Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby Arlington » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:12 pm

Maybe the plan was to see where water puddled and then drill drains there....but I doubt it. I suspect, instead, that somebody wrongly thought that platforms were like office floors--prized for the level and flatness :-(
"Trying to solve congestion by making roadways wider is like trying to solve obesity by buying bigger pants."--Charles Marohn
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:14 pm

Here's a brief write-up and photo gallery of the ribbon cutting ceremony today as well as a station tour. All descriptions are ABOVE the photos.

Getting off the orange line at Assembly, I saw that MBTA GM Beverly Scott was also on the train, a few cars back. She got off with a bunch of MBTA management.

While they were upstairs greeting people, I decided to take a few photos of the station. The station doesn't appear anywhere near finished. I suspect that they rushed to open it because someone may be up for reelection.

Here's one of the new station signs. These are in the middle of the platform. The entire station is a center platform.

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The new orange line map. Only this station has this new map, last updated July 2014. None of the other stations or the orange line cars have Assembly as a stop on their maps.

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Some background history on the area

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I looked over and saw a train arriving, so I snapped this shot. This is a southbound train. I am looking northward here.

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There are two buildings, one north, one south. The southern exit/entrance building is not open yet. I am looking southward here.

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Looking at the exit into the building, there's some exposed sheetrock at the top. This exposed sheetrock is also seen at the bench shelters on the platform.

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Looking southward down the length of the northbound platform, there's an eerie lack of station signs, just empty sign holders where the signs should be.

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Looking northward at the end of the northbound platform. There is a railfan cupola that's part of the lobby. I will show you the view from that later.

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A northbound train arrives at the signless station. There is still a speed restriction programmed in the ATO, so all trains arrive at a crawl.

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Heading up the stairs, here's a view of the sleek new charlie gates.

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Last edited by diburning on Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:20 pm

Here's a sign inside the station. It has a new spider map and a new area map.

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Onto the festivities. I took a spot at the media tent, and waited for the ceremony to begin.

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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick arrives with his State Trooper bodyguard.

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Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone gives an opening speech.

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Governor Deval Patrick gives a speech.

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Congressman Michael Capuano gives a speech.

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(I'm sorry, I forget her name. She was speaking on behalf of two state representatives who could not be here today)

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:24 pm

MassDOT General Manager Richard Davey gives a speech.

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(This guy is a comedian)

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Richard Davey pointing out that we would not be standing here today, and that train would not be stopping here at this station today, without the hard work of everyone involved.

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MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott gives a speech.

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(I forget who this is. I believe he is a representative of Federal Realty Investment Trust.)

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:30 pm

Chahlie

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Don Briggs, President of the Boston division of Federal Realty Investment Trust. He points out that this is the first MBTA station ever built without the MBTA having to spend a single penny.

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Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone gives a closing speech

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The ribbon cutting ceremony.

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It is then announced that the politicians, managers, and VIPs would take the orange line back to work today. Joseph Curtatone will ride into the city of Boston with his family for the afternoon. While they were doing a press conference, I went up into the station to get more photos.

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Here is the view looking northward from the station building.

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Here is the view looking southward from the station building.

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:35 pm

Remember that railfan cupola? Here is the view from that looking south.

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Here is the view looking north.

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This is what the cupola looks like from the lobby. There is a bench in it. The cupola is before the fare gates, so no payment is necessary to get here.

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The signs on the outside of the building, and a select few of the interior signs have the new "blob" design.

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Here is a shot of people about the exit through the new charlie gates.

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Notice that the new gates have orange charlie card targets, and orange ticket slots.

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Not only do these new fare gates look different, they sound different as well. Here is a short video of people using the gates. Instead of the loud BEEP of the other fare gates in the system, these make a noise that I would describe as a soft ping. The sound scheme almost sounds European.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-umouvpb10
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby diburning » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:38 pm

By this time, the press conference was finished, and everyone was making their way towards the platform. Here is Richard Davey passing through the fare gates.

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Followed by Don Briggs and Beverly Scott.

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Governor Deval Patrick, with Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone behind him.

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They held a southbound train at the platform for them. The people on the train were in for a pleasant surprise. They boarded, followed by a swarm of media.

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Beverly Scott decided to beat the crowd and board behind me two doors down.

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I was unable to get any more photos as the train had been too crowded, and I was on the opposite end of the car.

