Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re:

Postby diburning » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:10 pm

jwhite07 wrote:I know that to get commuter rail trains as far as they did into Riverside as shown in my photo, some of the overhead wire in the yard had to be taken down because it would not clear the F40.

I don't have exact numbers in front of me, but to the best of my memory catenary height throughout the Green Line ranges from roughly 13' in the subway up closer to 18' or so above the street on Huntington Avenue, but typically somewhere in the 15'-16' range everywhere else.

An F40 is 15' 8" tall, and a bilevel car is 15' 6" tall, so in most cases you're not going to clear Green Line catenary comfortably, if at all.


I kind of rediscovered this topic, so I'll comment now. The catenary on Huntington Ave is 13'6". the panto graph looks like it is almost all the way up. I think the pantograph can extend to 15 feet max. If a F40PH is 15 feet 8 inches, it will defnitely touch the catenary.

Also, there is no way that the catenary is 13 feet in the subway. If you looked up at the pantograph in the subway, it's close to being all teh way down beacause of the low ceiling height. I would estimate that it is 10-11 feet tall maximum.

Also, the Kawasaki cars are the same height if not a couple inches taller than a F40PH-2C (from what I can see).

Here's a couple pics. The perspective on the first one might exxagerate is a bit

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2008091119505431007.jpg&order=byrail&page=6&key=MBTA

The second one is not as pronounced but it still does look like the k cars are taller if you look closely

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=200809021541374149.jpg&order=byrail&page=13&key=MBTA

And in this pic, it appears that the k cars are the same height as the geep's radiator fans

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2008092519360024642.jpg&order=byrail&page=5&key=MBTA
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby jwhite07 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:09 pm

I kind of rediscovered this topic, so I'll comment now. The catenary on Huntington Ave is 13'6". the panto graph looks like it is almost all the way up. I think the pantograph can extend to 15 feet max. If a F40PH is 15 feet 8 inches, it will defnitely touch the catenary.

Also, there is no way that the catenary is 13 feet in the subway. If you looked up at the pantograph in the subway, it's close to being all teh way down beacause of the low ceiling height. I would estimate that it is 10-11 feet tall maximum.


Car height (standing) from top of rail to locked down pantograph is 11'6", and car height of a moving car is considered to be 11' 11.5", so your numbers above are a little off... per Type 7 Operator's Manual I have.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby diburning » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:06 pm

jwhite07 wrote:
I kind of rediscovered this topic, so I'll comment now. The catenary on Huntington Ave is 13'6". the panto graph looks like it is almost all the way up. I think the pantograph can extend to 15 feet max. If a F40PH is 15 feet 8 inches, it will defnitely touch the catenary.

Also, there is no way that the catenary is 13 feet in the subway. If you looked up at the pantograph in the subway, it's close to being all teh way down beacause of the low ceiling height. I would estimate that it is 10-11 feet tall maximum.


Car height (standing) from top of rail to locked down pantograph is 11'6", and car height of a moving car is considered to be 11' 11.5", so your numbers above are a little off... per Type 7 Operator's Manual I have.


Ok, then maybe 12 feet maximum.

I know for sure that the catenary on Huntington ave is 13'6" because there are signs that say that so that insanely tall trucks don't get over there. The pantograph looks almost fully extended so the maximum height can't be too much taller.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby e-m00 » Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:21 pm

Looking out of my dorm on Huntington Ave, the pantograph looks to be about (going to window to wait for a set...) 2 and a half to 3 feet above eye level. I'm on the second floor and stand 5' 9" so I can verify diburning's 13' 6".
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby Unfixed ShihTzu » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:10 pm

diburning wrote:
I know for sure that the catenary on Huntington ave is 13'6" because there are signs that say that so that insanely tall trucks don't get over there. The pantograph looks almost fully extended so the maximum height can't be too much taller.


If the sign says 13' 6" then it's probably closer to 14' to give it a little safety room.

e-m00 wrote:Looking out of my dorm on Huntington Ave, the pantograph looks to be about (going to window to wait for a set...) 2 and a half to 3 feet above eye level. I'm on the second floor and stand 5' 9" so I can verify diburning's 13' 6".


