Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed Line)

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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby streetduck » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:38 pm

Would picture window 3295 EVER be a viable substitute if ever the High Speed line needed an extra PCC? Is it extremely far away from being in any kind of "passenger running" condition?
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby MBTA3247 » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:32 am

3295 hasn't moved for a quarter century, so most of the control system would need a teardown and cleaning before it could run under its own power again. Otherwise, AFAIK it's in good condition from having been stored in the subway the whole time, so the T should be able to make it operable again fairly quickly if they had a mind to.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:24 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:3295 hasn't moved for a quarter century, so most of the control system would need a teardown and cleaning before it could run under its own power again. Otherwise, AFAIK it's in good condition from having been stored in the subway the whole time, so the T should be able to make it operable again fairly quickly if they had a mind to.


'97 was the last move, correct?

It's moot for Mattapan, though. 3295 is pantograph not pole, Picture Window not Wartime, no A/C, none of the last 2 modern(ish) component rebuilds the in-house shops still know how to maintain without needing to bring a museum consultant in to oversee the rehab. It'd be appropriate for Green Line excursions if it got the requisite TLC from its 17+ year layover at Boylston, but not for regular Mattapan service.


Honestly, though...they won't be scouring for more PCC's even if they do have a total wreck on their hands (which, thankfully, this fender-bender does not appear to be). Red Line-Ashmont Branch is programmed for a power upgrade so it has more power reliability in advance of the new RL cars' arrival in 5-7 years, and that's supposed to be a two-birds-with-one-stone project bumping the juice to Mattapan to point where it can handle LRV's. The bridge weights are already up-to-spec for it, so the rest is just renewing the overhead, renewing the mainline track to the quality that keeps at least a Kinki on the rails, retiring the tighter of the Mattapan loops, and upgrading the lifts/etc. in the shed. Every stop except Valley Rd. (unmodifiable because of the steep hillside stairs) has ADA mini-highs and bridge plates for the front door. A handul of Type 7's bumped off the GL by draining the Type 9 option orders is totally fine for Mattapan the next time they need an infusion of fresh cars. They don't need to bring any low-floors or Breda comedy-of-errors over to achieve full ADA compliance.


Those Wartimes may live forever on somebody's heritage fleet (be a great acquisition by MUNI if the historic fleet gets a second regularly-operating branch and/or the F extension happens). But we all knew they weren't going last forever as a regular T fleet, if for no other reason than the staff of qualified maintainers on those vehicles has dwindled from retirements to the point where they're not going to be posting ads--with the requisite salary premium--for new shop jobs with "experience maintaining and repairing Wartime PCC trolleys" as a bullet on the qualifications. The staffing side of operating them as a regular fleet is becoming more of a hurdle for the future than the "it just works" vehicle and infrastructural side. There are limits to what's practical for them in-house. But definitely have no fear...there are no better-condition PCC's on the planet to be had on the aftermarket. Some big city with a robust, well-patronized, and well-funded heritage operation (again...looking in your direction, MUNI) will pay top dollar to keep them in daily service as a showcase daily fleet. It'll be a way higher-rent operation than Seashore and the various skunkworks non-profits that ends up taking this fleet in the end. While it may take a cross-country vacation to ride them, your ____-grandchildren will absolutely be able to ride the best representatives of Boston transit history in their full present-day glory ~27 years from now when this current Mattapan fleet celebrates its centennial year of continuous service. And that's mind-blowing enough in itself even if it doesn't happen here.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby BandA » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:04 pm

Maintaining these things indefinitely is way cheaper than buying new rolling stock, right? The only problem is the vehicles are smaller, so you need more operators (and second car operators aka farebox watchers) when there are crowds. Why can't the "T" have a heritage line?
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:37 pm

BandA wrote:Maintaining these things indefinitely is way cheaper than buying new rolling stock, right? The only problem is the vehicles are smaller, so you need more operators (and second car operators aka farebox watchers) when there are crowds. Why can't the "T" have a heritage line?


