• MBB Overhaul

  • 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 Steve Wagner
A story from the State House News service in the Boston Metro (distributed free at many commuter stations) dated Wednesday, October 23 reports that Rob DiAdamo, "executive director of the commuter rail", told the MBTA's Fiscal Management and Control Board on Monday the 21st that 20 out-of-service commuter rail coaches, dating back to the early 1990s, will be renovated. Supposedly that will give them "about seven years of useful life". The work is to be done at the MBTA's "Rochester facility and separate Keolis sites, and they will begin phasing into service next year".

Can any helpful reader please specify what type of coaches these are? Single-level or double-decker? From which manufacturer? Car numbers?
  by RenegadeMonster
Hmm, interesting.

The only coaches the date back to the early 90's are the K cars, which are double-decker. But they are already being rebuilt. Also, the only out of service ones are because they are currently being rebuilt.

So the Out of Service coaches doesn't make much since. Also the 7 year extended life doesn't either. Both those make me think of the MBBs from the late 80s. They are single level, and the only coaches with enough numbers of out of service coaches to renovate to hit 20. But it doesn't make sense to me that they would decide to renovate these coaches. Their end of life was supposed to be in 2013.
  by Commuterrail1050
The MBBs currently in storage in Rochester is what they are referring to. And they can't overhaul these coaches? Look at what they did for the Connecticut lease. Anything is possible with any fleet if they choose to use them. Never say never until it's done.
  by Steve Wagner
Thanks to all those who have provided more information on this!

I actually think this is good news. As a rider, I actually prefer the MBB coaches, for two reasons. First, they have larger windows than those on the other single-level cars. Second, nearly all of them have proper two-two seating, and some still had seats that could be flipped to allow more people to ride facing forwards. These are both rider-friendly features which newer cars lack. I think having three-two seating on single-level cars and the lower deck of double deckers has been required to qualify for partial funding by the federal government, which crams in more riders but makes the ride considerably less pleasant.

Crew members, particularly engineers, have hated many of the MBB cars as they have deteriorated, partly because bad smells from the bad toilets get into the cab area.
  by Backshophoss
tHE MBB's ARE LIFE EXPIRED,and have structure issues,and BODY ROT,most of these cars have been part supplies since stored
ConnDOT spent $$$$$ to get their leased MBB's serviceable
MBTA has sole sourced a 2nd order oF Rotem MLV's to be build in Japan,With the K-cars still under overhaul as well.
there's nothing left to rebuild in Seaview yard.
  by CRail
They aren't even the oldest cars in the fleet... Life expired!? I never noticed a 'use by' date stamped on them. I also never knew railroad equipment had a shelf life. The MBB cars have/had floor issues that wad mitigated on a number of cars. The reason they were stored, marked "MassDOT" and not scrapped is because the state intends to continue to use them after the T is done with them. It's also why some were leased to ConnDOT to keep those 16 cars active. This notion that they're "spent" is based in absolutely nothing.
  by Commuterrail1050
The mbb's are 2 years older than the bombardiers 1600's are. They are the oldest control trailer coaches on the fleet, however the oldest blind trailer coach cars are the Pullman standards which is what Crail was referring to.
  by RenegadeMonster
The life expired comment probably comes the deck the MBTA presented for the purchase of the 80 new Rotems.

It listed the MBBs as having their end of lifecycle scheduled in 2013. The 300s coaches in 2015, and the rest of the single level coaches and control cabs in 2020. This was the major driving point of purchases the new coaches at an accelerated rate.

Because of their age the coaches are becoming less reliable every year and becoming more expensive to overhaul for only an estimated 5 to 7 years of additional life.

To me, it sounds like the need for additional coaches is driving this. And they need more capacity sooner than orders for new coaches can be fulfilled. I wonder if the South Coast Rail is the major driver here?
  by Backshophoss
They would be wasting $$$$$ on the MBB's,they were "put away wet" when they were pulled from service,they are beyond reasonable
rebuilding cost aka "life expired",The BBD Comets are getting to that point as well The MBB's that ConnDOT rebuilt are the seed fleet for Greenfield
service if kept past the pilot testing phase.
  by CRail
You can type it over and over again and it won't make it true. They've lasted fine with moderate signs of wear for 30+ years of service with no overhaul/rebuild. The money spent on restoring them for future service is modest at worst, especially compared to the outrageous cost of procuring new equipment. It's definitely fair to say they haven't aged as well as the Pullman/Bomb cars (also doing a pretty good job holding up with no rebuild 200s excepted), but overall there's absolutely nothing wrong with them.
  by GP40MC1118
The 1533 is on the way to Bear, Delaware for repairs. Was southbound
on NS through Binghamton this past weekend.
  by sonicdoommario
So is that where the Delaware Car facility is located? I thought I remember hearing it was in Wilmington near the Amtrak stop.
  by GP40MC1118
It is: 2nd &, N Lombard St, Wilmington, DE 19801.

Bear is just south of Wilmington itself...confusing!

  by Commuterrail1050
I don't remember ever having railroad equipment with an expiration date like on perishable food items that says "use by". Even if the equipment is in bad shape, they can still overhaul them like they did to the 20 mbb's that Connecticut is leasing.
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