New Schedules

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New Schedules

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:52 am

The MBTA has posted new schedules for the Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, Needham, and Newburyport/Rockport lines, effective December 27th.

Took a look at the Rockburyport schedule, and the only changes I can see are a renumbering, and lengthening of most running times (more Rockport than Newburyport trains were lengthened). Additionally all L stops were changed to normal stops, and weekend Newburyport trains were shifted 5 minutes later and lengthened by several minute, and there is now an 11:45 Newburyport outbound straight from North Station, rather than a connection to the earlier Rockport train in Beverly, however, the 10:35 from Newburyport now runs express (!?) stopping only at Salem and Beverly.

I guess that's one way to improve Keolis's on time performance!

Honestly, I was very excited when I saw new schedules, hoping there would be some sort of increase, especially on the weekends, but I'm very disappointed.
Last edited by deathtopumpkins on Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Schedules

Postby nomis » Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:49 pm

The new 176-177 is just using the crew & equipment of the dinky shuttle. Though I have taken the 98 inbound, and seen the less than a dozen people on-board various times, I sure will miss it when I have later evenings in Hamilton & can't leave a venue around 9pm.
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Re: New Schedules

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:01 pm

From what I heard amongst fellow crews, Needham had some time added to their schedules as well...I don't know which trains, haven't taken a look at any schedules yet
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Re: New Schedules

Postby chrisf » Wed Dec 17, 2014 9:07 pm

MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:From what I heard amongst fellow crews, Needham had some time added to their schedules as well...I don't know which trains, haven't taken a look at any schedules yet

The Needham trains range from about 1-5 minutes slower.
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Re: New Schedules

Postby Rbts Stn » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:31 am

chrisf wrote:
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote:From what I heard amongst fellow crews, Needham had some time added to their schedules as well...I don't know which trains, haven't taken a look at any schedules yet

The Needham trains range from about 1-5 minutes slower.


They also delayed the formerly 5:20PM out of South Station by a few minutes. I understand extending the trip times to match actuals, but not the initial departure time when the equipment is already there, unless this reduces crowding at the exits of the terminal
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Re: New Schedules

Postby NH2060 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:21 am

nomis wrote:The new 176-177 is just using the crew & equipment of the dinky shuttle. Though I have taken the 98 inbound, and seen the less than a dozen people on-board various times, I sure will miss it when I have later evenings in Hamilton & can't leave a venue around 9pm.

It sure looks like an enormous inconvenience if the last train SB is 90 minutes earlier in the evening. Even if no one rides it at least it's there. I don't see how turning it into an express will make that much of a difference.
deathtopumpkins wrote:Honestly, I was very excited when I saw new schedules, hoping there would be some sort of increase, especially on the weekends, but I'm very disappointed.

How much more service could they realistically add at this point? I doubt there's enough equipment to go around for adding more than a run here and there when service levels quiet down. Perhaps if more Newburyport and Rockport runs were truncated to Beverly -where they'd connect with trains to/from Boston- then more service to both points could be added by simply having the "shuttles" ping back and forth; the line from Beverly east to just beyond the drawbridge @ Gloucester is double tracked so there's flexibility there.

And is there much demand for extra service for Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and the outer reaches of Newburyport/Rockport? Greenbush didn't draw the number of riders it was expected to, Kingston/Plymouth doesn't exactly hit any dense population centers, and a good enough number of Eastern Route trains have only 2 or so cars (out of 5-7) open. The BON-Beverly segment OTOH could be more of a candidate for additional frequencies, particularly during rush hour. One could say that the Boston-Lynn-Salem-Beverly area is it's own little megalopolis with its population density.

I think a 1:00am departure(s) out of North Station on Sat. and Sun. mornings would be a welcome addition to the timetable. Back when I used to take the train into Boston from the North Shore it got annoying to have to be @ BON by 11:15 to go home. I can't imagine how anyone using the Newburyport trains could stand it since their last train would leave even before then.
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Re: New Schedules

Postby deathtopumpkins » Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:33 am

How much more service could they realistically add at this point? I doubt there's enough equipment to go around for adding more than a run here and there when service levels quiet down.


Plenty. Weekend service runs once every THREE HOURS. And most of the equipment sits in Newburyport all weekend not being used, so you can't use a lack of equipment as an excuse.

And is there much demand for extra service from Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and the outer reaches of Newburyport/Rockport? Greenbush didn't draw the number of riders it was expected to, Kingston/Plymouth doesn't exactly hit any dense population centers, and a good enough number of Eastern Route trains have only 2 or so cars (out of 5-7) open. The BON-Beverly segment OTOH could be more of a candidate for additional frequencies, particularly during rush hour. One could say that the Boston-Lynn-Salem-Beverly area is it's own little megalopolis with its population density.

I think a 1:00am departure(s) out of North Station on Sat. and Sun. mornings would be a welcome addition to the timetable. Back when I used to take the train into Boston from the North Shore it got annoying to have to be @ BON by 11:15 to go home. I can't imagine how anyone using the Newburyport trains could stand it since their last train would leave even before then.


I use the Newburyport trains, and you're right, I can't stand it!

I don't know about the other lines, as I only occasionally ride them, but I'd say there's definitely demand for more frequent off peak service on the Eastern Route. You are correct that they usually only open two cars on the weekends, but I've ridden plenty of trains where every seat in those two cars is filled and there are people standing. Especially when the weather's nice and there are a bunch of bikes.

And yes, a late night outbound would be nice. It's crazy that the T now runs until almost 3 am in the city on weekends, but you still can't get out of the city after 10:15 pm. The subway runs more than 4 hours later! Doesn't the T realize a train in the 1-2 am time frame would surely be well-patronized by people who go into the city for nightlife, and currently end up driving home, likely drunk? I know I would sure appreciate not having to rely on crashing at a friend's place because I can't go home (though it's a moot point since I'm trying to move back into the city anyway).
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Re: New Schedules

Postby octr202 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:33 am

Sad as it is, it's kind of in line with the other lines. On the northside weekends, you have:

Lowell - 8 round trips to Lowell, no short turns
Rockport - 7 round trips
Fitchburg - 6 r/t to Fitchburg plus two Littleton short turns
Haverhill - 6 r/t
Newburyport - 6 r/t

Six trains each way is apparently the base standard - only Lowell, Rockport and inner Fitchburg get more service. (Although I suppose Haverhill itself technically has 11 weekend r/ts if you count Amtrak.) When I do ride the Haverhill line on the weekends (rarely since I can access free parking on weekends in town) it always amazes me how many people still ride despite high fares and infrequent service. Tellingly, my experience is that ridership is heavily concentrated north of Reading, as at least on Saturdays the parallel buses provide more frequent and cheaper service.

And don't get me started on weekend trains where only two cars are open and space is tight. Shoehorning people in is a great way to further dissuade the occasional rider. We all are aware that at times there are reasons for it (i.e., if it's a conductor working the train alone), but it really ticks off the general public if they see a 6-7 car train where all the riders are packed tight into 1-2 cars. Especially if they're trying to deal with luggage or seat a family together.
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Re: New Schedules

Postby Gerry6309 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:36 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but the late night service is being sponsored by downtown businesses, at least for the time being. The North Side effectively operates five trains on the weekend, two on the Eastern and one each to Fitchburg, Lowell and Haverhill. Adding weekend service on the south side is simply restoring service cut earlier. There was no increase elsewhere to offset the cuts, so they could be reinstated without any loss elsewhere. Adding one train to the north side on the weekend would require an offsetting cut in weekday service, due to the MBTA's funding system. Until the MBTA is given a means of implementing increases without corresponding cuts, we have to live with what we get.
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