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

F-Line to Dudley

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An interesting tidbit from the B Branch upgrades: the old wooden ramps at Washington Street were removed. I don't think I ever saw those ramps actually used for access on the Type 7 cars once the worst of the bugs of the Type 8s got worked out.
Given the mid-90's wood construction, almost certainly end-of-life by this point and more of a safety hazard from decay than keeping as a fail-safe for level boarding on a 7-7 consist. The T was generally content to keep those things around after Type 8 platform raisings in the few spots they were initially constructed, but such cheap/simple structures simply don't last forever.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The last Type 9 has been delivered by CAF to Riverside this week, completing the 24-car order. Although we are still unbelievably stuck at 16 in-service for the third month in a row with full third of the fleet still cooking in acceptance tests. There have been no reports whatsoever of any mechanical issues. They're just doing the slowest of slow walks for getting the acceptances glut into revenue service.
 

KCasiglio

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What percentage of the fleet will they make up? I take the green line to work and see a type 9 maybe once every other week.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Not very high. The order was only supplemental to provide enough cars for GLX, 21 cars in total, I think, which is about 10% of the fleet.
24 cars...i.e. 12 pairs or 8 triplets. It's a bit more than just GLX-baseline, which only backfills the existing 6-min. E headways from Lechmere to Union (+0-1 change) and 6-min. D headways from GC to College Ave. (+6-7 change). The rest is cushion against attrition. If enough out-of-service Type 8's get returned to service--and (crucially) stay there as they age--so there isn't such jarring disparity in Kinki vs. Breda availability hampering accessibile consists, there will be enough extras with this order to introduce 3-car trains full-time on at least 1 (D) maybe 2 (B) branches. The D definitely will need that once it starts running system end-to-end Riverside to College Ave through every demand overchurn point on the subway, as they'll be re-prioritizing brisker dwell times downtown on that route for schedule adherence.
 

Equilibria

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The last Type 9 has been delivered by CAF to Riverside this week, completing the 24-car order. Although we are still unbelievably stuck at 16 in-service for the third month in a row with full third of the fleet still cooking in acceptance tests. There have been no reports whatsoever of any mechanical issues. They're just doing the slowest of slow walks for getting the acceptances glut into revenue service.
Given COVID, is there any reason to rush?
 

North Shore

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What better way to start out a dreary Monday morning than to read about the systematic failures of CRRC in Springfield:

 

F-Line to Dudley

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What better way to start out a dreary Monday morning than to read about the systematic failures of CRRC in Springfield:

That article was...way less relevatory than the screaming headline. Just a clip show of events-to-date we already know: shaky start, then @#$% happens. That's it. The "public records request" had nothing new in it.

Gosh, Glob troll-'porters...y'all just managed to prove that public officials have been transparent with us all along. The horror. :rolleyes:
 

jass

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Maybe building a new goddamn factory every single time is not the best way to manufacture things?

Imagine if Toyota wanted o sell Camrys in MA and they had to build a factory in Lowell for permission to do so.
 

Andrew

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The T posted about the Green Line Train Protection System on Instagram a few days ago. It's the first time I'm hearing about it - anyone know if it's block signaling like the other lines have, or something more like CBTC? I wouldn't even dare to dream of it being something like automation for the downtown segments...
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The T posted about the Green Line Train Protection System on Instagram a few days ago. It's the first time I'm hearing about it - anyone know if it's block signaling like the other lines have, or something more like CBTC? I wouldn't even dare to dream of it being something like automation for the downtown segments...
FCMB had a presentation on this in May giving more detail on the concept: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/...int-26-green-line-train-protection-system.pdf


It's not a full-on replacement signal system like Red/Orange ATO cab signals or CBTC with moving blocks, but an overlay to the existing block signals serving similar additive function as RR Positive Train Control. It uses radio transponders to advance-warn about the upcoming block and apply controlled braking. Therefore the block layout does not change (except for the parts GLT is already streamlining, like eliminating the timered auto-stops), but operator adherence is guaranteed for both the speed limit and enforced stops. In addition to all the prevention provided, it will allow return of 50 MPH speed limits on the outer D Line because safe max-speed operation won't be compromised by variable (esp. in certain sun glare situations) visibility of the wayside signals.

The other--separate--piece is a collision avoidance camera/sensor array on the trolley that monitors train-to-train spacing and enforces braking therein. This is the prevention for rear-end collisions that the block signals & PTC cannot (without traffic-punitive layout changes) 100.00% prevent, and solves for the Central Subway's dilemma of supporting incredibly close train spacing...where earlier studies of full-on CBTC uncovered problems maintaining current TPH levels. This has the added benefit of track-level obstruction detection like slamming the brakes before a dumbshit driver runs a red trying unsuccessfully to beat the trolley across a reservation grade crossing, or the annual BU move-in week rite of scraping some freshman off the grill of a B train. This is probably also the solution for making Mattapan fail-safe sans signal system. They don't have to worry about block adherence out there because TPH and spacing are simply too low to merit a wayside install...but the HSL definitely needs the line-of-sight assist for collision avoidance and whacking a couple sightline-induced speed restrictions (like the cemetery curve which is more arbitrarily severe in one direction vs. the other because of lesser sightlines).


