North Side CR

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

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North Side CR

Postby Porter Sq » Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:46 pm

Why does the NS seem to get the butts end of the equpiment compared to the SS. I know we won't get the Bi-levels up here for some time. I've been riding the Lowell line 4 days a week for the last month and i've only rode in a recently rehabed pullman car with the new purple seats once. Are they planning to rehab the rest of the fleet?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:08 pm

Yes, they should rehab the BOM cars too, along with some of the Merchermittz coaches, those are up for rebuilding also, even though a handful of MBBs were rehabbed for the Old Colony inaugural trips.
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Postby Diverging Route » Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:43 pm

It's unlikely the bilevels will come to the north side, unless there is a major shift in commuting patterns. It's simply a matter of needing the capacity on the south side, that has the heaviest ridership. For example, try riding trains 815 or 817 outbound on the Providence line. These trains have five or six bilevels plus one or two singles -- and are standing room only from Ruggles to Sharon.

There are about 20 200-series cars on the north side. The fact that you haven't seen many of the consists that use them on your trains is a matter of coincidence. As trainsets are rotated, I'm sure you'll get them.

But if you ride during rush hour, you'll wish for the older equipment. The 200-series cars have wider aisles in order to be ADA compatible, and so the seats are narrower (both the two- and three-seat sides). Smart riders go to "first class," the MBB cars, which have 2x2 seating and are much more comfortable during rush hour.

The full roster is available on the NETransit site.
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200 series

Postby Porter Sq » Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:30 pm

I did catch a 200 series today on the way home from Boston.I find the MBB cars seats to be too stiff and uncomfortable.I try to sit on the 3 side in the first seat so I can streach my legs out and relax. FY01 ridership stats show that Lowell 4th Newburyport 5th and Haverhil 6th highest ridership on the system.That should justify some rotation of the bi levels on the NS.Other than Old Colony(because of auto doors) lines do all SS trains run Bi-levels?
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Postby Diverging Route » Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:42 pm

All of the lines on the south shore run bilevels, except for the Readville Shuttle. However, some Franklin trains with bilevels run on the Fairmount branch.

If you look at total ridership, the south side lines all have heavier ridership, demanding the bilevels.
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Postby trigonalmayhem » Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:48 pm

speaking of which
where CAN we look at ridership numbers?

Postby CSX Conductor » Thu Sep 30, 2004 8:46 am

Aclly Diverging Route, they do run bi-levels during off-peak hours on the Readville Shuttle often. :wink:
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Postby Diverging Route » Thu Sep 30, 2004 9:32 am

Thanks for that correction, CSX.

There were bilevels on the north side some years ago when the platforms at North Station were shortened due to Big Dig construction work. I was on a few Lowell Line trains that had three bilevels and one single, since only four-car trains could platform at that time. The conductors weren't happy!!
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Postby CRail » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:34 pm

The north side has more riders, you can tell just by being observant. I have yet to board a train on the north side which isnt full. Also, all of the packed rush hour trains have pullmans and merchermits, the regular ones are the ones have the kawasakis. According to the management, the south side has more service but in reality the north side is far busier.
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Postby Diverging Route » Thu Sep 30, 2004 1:59 pm

According to the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization's Regional Transporation Plan (2004),, Table H-1, Base Year 2000 commuter rail daily ridership was:

North - 46,900
South - 83,500
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Postby trainhq » Thu Sep 30, 2004 2:12 pm

I think the Lowell line could probably use them; it seems pretty full at
rush hour. Not sure about the rest; don't remember the Fitchburg line
trains being SRO when I rode them in at rush hour. I think the T would like to be able to need them on more than one line.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Sep 30, 2004 3:36 pm

When comparing those numbers, remember there are 5 North Side lines but 8 South Side ones.
Last edited by Ron Newman on Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby trigonalmayhem » Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:00 pm

Even so, that still leaves over 10,000 riders per line on the south side compared to less than 10,000 riders per line on the north side.

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Thu Sep 30, 2004 7:36 pm

how long are the commuter train on off rush hour times? the south side is 6 cars a train off peak hours and 7-8 on peak hour trains
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Postby Diverging Route » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:44 am

The MBTA Web site shows CR ridership by line. You'll see that the three busiest lines are on the south side (Providence, Worcester, Franklin in that order).

On a related note, I recall seeing somewhere that Mansfield is the station that has the highest daily boarding of any station outside Boston.
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