Official thread of the GUEST SERIES

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

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Postby efin98 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 7:33 pm

Are there any special steps taken before winter to prepare the Blue Line for the oncoming snow storms? I noticed what looks like brushes on the front of trains under the coupler during the winter months but lacking in the summer, are those part of the preparations for the fall and winter or just normally part of the trains?
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Postby SbooX » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:42 pm

Is the T still planning to rebuild the old Blue Line cars for use on the Orange Line, or has that been scrapped as some have rumored here?

And thanks for doing this, might damn cool.
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:48 pm

Are there any special steps taken before winter to prepare the Blue Line for the oncoming snowstorms? I noticed what looks like brushes on the front of trains under the coupler during the winter months but lacking in the summer, are those part of the preparations for the fall and winter or just normally part of the trains?


Yes, every department on the MBTA has what is known as a snow plan (in fact were currently reviewing our now for this year), which is a break down of what equipment and personnel that will be available for snow storms. Every line and department has slightly different plans due to the fact there are unique situations on each line.

The brushes you are referring to are snowbrushes they hang from the bottom of the snowplow most of the fleet has snowplows install all year round primarily because of the labor to remove them is excessive and it really doesn’t hurt to leave them install all year.

Around the end of October early November we start install bronze heads on about a third of the fleet, which help to cut snow and ice from the catenary.

This is also the time of year we start our air system program which is to completely dry out the entire air system and test all the heaters on the train.

All the heat systems on the train is checked and tested as well.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:51 pm

I'll jump in with two questions...

1. You mention keeping 18 of the #4 cars through 2012. Are these for revenue service through that time, or is that for conversion to work cars and parts supply for the such?

2. I've noticed from Jonathan Belcher's NE Transit roster (http://members.aol.com/rtspcc/roster/MBTAroster.html) that it looks like only the Orange Line has any small diesel locomotives listed in its work equipment roster. From my travels to some other subway and light rail systems, I've frequently seen and read about the need for having such units on hand both for work trains and for rescuing electric equipment in case of a power failure. Does the MBTA have different equipment that could be used for such a need (such as hi-rail trucks), or is there a different plan in place for dealing with such an event?

Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions here.
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 8:55 pm

Is the T still planning to rebuild the old Blue Line cars for use on the Orange Line, or has that been scrapped as some have rumored here?


NO!!!

That plan has been scrapped the cost to rebuild convert the #4 cars to run on the Orange Line was prohibitive. There were other issues such as the car weights being different with a shorter wheelbase. #4 cars have no ATO and the Orange line have no spare units and many other differences that didn’t come to surface until the plan was give some serious considerations.
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Postby McTed » Wed Sep 15, 2004 9:17 pm

1. You mention keeping 18 of the #4 cars through 2012. Are these for revenue service through that time, or is that for conversion to work cars and parts supply for the such?


I was hoping I wouldn’t be asked this question but here goes it’s a bit of a long story so I going to give the simple short version. The reason we have to keep 18 cars is they are on a lease back program during the financing process and the lease does not run out until 2012 its also part of the reason for the rebuild and send to the Orange Line idea. The plan on how the equipment is going to be used has not really been set in stone yet, the trains have a minimum in service time they must be run to meet the lease. So we will probably run them on weekends or something like that. The remaining cars in the fleet will be scrapped and used for parts for the 18 lease back cars and spares parts for the Orange line.



2. I've noticed from Jonathan Belcher's NE Transit roster (http://members.aol.com/rtspcc/roster/MBTAroster.html) that it looks like only the Orange Line has any small diesel locomotives listed in its work equipment roster. From my travels to some other subway and light rail systems, I've frequently seen and read about the need for having such units on hand both for work trains and for rescuing electric equipment in case of a power failure. Does the MBTA have different equipment that could be used for such a need (such as hi-rail trucks), or is there a different plan in place for dealing with such an event?



The diesel locomotives are used as work trains only, they could be converted to couple to our equipment if needed. I suppose your right as to using them for a tow in emergency situations such as a power outage, but if a power outage were to occur we have bigger problems then worrying about getting the equipment off the line. The Locos could be used, as a horse to drag a train but there still is no power to open doors, lights, etc. As for what we have on the Blue Line is its known a prime mover (it looks like a short crane car) and its diesel powered and belongs to the track department.
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Postby efin98 » Wed Sep 15, 2004 10:20 pm

for the 18 Blue Line cars that are going to be kept- are they going to be chosen at random or are they going to be the "Best of what is left"?
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Postby McTed » Thu Sep 16, 2004 4:35 am

for the 18 Blue Line cars that are going to be kept- are they going to be chosen at random or are they going to be the "Best of what is left"?