The back-end improvements all involve continuing the wholesale replacement of any remaining copper signal relays to all-fiber, and renewing all remaining signal heads to low-wattage, hermetically sealed LED's. The fiber backplane would allow them in the future to open-heart transplant the signal system to full-on CBTC if subsequent design efforts produced a winner that would work for the Central Subway's traffic levels. In much the same way that RLT/OLT passed up CBTC on this go-around to (1) optimize the shit out of its incumbent ATO in the interim, and (2) cleanroom full fiber backplanes line-wide...but gain the plug-compatibility for a way easier/smaller-step upgrade to moving-block CBTC in some later decade by going to the well now with fiber and a back-port of the existing system. Fiber's high bandwidth would allow them to co-install some sort of newfangled moving-block CBTC system optimized for a mixed-environment LRT system, test it independently off the same fiber plug-in while the old wayside + PTC system is still active, then do the migration on their own pace. Sets up a much easier two-step upgrade path towards the ultimate goal. It's a big learned lesson from NYC's utterly tortured signal renewal where they're rockheadedly installing all-new AND maintaining the century-old copper relay systems in tandem for a way slower, more expensive, more labor-intensive rollout. The T is drawing the correct learned lesson from NYC's disaster of biting off so much more than it could chew by prioritizing the high-bandwidth backplane needs to come first BEFORE necessarily changing the core signal system. Because if you're ultimately going to go full- Jetsons Shit with the signal system you better well have all the prereqs in place in full working order first AND have the spare bandwidth on all that cable plant to juggle old + new signal systems off one set of computers during such a major, major technological transition. Therefore, much like CBTC may be an eventual 2030+ lower-key (thanks to the ongoing prelim work) addition to Red/Orange's repertoire for sake of installing 'self-healing' moving blocks that help preserve the long-term sanctity of the 3-min. headway that the current ATO signal optimization first-time enables...you may see a future jumping-off point with Green if the service layout (say...plugging in those all-critical future Seaport-Downtown and/or Urban Ring patterns) substantially changes requiring something a bit more overall-dynamic than this current hybrided signal upgrade. The new backplane will support similar future upgrade paths, and the two-step upgrade plan similarly incoculates them from stubbing their toes on unforeseen problems with an all-or-nothing upgrade like NYCTA has.
 
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Stlin

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Just a quick note: fiber's bandwidth in of itself isn't where the majority of benefit would be derived. It's if the T is actually making the transition to a LAN or GPON architecture, with addressable logic controllers that give you the flexibility to introduce new control modalities. (And assuming there's distributed switches at every point where two systems would coexist) Frankly, gigabit ethernet over copper will get you almost all of the benefits of fiber in a rapid transit signalling context. That said, some flexibilities are inherent in the hardware layer, as the higher bandwidth, lower latency and higher transmission distance all help minimize the amount of signal repeaters and other systems.

As an aside... The T has its RFI for CR Fiber resilience out. 250 miles of 96 & 288 strand armored cable. With a few assumptions, that's about 3-4 million in cable and 35 million in labour given a total project budget in the CIP of 38.6M. that... Feels about right actually, as fiber tends more expensive in the labour than the actual physical stuff.
 
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Highwayguy

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Does anyone know if the D branch track/signal upgrades include installing crossing protection at the trail crossing between Newton Center and Chestnut Hill? Might be the only place where a train has to “stop look and listen” for pedestrians.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Does anyone know if the D branch track/signal upgrades include installing crossing protection at the trail crossing between Newton Center and Chestnut Hill? Might be the only place where a train has to “stop look and listen” for pedestrians.
The crossing surface was replaced coincident with the track replacement through there, but nothing else was scheduled to change with it. Being designated a private crossing it's one of those grey-area ones that's anything-goes under the regs...so entirely up to City of Newton and MBTA what crossing protection (if any) it merits. Given that the path is very rustic and lightly-used, I doubt the City would see the need for spending on warning flashers let alone updated signage. It's dead-center on a long enough straightaway with excellent approach sightlines, so does not need any trackside attention. Peds are expected to look both ways...but come winter months there's probably as many deer and coyotes using it in a given day as humans so GL operators always know to keep their eyes peeled for darters.
 