And, that's it! I hope you enjoyed the photos!
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby MACTRAXX » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:58 am

DB: Good pictures and photo tour of the new Assembly Square station on the Orange Line...
The MBTA, state and local politicians have reason to be proud of this improvement...

Those turnstile gates remind me of what NJT has installed in the Secaucus Junction station to transfer between
Hoboken and Newark District rail lines there and they seem better then the other turnstile gate type used for
the Charlie system...These gates are less obtrusive and less likely to be damaged by fare evaders or vandalism...

Noting Charlie himself attending the ceremony: I guess riders took up a collection,paid his exit fare and got him out
to attend this event...In the original 60s era song which line or station were the song lyrics referring to?

I am not a fan of "exit fares" and one of the last large holdouts using the "pay exit" type-SEPTA's Suburban Division
routes running from the 69th Street Terminal (Delaware County,PA) has converted to the "pay enter" system used
by the rest of SEPTA in just this past week...If these fare mentions belong in the Charlie Card section I will defer...

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:58 am

Nice work!

I will have to check it out sometime in the near future.
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:14 am

diburning wrote:MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott gives a speech.

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Couldn't they have gotten poor Bev a box to stand on?
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby Gerry6309 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:23 am

I've been in Maine for a while, so thank you for the pictures. The station still looks like the middle of nowhere, but at least it is not a concrete monolith like many of the more recent stations. Suggestion to MBTA: Install an Umbrella Vending Machine.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

The next stop is Washington. Change for Forest Hills Trains on the Winter St. Platform, and Everett Trains on the Summer St. Platform. This is an Ashmont train, change for Braintree at Columbia.
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby novitiate » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:29 am

Haven't been to the new station yet, but I notice from the photos that the new signs (even the non-"blobby" ones) seem to have ditched the Inbound/Outbound designation- I guess this is the new MBTA standard for signage?
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby boblothrope » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:34 pm

diburning wrote:The new orange line map. Only this station has this new map, last updated July 2014. None of the other stations or the orange line cars have Assembly as a stop on their maps.


Fortunately the April 2014 edition in most stations shows Assembly, with the note "opening Fall 2014".
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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby MACTRAXX » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:16 am

novitiate wrote:Haven't been to the new station yet, but I notice from the photos that the new signs (even the non-"blobby" ones) seem to have ditched the Inbound/Outbound designation- I guess this is the new MBTA standard for signage?


NV: Good that you pointed that out - We had a long drawn-out conversation on the use of the terms "Inbound" and
"Outbound" in the past and in the case of transit lines running point to point through Downtown Boston - The Orange
and Red Lines being the prime examples - using those terms can be very confusing and even though compass directions
would be preferable - north and south for the Orange Line - the best way is to just note the line terminals and add the
text "Via Downtown" or "Downtown Boston and (line terminal)" for the direction of trains serving the city center...

The terms "Inbound" and "Outbound" make the most sense for stub-end lines that terminate in a city's downtown core
and in Boston only the Blue Line along with most of the Commuter Rail lines are these terms actually correct...

The two Commuter Rail lines that I would not use "Inbound" and "Outbound" to describe their service is the NEC
line to Providence and Wickford Junction and the Worcester Line serving large population centers on both ends
but that should be a discussion for another time in another thread - to stay on topic...

In Assembly Square's case I noted that the MBTA kept unchanged their use of helvetica lettering and the color
line coding on this station's signs unchanged - The MBTA has used this signage for 47 years and counting (1967)
and it has been successful from the beginning...no need for any major change there - why tamper with it?

One more question about Assembly Square's signs: Are they still made of porcelain enamel?
If they are taken care of and not damaged or chipped they can last practically forever...

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Re: Assembly Square Orange Line Station Discussion

Postby ns3010 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:16 pm

diburning wrote:Not only do these new fare gates look different, they sound different as well. Here is a short video of people using the gates. Instead of the loud BEEP of the other fare gates in the system, these make a noise that I would describe as a soft ping. The sound scheme almost sounds European.


The reason they sound European is because they are. They are from a German company, and are a modified version of faregates used in Europe.



Not much real visible progress at Assembly, but the countdown clocks have been activated. (They weren't functional when I was there last week, but were today). The automatic "The next train to _______ arrives in five minutes" announcements work, but the approaching/arriving announcements were not working today.
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