MBTA Commuter Rail (Operations, Keolis, & Short Term)

F-Line to Dudley

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So if we have the 93 mph capable coaches with the 2022 order, does it make sense to lease an electric push/pull locomotive rather than EMUs? Given our recent investment in rolling stock, it would seem that we will be running push/pull for some time, especially outside the 128 zone.
What electric loco lease? Nobody has enough spares to spare for covering the whole of the Providence schedule. Because it has to be the whole schedule to strip out the schedule padding predicated on an 'any' schedule. You get no improvement if we lease a couple Sprinters from Amtrak but every nth trip is pot luck for an F40.

Tightening's going to happen in stages. FIRST you get the new coaches online, ban the slow single-levels from Providence/Stoughton, gerrymander the locos to all-HSP/no-F40...and bank those gains into a refactored all-day schedule. Then you adopt EMU's...put up with 2 years of slow factory acceptances where there's still too many diesels out there...but do it conforming to the bestest/93 MPH diesel schedule so the transitional waste isn't so absurd. Then when the all-electric numbers are critical mass, lower the boom: diesels shadow-banned as a rule, whole new schedule refactoring shedding all that padding and more dramatic gains.

Skip steps or half-ass it and you end up getting the worst of all worlds: expensive new toys running an unchanged schedule padded to absurdity because lowest-common denominator equipment may still be taking the occasional 'any'-turn. You have to actually raise that denominator in discrete steps to get the advantages. Watch Caltrain completely and utterly miss this point with their all-too-piecemeal electrification...and see how unimproved their Baby Bullet schedules are on those unicorn-modded Stadler EMU's when they mix in traffic with gimp F40-hauled strings of gallery cars running to the un-electrified-maybe-forever Gilroy end of the line.

Even when you're talking the installment plan, the individual installments have to be whole-hogged to net those time-saving schedule revisions that shed the extra padding flab.
 

BostonUrbEx

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Gloucester Draw was truly unforeseen (they started demoing half the structure and found a terrifyingly large sinkhole under the other half risking imminent collapse. That project was at least well on-time/on-budget before things took a sudden turn.
No, Gloucester Draw was 100% a risk and everyone knew it. But the politicians kicked and screamed to replace only half the bridge at a time to maintain service to Glocuester and Rockport throughout the project. The pilings from the approach trestle were set in a old underwater causeway of muck, fill, and loose rocks that were totally sketchy looking as soon as engineers and project managers saw it.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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No, Gloucester Draw was 100% a risk and everyone knew it. But the politicians kicked and screamed to replace only half the bridge at a time to maintain service to Glocuester and Rockport throughout the project. The pilings from the approach trestle were set in a old underwater causeway of muck, fill, and loose rocks that were totally sketchy looking as soon as engineers and project managers saw it.
The political backstory doesn't change any of the underlying facts of why there was such a sudden project change mid-stream. The half-and-half demo was proceeding on-time...and then they uncovered a sinkhole massive enough to foretell imminent collapse of the whole structure and had to immediately shut it all down. Project management may have been tasked with the impossible trying to keep service operating, but they followed their schedule orders until it became critically apparent that was no longer physically possible, and then radically regrouped.
 

GP40MC

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This past weekend saw the completion of Cab signalling on the New Hampshire Route mainline. The last section (Wilmington to Bleachery) came into service Sunday.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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This past weekend saw the completion of Cab signalling on the New Hampshire Route mainline. The last section (Wilmington to Bleachery) came into service Sunday.
Is the Bleachery area still under legacy control of the Pan Am dispatcher? The fine print in the GLX land-swap agreements of a decade ago said that since the 2 derelict Lowell freight yards flanking the NH Main were being deeded to the state, dispatch control was going to be re-wired from 495 to Lowell Station to swap it to native T dispatch (since all non- Boston-bound freights now stay strictly on the Lowell Branch side of the split rather than dipping on/off the mainline to access the defunct yards). Was that dispatch territory re-draw lumped in with the cab signal install, or is there more complicated interlocking work still required downtown to settle up that longstanding I.O.U.?
 

GP40MC

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CPF-BY, LO and Western Avenue are still PAR controlled. I don't think that'll change until the redesign of that whole area is done. The only thing Keolis TD's can do is observe those interlockings (which are on their displays and have been since they got this latest system).
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Fitchburg Line to be bustituted March 1 to May 2 in-full for installation of new cab signal system required by the PTC mandate. They're doing the full-on 24/7 "rip band-aid off" by shuttering it all week in lieu of leveraging the already service-curtailed weekends for a longer term. Shuttle buses will all slam the Red Line in Alewife...which should be real fun as rapid transit ridership rebounds.

