I would like to provide some technical insight to the questions surrounding where this new rule came to light and how it has the possibility to effect ALL commuter railroads in the United States.

Info cited from FRA: http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/safety ... erview.pdf

General Passenger Safety Task Force
"This task force began work on February 13, 2007. The task force continues work on passenger train door securement, “second train in station,” trespasser incidents, and system safety-based solutions by developing a regulatory approach to system safety. The task force has created two task groups to focus on these issues. The Door Safety Task Group has reached consensus on 47 out of 48 safety issues regarding passenger train door mechanical and operational requirements, and plans to present draft regulatory language to the General Passenger Safety Task Force at the next meeting. The System Safety Task Group has produced draft regulatory language for a System Safety Rule and plans to present its recommendation to the General Passenger Safety Task Force at the next meeting."

With an inter agency agreement in place, employees of the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety and the US DOT's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center has been collaborating to develop draft regulatory language. If things continue to succeed, the draft regulation will be come rule, enforceable by the FRA under the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 Chapter II.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:57 pm

Any interesting reports out there from outbound rush hours this week? Is this being enforced? Communicated? Any arrests :wink:

I expect to be on the 815 (5:00pm) to Mansfield next Monday for a look-see.
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby ck4049 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:01 pm

Im a regular south side rider and I usually see people opening their own doors and the conductors dont do anything. :(
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Re: New Boarding Procedures Discussion

Postby octr202 » Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:07 pm

On the Haverhill line you wouldn't know anything's different except for the automated incomprehensible announcements at North Station.
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