Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

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Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Rbts Stn » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:33 pm

Technically this is an Amtrak question, but I expect I'll get more info about Route 128 station here. My apologies, in advance, for the slightly off topic question.

My inlaws (in their 90s) came home from a wedding on Sunday in DC to 128 Station, where someone was picking them up. Escalator broken (since 2013), elevator out of service. I'm still trying to figure out how they finally got across to the station, as they can't do stairs, especially not with luggage. I don't know if they got carried, or if they took a commuter train to Back Bay, crossed over there, and took another CR back (and if so, thank goodness they got on the right line at Back Bay!)

Does anyone know how often both the Elevator and Escalator are out of service there? And what "Plan C" is for folks who can't take the stairs?
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Diverging Route » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:33 pm

There's a shuttle van that will transport passengers on demand. A notice was sent via T-Alert on July 3:

Elevators at ROUTE 128 to Tracks 1 and 2 are unavailable beginning Monday, July 20, until further notice.

A shuttle will be provided to transport customers between Tracks 1 and 2 and lobby. Please see station personnel for assistance.

Last updated: Jul 03 2015 09:53 AM
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby boblothrope » Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:58 pm

Diverging Route wrote:There's a shuttle van that will transport passengers on demand. A notice was sent via T-Alert on July 3:

Elevators at ROUTE 128 to Tracks 1 and 2 are unavailable beginning Monday, July 20, until further notice.

A shuttle will be provided to transport customers between Tracks 1 and 2 and lobby. Please see station personnel for assistance.

Last updated: Jul 03 2015 09:53 AM


Why isn't this noted on the service alerts web page, http://mbta.com/rider_tools/transit_updates ?

Also, why do they make passengers go up, across, and down to get from the station house to the southbound platform, when there's nothing in the way except an empty track bed? Are there plans to build tracks on the outsides of the platforms?
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby MBTA3247 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:57 pm

boblothrope wrote:Are there plans to build tracks on the outsides of the platforms?

Yes. It won't happen for a while, but it is one of the long-term capacity upgrades that Amtrak eventually wants.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:58 am

Diverging Route wrote:There's a shuttle van that will transport passengers on demand. A notice was sent via T-Alert on July 3:

Elevators at ROUTE 128 to Tracks 1 and 2 are unavailable beginning Monday, July 20, until further notice.

A shuttle will be provided to transport customers between Tracks 1 and 2 and lobby. Please see station personnel for assistance.

Last updated: Jul 03 2015 09:53 AM


"It took us 2 hours to get home from when we arrived at the station" is the last I heard from them (they live 15 minutes from the station), they did mention a shuttle, is it possible it took that long to get it there? And how does it work? Is there road access on the northbound side to get this vehicle over there?
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Diverging Route » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:02 am

Rbts Stn wrote:
Diverging Route wrote:There's a shuttle van that will transport passengers on demand. A notice was sent via T-Alert on July 3:

Elevators at ROUTE 128 to Tracks 1 and 2 are unavailable beginning Monday, July 20, until further notice.

A shuttle will be provided to transport customers between Tracks 1 and 2 and lobby. Please see station personnel for assistance.

Last updated: Jul 03 2015 09:53 AM


"It took us 2 hours to get home from when we arrived at the station" is the last I heard from them (they live 15 minutes from the station), they did mention a shuttle, is it possible it took that long to get it there? And how does it work? Is there road access on the northbound side to get this vehicle over there?


It's about a 10-minute drive. From Track 2, the van would travel over Green Lodge Street, right on Elm Street, right on Dedham Street (crosses over I-95 and the tracks), right on University Ave to the station. Put up a Google map and you'll see it.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Frode » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:04 am

Unbelievable that the escalators have been out of service since 2013 and now the elevators are out and the station is only 15 years old. What's the problem with getting them fixed?
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:22 am

Frode wrote:Unbelievable that the escalators have been out of service since 2013 and now the elevators are out and the station is only 15 years old. What's the problem with getting them fixed?


They're being replaced because the original equipment installed in 2000 when the new station was built was defective. Replacement project's supposed to take till early-'16, and the Amtrak accessibility shuttle will be running until then.

As for why it's taken so long to get started...maybe turf war? Amtrak owns the station, platforms, and waiting room. T owns the garage and most of the site access. So who knows how many years they were kicking the can amongst themselves instead of springing into action on a fix.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:30 am

MBTA3247 wrote:
boblothrope wrote:Are there plans to build tracks on the outsides of the platforms?

Yes. It won't happen for a while, but it is one of the long-term capacity upgrades that Amtrak eventually wants.


Outbound platform's already a regulation 12' wide island where they drop Track 3 down on the outside and it's done.

Inbound platform's not island width; that would have to be doubled-up to drop Track 4 on that side. A little bit baffling that they didn't pour equal-dimension islands because there's a huuuuuuge amount of space on that side of the expressway overpass to drop a turnout track and get full-quad at the station itself. Doubly baffling since all the South Coast FAIL service plans skip 128 station because of constrained capacity, and that needn't be the case if it were 4 tracks at this station. AMTK NEC Improvements Master Plan co-signed by the T only calls for Track 3 to be reinstated. That may be all that'll fit contiguously through the Neponset swamplands, but it doesn't explain why a 4th track turnout at the station-proper seemingly isn't in the cards.

