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

RandomWalk

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Everyone is marking time and hoping they have a comfy chair when the music ends in January.
 

nbcoram

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Does the T not realize the long lasting damage this is going to do? They shut down the entire orange line for a month, and it's still not running as it should. I am sure there are plenty of people who have simply given up on using it and will instead drive to where they need to go. Confidence continues to be shaken in the T and the orange line situation has cascading effects with user's confidence in other lines.

I am probably missing something, or have unrealistic expectations, but why do slow zones even need to exist?
Yeah, I think they are a bit too short-sighted with all this, especially the communication. Constantly moving the goalposts, changing the explanation, and flat-out lying to the media and the public is going to increase distrust in the agency. And the last thing the city needs is more people driving their personal vehicles into the city.

Slow zones exist because you can't safely run trains at full speed over deteriorated track (and brand new track for a short settling period). The MBTA has a lot of deteriorated track due to the years-long maintenance backlog, and their inability to properly maintain what they have (for many reasons). I wouldn't say your expectations are unrealistic, assuming that your expectation is that they should be keeping up with track work to prevent long-term and extensive slow zones from needing to be implemented to begin with.

It's not just the Orange Line that is suffering from this - the Red Line is also a dumpster fire right now in terms of slow zones, and there has now been enough progress made on Orange Line slow zones that delays once again are longer on the Red Line than the Orange Line.
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Due to the nature of Green Line tracking, it's not easy to pin down data for Green Line slow zones, but the FTA stated that the Green Line also has extensive slow zones, and the one on the Lechmere Viaduct has been specifically called out here.
 

Delvin4519

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It seems though now post GLX shutdown, there is now data for travel times on the Lechmere viaduct. It's kinda hard to tell if the slow zone on the Lechmere viaduct is still there, or if it was there for the whole time data has been tracked, since Green Line data is a bit harder to read, but comparing data with the old travel times, it does seem to be longer.

Lowest values pre-shutdown is about 1.3 minutes, currently it's in the 1.9 - 2.0 minute range for travel time.

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bigeman312

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Does the T not realize the long lasting damage this is going to do? They shut down the entire orange line for a month, and it's still not running as it should. I am sure there are plenty of people who have simply given up on using it and will instead drive to where they need to go.
This is absolutely true. All four colors of the MBTA LRT/HRT network set/broke their highest COVID-era ridership days this spring. All but the Orange has since continued to set new COVID-era ridership highs in the months since. Meanwhile, ridership on the Orange Line stagnates as people turned to other modes during the shutdown or remaining issues and stuck with them, and others still have avoided the Orange Line due to its now-ingrained bad reputation surrounding this fiasco. The Orange Line's failures have been on the front page og the Globe multiple times recently. People are avoiding it and it's the MBTA's own fault.

Data details below:

Blue: June 10, June 15, and June 16 all set new COVID-era highs that lasted until at least August.
  • Had ridership above the June 16 high-water mark 14 times since!
Green: April 15 and April 16 both set new COVID-era highs in ridership that lasted until at least August.
  • Had ridership above the April 16 high-water mark three times since.
Red: April 12, April 13, May 5, May 26, and May 27 all set new COVID-era highs in ridership that lasted until at least August.
  • Had ridership above the May 27 high-water mark three times since.
Orange: June 8, June 10, June 15, and June 16 all set new COVID-era highs in ridership that lasted until at least August.
  • Ridership has met the June 16 high-water mark zero times since.
The MBTA management's actions on the Orange Line (failures of maintenance, failures in repairing, outright lying, pompously patting themselves on the back in the process, etc) is driving people away from riding that line. If they aren't even willing to accept that their actions have been an utter failure, then they/we can't start to take the steps to correct these problems and avoid them in the future. At this point, nothing short of a complete overhaul in management will change anything in a real way.
 
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bakgwailo

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Different note:

Reassurances given as Codman Yard project is set to go

Looks like Codman is finally underway. Also mentions two-weekend closures resulting in shuttle Ashmont -> JFK, along with the highspeed line shutting down on those weekends, too. Would be a great time for them to do some of the transformation work on that line, too - but, I doubt the T will have anything together for that to happen with the station redesigns a year out and the trolley rehabs grossly behind schedule.
 

