Recent trip to Boston

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Recent trip to Boston

Postby Head-end View » Tue May 04, 2004 8:58 pm

Last week I spent 3 days in your area riding the system and driving thru the almost completed Big Dig Tunnels. I've ridden up there in past years but some new questions came up on this trip.

First, you guys were right several months back in the old forum that those Red Line trains really are s-l-o-w! I'd never noticed it on past trips, but the speed between stations on those long straight stretches in Quincy is terrible. Maybe 45 MPH? About the same as New York subways on similar outdoor stretches. You notice it more when looking out the front (right Rob?), than when gazing out the side windows. I'm used to riding LIRR where they routinely get up to 75 MPH on long straight stetches. Jeez! Did the Red Line trains used to go faster at one time? Or did I just notice the slowness more on this trip? :(

Also: the token booth at Braintree had a hand written sign posted saying "no passes today" and "no free rides today" and listed a phone number for complaints. What that all about? How are you supposed to buy a day pass if they're not available at the station where you board? :(

And at many stations the change machines had (permanent?) signs posted saying "temporarily out-of-service". Why so many not working?
One that was in-service would not take any bills. Ended up standing on a long line at the one booth open at Harvard Square. I'm starting to see why you guys don't think highly of MBTA.

Also I see that only 1800 series cars seem to be used on weekends. Sat & Sun. I never rode any older cars in 3 Red Line trips. Surprising

Re: parking at T stations. The east side ground-level pkg. lots at North Quincy and Wollaston SEEMED to have FREE parking on weekends. The attendant booths were not staffed. BUT, there are signs there saying that there is no free parking at ANY time. Anyone know what the story is there? Could I have saved $3.00 a trip by driving up there instead of parking in the deck at Braintree? As well as not having to pay the double fare from those stations further north? If so, I'll remember that for my next trip.

Re: the Green Line. I got to take a last ride on the North Station "el". I'm really sorry that won't be there anymore. It's so similar to NYC el stations. I didn't see any of the new cars (Type 8's?) on the Green Line, except for a set parked in the yard at Riverside. Only ever rode the 3600 series cars for 2 days.

Blue Line: renovated stations looking good! But that trashy right-of-way still looks horrid. They really ought to clean it up! And those old Blue cars still seem in reasonably good condition inside. Were they ever rehabbed? They have the best sounding door-closing chime in the whole system.

Anyway, it was a fun trip. Whatever is wrong with MBTA, it's still an interesting, fun system to ride! :wink:
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Postby CSX Conductor » Tue May 04, 2004 9:58 pm

Here's one reason for the difference in speeds between LIRR and the Red Line........ LIRR: Commuter train, REd Line: Subway train.


lol

as far as vending machines being out of service, glad to see it.......job security for the humans working the token booths
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Postby fm535 » Tue May 04, 2004 10:54 pm

Red Line = 39mph MAX

-and as far as free parking, you are supposed to deposit cash in slots on boards at sites throughout the parking areas. Numbered parking spots that have corresponding numbered slots. Every few hours someone is supposed to come along and empty the box and verfiy the parking!

Braintree - if the snack shop is open, the shop usually is responsible for selling passes and day-passes. I use the Braintree station every day, it doesn't seem too ambiguous.

-and as far as 01800's being used more on weekends... it is really the luck of the draw. During the winter, I noticed Reddys' being used more on the Ashmont side and more of the older units running on Braintree, during any snow storms. But I watch the way they park the un-used trains in the idle-spots in Braintree, and last weekend, all 01800's were sitting idle, the weekend before was mixed. Somebody correct me if I am wrong, please, but I think with the summer 4car/6car schedule changing and being adjusted to baseball games, special events, etc. it would be nearly impossible to keep only one type of car running. The shifting of cars at the ends of the lines and in the yards would be really a tough thing to accomplish.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed May 05, 2004 5:20 am

Red Line = 39mph MAX

Actually, fm535, the Top speed on the Braintree Extension is 49.9MPH for a stretch southbound between Quincy Center and Quincy Adams, and then after Quncy Adams and Braintree at the stretch that abuts Route 3, and then it drops to 40 from there on and in light of the yard at Cadigan after Braintree, it tumbles all the way down to 9.9mph at the Braintree Platfourm approach.

