Official thread of the GUEST SERIES

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

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Official thread of the GUEST SERIES

Postby CS » Sun Sep 12, 2004 12:41 am

I am pleased to announce that we will hold our 2nd installment of the MBTA forum's Guest Series! But it actually isn't a guest series at all.

Confused yet?

While it is a guest series at heart, this person is no guest to the forum. In fact this forum regular happens to have a job at the MBTA - Orient Heights Superintendent! Edward McAuley who is the superintedent of the Orient Heights Carhouse (Blue Line) will be our guest - but forum regulars know him as another name which will be revealed when the guest series begins. The series will go from Wednesday through Friday.

There are only two rules we ask for:

1. Absolutely no flaming.

2. Mr. McAuley is only here to answer questions about vehicle maintanence or anything else related to that. He has some knowledge of other subway operations (except the green line) as he worked on them also. He will not answer questions dealing with his opinion on MBTA policies.

See you Wednesday at the 2nd Guest series with the Orient Heights Carhouse Superintendent - and MBTA forum regular!
Last edited by CS on Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby McTed » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:46 pm

I been reading your forum for quite sometime and comment now and then. I do not have the time to keep up with every single thread and often miss something, which I may be able to answer. I would like to help when I can with equipment incidents or questions when it seems appropriate within reason. I do not have all the answers. I’m obviously pro-MBTA but I try my best to remain neutral and simply answer in a strictly informational way. As you may have noticed I’m not interested in getting into debating the MBTA and its policies or actions. I’m not going to get into the blame game or make up a million excuses I just want to make myself available to you if you have a question. I believe most on you in this forum have good intentions and simply a bit of curiosity at heart. Your site also seems very sincere and your intentions do not seem to be a kind of Anti-MBTA or MBTA bashing like some of the other sites that I believe although somewhat misguided have some good intensions.

My intension is simple I enjoy being a Rail Fan myself I been one for over 20yrs. People often question why I know so much detail well now you know. I would like to help in any way I can. Your welcome to forward questions that you can not seem to get answered you may have and I’ll do my best to research to get the best answer I can for you. Please be patient if I do not respond quickly enough sometimes it takes a little time to research the answer. Rest assured that I often forward complaints I read to others I know whom may be responsible for the issues on the MBTA. (A small reminder I'm not the MBTA Complaint department.)

Not to bore you with my entire resume but as a brief summary my background is 100% equipment maintenance I’ve worked on all 3 Heavy rail (Blue, Red, Orange,) lines over the past 20years. I worked on all heavy rail vehicles (Red 14,15, 16, 17, very little 1800’s) (Orange #12 car small amount of 1100 series) and (Blue #4 car small amount of the #3 car and of coarse we can’t forget being involved with the New #5 car) I started out as an automotive mechanic, went to school became a licensed aircraft mechanic but because of the air controller strike in the 80’s took a job with the MBTA. I started out as a Rail Repairer (Train Mechanic) became a foreman and for the past 5 yrs I been an executive. (Yes! that’s right Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. LOL) I try to ride the subway whenever I can to experience what the commuters’ do and often ride the Green line and Commuter rail. But that’s about all I know about the transportation side. Sorry no Green line or Commuter rail experience but I have a few friends over there that often answer a question for me.

Best regards

Ted (McTed)

Edward J. McAuley
Superintendent
Blue Line Maintenance

Orient Heights Carhouse
1069 Bennington St
East Boston, MA 02128
emcauley@mbta.com
McTed@lycos.com
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Postby Ron Newman » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:12 pm

What is the schedule for reconstruction of Orient Heights, Maverick, State, and Government Center stations?

Why does the Blue Line switch from third rail to catenery?
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:11 am

Welcome, Ted! Glad to have you here.

Do you know when the #5 cars will begin to show up?

