MBTA general manager's emotions well up over locomotives

Watch video of Beverly Scott kissing MassDOT highway administrator Frank DiPaola on the head as thanks for the money MassDOT will give the T to buy new commuter-rail locomotives.

Head-kissing came at a MassDOT meeting yesterday. MassDot will use a $45-million federal clean-air grant to buy the new, cleaner, more efficient locos - about 80% of their total cost. The T currently has a contract to buy 27 of them, with delivery starting next year, but is looking at buying 13 more - at $5.4 million apiece.

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Because most of the commuter

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Because most of the commuter rail locos are from the 70s and 80s (i.e. older than most of the subway cars), are long past their design life, are becoming very unreliable, are very polluting and significantly less fuel-efficient than current models.

It will save the MBTA money in the long run to use newer, more fuel-efficient locomotives that don't require nearly as much heavy maintenance.

Yeah, and that's not true of the subways? Fail.

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With the exception of the new Blue Line cars and Breda green line cars which make up a small percentage of the system, the rest of the subways system dates back to the 70's-80's, with the very newest being the red line cars with electronic signs....and they're the eighties I think.

And, in case you were wondering: the subway system has ten times the passengers (1.3 million) of the commuter rail (125,000), and unlike CR, is used for more than just commuting.

More replacements

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The T is also working on replacing the older Red and Orange line fleets (from a single order but built to the two sizes, so they should be able to save money on common parts for the motors and such)... who said they were ONLY going to spend money on the commuter rail? This purchase is just further along.

Because.....that's what its for

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Because this money is allocated for new commuter rail locomotives? Your question of why this money can't be spent for subway work could be asked about why any money allocated for one thing can't be spent for another. Its not being spent for subway because its being spent for commuter rail. If you are suggesting that the subway deserves it MORE than commuter rail, you must not ride commuter rail very much or pay any attention to the daily, multiple announsements about commuter rail trains breaking down and people being stranded for hours. This isn't money that is being spent for no reason. I know that the same thing happens on the subways too, and those need to be fixed too, and that more people ride the subway on a daily basis than the commuter rail, but everything needs to get done so this money will go for new locomotives. That will actually free up money in the future, as the new locomotives are more fuel efficient and the T spends an enormous amount of money on deisel fuel every year.

Assuming you're from Roslindale

Don't you think it would be better to start work on expanding the Orange Line out to at least Roslindale, if not all the way to Needham rather than spend all this money on a slightly-less-polluting trains that run infrequently and half-empty after-hours?

How about ...

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... learning how grant money works?

I mean, you could make a case that burning T subway trains negatively impact the airshed, but this money is specifically for interventions which reduce the emissions of criteria air pollutants. Period.

The T does NOT get to just repurpose it for whatever they want or need. It doesn't work that way.

MA has done so much of that sort of nonsense in the past that increased attention to oversight means that MA has lost out on a lot of money.

Kind of like when your mom gives you money to buy a pair of shoes. You don't buy something else with it if you ever want to be given money again.

Clean air money to congest traffic annoying feds

swirlygrrl, You are correct. Cleaner diesel locomotives qualify for money to improve air quality. One electric subway car vs. another, not so much.

The feds have had enough of the CURRENT nonsense by MassDOT using millions of dollars in CMAQ funds to make roads more congested and increase air pollution! Not spending taxpayer money to make roads worse becomes an attractive option.

Removing travel lanes and parking lanes reduces transportation with transportation dollars, clearly wrong. Its estimated that up to 20% of urban traffic is from people circling around looking for parking. So, loss of parking clearly hurts air quality. Progressives try to justify their claims using greenness, but seldom have data to back them up.

You benefit...

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If you live in Somerville, Medford, Malden, Fenway, Back Bay, or ANY other location where the current trains go roaring by. Less pollution AND less noise. You'd be amazed at how much quieter a new Diesel loco is than those 1970's ones.

inorite

Only those suburban losers at Porter Square going to work in the Bullfinch Triangle area, and those yuppy car losers in Back Bay getting a free ride to South Station (even at 1:30am when the subway is shut down!), and, and, and... those commuting from their Fort Point McMansions apartment to the Yawkey area. Lest we forget those rich folk in Lawrence commuting into the city, or coming in from the likes of Worcester or Providence! Ugh, those dirty spoiled rotten suburban punks, at it again! CURSE YOUUUUU! *shakes fist in rage*