MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

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MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby elecuyer » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:48 pm

This is not really an April Fools joke, but something I've been pondering.

With April 26th coming up as "free ride" day, could it be possible to ride all of the Commuter Rail mileage in a single day? (The answer is, no.)

However, one could ride all the Northside or Southside lines. For example, I worked out a schedule that would start in Worcester at 4:45am and complete all of the Southside lines (including Plymouth and Kingston, and the Fairmont branch on a Frankin turn) and get you back to Worcester at 11:00pm. I started to do a Northside schedule, but didn't finish it - getting the Wildcat branch into the loop is tricky, as is doing Newburyport/Rockport on one turn.

The second question is would anyone be crazy enough to do it?
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby diburning » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:37 pm

I've looked into it, and saw that the scheduling made it impossible if starting at South Station. That train that stops at both Kingston and Plymouth sits at both terminus stations for a while before heading back inbound.

I've tried (and failed) to do the rapid transit tour. I'm not sure if it's doable, but I tried a few years back and didn't make it. Perhaps it's possible now with service running later on Fridays.
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby The EGE » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:36 pm

The 26th is also a Sunday...
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:56 pm

The free fare day is the 24th, not the 26th.
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby Bramdeisroberts » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:07 pm

elecuyer wrote:This is not really an April Fools joke, but something I've been pondering.

With April 26th coming up as "free ride" day, could it be possible to ride all of the Commuter Rail mileage in a single day? (The answer is, no.)

However, one could ride all the Northside or Southside lines. For example, I worked out a schedule that would start in Worcester at 4:45am and complete all of the Southside lines (including Plymouth and Kingston, and the Fairmont branch on a Frankin turn) and get you back to Worcester at 11:00pm. I started to do a Northside schedule, but didn't finish it - getting the Wildcat branch into the loop is tricky, as is doing Newburyport/Rockport on one turn.

The second question is would anyone be crazy enough to do it?


I work a highly unusual schedule, don't tempt me into doing the northside equivalent of something like this!
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby The EGE » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:15 am

Oh, it is the Friday? Huh. That's tempting.
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby elecuyer » Thu Apr 02, 2015 8:37 am

Two corrections:
1. As others have pointed out, the Free Ride day is Friday, April 24th.

2. When I plotted my route, I forgot to circle back to cover the Greenbush line. Now, I'm not sure it is possible to do all the southside lines in one day. Edit: It *may* be possible to do, *IF* you start at South Station on the 4:00am train to Franklin, this gets you back to South Station by 6:15, covers the Fairmount line (both ways) and you can catch the 6:35am train to Middleboro, (xfer at Braintree for) Plymouth, and Kingston.
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:23 am

Everyone:

This MBTA Commuter Rail challenge looks interesting - the Free Ride Day would be the day to try this...

I agree that the South Station routes would be the larger challenge and it would be tough to attempt to try riding lines on both sides
on a single day and to me covering these routes in daylight hours would make this a even bigger challenge...

I would like to see how this gets plotted out - posting a suggested itinerary would be helpful...

Am I correct that if you have a Zone 8 Commuter Rail pass is that you can ride any line at any time without any zone charges?
If so - and the pass holder has the extra time - riding the various routes could be covered at will...

The one drawback is that the trains on the Free Ride Day could be more crowded then normal depending on how many extra riders use the
system on that day...and could cause delays that may become a problem with close connections between trains or short turnarounds...

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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby MBTA3247 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:25 am

MACTRAXX wrote:Am I correct that if you have a Zone 8 Commuter Rail pass is that you can ride any line at any time without any zone charges?
If so - and the pass holder has the extra time - riding the various routes could be covered at will...

Passes have no restrictions by line, only on how far down each line you can ride. A Zone 8 pass will let you ride almost anywhere whenever you want, with the exception of TF Green and Wickford Junction (which require Zone 9 and Zone 10 passes, respectively).
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby MACTRAXX » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:33 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote:Am I correct that if you have a Zone 8 Commuter Rail pass is that you can ride any line at any time without any zone charges?
If so - and the pass holder has the extra time - riding the various routes could be covered at will...

Passes have no restrictions by line, only on how far down each line you can ride. A Zone 8 pass will let you ride almost anywhere whenever you want, with the exception of TF Green and Wickford Junction (which require Zone 9 and Zone 10 passes, respectively).


3247: Thanks for the quick reply - I forgot about the two new Rhode Island zones...

I am currently in Philadelphia using SEPTA - they sell a system wide ANYWHERE pass - Monthly for $191 and Weekly (Monday to Sunday) for $53
This pass variation is good on any line at any time with no restrictions...