Also, due to the change in truck suppliers (Kawasaki instead of Buckeye, I believe), I had heard that the #5 trucks may be an outboard bearing/sideframe design instead of the seemingly preferred inboard bearing like all other current MBTA subway cars have. Is this true? Is maintenance easier with one design as opposed to the other?
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Postby jrc520 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:12 am

Welcome! I'll have you know that the Blue Line is my second favorite, next to the green line.

Well, I really only have two questions for you, the first of which is: When can we expect to see the new #5 East Boston Cars in service/being tested?

The second of which is: Before they redo Maverick, is there any way to see the old part, and/or retrieve reminders of the past(I collect old streetcar stuff, mostly spikes from old lines, pieces of rail from time to time, etc.)? I'd at least love to see it in there(I know this isn't exactly where you do work in, but I figure you would know who would know:) (

Thanks.
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:47 am

What is the schedule for reconstruction of Orient Heights, Maverick, State, and Government Center stations?

I’m an equipment person and don’t really know a lot about station construction but here’s my understanding.
Maverick Station has started but is still only in the early stages and you will not see much until they get further along.

There was a problem with the Government center Plan and they need to revisit the design.

I have not seen or heard anything in regards to Orient heights, and State.

Why does the Blue Line switch from third rail to catenery?


Originally before the blue line extension from Maverick to Wonderland the Blue line was all Third rail. Due to neighborhood safety concerns at the time the catenery was the choice for the extension. From a maintenance point of view either one is not a problem but the fact we change over in the middle of the line is where our concerns lie. Regardless of the time of year any sudden temperature changes will often cause lock down problems increasing our failures in service.

Do you know when the #5 cars will begin to show up?

Also, due to the change in truck suppliers (Kawasaki instead of Buckeye, I believe), I had heard that the #5 trucks may be an outboard bearing/side frame design instead of the seemingly preferred inboard bearing like all other current MBTA subway cars have. Is this true? Is maintenance easier with one design as opposed to the other?


The last published date for the pilot pair was suppose to be November 15, 2004 but my understanding is that’s been delay due to truck design problems. Officially the date probably will not be changed until the published date expires.

You are correct, Kawasaki is the truck manufacture, the #5 truck will be a fabricated instead of a cast like on the #4 car and will have an inboard bearing. The outboard bearings are used on the Green line #8 car because of the low floor design.

Outboard bearings are much more labor intensive and not necessary on a heavy rail vehicle because low floor is not an issue.





Before they redo Maverick, is there any way to see the old part, and/or retrieve reminders of the past(I collect old streetcar stuff, mostly spikes from old lines, pieces of rail from time to time, etc.)? I'd at least love to see it in there (I know this isn't exactly where you do work in, but I figure you would know who would know:)


That’s a tough question your right I really have nothing to do with Maverick construction, and certainly do not have any authority to give tours. In fact I’ve never seen it myself, I can’t make you any promises but I’ll have to make a couple of inquires and see what can be done if anything. Please don’t get your hopes up it’s a real long short if its possible at all. Generally for Safety, Insurance, and Security the first response would be No.
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Postby efin98 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:16 am

Is the Blue Line going to change over third rail power to overhead catenary power at Airport again or is it going to still be done at Maverick?

Has there been any talk about abandoning the change of power in favor of a catenary-only system or a thirld rail system to take advantage of the improvements in third rail technology?
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:03 pm

I'm not Ted, of course, but I did notice a couple of weeks ago a Blue Line train heading outbound without first raising its pantographs at Maverick. I don't ride out there often enough to say if the changeover at Airport instead of Maverick is once again becoming commonplace, but it did happen once recently!

And thank you, Ted, for your answers to my questions!
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 3:10 pm

Is the Blue Line going to change over third rail power to overhead catenary power at Airport again or is it going to still be done at Maverick?


I'm not Ted, of course, but I did notice a couple of weeks ago a Blue Line train heading outbound without first raising its pantographs at Maverick. I don't ride out there often enough to say if the changeover at Airport instead of Maverick is once again becoming commonplace, but it did happen once recently!


The power change over is going to be done at Airport during the construction at Maverick.

A few weeks ago due to the demolition of the old airport station they were changing over at airport.

