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

HenryAlan

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And the timeline provided is almost certainly a lie, like everything else out of MBTA management mouth or pen.
That's the thing, we can't trust anything they say about this. The MBTA could become completely transparent and honest about everything, and we would still have good reason not to believe them. It is going to take years for them to rebuild anything resembling trust among riders.
 

Jahvon09

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The tunnel was completed in 1975, when the first section of the Haymarket North Extension (as far north as Sullivan) opened. Here's the immersed tube pre-immersion:
View attachment 30035
Looks almost like the ones that's used for the Ted Williams Tunnel, except that those ones were sets of doubles tubes. :)
 

JeffDowntown

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That's the thing, we can't trust anything they say about this. The MBTA could become completely transparent and honest about everything, and we would still have good reason not to believe them. It is going to take years for them to rebuild anything resembling trust among riders.
Right now the senior T management are all too busy shopping their resumes to even try to keep their stories straight.

They know the hammer is going to fall hard after the election.
 

nbcoram

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They've at least started to try and explain it coherently, with when they expect to be able to "speed up" each section in todays board update - the slides are below.

View attachment 30048
View attachment 30050
View attachment 30049
My question is why, all of a sudden, does Community College to North Station (and back) have a line speed of 25 mph? It's designed for a limit of at least 40 mph and, as I recall, was running at 40 mph this spring and part of the summer.

 

Delvin4519

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Apparently even the twitter thread states that some parts of the Orange Line between Community College and Sullivan Station had a design speed of 55 MPH, but is now rated with a top speed of 40 MPH when the speed restriction gets "lifted".
 

ant8904

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Apparently even the twitter thread states that some parts of the Orange Line between Community College and Sullivan Station had a design speed of 55 MPH, but is now rated with a top speed of 40 MPH when the speed restriction gets "lifted".
Anyone knows how to find more solid data? Did trains used to run at 55 mph at some spots or was it just design for it? And while I do personally recall 40 mph at the portal between Community College and North Station, the more official the document, the stronger we can clearly argue about it (as much as we can as a pseudo-anonymous forum, but still).

Also why are they gaslighting us the max speeds? 25 mph Green Line Viaduct and now the 25 mph Orange line portal. Are people in the MBTA actively trying to slow the T down by trying gaslight us into collectively think it's always been 25 mph and thus accept the speeds as normal before the new administration comes in? Or it just more general confusion and lack of will on this?
 

Brattle Loop

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Also why are they gaslighting us the max speeds? 25 mph Green Line Viaduct and now the 25 mph Orange line portal. Are people in the MBTA actively trying to slow the T down by trying gaslight us into collectively think it's always been 25 mph and thus accept the speeds as normal before the new administration comes in? Or it just more general confusion and lack of will on this?
It's particularly odd in the Green Line's case, because the GLX project specifications explicitly called for a design maximum speed of 50 mph over the Viaduct, and if they cut that down such that the maximum operating speed is only half that nominal 50 number, I haven't seen any documentation as to why they did that and their (even feigned) justifications.

It's very, very confusing. I don't know enough about transit infrastructure engineering to be able to know if there's any significant different in terms of cost or frequency of work needed to maintain, say, 40mph operating speeds versus 25 (it would be absolutely in character for Baker & Company to pick the cheapest option, after all). It's hard to fathom why they think this sort of thing is acceptable. Other systems (NYC, Chicago's L, even Washington's rotting Metrorail) don't accept permanent speeds that low, and there's no conceivable reason that the T should accept them as permanent, especially not on recently-built or rehabilitated infrastructure. It absolutely would not surprise me if they simply didn't care enough to do things properly.
 

ant8904

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It's very, very confusing. I don't know enough about transit infrastructure engineering to be able to know if there's any significant different in terms of cost or frequency of work needed to maintain, say, 40mph operating speeds versus 25 (it would be absolutely in character for Baker & Company to pick the cheapest option, after all). It's hard to fathom why they think this sort of thing is acceptable. Other systems (NYC, Chicago's L, even Washington's rotting Metrorail) don't accept permanent speeds that low, and there's no conceivable reason that the T should accept them as permanent, especially not on recently-built or rehabilitated infrastructure. It absolutely would not surprise me if they simply didn't care enough to do things properly.
NGL, it feels like conspiratorial to wonder about this, but it seems so off that it start to attracts thoughts "is this salt-the-earth type of action?" - actively and deliberately trying to break the T as much as possible before the next admin comes in. Trying to effect long-term kneecapping by setting our minds to think 25 mph as best transit can do so we view it as trash rather than just more typical and mundane CYA.

I know the above does not make sense. Even if it management has been infected at an ideological level, its too 5d chess thread-the-needle of undermining to make sense. But man it sure feels like it.
 

Brattle Loop

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NGL, it feels like conspiratorial to wonder about this, but it seems so off that it start to attracts thoughts "is this salt-the-earth type of action?" - actively and deliberately trying to break the T as much as possible before the next admin comes in. Trying to effect long-term kneecapping by setting our minds to think 25 mph as best transit can do so we view it as trash rather than just more typical and mundane CYA.

