Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue May 24, 2016 7:10 am

As I said earlier, this service arrives in Boston too late in the morning and leaves too late in the evening for most workers. It would be great if you worked a 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM day, though! Not surprising that numbers are low. If they don't change the trains' schedules, I'll bet you a dollar to donuts there'll be intermediate stops added in about 6 months.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Komarovsky » Tue May 24, 2016 7:18 am

Riding h2h again this morning, shockingly about 40 riders in my car, which was better than yesterday (not including the pols et al).

The inbound might prove to be viable yet(haven't ridden the OB yet).
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby octr202 » Tue May 24, 2016 10:28 am

Komarovsky wrote:Riding h2h again this morning, shockingly about 40 riders in my car, which was better than yesterday (not including the pols et al).

The inbound might prove to be viable yet(haven't ridden the OB yet).


The only way it's viable (when so many other trains don't have enough capacity/seating) is if they're really using those seats. Sure, it's nice for the people that can take it, but there's a lot of reports of trains that way under capacity so far, and we know there was A) a coach shortage prior to the schedule change, and B) that this new schedule requires more trainsets (and likely more cars).

Our correspondent Dave has been reporting that 508 is running more full than before (even with 8 doubles), and there's been reports (via Twitter) that at least one Needham train seems to be filling up.

Meanwhile, last night Haverhill 217 (5:35 PM all-stops local) was jammed to the gills as we were crammed into 4 cars (1 double/3 flats), apparently one of which didn't have HVAC (wasn't the one I was in!). That train used to run with six flats most of the time prior to the arrival of the Rotems up north.

Obviously, it'll take some time to figure out the right consists for all of these trains - I just hope there's enough coaches to go around to support it.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby eustis22 » Tue May 24, 2016 11:15 am

213 is now waiting at Lawrence for the Downeaster to pass before resuming it's snails pace on Track 2. I do not understand what has changed to warrant making this now an 1 and 40 minute trip when for the last 3 years it was perfectly acceptable for the DE to pass somewhere around the old Western plant.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby leviramsey » Tue May 24, 2016 1:28 pm

eustis22 wrote:213 is now waiting at Lawrence for the Downeaster to pass before resuming it's snails pace on Track 2. I do not understand what has changed to warrant making this now an 1 and 40 minute trip when for the last 3 years it was perfectly acceptable for the DE to pass somewhere around the old Western plant.


AAR v. DOT and Amtrak? If the Downeaster is late, the MBTA likely pays more in fines to Amtrak than the fares they get from 213.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Komarovsky » Tue May 24, 2016 5:30 pm

Octr I agree with your assessment about the number of coaches needed for the new schedule, for sure h2h is under capacity for its set(5 now, could easily be 4).

508 has always been packed, I'm going back to my regular schedule tomorrow so I'll suppliment Dave's reports on that. FWIW 521(old 527) was about as crowded last night as it usually is, and tonight 523(roughly old 583) seems about to have the same pax load as before. At first glance the OB schedule change for trains that pair with the core of rush hour have not been impacted as much as the corresponding IB trains.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Trinnau » Tue May 24, 2016 7:16 pm

eustis22 wrote:213 is now waiting at Lawrence for the Downeaster to pass before resuming it's snails pace on Track 2. I do not understand what has changed to warrant making this now an 1 and 40 minute trip when for the last 3 years it was perfectly acceptable for the DE to pass somewhere around the old Western plant.


Was probably a different reason for 213 holding at Lawrence if they continued up track 2. Downeaster passing was probably just a coincidence or else they would have held it and run up track 1.

leviramsey wrote:AAR v. DOT and Amtrak? If the Downeaster is late, the MBTA likely pays more in fines to Amtrak than the fares they get from 213.


The Downeaster service is not Amtrak's, it is NNEPRA's. Amtrak is the operator. And it operates over the MBTA's tracks. So why would the MBTA have ever agreed to allow the operation of the train if it had to pay Amtrak fines for late trains? Doesn't make any sense.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby leviramsey » Tue May 24, 2016 9:32 pm

Trinnau wrote:The Downeaster service is not Amtrak's, it is NNEPRA's. Amtrak is the operator. And it operates over the MBTA's tracks. So why would the MBTA have ever agreed to allow the operation of the train if it had to pay Amtrak fines for late trains? Doesn't make any sense.


It's federal law. 49 USC, section 24308 says:

Amtrak may make an agreement with a rail carrier or regional transportation authority to use facilities of, and have services provided by, the carrier or authority under terms on which the parties agree. The terms shall include a penalty for untimely performance. If the parties cannot agree and if the Surface Transportation Board finds it necessary to carry out this part, the Board shall i) order that the facilities be made available and the services provided to Amtrak; and ii) prescribe reasonable terms and compensation for using the facilities and providing the services.

