MBTA "Transformation" (Green Line, Red Line, & Orange Line Transformation Projects)

Highwayguy

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I typically dont head that far out on the D, but the couple of times l have the trolley has come to a complete or near complete stop [at the trail crossing between Newton Center and Chestnut Hill] before proceeding without any peds in sight. I assumed this was standard Ops, but based on F lines reply did l just hapen to get overly cautious motormen? Probably a 10 second waste compared to staying at track speed, so not a huge deal overall. But on the other hand, with the abysmal travel times to Riverside post crash, any time savings helps.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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I typically dont head that far out on the D, but the couple of times l have the trolley has come to a complete or near complete stop before proceeding without any peds in sight. I assumed this was standard Ops, but based on F lines reply did l just hapen to get overly cautious motormen? Probably a 10 second waste compared to staying at track speed, so not a huge deal overall. But on the other hand, with the abysmal travel times to Riverside post crash, any time savings helps.
It might be situational when they do/don't pause. In the fallout from the fatal rear-ender the NTSB fingered signal visibility in sun glare conditions, which is why speed limits have been so punitively restricted. The crossing may be lumped in with a bulletin-ordered auto-pause at low sun angle (sun glare can get pretty bad outbound on the PM rush...not sure if conditions are reciprocal on the AM inbound). But it's not 24/7...or at least not adhered to every single time. I haven't ridden the D past Reservoir since probably mid-'18, but don't recall any patterned time-bomb stops out there (at least nothing above background level...i.e. normal yellow signals from congestion ahead). It'd definitely have been bitched about extensively if it were an all-permanent feature, because if you've ever been a standee on a Type 7 (pre-rebuild at least) at 45 MPH you know how violently the Kinkis can rock from side-to-side at full throttle. Moderate-hard braking is downright uncomfortable on that stretch if you're clinging to a pole while getting thrown around like a ragdoll under centifugal force. It's the only major ride-quality flaw those cars have vs. their predecessors or successors, but can literally beat the snot out of you on this stretch of D.
 

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Progress still utterly glacial, but a 17th Type 9--car 3917--finally got accepted into service after months of the ticker being stuck at 16. All 24 cars have been on the property since early-Oct., so who the hell knows what the delay is with the remaining 7 acceptances, all of whom are lighting up the new train tracker with regular testing so presumably aren't being held at Riverside shop for any warranty problems. And car 3906, delivered in early Fall 2019, is still bafflingly AWOL from the revenue acceptances after 1 full year for reasons completely unknown.
 

BostonTrainGuy

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I typically dont head that far out on the D, but the couple of times l have the trolley has come to a complete or near complete stop [at the trail crossing between Newton Center and Chestnut Hill] before proceeding without any peds in sight. I assumed this was standard Ops, but based on F lines reply did l just hapen to get overly cautious motormen? Probably a 10 second waste compared to staying at track speed, so not a huge deal overall. But on the other hand, with the abysmal travel times to Riverside post crash, any time savings helps.
It's a 10 mph crossing just like all of the Greenline road and pedestrian crossings. It's very lightly used and seems a ridiculous rule especially at night or in the winter. However they will actually setup a radar trap there sometimes to get an operator or two. An official in a T car will be stationed there and may even lock the gates when they do vehicle testing which is often after last train (i.e., about 1 - 3 AM). Always seemed like overkill to me and never heard of anyone ever getting hit here. BTW - There are signs posted that warn of "High Speed Trains".
 

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Progress still utterly glacial, but a 17th Type 9--car 3917--finally got accepted into service after months of the ticker being stuck at 16. All 24 cars have been on the property since early-Oct., so who the hell knows what the delay is with the remaining 7 acceptances, all of whom are lighting up the new train tracker with regular testing so presumably aren't being held at Riverside shop for any warranty problems. And car 3906, delivered in early Fall 2019, is still bafflingly AWOL from the revenue acceptances after 1 full year for reasons completely unknown.
3918 follows into service just 4 days later, so there's now 9 pair lash-ups in revenue service. NETransit now accounts for the final 6 non-accepteds as indeed "in testing" (confirming what the TransitMatters New Train Tracker has unofficially showed for some time), so no mechanical problems apparent including with mysteriously tardy car #3906. They're just backed up because reasons.

