• Commuter Rail Electrification

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

Moderators: sery2831, CRail

  by MaineCoonCat
Why would there be a "dead" section of catenary?
  by jwhite07
A short dead section or phase gap exists between segments of catenary which are fed by different substations/power sources in case the electrical phases between the two sources are out of synch.
  by MaineCoonCat
Right. I understand the concept of a phase break, but are they any longer than maybe 3 or 4 metres? The impression I got from apodino's question was that it was of considerable length. Guess I should have phrased my question better.
  by mbrproductions
Crighton's Senate bill sets some unfunded mandates around electrification with the following deadlines:
The entirety of the Providence/Stoughton and Fairmount lines, and the Newburyport/Rockport line up to Beverly must be electrified by December 31, 2024
  • Construction on Fairmount and Newburyport/Rockport must begin by November 1, 2023
    Framingham/Worcester shall be electrified by December 31, 2026
    Middleborough/Lakeville shall be electrified by December 31, 2027
    Remaining lines shall be electrified by December 31, 2035
LOL, I'll believe it when I see it. Also, why is the Middleborough/Lakeville Line supposed to be electrified by 2027? Why does it get priority over other lines such as the Lowell, Haverhill, and Franklin, which all have higher ridership than it.
You just hope that the inherent expectation that the T will complete a design and construction procurement in under six months doesn't cause the conversation to be laughed off Beacon Hill entirely.
That's exactly what is going to happen, giving the MBTA 6 months to complete a design, construction, and financial plan for system-wide electrification by 2035 (with some lines being much sooner), while they can't even get their act together maintaining what they already have is something no logical person would ever take seriously.
What I have a problem with is legislating how many trains should be running.
The expectations are laughable, but they are worded as "shall be capable of" instead of "shall run at frequencies of", so technically they aren't mandating that trains run at the frequencies listed above, although they clearly would like them to.
  by MaineCoonCat
Re: phase breaks, I've learned they're much bigger than I thought. Why so large?
  by wicked
Middleborough probably gets priority because of the insanity of shoving all the South Coast trains through Middleborough instead of getting the Stoughton route settled.
  by west point
This legestative mandate of DEC 31 2024 is impossible. That is only 23 months as of this Jan. Engineering of CAT might be probable. Where is MBTA going to get EMUs? 23 months ighly improbable. Electric motors/ how many HHPs, AEMs, are recoverable and able to be refurbished?

The real impossibility will be transformers. A facility cannot just go to say Siemens and say we need a 3 phase 345 Kv to single phase 25 Kv transforrmer and have it delivered in a year. Too much backlog for all builders. But if you look at what has to be specified then read the following.

https://site.ieee.org/sas-pesias/files/ ... tions1.pdf .

Remember that these transformers will need to handle regeneration by EMUs / loco motors. That will be a major special specification.
  by R36 Combine Coach
The only MUs available on short order are likely AMR/EXO's MR90s for sale, or if NJT's simply wants to dump
a few Arrow IIIs (which are already 25k ready). But their replacements are yet to be delivered.
  by mbrproductions
If the MBTA ever does electrify, I doubt they will go for EMUs, they will likely go for Electric Locomotives like the ACS-64 or ALP-45/46, similar to how they choose diesel locomotives over DMUs today, and that would make sense because they have just began taking delivery of new locomotive-hauled bilevel cars.
Middleborough probably gets priority because of the insanity of shoving all the South Coast trains through Middleborough instead of getting the Stoughton route settled.
I can't see how electrifying the line will help the situation, the only way to make a meaningful change to this is by double tracking the Middleborough Main, and if this whole forcing electrification thing does go through, the MBTA will likely have less incentive to not build Phase II, and would likely go through with it, if they could even afford to after such a massive project like electrifying the entire system by 2035 (which would be divine miracle).
  by cle
Agree that electrification without track doubling is not as good. Then South Coast services should be somewhat express, so you have two categories of service. Doable with nifty EMUs for the inners, and bi-level coaches for outers. I do find all the locomotives on these intra-urban routes absurd.

Framingham/Worcester is very interesting. I think along with all the E/W track plans, this could be a nice sop towards bi-mode Amtrak Inland routing. Insane that New Haven-Springfield isn't underway, also.
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
This is a joke. Gonna take much much longer than that to complete, even IF they started the projects tomorrow. People making these calls, and statements have 0 idea of RR'ing, construction, planning, environmental studies....more planning...another environmental study...then build. The T is A MESS from top to bottom. How is Natick Center coming along?
  by Red Wing
But if it gets the ball rolling what's wrong with that? These are politicians they don't need to know a proper timeline, that's what sending it to a committee is for, that's where the experts testify and help adjust the bill to something more reasonable or for you anti electric people it's where it will go to die. And after the 3 separate votes that will happen outside of the committee this bill will be changed.
The big thing about introducing this bill was to get people talking and that's what it has done.

To help this is how a bill becomes a law in the Commonwealth https://www.mass.gov/doc/the-legislativ ... 0/download
  by Disney Guy
Section breaks must be long enough so no car or consist with multiple current collectors tied together (e.g. two raised pantographs) can span the break, which would allow power from one substation to commingle with power from another substation which in turn could cause isolated overloads.

A train might have two pantographs on different engines but the circuitry in each could be isolated from the other so both pans can be up without spanning the section break. Most multiple unit subway cars etc. each have such independent circuitry for traction power.

I think there are also some instances where, after a train or car loses power, there is a time delay before power can be re-applied, and in some systems this is accomplished by a yet longer section break. Toronto had section breaks something like ten feet in length (for one trolley pole), I was told, to prevent problems with their Hawker Siddely cars' regenerative breaking systems.
  by diburning
MBTA F40PH-2C 1050 wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 5:21 pm This is a joke. Gonna take much much longer than that to complete, even IF they started the projects tomorrow.
This is how negotiations start. You don't start by offering what you want, you go to the opposite extreme, and then negotiate to the point where it looks like you're meeting them in the middle, when the middle is what you wanted all along.
  by west point
The legislature might not change deadline until next year when the reality hits the road ?
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