I know the above does not make sense. Even if it management has been infected at an ideological level, its too 5d chess thread-the-needle of undermining to make sense. But man it sure feels like it.
I get the sentiment, though to be honest it seems far too convoluted. Especially with Baker being a lame duck, the most effective way for the ideologically-motivated to break the T would be to...let it break. Let the old OL cars run as long as possible, let the GLX contractors delay the opening as long as possible, let the tracks continue to rot and the slow zones continue to spread. Instead they draw attention to the work they're doing with dramatic shutdowns (even if they incompetently bungle the messaging...and possibly some of the work), make a big show about the #12 cars being put out to pasture, and to some extent actually improve some of the operations (such as the slow zones that have actually been whacked). If the speed limit was 15 for months or years before the work and 25 after, the part the public is going to notice is that that section doesn't crawl as much as it used to, not that it should be 40 instead of 25. Especially since any backsliding would just revert people to "same cruddy old T as ever" mindsets, rather than specifically souring them on transit.

Much more likely, of course, is that while it feels like there must be a conspiracy sometimes, it's far more probable that this is just incompetence and mismanagement. (Reminds me of the old riff on Hanlon's razor, never attribute to conspiracy what can adequately be explained by incompetence...at least, not the first time.) The T has been neglected and starved of funding for decades (a policy with Baker's fingerprints all over it), and, as a consequence, has not generally speaking been particularly well-managed from an organizational standpoint. For all we know, they're simply too cheap, too lazy, or too incompetent either to do work properly or to know what to do to ensure that it is, and it's also entirely possible that there are those within the agency who are competent, but whose superiors either within the T or within the administration simply want to get something done and don't much care whether it's done well, which is less conspiracy than it is neglect. It feels on one level like it must be deliberate, because, at least for people frequenting a transit and transit-policy discussion board, it seems ludicrous to think that they could possibly be that bad at this...except their track record going back years indicates, no, they're exactly that bad at this.
 

Jahvon09

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Well, that's great, why didn't they have this document 6 weeks ago?

Yeah, they could've saved everyone from the ridiculous headaches by explaing things in more detail instead of leading commuters into thinking that things would be smoothed out during the shutdown, only to find out that they were screwed & made fools out of!! But to have to wait until December for something that should've been done between August or September is obsured! :mad:
 

nbcoram

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Some major movement with Orange and Red Line slow zones this week!

I'm going to attempt to address all the areas that the MBTA cited this week as still being slow, along with a few others (I don't have a ton of time this evening sadly).

Orange Line
North of North Station
Northbound
: the North Station to Wellington stretch, as of yesterday, now runs at nearly the same speed as before this summer's pre-shutdown slow zones were instituted.
Screenshot_2022-10-28_at_3.59.06_PM.png

The residual delay appears to be mainly due to a minor speed restriction between Assembly and Wellington:
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.24.09 PM.png

as well as a restriction from Community College to Sullivan Square (note the dip around October 10....)
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.28.37 PM.png

This is the graph for the North Station to Community College stretch, by the way, since it was cited by the MBTA this week; it's now roughly on par with pre-slow zones.
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.10.28 PM.png




Southbound: As of today, the southbound stretch from Wellington to North Station is now running only about a minute slower than before the shutdown.
Screenshot_2022-10-28_at_3.56.24_PM.png

The continued slowdown appears to be primarily driven by a residual speed restriction from Community College to North Station, though they have made significant gains on that stretch this week.
Screenshot_2022-10-28_at_3.57.29_PM.png

As of today, the brutal 4-minute slow zone between Sullivan and Community has been mostly lifted, but trains are still running about 30 seconds slower than before the shutdown in this area.
Screenshot_2022-10-28_at_4.03.36_PM.png


Elsewhere along the line...
Back Bay to Tufts
Northbound: no recent changes.
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.20.39 PM.png

Southbound:
Woah. This week, trip times decreased by about 45 seconds on the stretch:
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.21.55 PM.png

As you can tell, it has run faster as recently as June of 2021 (and I *believe* it has run closer to 1 minute even in past years), but this is still a notable improvement.
Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.14.56 PM.png


Stony Brook to Jackson Square (crossover at Jackson)
TransitMatters dashboard keeps timing out here. Will add graphs later.

I don't have time for the Red Line at the moment but the overall graph also shows a major improvement yesterday; as I noted yesterday, the agonizing Central to Harvard slow zone is gone. I heard on a discord server that Davis to Porter southbound also got lifted today so I will check in on that later. The Orange Line chart will dip even further as it has not yet accounted for the Sullivan to Community southbound slow zone being mostly lifted.

With the improvements yesterday, the slow zones on the Orange Line are now better than the pre-shutdown condition, according to the TM algorithm.

Screenshot 2022-10-28 at 4.13.22 PM.png
 

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