Hopefully this bodes for rapid pace rest of the way and a complete wrap on the order within the dwindling calendar year. Next fleet focus is going to be loading up for procurement bear on parts sources for the concerningly bloated and growing dead line of out-of-service Bredas...which isn't doing ADA compliance any solid while the Kinki rebuilds are running ahead at such large disparity of available service units. Too many all high-floor 7-7's projected to be backfilling post-COVID peak slots in '21 unless they can start moving much faster getting those too-long shuttered Type 8's into the shop for overdue repair.
 
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ra84970

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3918 follows into service just 4 days later, so there's now 9 pair lash-ups in revenue service. NETransit now accounts for the final 6 non-accepteds as indeed "in testing" (confirming what the TransitMatters New Train Tracker has unofficially showed for some time), so no mechanical problems apparent including with mysteriously tardy car #3906. They're just backed up because reasons.

Hopefully this bodes for rapid pace rest of the way and a complete wrap on the order within the dwindling calendar year. Next fleet focus is going to be loading up for procurement bear on parts sources for the concerningly bloated and growing dead line of out-of-service Bredas...which isn't doing ADA compliance any solid while the Kinki rebuilds are running ahead at such large disparity of available service units. Too many all high-floor 7-7's projected to be backfilling post-COVID peak slots in '21 unless they can start moving much faster getting those too-long shuttered Type 8's into the shop for overdue repair.
Given the headways that the T is talking about in the "Leaving Behind" process, are we thinking that we'd even see that many 7-7s? It feels like they're running skeleton services on the branches -- 13 minutes on off-peaks? Which in my mind, sounds more like 15 minute services. And, what, on the weekends 20-25 minute gaps?
 

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Given the headways that the T is talking about in the "Leaving Behind" process, are we thinking that we'd even see that many 7-7s? It feels like they're running skeleton services on the branches -- 13 minutes on off-peaks? Which in my mind, sounds more like 15 minute services. And, what, on the weekends 20-25 minute gaps?
If that bluff gets called, which is no sure thing. But even the most pessimistic amongst us can't pin on a dartboard where the moving target of service cuts is specifically going to land after all the back-room dealing settles and winners/losers are picked out. The state was being intentionally obtuse with its blanket statements for good reason.


Right now at full non-COVID blast the Green Line requires 75 two-car pairs for peak service. Shop rotations for inspections, pantograph shoe replacements, set-asides for test trains or work shifts, shift breaks for breaking/re-mating consists, forced idles for monitoring of minor aches & pains, after-shift cleaning of TBD severity (now more than ever!), and multitude of other micro-needs means that on any given day in the neighborhood 10% of the in-service roster is unavailable for one reason or another between 5:00am and 12:30am. The next day it's a completely different ~10% by car numbers, but similar spread. As a mode, mixed-running LRT has drastically lower spare ratios than the bus system...but notably higher than the HRT system where lash-ups stay intact and on-call way longer.

So with 85 "revenue rostered" Bredas you're only daily talking 76-78 available for an ADA pairing, functionally the barest minimum. With actuals that may be optimistic in real life given how many aches & pains the cars are developing in their advancing age. Some (not many, but some) inevitably get 'wasted' into 8-8 consists when there's a yard mismatch of available singles to mash up...though that tends to vary by-shift rather than all service day. That's scraping the hull already on unblemished ADA service. Pre-COVID the 7-7's were indeed out there at peak, though by-practice never on consecutive trains. If there's too many of them, however, it gets hard to prevent incidences of multiple consecutive high-floor trains at the Kenmore branch mash-up (and Copley) because slotting is chaotic amid bunching and schedule adjustments. The ~10 Type 9 consists that will be daily-available going forward are thus really crucial, because they can keep the 7-7's held down to incidental occurrence rather than frequent-enough recurrence that the 'prevent-defense' for consecutive all-high-floors @ Kenmore becomes too unpredictable to shoot for.

