General MBTA Topics (Multi Modal, Budget, MassDOT)

Tallguy

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I understand that the T cars suspensions adjust to account for the weight of the passengers. Can this height be reset on the fly? Could the BL feed into the OL and a button pushed to raise it 4in?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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I understand that the T cars suspensions adjust to account for the weight of the passengers. Can this height be reset on the fly? Could the BL feed into the OL and a button pushed to raise it 4in?
Yes (to a degree). The air ballast on cars is adjustable. And, in fact, it does need to be tweaked at the shop from time to time when a car becomes askew from the platform lip (on a severely out-of-alignment ballast, that could be a couple inches).

24 of the BL 0600's were proposed to be rebuilt and sent to the Orange Line for fleet expansion back when they were buying the Siemens 0700 cars and were still proposing to midlife-overhaul the Orange 01200's. They would've been able to do so so long as the cars were sandwiched in the middle of the set and never leading, for signal compatibility purposes. The 0600's and 01200's were identical makes except for their line-specific differences, so would've trainlined just fine. Adjusting the ballast heights was one of the few/only mods required, and it was within the vehicles' tolerances. The only reason this plan was not pursued is because the carbodies were found to be too corroded by the salt air along the Blue Line to be feasible for rebuilding at acceptable cost.


EDIT: If by "on-the-fly" you mean interlining Blue to Orange in a single trip...no, not quite. The ballast has to be adjusted in the shop for any significant change. The only self-adjusting is hydraulic for keeping it at the same level under varying passenger loads. It doesn't change levels on-the-fly. I suppose if there were ever a need for that it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to order some Jetsons Shit floor-height changing 'active' hydraulics on factory order for brand-new rolling stock, but that's starting to get a bit kludgy and cost-adding.
 
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Brattle Loop

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How long does an Orange Line turnaround take?
Scheduled or actual? Oak Grove's my nearest subway station, so I've had many, many, many experiences when the departure bell has rung only for it to be a noticeable amount of time before the doors close and the train leaves; often the operator is still making their way down from the other end of the train. I don't know how long a turnaround is supposed to take, but I doubt the schedule factors in operator sluggishness. (I seem to recall at one point a practice of an additional floating operator at the terminal who'd take the train back out, and the one bringing it in would take the next train out, and so forth, to try and speed up turnarounds at peak times, though I don't know how long that lasted.)
 

Tallguy

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Scheduled or actual? Oak Grove's my nearest subway station, so I've had many, many, many experiences when the departure bell has rung only for it to be a noticeable amount of time before the doors close and the train leaves; often the operator is still making their way down from the other end of the train. I don't know how long a turnaround is supposed to take, but I doubt the schedule factors in operator sluggishness. (I seem to recall at one point a practice of an additional floating operator at the terminal who'd take the train back out, and the one bringing it in would take the next train out, and so forth, to try and speed up turnarounds at peak times, though I don't know how long that lasted.)
Soooo...5 minutes? More?
 

Riverside

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Sees WCVB post on Facebook about Orange Line train catching fire

Watches news report.
“Hmm, that doesn’t exactly look like ‘catching fire’… smoking yes, but sometimes things smoke without actually ‘catching fire’, at least not in the way that readily comes to mind.”

Goes on Twitter.

“Oh. Yeah, that looks a lot more like the train is on fire.”

 

ant8904

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My typical understanding is systems under active investigation usually try to show their best side. Yet here we are, the train is on fire in the most visible and dramatic possible fashion.

I'm guessing this is an incident that having the new trains come in would resolve it. But the old trains needs to stay functional and safe until it's enough are them are here.
 

Riverside

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Holy shit, apparently someone jumped in the river??

(Not commenting on whether the fire was “bad enough” to warrant that reaction per se, but the fact that someone was that panicked about it is a huge problem — the T has a responsibility to ensure that passengers feel reasonably safe.)

 

mass88

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While I understand that making additional investments in the T is necessary (and warranted), I have little confidence the leadership in place would be able to properly utilize additional funding towards making the system better.

This is an awful look for the system (obviously).
 

Stlin

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...I'm guessing this is an incident that having the new trains come in would resolve it. But the old trains needs to stay functional and safe until it's enough are them are here.
Honestly, that might very well be a proximate cause of this; per NE Transit the 1400s are due to be scrapped starting next month in batches of 30, so I doubt they're getting lots of maintenance attention. Looking at that fire, it looks like electrical arcing, and while I'm far from an expert I'm willing to say that skimped maintenance, plus heat related reduced tolerances, added up to something catching the third rail.
 

sneijder

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Honestly, that might very well be a proximate cause of this; per NE Transit the 1400s are due to be scrapped starting next month in batches of 30, so I doubt they're getting lots of maintenance attention. Looking at that fire, it looks like electrical arcing, and while I'm far from an expert I'm willing to say that skimped maintenance, plus heat related reduced tolerances, added up to something catching the third rail.
I'm surprised that they were able to resume service so quickly after this incident - trains already running on their usual 10min headways now, suggesting that there's zero damage to the third rail or power systems.
 

stefal

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Honestly, that might very well be a proximate cause of this; per NE Transit the 1400s are due to be scrapped starting next month in batches of 30, so I doubt they're getting lots of maintenance attention. Looking at that fire, it looks like electrical arcing, and while I'm far from an expert I'm willing to say that skimped maintenance, plus heat related reduced tolerances, added up to something catching the third rail.
Paraphrasing Poftak:

The train was last inspected June 23, 2022. A sill fell off the train, and all cars have been inspected for loose sills. Sills are not essential to the function of the train, but cover parts that do.

The motorman led evacuations, but a few people took it upon themselves through self-evacuation through 4 windows.
 
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ant8904

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I believe the Orange line has only 1 train driver per train. Over a decade ago there used to be 2 but it was redundant long before then. 1 person evacuating hundred of passengers is going to have a delayed response. It's not like there's place to stand on a platform to give directions.

This is not to say we should bring back the 2 train drivers practice. Ideally, this shouldn't happen in the first place.
 

JeffDowntown

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Paraphrasing Poftak:

The train was last inspected June 23, 2021. A sill fell off the train, and all cars have been inspected for loose sills. Sills are not essential to the function of the train, but cover parts that do.

The motorman led evacuations, but a few people took it upon themselves through self-evacuation through 4 windows.
Just quick note on a typo, the last inspection was June 23, 2022, less than a month ago.
 

737900er

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Paraphrasing Poftak:

The train was last inspected June 23, 2021. A sill fell off the train, and all cars have been inspected for loose sills. Sills are not essential to the function of the train, but cover parts that do.

The motorman led evacuations, but a few people took it upon themselves through self-evacuation through 4 windows.
Would be interesting to know whether the motorperson stopped the train because of visible fire or the smell of smoke or because of some other indication considering the fire was in the lead car.

Would the passengers have pulled, or known to pull, the emergency brake handle? Or even where it was?
 

erom

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From the first-hand reports from passengers (you can find them on the /r/Boston thread) it sounds like there was no intercom so the "self evacuating" passengers got started fleeing the train before the motorperson had a chance to take control of the situation.

If you put passengers in a car full of smoke with no intercom announcement, you have to expect they're going to start taking matters into their own hands for good or ill.

The person jumping is apparently fine - she refused to get into the boat that responded, swam to shore, and walked away.
 

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