New station lights up the night

Government Center lit in blue



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In my own opinion, it is architecturally out of scale, acontextual, and unnecessary when considering performance and maintenance going forward. Historically, MBTA stations haven't been all that well maintained, but the entire exterior is plate glass, and the interior is all white, two surfaces that need to be cleaned, but probably will not be.

Also, even though the barren hellscape of City Hall plaza begs for a object, that object should not have been something that has its closest analogue in an Apple Store. While the old station was dark and confined, at least the head houses suggested something about going into the ground, they were interventions in the brick surface of the plaza, and it was interesting to see people interact with them in different ways, people sitting, kids climbing on them, etc. They were human in scale and interactivity in a way this is not. tkd

At the end of the day

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it's still just pretty window dressing for a system that hasn't replaced aging (very old) trains (some that were very flawed even when new, and the suits who run the system knew it when granting contracts) in reasonable, timely fashion, a signal system that would appear to be FUBAR and has been for a LONG time, causing bizarre slow downs and delays (not to mention that weird policy of not having a train enter a station if there's another train in front of it, even though there's ample room;especially true on the green line (most green line underground stations are empty except for the platform section where one and two car LRVs stop, obviously, there must have been a time when multiple trains pulled into a station to discharge and pick up passengers, which is why platforms are long enough to accommodate them). Maybe I'm wrong, but I suspect the painfully slow trains, especially entering stations, is an overreaction to the tiny number of people who fall/jump in front of trains, and trains that very rarely ram into each other.

Most Green Line stations have

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Most Green Line stations have 4-car platforms, because the T's future plan once called for 4-car trains at peak hours. This plan is long-forgotten and now the T very rarely ever even runs 3-car trains (as recently as 5 years ago these were common at peak hours on ALL branches, now you get maybe 1 or 2 a day on the D line).

The T used to allow trains to proceed into stations behind another train (and this still occasionally happens), and even had a special signal indication for it: yellow over yellow. But then there was one rear-end, slow-speed collision, and that put an end to that.

It is good though to at least have that extra platform length in case, someday, somehow, the T acquires the additional cars necessary to run 3- and 4-car trains normally, which the system sorely needs.

Correct on all points

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However, I'll add one clarification. The Boeing LRVs were set up for four car operation, which is what the T would have implemented had the full order of cars (IIRC, it was 175) been delivered. Of course, the T panicked when the intital cars didn't work well, and cancelled the majority of the order even though they had most of the bugs worked out by then.

And, while a PCC is shorter than an LRV, the Boston Elevated and, later, the MBTA routinely ran 4 car PCC trains. Just proving that in transit and railroading, there are very few new ideas, but a whole gaggle of re-invented ones.

Greenhouse anyone?

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Has anyone been inside a greenhouse in the blazing summer heat? That is what the station will be like. I plan to bring a thermometer in there on a nice sunny hot day and see what the temp is. It is already hot in the stations from all the Air Conditioning dumping heat out from inside the trains. No ventilation in this station whatsoever. Its going to be an oven.
It also blocks a clear view to the beautiful Sears Crescent building from Cambridge street. You can't see clear to the Old North Church from the Omni Parker Hotel even though there is a plaque on the ground saying you can.
Ooooh, Boston, ooooh, Boston,
ooooh, Boston
You'll always be a Boston to me.
Mother, did it need to be so high?.

Confusing signage in new Government Center

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Something I noticed is that one of the salvaged "Scollay Under" tile signs has been placed smack in the middle of the wall of the stairwell leading down to the lower platform Blue Line. It is very large and plainly visible from the upper level. While there are some that are happy this unneeded piece of history has been resurrected, I can see how it will immediately cause confusion for those not familiar with the area. It gives the impression that one is descending into a completely different station. It was not the wisest place to put the sign.