You're gonna need to get the Breda dead line repaired, however, when GLX Phase I reopens Lechmere and first-wave beyonds. Because if the dead line is 10%+ then the spares ratio of ~10% on top of that starts scraping the hull again. The sidelined units all need lots of long-term repairs to get back, because during their outage they have been raided for day-to-day parts to feed the in-service units. So each of those cold bodies will be in-shop for many weeks to couple months each getting more substantially put back together when all parts are finally available. Which puts urgency on these procurement items to stock up the parts. Doesn't get any easier when attrition is taking its toll on the in-service units and all of them must also get programmed for selective component replacement lest they be the next ones to hit the dead line and start getting raided for spare parts in the short term that consigns them to longer shop gestation in the long term before they can come back. We'll have a pretty flush roster for '21...but if there's any procurement delays in acting on the Breda supply chain (note: unpredictable by supplier nature because of how godawful-custom those turkeys are), LRT Division starts looking at fleet bottlenecks anew for '22-23 after just pulling itself out of a years-long vicious cycle of exactly the same. Pays to be proactive. And being proactive here will not involve taking COVID's temperature for how many moving parts (sic) it entails.
 
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ra84970

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If that bluff gets called, which is no sure thing. But even the most pessimistic amongst us can't pin on a dartboard where the moving target of service cuts is specifically going to land after all the back-room dealing settles and winners/losers are picked out. The state was being intentionally obtuse with its blanket statements for good reason.


Right now at full non-COVID blast the Green Line requires 75 two-car pairs for peak service. Shop rotations for inspections, pantograph shoe replacements, set-asides for test trains or work shifts, shift breaks for breaking/re-mating consists, forced idles for monitoring of minor aches & pains, after-shift cleaning of TBD severity (now more than ever!), and multitude of other micro-needs means that on any given day in the neighborhood 10% of the in-service roster is unavailable for one reason or another between 5:00am and 12:30am. The next day it's a completely different ~10% by car numbers, but similar spread. As a mode, mixed-running LRT has drastically lower spare ratios than the bus system...but notably higher than the HRT system where lash-ups stay intact and on-call way longer.

So with 85 "revenue rostered" Bredas you're only daily talking 76-78 available for an ADA pairing, functionally the barest minimum. With actuals that may be optimistic in real life given how many aches & pains the cars are developing in their advancing age. Some (not many, but some) inevitably get 'wasted' into 8-8 consists when there's a yard mismatch of available singles to mash up...though that tends to vary by-shift rather than all service day. That's scraping the hull already on unblemished ADA service. Pre-COVID the 7-7's were indeed out there at peak, though by-practice never on consecutive trains. If there's too many of them, however, it gets hard to prevent incidences of multiple consecutive high-floor trains at the Kenmore branch mash-up (and Copley) because slotting is chaotic amid bunching and schedule adjustments. The ~10 Type 9 consists that will be daily-available going forward are thus really crucial, because they can keep the 7-7's held down to incidental occurrence rather than frequent-enough recurrence that the 'prevent-defense' for consecutive all-high-floors @ Kenmore becomes too unpredictable to shoot for.

You're gonna need to get the Breda dead line repaired, however, when GLX Phase I reopens Lechmere and first-wave beyonds. Because if the dead line is 10%+ then the spares ratio of ~10% on top of that starts scraping the hull again. The sidelined units all need lots of long-term repairs to get back, because during their outage they have been raided for day-to-day parts to feed the in-service units. So each of those cold bodies will be in-shop for many weeks to couple months each getting more substantially put back together when all parts are finally available. Which puts urgency on these procurement items to stock up the parts. Doesn't get any easier when attrition is taking its toll on the in-service units and all of them must also get programmed for selective component replacement lest they be the next ones to hit the dead line and start getting raided for spare parts in the short term that consigns them to longer shop gestation in the long term before they can come back. We'll have a pretty flush roster for '21...but if there's any procurement delays in acting on the Breda supply chain (note: unpredictable by supplier nature because of how godawful-custom those turkeys are), LRT Division starts looking at fleet bottlenecks anew for '22-23 after just pulling itself out of a years-long vicious cycle of exactly the same. Pays to be proactive. And being proactive here will not involve taking COVID's temperature for how many moving parts (sic) it entails.
This makes me wonder how much of the SF Breda's have parts interchangeable with the Boston Bredas.
 

