Green Line rollsigns showing long-gone routes

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Green Line rollsigns showing long-gone routes

Postby StefanW » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:29 am

Last night at Park Street type 7 #3689 pulled in Northbound with the destination E Arborway showing. I wish!
Boy, I got a good laugh out loud at that one.

But, it made we wonder... Since the Type 7s never ran out to the Arborway (just PCCs from what I've read on various sites) what /who determines what destinations go on a certain car's rollsign? Maybe it's possible there's also "A Watertown" on a Type 7 rollsign somewhere?
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Postby BC Eagle » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:53 am

Green Line rollsigns have been discussed pretty frequently here, so you might be able to find information about them if you look at old threads, or use the search function.

From what I remember, the E Arborway rollsign can be found on all Green Line trolleys. I know the A Watertown and M Mattapan rollsigns can be found on the Boeing LRV's, but I don't think they're on the Type 7's. Anyone feel free to correct me if these are on the Type 7's as well.
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Postby StefanW » Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:52 am

Thanks!

Yup, I did do some searching back through old posts, but I didn't find anything about the Type 7s and Arborway. I think the first Type 7s were running in 1995 (?) well after the line was closed (1985) from what I read on NETransit http://members.aol.com/netransit2/arborway/arborway.html so that made me think somebody at the MBTA had in mind restoration or Arborway service back when the cars were ordered. (At least I can dream!) :-D

In general it must be a lot cheaper to spec out the rollsigns for new cars with every possible destination than to have them changed later... before electronic boards that is. I hope I can see "Lynn" and "Salem" on the new Blue Line cars!
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:58 am

The first Type 7s entered service in late 1986!

Although there have been several versions of roll signs printed and installed on Type 7s, the original signs did indeed have A Watertown, M Ashmont, and M Mattapan among the "unusual" exposures. Can't remember if the front signs had them, but I have a photo somewhere of a side sign on a Type 7 set for the A Oak Square short-turn!

The very long, heavy sign curtains that resulted from having such a list of actual and possible destinations created problems with the motorized, automatic roll signs that first showed up on Type 7s 3650-3699. The electric eye/bar code system that was used to set all signs throughout the car to the same destination as the front sign didn't work very well, so what often happened is that the heavy signs would whir back and forth relentlessly until either the motor burned out or the sign got misaligned, caught up in the gears, and jammed or torn. That's why there are so many Type 7s out there with only two instead of four side signs, and a green panel with the T logo where the other signs should be.

Now, many of the Type 7s that still have roll signs have a much smaller list of destinations on them. Watertown is not included on these signs at all. Not sure about Ashmont or Mattapan. E Arborway, however, is definitely still there. One can hope!
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Postby jwhite07 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:10 am

In general it must be a lot cheaper to spec out the rollsigns for new cars with every possible destination than to have them changed later... before electronic boards that is.


I recall reading in a book that the Washington, DC Metro's original cars from the 1970s had rollsigns loaded up with a huge number of current, future, and even "hopeful" destinations (like Dulles Airport - they still don't go there!). WMATA used an automatic rollsign system like I described on our Type 7s, and needless to say it didn't work there either. WMATA later abandoned the "old fashioned" rollsign entirely, and installed Luminator flip-dot digital signs like those found on the MBTA's RTS buses.

I hope I can see "Lynn" and "Salem" on the new Blue Line cars!


Maybe you will, but probably not until they go there! The 0700s are going to have those annoying yellow LCD destination signs.
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Postby octr202 » Wed Dec 15, 2004 8:36 am

Maybe you will, but probably not until they go there! The 0700s are going to have those annoying yellow LCD destination signs.


Now, if we could just figure out why they insist on using those incredibly hard to read LCD signs on the rail cars, when the orange LED's seem to work so much better on the buses -- you can read those from way down the street.
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Roll Sign's and LED Signs

Postby GP40MC 1116 » Sat Dec 18, 2004 2:13 pm

I saw this the other day while on a 57 bus heading up Comm Ave. The back LED where the Rte number is supposed to be on a bus that was in front of us.. never usually works but this time it said "Exit Back Door" kept flashing. Also i noticed when i was on the Red Line later in the day how LED signs can work quite well. During the Alewife Mess during rush hour they switched the train signs over to say "Davis" as that was the last stop
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A- Oak Square LRV

Postby bingdude » Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:27 pm

When the Boeing LRVs were being delivered, one was sent on a trial run in a few cities. There is a publicity photo of one of them running on the Shaker Heights rapid line in Cleveland with the A- Watertown/Oak Square roll sign displayed. I remember seeing it in the trade magazine Traffic World. It was from '78 or so. The first ones I ever saw on the T rails had X- Instruction Car displayed.
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Postby ithjames » Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:41 pm

I know this isn't a long gone route but maybe a long gone destination. How about the E trains which still say E Heath Street - Park Street on the side rollsigns when E trains have been terminating at Lechmere and now temporarily North Station for almost 20 years now. Why didn't the T ever change those destination signs to say E Heath St - Lechmere or E Heath St - North Station. These are the Kinki Shayro, Type 7 trains that I'm refering to.
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Postby CSX Conductor » Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:44 pm

$$$$
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Postby hebron_hapt » Sun Jan 09, 2005 3:20 pm

For some reason, "real" Bostonians take immense pride in mismarking street signs, T signs, whatever. I guess the thinking goes - If you have to ask, you're an outsider. I don't understand the mindset myself (perhaps something about very strong mothers...) - it's a no-brainer to make signage correct - but alas, it still exists within the blue collar world of Boston. Part of its charm I guess...
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