Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby BandA » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:27 am

If they are serious about DMU of the fairmont line, why not run catanery & use EMU that are in-production. I would think that would be cheaper than full custom DMU.

Shouldn't they focus on weekday service? Where is the money for increased subsidies coming from?
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby Cosmo » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:07 pm

BandA wrote:If they are serious about DMU of the fairmont line, why not run catanery & use EMU that are in-production. I would think that would be cheaper than full custom DMU.


WHAT??
You can't seriously think that stringing an entire catenary system AND purchasing EMUs would be cheaper than purchasing DMUs... can you?
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:29 pm

BandA wrote:If they are serious about DMU of the fairmont line, why not run catanery & use EMU that are in-production. I would think that would be cheaper than full custom DMU.

Shouldn't they focus on weekday service? Where is the money for increased subsidies coming from?


They should focus on weekday service. I mean...tap-dancing around that isn't making the riding public any less cynical.


RE: DMU vs. EMU...electrification takes a long time to EIS and engineer. And community input about construction and the visual clutter is always harder than it needs to be. So even on a very short line like Fairmount that only needs 1 switching station of its own at the midpoint spanning Southampton and the existing switching station at Readville...it's not trivial or a fast process. Especially since they currently have no electric-servicing facility of their own and Amtrak has to fulfill the line item in its NEC Infrastructure Master Plan to boost the substation capacity at Southampton for its own needs (I would assume state contributions for the electrical would be for commuter rail future-proofing).


It doesn't have to pre-empt the DMU purchase because if you were to electrify you'd just shift the DMU's to another one of the candidate lines. Let's face it...at what their insincerity is buying us I doubt the 2 northside DMU lines are at all a realer possibility of happening than Fairmount getting the full 15 minute headways. So you wire up Fairmount. If the northside Indigo rollout isn't finished...finish it and shift the Fairmount contingent out there. To Salem or Peabody or something instead of that hella lame Lynn short-turn. Open up Reading to high-frequency Indigo service and punt thru Haverhill trains permanently to the NH Main. Open up Waltham/128 to Indigo by finally doing that 128 station on the Fitchburg Line and bringing back Clematis Brook and/or Beaver Brook as intermediates. The northside isn't going to get a lick of electrification unless/until the N-S Rail Link forces the issue. And we'll be replacing these first-gen DMU's with second-gen (or later) by the time the Link has its earliest chance at opening. Until then, Fairmount and Worcester are the only 2 viable electrification candidates with the frequencies to justify. South Coast wires is the stupidest idea ever. Old Colony frequencies have the three-branchline problem. Franklin's very likely going to have the 2-branchline problem. The only electrification Needham will ever get is 600V DC third rail and 600V DC overhead from it being swallowed whole off the commuter rail by separate Orange and Green Line extensions...and not a penny should be spent on any other wires except that. So there's no shortage of places whatsoever for the DMU's to run if they ultimately get yanked off Fairmount and the Riverside route by benificial change-overs to electric. In fact, adopting DMU's now shouldn't cause any pause in the eventual long-term expansion of southside electrification. Even if the DMU's don't make 10 years of Fairmount service before the wires get switched on and they move elsewhere, it'll still have been worth it. If and only if they serve real Indigo frequencies from the get-go.


The only thing you lose with EMU's is that they're probably not going to have the same optimized interior configuration because smaller pool fleet wouldn't allow as much room for specialty differentiation. They'll be bi-level just like what NJT's buying for its Arrow replacements, and probably will have the slightly inferior commuter rail door configuration and seating. At least initially. It's not going to be great scale to buy separate fleets...they'll want a consistent pool for Providence, RIDOT South County commuter rail, Worcester, and the Indigos. And they're not going to square that by ordering a 100% fleet in the single-level DMU seating configuration because then you'd need to run 12 cars to get to Providence and Worcester at rush. So there's probably a tradeoff involved. But the acceleration difference on EMU is so much better than DMU nobody will care. Real minutes bleed off the Indigo schedule, wheras on either push-pull diesel or DMU it's not going to be any faster on the clock than the current schedule + Blue Hill Ave. Probably handily beats the D line in from 128, which for critical-mass purposes really gives the Riverside Indigo flank some juice. Ultimately, service makes the difference and EMU's contribute a bigger chunk towards aggregate service quality than anything with an internal combustion engine. They can buy differentiate to commuter/495-configured and Indigo/128-configured EMU's when the electrification network expands enough to start differentiating the pool. Get the N-S Link front-burnered and that consideration becomes eminently viable.

That shouldn't give anyone pause about pursuing electrification. It's still better, and you have to picture the initial investment as one small part of building something grand so hesitation about relative frills is counterproductive.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:12 pm

So today the T announced the return of weekend service to Plymouth, sort of. For the next 2 weeks there will be 2 daily round trips, leaving Boston at 8 and 10:20, and leaving Plymouth at 1:30 and 4:20.

I guess that's better than nothing?

It seems like they're marketing this towards tourists visiting Plymouth, but I wonder how many people won't realize the station isn't even within walking distance of downtown? There isn't even any mention of a shuttle.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/docum ... hTrain.pdf
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:29 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:So today the T announced the return of weekend service to Plymouth, sort of. For the next 2 weeks there will be 2 daily round trips, leaving Boston at 8 and 10:20, and leaving Plymouth at 1:30 and 4:20.

I guess that's better than nothing?

It seems like they're marketing this towards tourists visiting Plymouth, but I wonder how many people won't realize the station isn't even within walking distance of downtown? There isn't even any mention of a shuttle.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/docum ... hTrain.pdf


There's 2 regular GATRA bus routes from Cordage Park to downtown, so it's accessible. Not real frequent, though...every hour on the hour. T generally doesn't publicize out-of-district buses that well. Also not sure GATRA has migrated fully over to Charlie Card yet.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby The EGE » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:10 pm

Fairmount weekend schedule (permalink) is available. 17 trains each direction, one hour headways.

While weekday service is still abysmal, it's a small step in the right direction. No other line had one-hour weekend headways, and the clock-facing schedule helps a lot.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby The EGE » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:52 pm

Today was the first weekend service on the Fairmount Line since 1987, and tomorrow will be the first Sunday service on the line since at least 1944 (none of the southside lines operated Sunday service during 1979-1987).

Fitchburg weekend service is back for the winter, and Plymouth/Kingston, Greenbush, and Needham service returns in December. That means service to everywhere but Stoughton on Saturdays, and everywhere but Needham and Stoughton on Sundays. That's the most weekend service during the MBTA era, and probably at least as far back as the late 50s.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:25 pm

weekend Fairmount line #'s resembled weeday mid day riders...terrible. We'll see how long this lasts
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby The EGE » Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:23 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:weekend Fairmount line #'s resembled weeday mid day riders...terrible. We'll see how long this lasts


Unsurprising; they're not going to get better until headways are near those of the local buses.

The December 27th schedules are out. Needham Saturday schedule is every two hours clock-facing; Greenbush and Plymouth are every 1-3 hours at odd intervals. All trains go to Kingston; three in each direction reverse and continue to Plymouth.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby atlantis » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:43 am

There is an error on the online Needham Saturday schedule. It says "Inbound to Boston" on both columns and shows no outbound Saturday service.
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Re: Weekend Service Restoration on the South Side Discussion

Postby chrisf » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:19 pm

atlantis wrote:There is an error on the online Needham Saturday schedule. It says "Inbound to Boston" on both columns and shows no outbound Saturday service.

Also, all the weekday trains get their schedules padded by 1-5 minutes. I guess that's one way for Keolis to save money on lateness penalties.
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