As for Ian R, the parking situation is the same, even if no attendant is around, you still have to put in money in a special slot board. For example, you will see a parking space number in your space. Take a look at it, go to the big board at the front of the train station entrance, match your parking space number with the slot number, for example if the parking spot had the number "353" written on it, then look for that same number 353 at the slot panel board, and then deposit your $3 in it. As for the Braintree Garage, its manned 24/7/365, so you'll be fine there.
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Trip Follow-up

Postby Head-end View » Sat May 08, 2004 3:40 pm

Well, at least I didn't get gyped out of free parking!

CSX Conductor: Where is it written that subways (vs. railroads) can't go faster than 40 or 50 MPH? Have you ridden the Washington D.C. Metro system or BART in San Francisco? I think the standard speeds have more to do with the age of the system and technology used, than whether it's a railroad vs. a subway. Still you have to wonder why they can't go faster than 40 MPH between North Quincy and Quincy Ctr. But, NYC is no better, even on the stretch across Jamaica Bay near JFK Airport.

FM535: you say the passes are sold from the snack stand? Yeah, now I remember, even at the large new Route 128 station (a few years ago) the commuter rail rickets were sold that way there too The Braintree one wasn't open on the weekend, when I was there. But WHY would they sell them from the snack stand, instead of the existing token booth? It's illogical. Funny; people say LIRR is messed up. At least they sell tickets from ticket windows and ticket vending machines.

Anyway, thanks everyone for the input! :D
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Postby typesix » Sat May 08, 2004 5:04 pm

The older systems have decided that it's not worth it to run 70 mph or faster speeds. Chicago tried it during the 1960s and decided that the energy costs were not worth it for rapid transit lines for minor savings in transit time, especially for short distances. When the Red first opened to Quincy, 70 mph was the norm for a while till excessive maintenance requirements and energy consumption made the T back down to the 50 mph standard.
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Speed Reduction

Postby Head-end View » Sat May 08, 2004 6:31 pm

Right, Type-six; that's what I thought I read about this in the old forum. Do you know around what year it was, when they reduced the speed?
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue May 11, 2004 10:39 am

Right, Type-six; that's what I thought I read about this in the old forum. Do you know around what year it was, when they reduced the speed?

Around December 1985 or 1986 is when it was reduced it to 49.9 mph.

However, they should raise the speed limit on the Red Line, IMHO, to 60 mph, in fact, there's even a "60 code" on ALL Red Line car consists, so I think it should be used to shave off some time in the Braintree route.
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Postby typesix » Tue May 11, 2004 11:24 am

According to an old Rollsign article I read, the T originally wanted cars capable of 75 mph, putting the cars into the "high" speed class instead of the "medium" speed class of cars(70 mph) Pullman Standard countered with in their bid.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Tue May 11, 2004 11:52 am

Ok, just like WMATA. But the 01700s and 01800s have the capability to run at 64 mph and ther's that provision I earlier mentioned of doing 60 mph.

Also, Typesix, my other question was: Was it December 1985 or sometime in 1986 when the MBTA dropped the Braintree Speed Limit to 50 mph?
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Postby typesix » Tue May 11, 2004 2:56 pm

I don't know when the 01500s and 01600s were dropped to 50 mph max, but it may have been even earlier than 1985. I had heard that there were maintenance issues with the Westinghouse drivetrain system due to the 70 mph running and was one reason for the rollback.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Wed May 12, 2004 5:06 am

Ok, thank you. Hoepfully that will change soon to get them back to 70 mph along with the 01700s and 01800s (although those were designed to go just to 64 mph, but that's no biggie).
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Postby CRail » Mon May 24, 2004 7:58 am

The Temporarily Out Of Service signs are not perminant. If you go up to them you can see their hinged. They break down so much the keep the signs so they can just flip them over if there is a problem.
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Postby CS » Mon May 24, 2004 12:20 pm

A few years ago between Andrew and Broadway the RL cars went 50 mph but it is now 40mph (or 39.9). When the Silverbirds go, I hope they get cars that can go fast without problems and let the trains go faster.
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