They're dirt simple and can run on much crummier track than LRV's, but it takes expertise they really don't have anymore to maintain them as a mainline fleet. For example, there's plenty of secondhand parts available to keep old PCC's running if you know where to look, but you have to have someone in-house knowledgeable enough to be able to scour the aftermarket for the right parts and also evaluate the condition of those parts. And there just aren't many of those people left at the T who know the guts of an old PCC well enough for that. This isn't a heritage operation staffed with ops that has specific expertise in running a heritage operation. The High Speed Line is a fairly substantial cog in the rapid transit network. If it needs to glom off Green Line ops for the economy of scale to keep it running, then their needs are what they are and they don't line up with keeping a specialized staff, parts, and support facilities for a de facto heritage operation. We all knew this long ago, so it's not really ripe for second-guessing. Nor should they deviate one iota of attention away from trying to pull the Green Line out of its maintenance hole. So if the Type 9 options free up a fleet of 6-8 Kinkis to go to a track-and-cat upgraded High Speed Line, so be it. Priority #1 is keeping the abandonment and--shudder--BRT rumors from popping back up again (which thankfully they have not in the last decade).


Of course, if Milton hadn't been so bullheaded about throwing up blockers so they can keep their itty-bitty intermediate stops we would've had a proper Red Line extension ages ago. And could easily mount that as the PCC replacement for quite a bit less money than every other major transit project in the city. But they don't want to give up Butler, Valley, and Capen and mash Milton + Central Ave. into a combo heavy rail intermediate stop so it's been the same impasse with the town for three-quarters of a century.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:48 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BandA wrote:Maintaining these things indefinitely is way cheaper than buying new rolling stock, right? The only problem is the vehicles are smaller, so you need more operators (and second car operators aka farebox watchers) when there are crowds. Why can't the "T" have a heritage line?


They're dirt simple and can run on much crummier track than LRV's, but it takes expertise they really don't have anymore to maintain them as a mainline fleet. For example, there's plenty of secondhand parts available to keep old PCC's running if you know where to look, but you have to have someone in-house knowledgeable enough to be able to scour the aftermarket for the right parts and also evaluate the condition of those parts. And there just aren't many of those people left at the T who know the guts of an old PCC well enough for that. This isn't a heritage operation staffed with ops that has specific expertise in running a heritage operation. The High Speed Line is a fairly substantial cog in the rapid transit network. If it needs to glom off Green Line ops for the economy of scale to keep it running, then their needs are what they are and they don't line up with keeping a specialized staff, parts, and support facilities for a de facto heritage operation. We all knew this long ago, so it's not really ripe for second-guessing. Nor should they deviate one iota of attention away from trying to pull the Green Line out of its maintenance hole. So if the Type 9 options free up a fleet of 6-8 Kinkis to go to a track-and-cat upgraded High Speed Line, so be it. Priority #1 is keeping the abandonment and--shudder--BRT rumors from popping back up again (which thankfully they have not in the last decade).


Of course, if Milton hadn't been so bullheaded about throwing up blockers so they can keep their itty-bitty intermediate stops we would've had a proper Red Line extension ages ago. And could easily mount that as the PCC replacement for quite a bit less money than every other major transit project in the city. But they don't want to give up Butler, Valley, and Capen and mash Milton + Central Ave. into a combo heavy rail intermediate stop so it's been the same impasse with the town for three-quarters of a century.

PCC cars are not dirt simple. They have a knack for running downright lousy if they aren't properly maintained. We had a period when they were running lousy, and being operated poorly. That has changed, because the shop men at Mattapan learned something about the cars, and a certain instructor retired. I have not ridden on a poor running PCC in about two years. The cars are not complex, but they can be temperamental.

The idea of running 3295 at Mattapan is a recipe for disaster! It is totally different from the Wartime Cars in every respect, different components, different control system, and as someone pointed out - no air conditioning. Where the standard Westinghouse equipment under the Wartimes is still available from European sources, many of the components used on the Picture Window car can only be sourced from Seashore, which bought them from the MBTA in the first place. Also remember that 3295 was restored by volunteers from Local 589 25 years ago, but never got some of the structural upgrades that the Wartimes got. As for the future, they could always buy back some of the cars they sold to Vintage Rail for parts to keep the wartimes going.

The people in Milton don't care a lick about Butler - its in Dorchester, and the local residents rely heavily on the cars.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby MBTA3247 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:59 pm

BandA wrote:Maintaining these things indefinitely is way cheaper than buying new rolling stock, right? The only problem is the vehicles are smaller, so you need more operators (and second car operators aka farebox watchers) when there are crowds. Why can't the "T" have a heritage line?

The High Speed Line doesn't run 2-car trains in normal service. The boost in service frequency during rush hour is sufficient to handle the crowds on the line.

***

I'm laughing at all the concerns about 3295 not having air conditioning. The High Speed Line's riders managed to get by without it just fine for decades.

