General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

KentXie

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Very, very, very bad look. Also, um, what kind of batteries do these things have that their failure mode is "explode"???
There isn't a failure mode. It's referring to the fact that the batteries failed and exploded. You can Google up "electric bus battery explode" and you'll see cases like this. This is why you're not allowed to bring lithium batteries on planes because they can fail, ignite, and explode very rapidly.

 

Brattle Loop

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...but not as bad a look as all those RUSTBUCKETS, amirite?:eek:
I dunno, have a Twitter poll of which looks better, with the choices being the rustiest 01200 and an actively-on-fire 01400, might be worth a laugh.

Speaking of the rustbuckets, though, I assume that with the service cuts they'll be able to manage with the reduced fleet of 01200s, or is this just going to make that problem worse?
 

bakgwailo

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There isn't a failure mode. It's referring to the fact that the batteries failed and exploded. You can Google up "electric bus battery explode" and you'll see cases like this. This is why you're not allowed to bring lithium batteries on planes because they can fail, ignite, and explode very rapidly.

Same issue on the Boeing 787 Dreamliners back when. Lithium ion battery fail rather spectacurly - the term is 'spicy pillows' - even has its own subreddit which is pretty awesome.
 
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Jahvon09

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I never even KNEW that the new trains had batteries! Why is that, when they are getting their operating power from the third rail?!! :unsure:
 

737900er

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How long before the T blames this fire as a reason to not get BEBs :ROFLMAO:
See how safety focused we are, we're protecting our passengers from these dangerous batteries!
 

F-Line to Dudley

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How long before the T blames this fire as a reason to not get BEBs :ROFLMAO:
See how safety focused we are, we're protecting our passengers from these dangerous batteries!
There's probably not a lot they can do about it. All railcars have batteries, old ones included. They run the emergency lighting and PA's when the power's out, back up the door controls for emergency evacuations, and provide power for all the computer telemetry on board. They might even now allow for very slow crawling inside the yard or carhouse when hopping over third-rail gaps.

On the old cars, the batteries are most likely lead-acid car battery analogues. Li-ion is the preferred replacement because it's so well-suited to electronics, and today's railcars have so much (on or off) invested in their computer brains. So it's not like there's a choice in the matter. The key from this investigation is whether A) it was a one-time fluke; B) there's supply-chain issues with the battery suppliers; C) there's a design fault that makes them more prone to getting asplodey. But Li-ion batts have to likely be there in some form, even if these aren't nearly as large as a battery-hybrid vehicle's would be.
 

The EGE

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Green Line is replaced by shuttle buses between Gov't Ctr and Lechmere. Orange Line is suspended between North Station and Back Bay due to a structural issue with the Government Center Garage. Customers can use Green Line service through Downtown.
Again??
 

stefal

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Tim Logan is reporting that HYM stated they have discovered "years of water damage" to structural columns. Unclear what columns they are referring to. I would assume it would be related to the garage structure.

Edit:
WCVB:
"This afternoon a team of engineers conducted a survey of the MBTA tunnels underneath the Government Center Garage," a statement from HYM Investment Group said.

"A subsurface column in proximity to the Green and Orange Lines was identified as compromised from years of water damage," the statement said.
 
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393b40

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Confidence inspiring… how many years has this been ignored?
 

Riverside

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The T’s press release is, to put it mildly, scathing.

“This service disruption as a result of HYM’s project is unacceptable and the MBTA will seek to hold HYM Construction accountable for all costs associated with this event,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Riders’ safety is our top priority and unfortunately, as a result of this private party’s project, we must divert trains until the tunnels can be inspected and cleared by independent experts.”
 

Brattle Loop

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Tim Logan is reporting that HYM stated they have discovered "years of water damage" to structural columns. Unclear what columns they are referring to. I would assume it would be related to the garage structure.

Edit:
WCVB:
Amusingly they go on to say that the condition of the column is in no way related to the demolition work at the garage. Which, yes, is presumably true: it was deteriorating for years and no one ever bothered to fix it...doesn't change the fact that it's still causing problems now. (And I imagine if the demolition had nothing to do with it being a problem - as opposed to their very-specific wording that the condition of it is unrelated - they would have said so.)
 

KentXie

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Better that they have discovered this now than finding out after a collapse a la ceiling panel falling and crushing a car like the Tip o'Neill tunnel.

Honestly more bad discoveries right now is a good thing. It forces the politicians to actually do something about it and spend on infrastructure
 

intellirock617

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The commute today turned from holding at stations on the OL due to a "disabled train being switched tracks at North Station" to "No Service Between North Station and Back Bay ... take the Green Line to Copley". When the initial MBTA tweet came out, I had asked a Transit Ambassador on the train and they replied "I don't know man, I don't deal with no Lechmere". I suggested that they adjust the announcement on the train to tell people about the shuttles but he just kind of sulked away.
 

Stlin

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An MBTA spokesperson explained to Boston.com over the phone that even though the garage supports run through the MBTA tunnels, they are part of the garage, which is privately owned, and therefore not the responsibility of the MBTA.
If true, at least the MBTA has someone else to blame for this, which they appear to be doing aggressively. If not HYM, then the previous owners and managers of the garage, presuming that they had enough access to notice. Also, if those columns are physically in the tunnels, presumably the inspectors following the collapse would have walked right past these a couple of months ago, and presumably even assessed it at that time. If the deterioration was that advanced, you'd think they would've noticed.
 

Riverside

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If another MBTA escalator malfunctioned in an apparently similar (though personally I am guessing it was distinct) fashion to the terrifying incident at Back Bay Station last year, you’d think you’d have heard of it, right?

Riiiiiiiiight?

Another escalator reversed at Chinatown this weekend. No one was injured. This sounds like the reverse movement was slower than at Back Bay, so I’m wondering if there’s a different underlying cause. But in all the hubbub about Everything Else, I’ve seen very little coverage and conversation about this incident.

Looking back at Back Bay, it seems prescient; the investigation revealed very clear safety and maintenance lapses that are consistent with what the FTA is now uncovering publicly.

 

Badusername

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Any ideas why GLX service is ending at Lechmere instead of North Station? The last time they shut down service for the Haymarket garage the shuttle busses began at North Station, much more convenient for commuter rail transfers.
 

themissinglink

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It has not been a good week for the MBTA, that's for sure. Even though some of these issues are clearly out of their control (like the garage deterioration), all of these recent issues occurring at once is a borderline worst-case scenario.
 

Stlin

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Any ideas why GLX service is ending at Lechmere instead of North Station? The last time they shut down service for the Haymarket garage the shuttle busses began at North Station, much more convenient for commuter rail transfers.
Actually, that's a good point. While the tunnels may be unsafe for passenger service, this closure is presumably going to be longer than the collapse closure, with reopening predicated on repairs to that column or removal of the load it's supporting being completed. That work presumably will have a known completion time eventually. Given that's the case, as well as the FTAs directives to fix the bit between Tufts & Back Bay and Central Subway, which happens to be closed, what are the chances that the T is able to "surge" it's ROW access during this time? Things like GLTPS wayside installs, track repairs.

While it may be too much to hope that the T's maintenance groups can deploy that quickly, or manage both crises in parallel, it would be nice if the T came out of this in somewhat better shape than it went in.
 

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