What dorm do you live in? I'm curious because...

A) I just graduated from WIT
B) I've never seen a first floor that's only 4' 9" tall. (13' 6" - 3' above eye level - 5' 9" = 4' 9")
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby e-m00 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:01 am

e-m00 wrote:Looking out of my dorm on Huntington Ave, the pantograph looks to be about (going to window to wait for a set...) 2 and a half to 3 feet above eye level. I'm on the second floor and stand 5' 9" so I can verify diburning's 13' 6".


What dorm do you live in? I'm curious because...

A) I just graduated from WIT
B) I've never seen a first floor that's only 4' 9" tall. (13' 6" - 3' above eye level - 5' 9" = 4' 9")[/quote]

I don't know, I guess I'm just bad at estimating. It made sense in my head. :P
Also, I'm living in Baker.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby Choo Choo Coleman » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:34 pm

On a somewhat related topic....are the tracks for the green and other subway lines the same gage as passenger/commuter rail trains?
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Re:

Postby Unfixed ShihTzu » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:45 pm

Ummmm, yeah they are. Here is a pic as proof I found in this very thread.


GP40MC 1116 wrote:This is what you are referring too I think Alex

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... y=jwhite07
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby shawnp » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:44 pm

In case anyone wants to see an E height sign....
riverwaya3.jpg
riverwaya3.jpg (162.09 KiB) Viewed 1955 times
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby jonnhrr » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:44 pm

Choo Choo Coleman wrote:On a somewhat related topic....are the tracks for the green and other subway lines the same gauge as passenger/commuter rail trains?


In Boston, yes, all are standard gauge (4' 81/2"). That is the case in most North American cities with the notable exception of Philadelphia, where the commuter rail, Broad St. (Orange) line, and Norristown line are standard gauge, but the trolleys and the Market Frankford (Blue) line are "PA trolley gauge" which is 5' 2 1/2 ".

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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby Ron Newman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:34 pm

Which is why it was fairly easy to convert the Mattapan and Riverside lines from steam railroad to trolley use.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:54 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Which is why it was fairly easy to convert the Mattapan and Riverside lines from steam railroad to trolley use.


Wouldn't have made any difference as the rail had to be replaced anyway to change from the railroads MCB standard for rail head and flanges to the trolley's more shallow AERA standard.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby Ron Newman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:35 pm

Can you amplify on that? I don't understand what that means or why it is necessary.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:56 pm

Sure. Tires and flanges are traditionally smaller and more shallow on street railway vehicles than are on standard railroads such as New Haven. This is due primarily because of the typically heavier equipment found on railroads as opposed to street railways. On street railways, a smaller rail with a flatter head and more shallow flangeway on turnouts and streets are generally used (there even are some flangeless frogs used on turnouts on some installations). A railroad rail head tends to be more rounded than it's street railway counterpart. Railroad track profiles are built to an MCB (Master Car Builders) profile, while street railway's are built to the standard of the American Electric Railway Association (AERA). Because of the differences, but the same gauge, trolleys can be run on railroad track, but only at very slow speed and carefully watched. They need their own AERA standard track. If large rail is used and it is of a non-flangeway type (no guard, girder, or girder-guard rail), railroad equipment can conceivably use it as a temporary measure.Continuing down in size from AERA may be some narrow gauge track, and then some cable car standards. The San Francisco Cable Car Museum has an exposed truck in their lobby where you can see the shallow wheels and flanges. Down from there are mine railways which in some cases may have rail not much larger than a model "garden" railway.

So, in the case of the Mattapan Line, that rail would have had to have been replaced. Ballast and ties would have been removed, and I'm sure that the roadbed was in need of work by the time that the BERy got it, so it most likely got a complete re-do.
Last edited by 3rdrail on Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Height of Green Line Catenary vs. Height of Commuter Rail

Postby Ron Newman » Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:06 pm

Thank you! I did not know any of this.
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