***

The major issue with running Type 7s (or any articulated LRV) on the High Speed Line is trucking them to/from Riverside for any remotely heavy maintenance. Is there a route with suitable clearances for an 80' lowboy trailer between Mattapan and Rt 128?
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby Gerry6309 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:36 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
BandA wrote:Maintaining these things indefinitely is way cheaper than buying new rolling stock, right? The only problem is the vehicles are smaller, so you need more operators (and second car operators aka farebox watchers) when there are crowds. Why can't the "T" have a heritage line?

The High Speed Line doesn't run 2-car trains in normal service. The boost in service frequency during rush hour is sufficient to handle the crowds on the line.

***

I'm laughing at all the concerns about 3295 not having air conditioning. The High Speed Line's riders managed to get by without it just fine for decades.

***

The major issue with running Type 7s (or any articulated LRV) on the High Speed Line is trucking them to/from Riverside for any remotely heavy maintenance. Is there a route with suitable clearances for an 80' lowboy trailer between Mattapan and Rt 128?

The High Speed Line used to require 14 cars in peak periods - all singles running a 2 minute headway. Now its five cars - five minutes. The PCCs no longer have MU buttons or air connections on their couplers. They cannot be MUed any more. (The coupler cutouts were notorious points of failure in the door interlock circuit.)

+++

Its not just air conditioning with 3295. The car still has its original heating system - waste heat from the starting/braking resistors with auxiliary resistance heating. No blowers to recirculate warm air like the rebuilds. No extra heaters overhead - just drafts.

+++

As for Type 7 or 8 cars, try working on them on a 55 foot pit. If the maximum length of the car is on the pit there is no way for the repairman to get in or out. The carhouse faces east-west just like the prevailing winds. Silk Road Transportation would love the extra business, though!
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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: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sat Dec 06, 2014 10:16 pm

One would presume they're going to lengthen the pits if LRV's come to Mattapan, since things like that are non-optional. The whole shed will get re-equipped with whatever it needs.


As for transport from Riverside...every Boeing, Kinki, and Breda came, left, and (now with the rebuilds) came back on the property on a flatbed off Route 128 at the Grove St. exit. The Route 138 exit is a straight shot to Mattapan Yard with no overhead structures except for the new arch at the station driveway (which has generous clearance). And 128 itself has been almost entirely rebuilt on that quadrant with no remaining posted under-height bridges...because it's the primary heavy trucking route around Boston now that the Big Dig put tanker, etc. restrictions on 93. Not a problem at all to transport them. And, in fact, proximity to 128 at both ends makes them relatively painless to transport so long as they have an appropriately equipped LRV-length flatbed on-call.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby MBTA3247 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:51 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:The Route 138 exit is a straight shot to Mattapan Yard with no overhead structures except for the new arch at the station driveway (which has generous clearance).

What about the bridge over the Neponset River by the station? That has a significant hump in it that I can easily see an 80' lowboy trailer bottoming out on.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby Gerry6309 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:12 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:One would presume they're going to lengthen the pits if LRV's come to Mattapan, since things like that are non-optional. The whole shed will get re-equipped with whatever it needs.

Pit - singular

There is a switch within the shed leading to the present ramp track (dead storage). The pit is located between the switch and the end of the building - no room to lengthen it without major construction. The busway crosses right in front of the building, so the pit can't easily be lengthened in that direction.

The facility at Mattapan is inadequate for properly maintaining PCCs. I don't think it would be a good site for Type 7s or any articulated car. The line could be upgraded by buying surplus CLRVs from Toronto and rebuilding them. Handicapped access would have to be addressed at Butler, but otherwise the cars are the same size as the PCCs.

BTW Car 3087 turns 70 next spring! Not bad for a car built with wartime materials, and operated in the streets of Greater Boston.
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:51 pm

Gerry6309 wrote: As for the future, they could always buy back some of the cars they sold to Vintage Rail for parts to keep the wartimes going.


Unfortunately, those cars are now heavily vandalized ruins. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzqiYIpRItU
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Re: Trolley Running - Well, Sort of...(Mattapan High Speed L

Postby Gerry6309 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:08 pm

TomNelligan wrote:
Gerry6309 wrote: As for the future, they could always buy back some of the cars they sold to Vintage Rail for parts to keep the wartimes going.


Unfortunately, those cars are now heavily vandalized ruins. See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzqiYIpRItU

True, but the key parts are underneath, well protected.
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