Meh...if Captain Obvious taps them on the shoulder it wouldn't be an expensive or disruptive fix to widen out the inbound platform to identical 12' wide island dimensions. Just curious that wasn't baked in from Day 1 when they had that foresight on the opposite side.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby Rbts Stn » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:53 am

Diverging Route wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:
Diverging Route wrote:There's a shuttle van that will transport passengers on demand. A notice was sent via T-Alert on July 3:

Elevators at ROUTE 128 to Tracks 1 and 2 are unavailable beginning Monday, July 20, until further notice.

A shuttle will be provided to transport customers between Tracks 1 and 2 and lobby. Please see station personnel for assistance.

Last updated: Jul 03 2015 09:53 AM


"It took us 2 hours to get home from when we arrived at the station" is the last I heard from them (they live 15 minutes from the station), they did mention a shuttle, is it possible it took that long to get it there? And how does it work? Is there road access on the northbound side to get this vehicle over there?


It's about a 10-minute drive. From Track 2, the van would travel over Green Lodge Street, right on Elm Street, right on Dedham Street (crosses over I-95 and the tracks), right on University Ave to the station. Put up a Google map and you'll see it.


I see that, thanks. Must have taken awhile for the van to get started en route to them. They've been out of sorts since they got home, I'll post when I get more info from them.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby boblothrope » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:17 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Outbound platform's already a regulation 12' wide island where they drop Track 3 down on the outside and it's done.

Inbound platform's not island width; that would have to be doubled-up to drop Track 4 on that side. A little bit baffling that they didn't pour equal-dimension islands because there's a huuuuuuge amount of space on that side of the expressway overpass to drop a turnout track and get full-quad at the station itself.


Is putting the third track on the southbound side somehow preferable to having it on the northbound side instead?

If it's about the same for train operations purposes, I would have put it on the northbound side so passengers using the southbound platform wouldn't have to cross over to get to the station building.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby boblothrope » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:19 am

Rbts Stn wrote:Must have taken awhile for the van to get started en route to them.


"Attention passengers: At Route 128 Station, the elevator and escalator are out of service. If you are exiting the train there and are unable to climb stairs, please inform the conductor so a shuttle bus can be arranged." Nope, that would be too easy.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:27 am

boblothrope wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Outbound platform's already a regulation 12' wide island where they drop Track 3 down on the outside and it's done.

Inbound platform's not island width; that would have to be doubled-up to drop Track 4 on that side. A little bit baffling that they didn't pour equal-dimension islands because there's a huuuuuuge amount of space on that side of the expressway overpass to drop a turnout track and get full-quad at the station itself.


Is putting the third track on the southbound side somehow preferable to having it on the northbound side instead?

If it's about the same for train operations purposes, I would have put it on the northbound side so passengers using the southbound platform wouldn't have to cross over to get to the station building.


Dunno. They built the to-be-island platform where they built it on the SB side, and that's where Amtrak plans to lay Track 3 from Readville to Canton Jct. whenever they get around to funding that. I'm just surprised they didn't build both platforms to equal width when they had the chance just for future-proofing purposes. Wouldn't even have to lay turnout Track 4 until it was ever needed, but at least you'd have the 12' island platform width all set to go instead of having to pour more concrete to double its width. Station certainly has room for 4 platform tracks. Just look at how much space is available on the NB side: https://goo.gl/maps/pPT4F.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby dbperry » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:23 am

boblothrope wrote:Also, why do they make passengers go up, across, and down to get from the station house to the southbound platform, when there's nothing in the way except an empty track bed? Are there plans to build tracks on the outsides of the platforms?


You can walk directly from the station building out across the empty "track 3" rail bed and onto the southbound track. There is both a handicapped ramp and a set of stairs to get up onto the platform. That door and path to the southbound track is the usual way for Amtrak pax to get to the platform.

I've been told that the problem with the escalator on the northbound track is that it was an 'interior' escalator put into service in an 'exterior' installation. Don't know if that's true or not. I've also been told that the delay in fixing it had to do with Amtrak budget constraints, which I've always found hard to believe.

The crowd of regular / frequent Acela passengers (including me) are very disappointed in the situation. Not sure how many of them think it is an MBTA vs. Amtrak problem. My estimation is that most of the NYP->BOS pax discharge from the evening rush hour Acelas at RTE - this escalator situation has given Amtrak an ongoing black eye in one of their most important customer bases.
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Re: Escalators and Elevators at 128 Station

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:03 am

boblothrope wrote:
Rbts Stn wrote:Must have taken awhile for the van to get started en route to them.


"Attention passengers: At Route 128 Station, the elevator and escalator are out of service. If you are exiting the train there and are unable to climb stairs, please inform the conductor so a shuttle bus can be arranged." Nope, that would be too easy.


I was a passenger yesterday morning on Amtrak train 66 into Boston, and the conductor made exactly that sort of PA announcement as we approached the Route 128 station, indicating that a van would be available when we arrived. Since I was continuing on to South Station I did not observe the actual vanning process.
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