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This makes me wonder how much of the SF Breda's have parts interchangeable with the Boston Bredas.
Not much for the most highly design-customized parts like joints and trucks for that problematic center section, because Muni's LRV2's are hugely wider than the Type 8's and have a completely different unicorn center design. And the Muni Bredas are their own notorious vat of suck overall for fit/finish maladies, paralleling the T's experience at taking nearly 8 years to get a chopped-down procurement entirely in service via hundreds of warranty mods deviating from original blueprints. SFMTA is scheduling all 150+ of their units for retirement by 2027--same timeframe as our Type 10 order. Only they already have their replacement make on the property in the standardized, sterling-reputation Siemens S200, which was ordered for fleet expansion and will have all its contract options drained over the course of several installments to unify the fleet. Muni similarly have an uncomfortable glut of long-term OOS Bredas acting as de facto parts donors for the active fleet while they try to load up for some selective parts replacement packages to get the cold bodies in the dead line back up and running and to harden the rest of the service fleet for their last 5-7 years of duty.

Stuff like propulsion/HVAC guts and electrical controls aren't really a problem because they're fairly standard as 1st-gen AC traction vehicles go, with a lot of electrical only lightly-evolved from the Type 7's to make (mostly well-behaving) inter-generational trainlining possible. The Bredas have never been known for the kind of maddening propulsion crap-outs and herky-jerky starts/stops that the electrical-unicorn Boeings were notorious for both here and in SF. Electrical guts are mostly straightforward, easily sourced from the supply chain, and easily repairable. It's frame-related parts that are extremely difficult to find because of the hyper-customization, the smaller-than-expected orders, the cut-short projected lifespans and lack of any rebuild market, and all the warranty mods that sprayed different generations of parts across the fleets during their tortured rollouts. AnsaldoBreda is suitably open-book (enforced in part by the early-termination settlements on the order) for allowing third parties to fabricate to their custom parts, but it takes a lot more lead time to get that stuff than the average maint-related procurement and often requires triaging with multiple vendors before enough parts are amassed to do a round of selective systems replacement. The market has spoken about these turkeys re: how much overall interest there is in feeding a dead-ender's supply chain.
 

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Unexpected 3-car set of Type 9s running on the D this morning. Taken at Brookline Village.

View attachment 8852
No ads in the side frames, so looks like a test train.

Yes...triplets testing is standard-issue part of the burn-in process. Probably also some limited 4-car testing with the CAF's because that can occasionally happen in a contingency when 2 separate trains have to be lashed into one for a bulk move (either in service disruption or more often a non-revenue bulk transfer of equipment between yards). All existing cars on the roster are capable of up to 4-car (with OPTO/single-operator from the lead car) as a baseline spec, even though there aren't any end-to-end service patterns with compatible platform lengths. Triplet burn-ins are usually something you'd see primarily on the D, maybe occasionally on the B since those are the two lines that can (and have in recent years) done regular-service triplets and the hills on the B are a useful reference test for tandem braking.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Per NETransit, year-AWOL Type 9 car 3906 is finally accepted into revenue service. No one has any idea what took it so fucking long.

Still 5 cars in the clownshoes-slow testing line.


Additionally, the timetable for Mattapan PCC rebuilds has been updated after nearly a year's radio silence. Right now cars 3234 (out-of-service since 2012) and 3265 (out-of-service since 2009) are still at Everett. It's now expected that those 2 will be back in-service allowing the other 6 active cars to get rotated to Everett two-at-a-time, with last non-rebuilds pulled from service by end of 2021. That's a significant picking-up of the pace, so the two pilots must be very close to done and scope-of-work on the 6 active cars now narrowed down enough to predict a timetable.
 

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