Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby leviramsey » Wed May 25, 2016 11:54 am

octr202 wrote: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.


The tie replacement/destressing/reballasting blitz over the past couple of years has apparently brought Framingham-Worcester (which is half the line) up to 79 mph (since it's cab signalled, I believe that actually means 90, but since little or no MBTA equipment is rated for 90, that's not really relevant) standard, but it's been confirmed (by dbperry either earlier in this thread or in another thread) that no uprates are currently planned.

Hypothesis: filing the paperwork to uprate the line would imply a commitment to maintain that class and the MBTA/MassDOT isn't sure they want to do that, especially if only one roundtrip a day (the LSL) is really going to take advantage (this changes whenever Amtrak Inland Route service begins again).

Further hypothesis: if H2H is enough of a success either by itself or where adding Framingham would result in enough new ridership to make it worth continuing, then we may see the paperwork to get 79 (or 90, if Amtrak decides to equip 448/449 with a cab-signalled loco) filed, which takes several minutes off of H2H west of Framingham (and a few minutes off of the locals). At that point Framingham can definitely be added (it would only add a couple of minutes to the current schedule anyway, since track speed is 30 or lower through there), probably one of the Naticks (Natick Center is more promising, since I'm presuming that H2H will generally use Track 1 in both directions; this will also), and maybe even Wellesley Sq. while still maintaining a one-hour Worcester-Yawkey time.

Of course, upgrading at least Track 1 from Beacon Park to Weston would take minutes off the schedule for far more trains (and would be a really nice advertisement for the train to drivers seeing it beating traffic on the Pike nearly all of the time).

On another note, this week I've been riding 412 to Littleton and each day has seen more ridership than the last, with a lot of the passengers telling the conductors that they were glad to now be able to take the train.

The rise of these just-after-peak trains is interesting. I have a feeling that if the ridership on these isn't that terrible, and the complaints about peak overcrowding continue, we'll see the fare structure adjusted to entice people off of the peak trains and onto shoulder-of-peak trains (e.g. discounting off-peak trips to interzone fares, so $5.75 to ride Littleton to Porter/BON on 408 instead of $9.75 on 410).
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby ohalloranchris » Wed May 25, 2016 12:24 pm

dm1120 wrote: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.


I agree on the overcrowing of 842 with the addition of Attleboro as a station. I wonder however what the reason is for its slow speed? Track 2 East should be relatively clear in front of it. 806 crosses over to track 3 for a Ruggles stop, and the Needham and Franklin trains all take track 3 into Boston. Perhaps a late running Amtrak 66 is the cause...
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Diverging Route » Wed May 25, 2016 3:53 pm

I rode 325* today, the new 1540 outbound to Lowell. Ridership was pretty light -- the head three cars were open, with about 25 pax in the lead car. Interestingly, two got on heading outbound at West Medford.

Earlier in the week I was on 327, the 1610 outbound to Lowell, now express to Anderson. It had a good crowd -- similar to prior to the schedule change. I'm wondering if it being express attracted some who used to take 359, the short-turn Anderson local at 1620. I haven't tried the new 393 1620 Anderson short-turn local to see how many ride it all the way to Anderson, i.e. can't catch the train ten minutes earlier.

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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Trinnau » Wed May 25, 2016 7:20 pm

ohalloranchris wrote:
dm1120 wrote: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.


I agree on the overcrowing of 842 with the addition of Attleboro as a station. I wonder however what the reason is for its slow speed? Track 2 East should be relatively clear in front of it. 806 crosses over to track 3 for a Ruggles stop, and the Needham and Franklin trains all take track 3 into Boston. Perhaps a late running Amtrak 66 is the cause...


Overcrowding is a factor of set sizes - unless it's 8 double-deckers and full keep an eye out for adjustments if they are continually tight. Major schedule shakeup means a lot of people move and its hard to predict where. 808 was overcrowded in the previous schedule and ran with 8 doubles. Perhaps this was to take the heat off 808? Or did it just move the heat?
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Wed May 25, 2016 10:23 pm

I've posted my recap of the "Heart To Hub" inaugural run to my blog.

http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/heart-to ... ide-report

I didn't include these stories in the blog post:

During the trip, I approached former Lt. Governor Tim Murray and Secretary of Transportation Pollack to introduce myself and chat. Although I had met Secretary Pollack previously, I spent a couple minutes explaining who I was, my blog, and my twitter feed. It took a couple of beats, but all of a sudden Secretary Pollack had a look of recognition and said "Oh!" and I replied, "Yes, I'm Twitter Dave." She then said "I know about you! You're more of a rail nerd than most of the folks on my staff!" My reply was a stammering "ahhh..." and she said "No! That's meant as a compliment!" I was thinking in my head that she would actually be more impressed by many of you on this forum - I just have some visibility from my blog! The three of us chatted about the "Heart to Hub" train and my concerns about it. Mr. Murray didn't seem pleased to have someone criticize the idea, but we had a cordial discussion of the points.