Has there been any talk about abandoning the change of power in favor of a catenary-only system or a third rail system to take advantage of the improvements in third rail technology?

Every time my mileage numbers are low due to pantograph failures I know I talk about it (LOL) as well as many others, but the cost is so prohibitive I do not believe it would ever happen. We can always hope.
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Postby CS » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:10 pm

As you said, you've done work on all heavy rail lines in the last twenty years.
Have you done work on the red line with the 01400's? And if you did, were you around when the were retired? If so, I would like to know what condition were they in. Were they in really bad shape or were they okay? It's been sort of a "debate".
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Postby efin98 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:54 pm

Are the new Blue Line cars going to be numbered the 0700s in keeping with their predecessors(the 0600s and 0500s)? Also are they going to be put through a more thorough exam than previous car series were put through or is the MBTA going to conduct their examination of them at the same level as others have gone through?
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Postby StevieC48 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:02 pm

Welcome Ted, When all the #5 EBT cars arrive,would you be keeping a handfull of #4 EBT around untill everething is accepted to the Property. Or for work cars etc. Also the work train 0575 that dosent look like its going to see much more of service, what is the disposttion of the car going to might it be headed to a trolley museum
Farewell old friend thanks for the memories.
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 5:39 pm

As you said, you've done work on all heavy rail lines in the last twenty years.
Have you done work on the red line with the 01400's? And if you did, were you around when the were retired? If so, I would like to know what condition were they in. Were they in really bad shape or were they okay? It's been sort of a "debate".


I’ve worked in Cabot carhouse (Red Line) at 2 different times in my career 1st was around 1989 for about 2 years. At that time I was a foreman and responsible to keep the 1400’s running and repair them for service. From maintenance perspective they were a nightmare to keep running constantly having wiring problems, wires without any way to read the wire numbers because the numbers were worn off. Coming for a primarily technical background it was difficult to troubleshoot and they became mostly hit or miss guesswork. (Changing parts until the problem goes away and hope you fixed it) As you may remember they went through a rebuild somewhere in the early 1980’s so the bodies were in to bad of shape. I left Cabot and went back to the Orient Heights (Blue Line) around 1990-91 the 1800’s had not arrived yet on the Red line so I was not involved with the stripping of the 1400’s. Finally at least in IMHO the Red line could not get rid of the 1400’s fast enough.


Are the new Blue Line cars going to be numbered the 0700s in keeping with their predecessors (the 0600s and 0500s)? Also are they going to be put through a more thorough exam than previous car series were put through or is the MBTA going to conduct their examination of them at the same level as others have gone through?

Yes 0700-01 will be the first pair. All equipment at the MBTA is required to go through what is known a New Car Acceptance Program. (Testing of all systems and a break-in or burn-in period for safety and performance.

Welcome Ted, when all the #5 EBT cars arrive, would you be keeping a handful of #4 EBT around until everything is accepted to the Property. Or for work cars etc. Also the work train 0575 that doesn’t look like its going to see much more of service, what is the disposition of the car going to might it be headed to a trolley museum

At this point the plan is to keep 18 #4 cars, which we will keep operational until around 2012.

0575 work car is beyond anything we would do to keep it for service and its my understanding the museum is working on a deal to acquire it.
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:28 pm

Let me come up for seconds if I may...

Is there any particular reason that each car in a married pair has a different type of pantograph?
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 6:54 pm

Is there any particular reason that each car in a married pair has a different type of pantograph?


I was not working on the Blue Line at the time, but I believe it was a partial trial to test the new style Pantograph Schesron (spelling?) (Double arm upper mast) performance against the (OEM) Ringsdorf (single arm upper mast). There was also a cost issue at the time they did not want to commit the entire fleet to an unproven product. That was also about the time the Blue Line went to the graphic carbon sled instead of the OEM bronze heads. We still like to use the bronze heads for the winter to break up ice and snow but there is now way to install a bronze head on an Schesron (Spelling?) pantograph.
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