Highwayguy

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“The speed limit for the stretch of northbound track between the North Station portal and Community College is currently 10 mph, slower than the 25 mph before the Orange Line shutdown, because of “space constraints and safety considerations” resulting from “excess rail” that is being stored along the right-of-way, Poftak said.”

lm not sure whats worse, if Poftak is lying or telling the truth. Either way, the T continues to be the best automobile ad campaign ever conceived.
 

sneijder

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“The speed limit for the stretch of northbound track between the North Station portal and Community College is currently 10 mph, slower than the 25 mph before the Orange Line shutdown, because of “space constraints and safety considerations” resulting from “excess rail” that is being stored along the right-of-way, Poftak said.”

lm not sure whats worse, if Poftak is lying or telling the truth. Either way, the T continues to be the best automobile ad campaign ever conceived.
Yea we can't find anywhere to put a few rails and ties, so let's collectively waste 1,000 hours of commuters time every day.

At least it's most likely just a cover up for some other deferred maintenance or budget shortage.
 

greenbeans

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The majority of that particular stretch from N. Station to Community College is a tunnel, and when it opens up in Charlestown it's fenced in tightly on either side. Would love to see where the room to store discarded rails is there.
 

fattony

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The majority of that particular stretch from N. Station to Community College is a tunnel, and when it opens up in Charlestown it's fenced in tightly on either side. Would love to see where the room to store discarded rails is there.
How about not storing them there? If they are discarded rails, then discard them. The job isn’t done until it is done. When you are finished with dinner, you wash the pots and pans.
 

JeffDowntown

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How about not storing them there? If they are discarded rails, then discard them. The job isn’t done until it is done. When you are finished with dinner, you wash the pots and pans.
There you go with your real project planning thinking. This is the T, where half-assed rules.
 

RandomWalk

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The Charles River tunnel on the Orange Line has to be reaching an age where it requires a major rehabilitation. I hate to think how long it will take and exactly how the current management would make a hash of it.
 

Jahvon09

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More Orange line slow zone news:
This is so damn ridiculous! They promised that those slow zones would end about a week after the shutdown. That was last month. Now the damn slow zones are going into damn December?!! Who is the brain child that this glue is holding together?!! :mad::mad::mad:
 

bigeman312

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The Charles River tunnel on the Orange Line has to be reaching an age where it requires a major rehabilitation. I hate to think how long it will take and exactly how the current management would make a hash of it.
Let’s hope that the current management is on the way out.
 

Jahvon09

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Let’s hope that the current management is on the way out.

Unless there are leaks in the tunnel, there's probably no way that they'll go in there to fix anything. I have not heard of any leaks of water in there yet. Haven't heard of any slow zones there either. :unsure:
 

stick n move

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Speaking of the orange line tunnel does anyone have any pictures or information about it being built. Ive never really heard or found much about it. The extremely old blue line subway tunnels under the harbor are pretty well documented as theyre historic, and the red line fort point tunnel and ted williams are pretty well documented due to them being the most recent and part of the big dig. On wikipedia theres just a short mention of the orange line tunnel and it doesnt even say what year it was completed. Im guessing late 70s or early 80s? Was it an immersed tube tunnel or tbm?
 

WestMedford

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Speaking of the orange line tunnel does anyone have any pictures or information about it being built. Ive never really heard or found much about it. The extremely old blue line subway tunnels under the harbor are pretty well documented as theyre historic, and the red line fort point tunnel and ted williams are pretty well documented due to them being the most recent and part of the big dig. On wikipedia theres just a short mention of the orange line tunnel and it doesnt even say what year it was completed. Im guessing late 70s or early 80s? Was it an immersed tube tunnel or tbm?
Railroad.net MBTA page under Orange Line Past thread, you can find several Haymarket North extension pdfs posted by a member. Really cool archival brochures about the whole project. You may find what you’re looking for.
 

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