Chances are Reading, Rockburyport, and Haverhill/Wildcat won't get such drastic measures when they come due for their signal work because this Winter/Spring is probably the last time they can hide fully enough behind COVID ridership drops before the shuttle buses themselves would become too crowded to work as an every-day substitute.
 

jklo

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Chances are Reading, Rockburyport, and Haverhill/Wildcat won't get such drastic measures when they come due for their signal work because this Winter/Spring is probably the last time they can hide fully enough behind COVID ridership drops before the shuttle buses themselves would become too crowded to work as an every-day substitute.
Things are finally starting to pick up with the vaccine but expecting CR ridership to ramp that quickly seems optimistic. Summer should still be fine.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Things are finally starting to pick up with the vaccine but expecting CR ridership to ramp that quickly seems optimistic. Summer should still be fine.
...and Red Line ridership? Remember...these shuttles are all dumping their loads at Alewife simultaneously. Not gonna take very much upswing at all between now and May for that to become a significant loading problem.
 
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HelloBostonHi

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...and Red Line ridership? Remember...these shuttles are all dumping their loads at Alewife simultaneously. Not gonna take very much upswing at all between now and May for that to become a significant loading problem.
Not sure if you've ridden transit much lately. The CR trains I've been on have had something like 10-15 people on them by the terminus, and I've routinely had entire subway cars to myself. Even at peak on the OL there's more than enough seats to to sit every other seat comfortably. We're talking something like 10% pre-covid ridership on CR, and 20-25% on subway. I don't see capacity being an issue anytime soon sadly. It's almost sad, yesterday I was the only person on my bus at pm peak leaving Harvard, a trip that would usually be standing room only. It's going to take awhile for people to be comfortable again over here, even my friends in London in "national lockdown" have seen busier trains than I have, I don't think RL or shuttle capacity will be an issue.
 

jklo

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...and Red Line ridership? Remember...these shuttles are all dumping their loads at Alewife simultaneously. Not gonna take very much upswing at all between now and May for that to become a significant loading problem.
I was also going to say they should be dropping them off at Kendall, because that's where those people are going. Don't think they want to drive that far.
 

HenryAlan

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It's almost sad, yesterday I was the only person on my bus at pm peak leaving Harvard, a trip that would usually be standing room only.
You are clearly riding different bus routes than I am. I've been on quite a few buses that I considered to be too crowded for pandemic safety standards.
 

bigeman312

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It’s tellingly geographical. Bus ridership has decreased much more in Watertown, Belmont, Cambridge, Arlington (71, 73, 77, etc) than in Chelsea, Everett, Malden, East Boston, Revere (100s, 110s, etc).
 

Balerion

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The MBTA will reshape its commuter rail schedule this spring, sanding down the morning and evening peaks and reallocating trains to run on more even intervals over the course of the day, officials said Monday.

While announcing that the next round of service cuts affecting the T’s bus and subway lines will take effect March 14, MBTA higher-ups unveiled plans to “smooth out” service on the 12 commuter rail lines in an attempt to support new travel patterns in the era of COVID-19.

The commuter rail plan that takes effect April 5 will deploy fewer trains during the traditional rush hours and add frequency at other times, which officials described as a step toward a “regional rail” model that many riders and advocates have sought.


Most lines will run a train inbound or outbound roughly once per hour over the course of the day under the new system, according to MBTA Deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville. Final schedules will be published in March.
 

Riverside

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I'll believe proper clock-facing schedules when I see it... I think that press release is slippery enough to avoid guaranteeing.

That being said, I'm not suuuuuuper worried about reduced trainsets during the pandemic. I think that switching to an even schedule now will make it easier to ramp up to higher-frequency even-spacing all-day service in the future.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Half-assing to make deeply unpopular service cuts cut...but not carry as much bad-juju optics as a real capital-C "Cut"-cut...is not a "step towards regional rail", lazy reporter persons. Yeesh.
 

JeffDowntown

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The MBTA would run a train at 7 AM and one at 7 PM and call it "clock facing". :rolleyes:

Their PR department knows how to play buzzword bingo with the press.
 
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