...

The Board shall, as it deems appropriate, order the host rail carrier to remit the damages awarded under this subsection to Amtrak or to an entity for which Amtrak operates intercity passenger rail service.


Basically: the MBTA can't turn down Amtrak, whether they're contracting for NNEPRA or not; the most they can do is argue with the STB how much Amtrak pays them and how much of a penalty for untimely performance by Amtrak trains (and whether or not such delays are outside of the control of the MBTA).
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby BandA » Wed May 25, 2016 12:42 am

Doesn't the MBTA allow the Downeaster to use their tracks for free as Massachusetts' contribution to the operating costs? Also, if push came to shove I doubt MBTA is required to give priority to Amtrak trains over their own passenger trains.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby BandA » Wed May 25, 2016 12:56 am

The WOR-BOS H2H express would be a great place to use a short set - perhaps dedicated to H2H and mid-day service using MBB cars & a derated (tired) engine since the acceleration matters less with so few station stops.

WOR, Yawkee, and BOS are high level, BBY is low-level on these tracks. Fix the platform at BBY & conductors don't have to touch the traps the whole trip and could even use electric doors.

The newspaper article I read said it wasn't a pilot. But all new services should be a pilot! And remember pilots need to be <= 1 yr, otherwise they may have to measure impact to the disadvantaged when they cancel the service!

Most people will use one H2H and not the other. Which is fine.

Still needs a speed up.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dm1120 » Wed May 25, 2016 6:33 am

The decision to move the 806 up by 10 minutes and have the 842 originate in Attleboro was a poor one. Now the 842 is packed by the time the train leaves Canton Junction and the train crawls the rest of the way.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby octr202 » Wed May 25, 2016 6:55 am

BandA wrote:Doesn't the MBTA allow the Downeaster to use their tracks for free as Massachusetts' contribution to the operating costs? Also, if push came to shove I doubt MBTA is required to give priority to Amtrak trains over their own passenger trains.


That's part of the key there. The STB isn't going to get involved until someone take the issue to them, and NNEPRA isn't going to unless it's dire, as they have a pretty good arrangement as it stands now. If it did go that route (forced STB terms), the language quoted also says that the decision would include compensation to the host railroad, which would increase the cost of the Amtrak service. Right now, I think the relationship between the MBTA and NNEPRA is hardly that rocky - in fact I've not heard that it's bad at all.

Time will tell whether there's a new holdup to 213 or not. It's times are a mere 1 minute later at Andover and Lawrence, hardly enough to upset the apple cart versus Amtrak.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby octr202 » Wed May 25, 2016 7:00 am

BandA wrote:The WOR-BOS H2H express would be a great place to use a short set - perhaps dedicated to H2H and mid-day service using MBB cars & a derated (tired) engine since the acceleration matters less with so few station stops.

WOR, Yawkee, and BOS are high level, BBY is low-level on these tracks. Fix the platform at BBY & conductors don't have to touch the traps the whole trip and could even use electric doors.

The newspaper article I read said it wasn't a pilot. But all new services should be a pilot! And remember pilots need to be <= 1 yr, otherwise they may have to measure impact to the disadvantaged when they cancel the service!

Most people will use one H2H and not the other. Which is fine.

Still needs a speed up.


I still suspect we'll see a major change to these trains come this fall, unless there's a very surprising surge. Good idea to use a train of MBB's - the reports I've seen so far indicate that it's hardly using all the seats. If we're not (yet) cleared for 3 car sets, at least use the lowest-density coaches to make a 4 car set.

Of course, if the line was upgraded above 60 mph (where possible), maybe you could run close to an hour end-to-end and still make some intermediate stops.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby eustis22 » Wed May 25, 2016 8:09 am

Well now 213 is NOT waiting at Lawrence for the Downeaster. I don't know what changed between Friday and Monday and I also don't know what changed between Monday and Tuesday.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 » Wed May 25, 2016 8:54 am

as octr202 just wrote, I'm 98% sure that come the fall, what is currently wrong with these schedules now, will get tweaked in the fall. Remember, first time these schedules have had a major shake up in, what, 13 years?? there are obviously going to be kinks, Dsprs, got to get used to the new moves, what works, what doesn't, these first 2 weeks are going to be bumpy for everyone. And honestly, we could barely keep schedule with the previous ones :P let alone an entirely new world for some
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