April 4th NEC Fire

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April 4th NEC Fire

Postby peconicstation » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:43 pm

Saturday April 4th was not a good day for a number Commuter Rail lines as there was a fire along the tracks near Forest Hills that knocked out the signal system.

As we were taking a day trip to Boston on Amtrak using 150 north, we were annulled at Providence, and directed to Commuter Rail train 1806 to get to Boston.

Kudos to the crew of 1806, they wound up with the patrons from a sold out Amtrak train, along with their own patrons, and the trip took close to 2 hours due to speed restrictions, and having to wait for the green light to be routed via the Fairmont Line. In our SRO car the conductor kept walking through to give us updates.

Trying to get info from Amtrak on status of afternoon return trips did not go well, and no one from Julie, to their call center staff, to their agents at Back Bay seemed to know what was going on.
Commuter Rail on the other hand had staff at Back Bay to help patrons work around the disruption.

Lastly, I give the commuter rail crew credit for having the patience of Jobe, when it came to the foamers at the Attleboro station, I don't know if that is a regular thing but there was quite a contingent of them Saturday, and we wound up stopping 3 times after the first highball as they kept yelling that the train was leaving people behind. The first extra stop was warranted, but the other 2 were just a waste of time. To the foamers, if train watching is your thing, fine, but don't interfere with operations.

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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby dbperry » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:43 am

Since it was primarily related to the Amtrak NEC, I posted about this on the Amtrak delays thread:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=53232&start=2520#p1324643
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby deathtopumpkins » Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:21 pm

peconicstation wrote:Saturday April 4th was not a good day for a number Commuter Rail lines as there was a fire along the tracks near Forest Hills that knocked out the signal system.


Specifically, it was a lightning strike on a signal vault.

And service is still screwed up. Trains still bypassing Ruggles (though some are now stopping again as of Wednesday).

I fail to understand why bypassing Ruggles is necessary though unless tracks are out of service. Seems unnecessary for the trains to pass right by the platform without stopping, when they normally do stop.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby chrisf » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:09 pm

deathtopumpkins wrote:
peconicstation wrote:Saturday April 4th was not a good day for a number Commuter Rail lines as there was a fire along the tracks near Forest Hills that knocked out the signal system.


Specifically, it was a lightning strike on a signal vault.

And service is still screwed up. Trains still bypassing Ruggles (though some are now stopping again as of Wednesday).

I fail to understand why bypassing Ruggles is necessary though unless tracks are out of service. Seems unnecessary for the trains to pass right by the platform without stopping, when they normally do stop.

Congestion is at least part of the problem. The signals at Forest Hills are dark and it seems that switches aren't working remotely at least there and onto the Needham branch.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby jonnhrr » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:08 am

Looks like Needham line service still affected:

Needham Line Train 611 (10:00 am from South Station) delayed today 10-15 minutes due to signal problem.
Affected stops:
Bellevue
Highland
West Roxbury
Hersey
Needham Junction
Needham Center
Needham Heights

Last Updated: 4/9/2015 10:34:37 AM


Needham Line Train 607 (739 am train from boston) will make ALL LOCAL STOPS on the Needham branch today and every day until further notice.
Affected direction: Outbound

Affected trips:
607 (7:39 am from South Station)

Last Updated: 4/8/2015 2:55:00 PM


Due to engineering issues, Needham Line Train 605 (7:05 am from South Station) is cancelled today and every day until further notice.
Affected direction: Outbound

Last Updated: 4/8/2015 2:50:58 PM
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:26 pm

Fixes could take months sates Amtrak

This fire has made a complete mess of the Corridor. We have lost an entire Interlocking, a block, and the 7 of 10 trains in the morning AM rush, must now cross over at TRANSFER Int. (just west of Readville staiton) in order to get to track 3 to make the station stop. This is going to be a long summer smh
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby CSX Conductor » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:53 pm

All of the switches within Forest Interlocking are blocked and clamped in the normal position for straight moves on a 3 tracks and the signals are removed from service per Bulletin Order.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:55 pm

CSX Conductor wrote:and the signals are removed from service per Bulletin Order.