Separately, I approached Brian Shortsleeve (MBTA Chief Administration and now Acting GM) who was standing with Rep. Hannah Kane. Mr. Shortsleeve recognized me and as I introduced myself to Rep. Kane, Mr. Shortsleeve started explaining my twitter feed and my blog to Rep. Kane. He continued with a story of how he had just visited the blog earlier in the morning to try and figure out which track the outbound train would be on where he boarded for the trip from Wellesley to Worcester prior to the inaugural ceremony. He knew I had something about track usage and since he never travels outbound in the morning, he figured he could get the answer there.

Yikes! Guess I better be careful what I write...

The only other thing I'll add here which is alluded to in the blog post but bears emphasis here is to echo what others have said about the tweaks to the consist size. The MBTA and Keolis are well aware that the consist sizes will need to be tweaked over the next few weeks. They are / will be closely monitoring passenger counts and trying to come up with changes to set size that alleviate crowding. I agree with others that I hope they have enough equipment to make the changes that need to get made. With the south side using 41 sets (up from previous schedule using 39), their margins of spare equipment must be very thin.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby BandA » Wed May 25, 2016 11:22 pm

leviramsey wrote:...The rise of these just-after-peak trains is interesting. I have a feeling that if the ridership on these isn't that terrible, and the complaints about peak overcrowding continue, we'll see the fare structure adjusted to entice people off of the peak trains and onto shoulder-of-peak trains (e.g. discounting off-peak trips to interzone fares, so $5.75 to ride Littleton to Porter/BON on 408 instead of $9.75 on 410).
[OT]Metro-North from West-Haven charges about $21 peak or $16 off-peak, so applying a similar 24% off to your fare would be about $7.45. Problem is if someone has an "off-peak" pass or ticket and needs to pay the difference on-board. Metro-North conductor says it isn't an issue for them - Keolis conductors don't have time for more fare collecting
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dm1120 » Thu May 26, 2016 6:29 am

Trinnau wrote:
ohalloranchris wrote:
dm1120 wrote: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.


I agree on the overcrowing of 842 with the addition of Attleboro as a station. I wonder however what the reason is for its slow speed? Track 2 East should be relatively clear in front of it. 806 crosses over to track 3 for a Ruggles stop, and the Needham and Franklin trains all take track 3 into Boston. Perhaps a late running Amtrak 66 is the cause...


Overcrowding is a factor of set sizes - unless it's 8 double-deckers and full keep an eye out for adjustments if they are continually tight. Major schedule shakeup means a lot of people move and its hard to predict where. 808 was overcrowded in the previous schedule and ran with 8 doubles. Perhaps this was to take the heat off 808? Or did it just move the heat?
Under the old schedule I could comfortably drop my son off at daycare and catch the 806. Now I can't because of the 10 minute shift and I suspect I'm not the only one who can't catch a train 10 minutes earlier and can't wait until after 8 to board a train to work.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Diverging Route » Thu May 26, 2016 7:11 am

For what it's worth, I took 804 inbound from Mansfield this morning. It was a six-car consist (four Ks and two flats), and had plenty of room. I was at an upper K-car mid-deck, 2-seat table alone, even after RTE.

We passed 843 as it headed outbound, and it looked to be a six-car Bi-set. I believe that under the old schedule, it was a seven-car Bi-set. So add a stop, lose a car. Wha? [BTW, why is the outbound's train number one number higher than the later inbound turn? Shouldn't the outbound be 841?]
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Frode » Thu May 26, 2016 8:00 am

808 was short a car this morning too (7 doubles).
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:09 pm

First official hint that schedule changes coming this fall:

https://twitter.com/MBTA_CR/status/739925802041643009
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Rockingham Racer » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:16 am

Interesting: they've got lots of people standing and they might do something about it this fall? Unbelievable.

At this juncture, I would like to ask [and perhaps I missed the answer]: what was wrong with the old schedule? The overhauled the whole system, I believe.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dbperry » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:59 pm

I think you're (we're) talking about 2 different problems:

1) Schedule issues, such as the mid-day conflict between the Lake Shore Limited & and FW CR trains. That's just one example of a simple bust with the new schedules that can only be solved with publishing / implementing new timetables. Probably other minor tweaks that they are finding that will get fixed.

2) Set size / capacity / ridership. Those can be solved without changing the schedule, and I've heard (and keep hearing) that they are working on set size / coach assignments.

I've been told that one reason for the entire overhaul was to drive out quirks and problems with the old schedules, especially as it related to deadhead moves, set storage, and other 'behind the scenes' issues. The old schedules were never coordinated at a master level between all the lines, so there were oddities that we could never see. I've also been told (and perhaps going along with the previous theory), that a driver behind the new schedules was to achieve the 'no interlined' set assignment system.

I wonder if one of the problems with small set sizes on the south side is that they're now running 41 sets on the new schedule vs. 39 on the old one.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby dm1120 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:31 am

The fall changes will probably just be that they add "SW" to the trains they're going to cut if it snows.
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby Diverging Route » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:51 am

And the first adjustment is made.

Hurry up to spot the mistake before they fix it :)
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Re: Proposed Revised CR Schedules for 2016

Postby deathtopumpkins » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:58 am

They also adjusted schedules for Fitchburg, Needham, Worcester, and Franklin.
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