DBM

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The crossing surface was replaced coincident with the track replacement through there, but nothing else was scheduled to change with it. Being designated a private crossing it's one of those grey-area ones that's anything-goes under the regs...so entirely up to City of Newton and MBTA what crossing protection (if any) it merits. Given that the path is very rustic and lightly-used, I doubt the City would see the need for spending on warning flashers let alone updated signage. It's dead-center on a long enough straightaway with excellent approach sightlines, so does not need any trackside attention. Peds are expected to look both ways...but come winter months there's probably as many deer and coyotes using it in a given day as humans so GL operators always know to keep their eyes peeled for darters.
If my memory serves me, this is the area of the D Line that is most frequently disrupted by blizzard/nor'easter-induced tree downings? (Not that upgrading the crossing would ameliorate that at all...).

Also, look for the ongoing Newton-BC Webster Woods omnishambles to somehow suck this otherwise innocuous, I'm-just-minding-my-own-business crossing into the quagmire, given how it directly bisects it...

(kidding--but I still can't believe how that land-use war blew up like that. what a perfect sh--show... and somewhere Billy Galvin and the rest of the *Brighton Mafia* are chortling at how BC stumbled so embarrassingly when it tried to expand southward, below the Beacon St. corridor, instead of northward into their impregnable bailiwick above the Comm. Ave. corridor)
 

F-Line to Dudley

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If my memory serves me, this is the area of the D Line that is most frequently disrupted by blizzard/nor'easter-induced tree downings? (Not that upgrading the crossing would ameliorate that at all...).
Yes. They did heavy, heavy tree-trimming last year (rustling some abutters' jimmies in the process via the press coverage) after auditing the state of the canopy on the corridor a year prior. Most of the serious problem overgrowth has been tamed. It's never going to be not-prone in major storms, and there's literally nothing that could have been done in prevention for last month's derecho where great big downed limbs were getting flung considerable distance away like projectiles. But the worst of it--the 'every damn storm' disruptions--is over after all that trimming work.

Also, look for the ongoing Newton-BC Webster Woods omnishambles to somehow suck this otherwise innocuous, I'm-just-minding-my-own-business crossing into the quagmire, given how it directly bisects it...[/quote

(kidding--but I still can't believe how that land-use war blew up like that. what a perfect sh--show... and somewhere Billy Galvin and the rest of the *Brighton Mafia* are chortling at how BC stumbled so embarrassingly when it tried to expand southward, below the Beacon St. corridor, instead of northward into their impregnable bailiwick above the Comm. Ave. corridor)
Still solely the City's bag if they want to upgrade the crossing protection here, so not something the T itself needs to worry about. Appropriately cheap-but-cautious measure would be to have reflective warning signs adorned with solar-charged red strobe flashers, radio-fired by optical detectors spotting a few hundred feet away on the ROW. But that's just sort of closing the loopholes. The path has such very low utilization it's not really anyone's major concern...nor do I think there's been much of any incident history there.

Would be nice if DCR would pour a real @#$% sidewalk on Hammond Pond Pkwy. instead of just letting the joggers wear a dirt ditch by the side of the road. You wouldn't need the crossing in the first place if the extremely nearby parkway would suffice (and lane-diet that inexplicable 4-wide albatross too while we're at it so there's a cycle track). Then you could simply graft on a trackside path to the parkway overpass for the woodland access to the pond area. The track crossing didn't need to exist at all were it not for the old MDC committing yet another asphalt warcrime here. Easy fix if the road folks gave enough a shit to treat this open-space "reservation" like it's...I don't know...reserved in some functional way for actual public use.
 
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DBM

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Would be nice if DCR would pour a real @#$% sidewalk on Hammond Pond Pkwy. instead of just letting the joggers wear a dirt ditch by the side of the road. You wouldn't need the crossing in the first place if the extremely nearby parkway would suffice (and lane-diet that inexplicable 4-wide albatross too while we're at it so there's a cycle track). Then you could simply graft on a trackside path to the parkway overpass for the woodland access to the pond area. The track crossing didn't need to exist at all were it not for the old MDC committing yet another asphalt warcrime here. Easy fix if the road folks gave enough a shit to treat this open-space "reservation" like it's...I don't know...reserved in some functional way for actual public use.
Oh you mean this? Yeah, those were the average traffic conditions that I recall... grotesquely overbuilt, indeed.

A cycle track on both sides, to bring it down to 2 lanes, would indeed be spectacular here. It could help bridge between the Olmstead Necklace archipelago to the southeast, Cutler Park to the southwest, and the Charles River bikepath to the north and west...
 

bigeman312

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A Hammond Pond Parkway bike connection is a part of The Emerald Necklace Vision, as well as listed in Brookline's 2020 update to their "Green Routes Master Network Plan."

Hammond Pond Parkway: Hammond Pond Parkway has high traffic volume (9634 AADT), which calls for protected bicycle facilities. A multi-use path would provide Newton-West Roxbury connection and recreational access to Brookline parks and conservation areas. Install multi-use path along the entire length of the Parkway, with connection to Skyline Park. (MA Department of Conservation and Recreation project)
 

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