I don't understand why this wasn't done sooner. Would have spared them alot of 241's. Or did they not realize the extent of the damage/length of time required to repair?
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:22 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:
CSX Conductor wrote:and the signals are removed from service per Bulletin Order.


I don't understand why this wasn't done sooner. Would have spared them alot of 241's. Or did they not realize the extent of the damage/length of time required to repair?


This was done the Monday after the fire, the BO released. The 241's being dished out are to/from the Needham branch, track 5 and the Corridor. The signal system on that track, and the Interlocking "DALE" (where Needham tracks 4 and 5 go to single track before Roslindale village) also got affected by the whole fire. Been quite the mess during rush hours.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby chrisf » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:23 am

I rode train 608 from Needham today. It was on time at Roslindale until we met the 609 at the end of the Needham branch, where we went into what's now a dead-end siding, let the 609 by, then backed out and continued on the way. We were about 15 minutes late at Forest Hills.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby BandA » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:42 pm

Is there something unique about those signal boxes that they can't get spare parts quickly?
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:53 pm

BandA wrote:Is there something unique about those signal boxes that they can't get spare parts quickly?


In electric territory the track circuits have to be compatible with the return current grounded in the running rails so there isn't frequency interference. Equipment in the signal cabinets is slightly different than on a diesel line despite pumping out the same exact cab signals. But I don't know why they'd ever have a parts backorder. It's not like 60 Hz/25 kV electrification is the least bit rare. NJ Transit is nearly all 25 kV for its off-NEC electric routes, and the NH-BOS electrification is about as cookie-cutter world-standard as it gets. This certainly isn't like the 25 Hz bizarro world they and SEPTA inhabit south of NYC.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:35 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BandA wrote:Is there something unique about those signal boxes that they can't get spare parts quickly?


In electric territory the track circuits have to be compatible with the return current grounded in the running rails so there isn't frequency interference. Equipment in the signal cabinets is slightly different than on a diesel line despite pumping out the same exact cab signals. But I don't know why they'd ever have a parts backorder. It's not like 60 Hz/25 kV electrification is the least bit rare. NJ Transit is nearly all 25 kV for its off-NEC electric routes, and the NH-BOS electrification is about as cookie-cutter world-standard as it gets. This certainly isn't like the 25 Hz bizarro world they and SEPTA inhabit south of NYC.

Actually, it kinda is. Most of the world uses 50Hz systems, with a good chunk of Europe using 16-2/3Hz systems.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:08 pm

MBTA3247 wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BandA wrote:Is there something unique about those signal boxes that they can't get spare parts quickly?


In electric territory the track circuits have to be compatible with the return current grounded in the running rails so there isn't frequency interference. Equipment in the signal cabinets is slightly different than on a diesel line despite pumping out the same exact cab signals. But I don't know why they'd ever have a parts backorder. It's not like 60 Hz/25 kV electrification is the least bit rare. NJ Transit is nearly all 25 kV for its off-NEC electric routes, and the NH-BOS electrification is about as cookie-cutter world-standard as it gets. This certainly isn't like the 25 Hz bizarro world they and SEPTA inhabit south of NYC.

Actually, it kinda is. Most of the world uses 50Hz systems, with a good chunk of Europe using 16-2/3Hz systems.


Rolling stock can run unmodified on 50 Hz/25 kV and 60 Hz/25 kV (obviously they aren't changing on-the-fly over the Atlantic). So can a lot of the infrastructure with only slightest differences. 10 Hz at same voltage just isn't a biggest enough difference to require customization any greater than any electrical device manufactured for 50 Hz vs. 60 Hz countries. That's why North America adopted 25 kV going forward for all new installations. It's rote-standard for majority of the world's electrified lines.
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Re: April 4th NEC Fire

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:10 pm

From the pic in the Globe article,the entire cabinet is totally roasted,including the wires,you are replacing EVERYthing
in that cabinet,and all the leads to the signal heads,that's not an overnight fix
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