Shawmut Station

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Shawmut Station

Postby Ron Newman » Sat Jan 01, 2005 5:05 pm

What is the status of the renovations supposedly occurring at Shawmut Station on the Red Line?

I was there on New Year's Eve and it was an absolute disgrace. Water dripping from the ceiling everywhere. No sign of any real construction work that I could see.
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Shawmut Station

Postby trolleyguy » Sat Jan 01, 2005 6:44 pm

I have no idea of the status of the renovations at Shawmut Station, but on my very recent visit to Boston (on December 24, 2004), I saw South Station on both the Red and Silver Lines.

Although there has been much hoopla in the press over the recently opened Silver Line service from South Station to the South Boston piers area, what I saw in the Red Line portion of South Station was a most depressing mess - lots of unfinished work and a general sense that nobody gives a rusty damn how well the work gets done. There is an overall feeling of incompetence and poor workmanship. I live in Chicago and, although things are not perfect here, either, the CTA is in far better physical shape over-all than the MBTA is.

On the MBTA, the Red Line's trains have become really quite shabby, with flat wheels on almost every train I rode, and many of the black cushioned seats on the older cars patched with black duct tape to cover tears or knife cuts in the upholstery. Dirty walls and trash on the floors, less-than-clean windows, and badly deteriorating exterior paint jobs on many of the cars are much in evidence. The din of the roar of the trains through the subway to Harvard is almost deafening. The excessive noise is mostly due to badly corrugated track (the surface of the rails is rippled, not smooth) - and flat wheels. You have no idea how much quieter your trains would be if these two problems were attended to! Why aren't they?

There are some stations and trains on the MBTA which are cleaner and nicer-looking than those mentioned above, but on the whole, the MBTA fails to make a good impression on its riders. It is doing nothing to attract drivers from their automobiles.

By contrast, on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), within the last five years, much effort has been put into making sure that the trains are kept really clean, windows, seats and floors included. The same is true for rail grinding and wheel trueing to keep corrugated rail noise and the "bang-bang-bang" from flat wheels to a minimum. Consequently, trains are now much quieter than they used to be even a couple of years ago. The CTA's buses are also kept much cleaner than they used to be, and the new automated stop announcement system we have on our buses and trains works nearly flawlessly (I think it is based on a global-positioning satellite system which accurately determines the location of each bus). Again, this is far better than the stop announcement system I heard when riding the T.

So, judging by what I saw, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for or expecting much of any real improvements to Shawmut Station. From reading the many postings on this MBTA forum, and from my own observations, I have come to the sad conclusion that the MBTA is a disorganized and demoralized organization lacking any real leadership or motivation to provide a quality public transportation service. It does the absolute minimum it has to to "get by", and that's all. :(
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Postby njt/mnrrbuff » Sat Jan 01, 2005 7:48 pm

The MBTA could definately use some work on the Red Line, in fact everywhere especially with commuter rail. Last Tuesday when I was up in Boston, I rode one of those old red line cars. I have to say, they are not too clean. Also, the headways during rush hour are like crap. You have to like wait up to ten minutes. I don't want to be speculating. Now getting to the commuter rail side, the windows on the double decker need to be cleaned. Even many of transit's low level ones, you can see out the windows. There needs to be a little more public transit service in and around places like Needham. The Needham Line does not run on Sundays. I rode that line to the end. Many people seem to benefit from the service. At least, there is the Green Line's Riverside Branch. What would really be nice is seeing more intrastate bus service. Basically, you can't even get into Boston from Needham via transit on Sundays. You have to drive somewhere else.
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Postby jwhite07 » Sat Jan 01, 2005 9:10 pm

The good folks of Needham simply do not care to have their idyllic Sunday tranquility disturbed by such things as trains and buses. :wink:
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Postby octr202 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 2:25 pm

Trolleyguy:

I just got back from visiting Chicago, and I was quite impressed with the CTA. In five days, I rode the Blue from O'Hare to downtown, the Red from Downtown to Howard, the entire Brown and Orange Lines, and the Skokie Swift (Yellow). the trains ran frequently, were well maintained and clean, and smooth and quiet by our standards. The buses (I used mostly the Michigan Ave. buses) were also frequent and very well maintained, and quite clean.

At worst, some of the El stations seemed to be on par with the MBTA's pits -- Clark & Division on the Red Line was one. However, the new stations and renovations looked very nice. Chicago on the Red is well done.

Coming back into Logan, I was quite disappointed with the T. Even the new airport station, while looking good, seems like a lousy design -- I think adding elevators and escalators to the old airport station would have been better. Quite a contrast from the Chicago Blue Line at O'Hare.
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Postby BC Eagle » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:12 pm

octr202 wrote:Coming back into Logan, I was quite disappointed with the T. Even the new airport station, while looking good, seems like a lousy design -- I think adding elevators and escalators to the old airport station would have been better. Quite a contrast from the Chicago Blue Line at O'Hare.


I wouldn't go that far, the old airport station was an absolute pit.
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Postby octr202 » Thu Jan 06, 2005 6:23 pm

BC Eagle wrote:
octr202 wrote:Coming back into Logan, I was quite disappointed with the T. Even the new airport station, while looking good, seems like a lousy design -- I think adding elevators and escalators to the old airport station would have been better. Quite a contrast from the Chicago Blue Line at O'Hare.


I wouldn't go that far, the old airport station was an absolute pit.


Sorry -- in my mind I assumed that that would include renovating the old station inside and out, along with the elevators and escalators. All in all, I think the location and the layout of the old station were much better than the new one.
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