The leased cars are 0600 – 0617 or the first 18 cars and these are the cars that have to remain in service. We are also progressing on a program to repair paint and the side sills (gray area below the blue paint line) once were are a little further along the entire car will be painted.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:52 am

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.

Well maybe cars 01469/70 and 01477/80 may be able to be restored to its original state, and then be used for fantrip excursions as previously discussed before, although that may take a lot of work to do, plus they may have to be rehabbed at Alstom to get the 01400 train back into any use for civillian passengers like myself.
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Postby McTed » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:23 am

Well maybe cars 01469/70 and 01477/80 may be able to be restored to its original state, and then be used for fantrip excursions as previously discussed before, although that may take a lot of work to do, plus they may have to be rehabbed at Alstom to get the 01400 train back into any use for civillian passengers like myself.

Although this sounds like a good idea, being the financial state the MBTA is in right now I don’t see it happening anytime soon if ever. It’s really not a particle idea for the MBTA to invest in considering the cost. The MBTA is in the business of moving people from one place to another, not really as tour guide for fan trips. The MBTA would have to have some kind of incentive such as a 100year anniversary celebration or something like they had in the late 1980’s when they did a quick clean-up of the #3 (I think) Blue line car.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:09 am

The MBTA is in the business of moving people from one place to another, not really as tour guide for fan trips.

Well, they should do like their sister transit system of NYCTA New York City Subway, which is in the business of being a tour guide for fan trips in addition to moving people. They have cars way older than the 01400s that they still roll around ocassionally, so I guess the only way to convince the MBTA to provide fan trips with older equipment is to have the NYCTA take over the MBTA (as new owners) here and do the same things New York does, pretty much, although there's a slim chance of ever happening too.
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Postby McTed » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:25 am

Well, they should do like their sister transit system of NYCTA New York City Subway, which is in the business of being a tour guide for fan trips in addition to moving people. They have cars way older than the 01400s that they still roll around ocassionally, so I guess the only way to convince the MBTA to provide fan trips with older equipment is to have the NYCTA take over the MBTA (as new owners) here and do the same things New York does, pretty much, although there's a slim chance of ever happening too.


Not to be a wise guy but, the transit system of NYCTA New York City Subway is not a sister or even related to the MBTA. NYCTA system has a considerably larger amount of money available to them that the MBTA doesn’t even come close. When NYCTA place an order for a new car in their fleet they order a thousand or more at a time the MBTA can only order a hundred or so. NYCTA has shops dedicated just to rebuild equipment the MBTA has nothing as such all work would have to be don’t in one of the car houses or the equipment would have to be trucked out to a contractor.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:57 am

Ok, all right now, I understand what's going on with the T, which has to do stuff in with other vendors. As I've seen New York's Subways, they can re-do cars and other stuff at Coney Island Yard or 207th Street Yard, but here, things would have to be sent to Alstom of Hornell NY, and you're right, we can only get 100 new cars and not 1000-2000, not only the T is cash strapped, but here, the system is way too small, and NYCTA is a massive transit system covering 4 out of 5 boroughs of New York.

As for the New Blue Line cars, hoepfully they'll be up and running by 2005-06, unless I'm wrong. Im looking forward to catch a ride in one of them too.......
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Postby McTed » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:03 pm

I could not have said it better myself. What I’ve been hearing is NYCTA is starting to watch their funds a little closer now themselves but they still have their size on their side. As for equipment purchases they have much more control over the car builders and basically demand what they want for equipment because of the size of the orders they place.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:45 pm

That's right, that's true about them.

Now, back on topic, I remember that one could see through the front window on 015/01600s up until mid-1987, that must have been cool to do, that is, until the MBTA decided during rehab to add another ATO box in the cars rather than leave the firemen's side window open like the 01800s. I don't know how that would affect 015/01600 operation today if the larger ATO box would not have been installed.
Last edited by Robert Paniagua on Fri Sep 17, 2004 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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