longest commuter train?

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longest commuter train?

Postby NRGeep » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:18 am

As a special, my guess would be the South Station- Foxborough bound Patriots train though there may have been a Springsteen or Pink Floyd etc train that was longer? As for regular service, could it be Boston-Providence?
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby deathtopumpkins » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:35 am

Rush hour Providence trains are 8 cars. That's the longest I've ever seen, but I've never taken one of the football trains.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby TrainManTy » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:37 am

In regular service, the longest train I've heard of is 8 cars. Sometimes it's all bilevels, other times there are one or two flats. Trainsets fluctuate regularly, sometimes you'll see two of these at rush hour, other times one or none. They're used in Worcester and Providence services — the 5pm Worcester Express (express to West Natick) often had one when I used to take it home.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby jwhite07 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:06 pm

Before bilevels were introduced in the early 1990s, some South Side sets were 9 cars.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby ohalloranchris » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:19 pm

Sometimes the football extra will be as long as 12 cars, but with a loco at each end. I believe the maximum # to which a single loco can supply HEP is around 10 cars. Providence rush hour trains are generally 7 car bi-level sets, but the 5:40PM typically has an 8 car super set of bi-levels.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby NRGeep » Mon Nov 03, 2014 2:39 pm

Thanks! A bit OT...what were some of the longest B&M and NH commuter trains "back in the day?"
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Nov 03, 2014 3:17 pm

800 ft. is the default platform length in the T's construction specs, which is enough for 9 cars to open all doors. All of the full-highs on the system are that long except for the 1975-construction ones at Malden and Oak Grove that were built for Orange Line conversion, and the ones at North and South Stations pinched for track space (though SS expansion will fix those shorties). Lawrence for some reason never had platform edging installed on the last hundred feet of its full-high, even though the platform structurally is full-regulation size. A bunch of lows + mini-highs also hit an 800 ft. combined length, but it's a lot more random an assortment which ones got rounded up to that length. It won't be until they start raising platforms on the Reading and Rockport Lines, the two Concords on the Fitchburg Line, and possibly Buzzards Bay where they'll find stops that can't fit the 9-car default platform spec.

The system gets a little bit more uniform with each stop that gets overturned for ADA or full-highs, and you can easily see on which lines are highest priority for taming the ADA backlog where it's likely to round into form soonest. Definitely the Worcester Line. Providence has got a couple odd shorties with Mansfield and Canton Jct. inbound not able to open all doors on today's longest rush-hour trains; that's a high-priority fix for keeping the dwells down and staying out of Amtrak's way. Eastern Route mainline after Chelsea is rebuilt/relocated will only have Swampscott inbound-side as a regular stop with a sub-800' platform, and the Newburyport branch is already equipped for 8 cars at the three mini-high stops and 9's at the two full-highs. Fairmount's a Readville reconfiguration away from being 800' everywhere, which future-proofs any big honking Foxboro rush-hour sets and increases in off-NEC Franklin diversions for staying out of the way of the Indigo locals.


Not too many places where trains anywhere near that long are needed today, but overbuilding to that 800' spec is going to be a godsend after 20 more years of gradual rush hour traffic growth on some of these lines. 8's and 9's are legitimately going to be needed at peak. On more than just Providence.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby highgreen215 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:03 pm

In steam days, the rush hour Needham Locals were 11 cars long. Made for some great steam action when the little Pacifics worked to get the outbound trains moving upgrade on the curves out of Roslindale and Bellevue.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby Gerry6309 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:21 pm

highgreen215 wrote:In steam days, the rush hour Needham Locals were 11 cars long. Made for some great steam action when the little Pacifics worked to get the outbound trains moving upgrade on the curves out of Roslindale and Bellevue.

In my days at Northeastern there was an inbound train which would be made up from 3 separate outbounds. There would be two GP-9s, about 14 mismatched coaches and one or two Budd cars bringing up the rear. It usually had mostly P-70s with a few American Flyers and shoreliners thrown in. Sometimes one GP-9 would be in the middle of the consist, and the P-70s would be a mix of PC Green and PRR Tuscan Red. We uses to make bets on what would be in the train.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:32 pm

Metro North runs several 12 car trains during rush hour.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:54 pm

Are those P32ac-dm + flats consists, or are those EMU consists?

Also, GO transit routinely runs 10-12 bilevel consists pulled by a single MP40.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby chrisf » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:17 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Metro North runs several 12 car trains during rush hour.

All the way to Boston? :-D
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:20 pm

Gerry6309 wrote:In my days at Northeastern there was an inbound train which would be made up from 3 separate outbounds. There would be two GP-9s, about 14 mismatched coaches and one or two Budd cars bringing up the rear. It usually had mostly P-70s with a few American Flyers and shoreliners thrown in.


I remember that too, but for the benefit of those who don't we should point out that it was basically an equipment move. In the NH/PC/CR era there was no layover facility at Needham Heights and nothing was kept there overnight, so at the end of the rush hour three empty sets would be coupled together at Needham Junction and run back to Boston. The mass equipment move happened in reverse prior to the morning rush hour.

I remember six-car rush hour RDC trains on the B&M in the late 1960s (on the Western Route to Reading, then the terminal for most trains) and I seem to recall that up to eight RDCs had been used on some rush hour runs in earlier days.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby deathtopumpkins » Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:02 pm

DutchRailnut wrote:Metro North runs several 12 car trains during rush hour.


This is the MBTA forum.
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Re: longest commuter train?

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:01 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:
DutchRailnut wrote:Metro North runs several 12 car trains during rush hour.


This is the MBTA forum.


It is nice to know how other commuter railroads operate...information for all, thanks Dutch. As for the South Side set question, as of now, there are (3) 8 car sets in use...2 of them solid K/R cars, the other one with 2 flats behind the locomotive. Other than that, varies between as little as 5 cars to 6 and 7 car sets. There were 37 sets in use South Side last I looked at the lineup. The Boston section football train varies depending on what set is available in Boston. 2 weeks ago it was 12 cars, various flats and doubles with F40's at each end
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