A Zone 8 MBTA pass would ALMOST get you anywhere...With a lower zone pass do you pay a zone increment or a full fare between the zone your pass reads
and the one you want to travel to? SEPTA charges a full flat "Intermediate" one way fare of $3.50 prepaid or $4 on board as a extension of ride with a lower
zone pass (zones 1,2 and 3) and also offers the option off peak of anywhere privileges for zone 3 riders - peak hours are before 9:30am on trains going to
Center City Philadelphia and between 4 and 7pm leaving Center City on weekdays...On weekends and holidays ALL SEPTA passes regardless of price or zone
have the ANYWHERE privilege option...

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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby octr202 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:05 pm

Yes, you can buy an interzone ticket to cover the zones beyond your pass. You just need the additional zones (going to zone 5 with a zone 2 pass would need a 3-zone interzone ticket to extend the fare, covering zones 3, 4 & 5). They aren't sold at ticket machines, but are from station ticket agents, conductors on board, or the mobile ticket app.

The other thing to remember, though, is that unlike the daily/weekly passes for the transit side of the T, there's nothing short of a monthly pass for commuter rail - so doing this on a day other than the free day would get quite expensive (and might actually make the monthly pass worth it!).
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby elecuyer » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:06 pm

Here's how to cover the entire southside (except Foxboro/Gillette and Middleboro-Hyannis) on a single weekday.

South Station->Franklin->(Fairmont)->South Sta. (trains 703, 790)
dep: 4:00am, arr: 4:50, dep: 5:05, arr: 6:15

(20min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Middleboro->Braintree (trains 003, 010)
dep: 6:35, arr: 7:50, dep: 8:07, arr: 8:44

(31min layover/buffer @Braintree)

Braintree->(Kingston)->Plymouth->South Station (trains 061, 060)
dep: 9:15, arr: 10:23, dep: 10:48, arr: 11:46

(14min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Needham->Ruggles (trains 613, 614)
dep: 12:00pm, arr: 12:42, dep: 12:55, arr: 1:26

(27min layover/buffer @Ruggles)

Ruggles->Wickford->Rte 128 (trains 809, 820)
dep: 1:53, arr: 3:26, dep: 3:40, arr: 4:58

(12min layover/buffer @Rte 128)

Rte 128->Stoughton->South Station (trains 919, 920)
dep: 5:10, arr: 5:30, dep: 5:45, arr: 6:13

(25min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Greenbush->South Station (trains 089, 092)
dep: 6:38, arr: 7:36, dep: 8:10, arr: 9:07pm

Total time: just over 17 hours, most in daylight. How many miles?
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby jmar896 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:32 pm

elecuyer wrote:Here's how to cover the entire southside (except Foxboro/Gillette and Middleboro-Hyannis) on a single weekday.

South Station->Franklin->(Fairmont)->South Sta. (trains 703, 790)
dep: 4:00am, arr: 4:50, dep: 5:05, arr: 6:15

(20min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Middleboro->Braintree (trains 003, 010)
dep: 6:35, arr: 7:50, dep: 8:07, arr: 8:44

(31min layover/buffer @Braintree)

Braintree->(Kingston)->Plymouth->South Station (trains 061, 060)
dep: 9:15, arr: 10:23, dep: 10:48, arr: 11:46

(14min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Needham->Ruggles (trains 613, 614)
dep: 12:00pm, arr: 12:42, dep: 12:55, arr: 1:26

(27min layover/buffer @Ruggles)

Ruggles->Wickford->Rte 128 (trains 809, 820)
dep: 1:53, arr: 3:26, dep: 3:40, arr: 4:58

(12min layover/buffer @Rte 128)

Rte 128->Stoughton->South Station (trains 919, 920)
dep: 5:10, arr: 5:30, dep: 5:45, arr: 6:13

(25min layover/buffer @South Station)

South Station->Greenbush->South Station (trains 089, 092)
dep: 6:38, arr: 7:36, dep: 8:10, arr: 9:07pm

Total time: just over 17 hours, most in daylight. How many miles?
Is it just me or is the Worcester line missing
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby BandA » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:50 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:...The one drawback is that the trains on the Free Ride Day could be more crowded then normal depending on how many extra riders use the
system on that day...MACTRAXX
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Re: MBTA Commuter Rail Challenge

Postby chrisf » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:15 pm

jmar896 wrote:Is it just me or is the Worcester line missing

It is missing but easily added on. Train 541 leaves South Station at 9:25pm, arriving Worcester at 11:00. Inbound, if the 541 is on time, you could catch the 542 back in, leaving Worcester at 11:10. Otherwise you might have to catch 544, leaving at 12:10am, and it would seem that you might have to pay for that one.
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