The new Orange Line trains can get up to 63 mph and come with independent intellectual property rights

Subway riders in Boston to enjoy 'Made in China' trains

Chinese TV put together a vignette of our impending Orange Line cars - look at them go vroom on what looks like a major train line and don't get too worried about what looks like a giant red tick trying to eat the first car.

Via Steve Annear.



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    It wasn't a rock
    It was a rock lobster

    Cost / Benefits Of Third Rail Covers?

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    It's notable the test track in China is equipped with third rail covers, of a standard style used in many other systems — but not on the .

    Since the new trains are obviously compatible with such standard covers, should the install them, as part of regular track maintenance and upgrades? Adding the covers would not only make the tracks safer, but keeping rain and snow off the third rails would surely improve overall reliability. Would the cost of installing the covers pay for itself in the long run?

    I wonder if anyone at the ever thinks about things like this.

    11 miles

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    times 2 tracks equals 22 miles. They you add material and labor costs. I would imagine this would not be cheap. Given the maintenance backlog, I would not make this a priority at this time.

    Also, I will note that it is not as common as you think it is. Yes, New York does it, but who else? Chicago doesn't do it, and they have grade crossings on their heavy rail lines.

    I'm not advocating for this but,

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    If it's people touching the 3rd rail that is the real concern, you could just install the covers near stations and skip those long stretches between stations.

    There's another consideration

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    Third rail covers are generally only practical where you have an under running system - i.e. where the shoes contact the rail from the bottom.

    Boston's lines use an over running system where the shoes contact the top of the rail. The presence of a cover creates problems during the winter, when ice and snow can pack in between the cover and the rail.

    Sleet scrappers on the new

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    Sleet scrappers on the new trains are not compatible with third-rail covers, however they presumably are not deploying the scrappers on this particular stretch of test track.

    If you look at the screen

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    If you look at the screen shot and the video, you can see that they have added a special extension to the third rail shoes in order to reach the third-rail on the test track. This bypasses the problem they would otherwise have with the sleet scrapers contacting the third-rail covers.

    The third rail shoes are

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    The third rail shoes are relatively easy to swap and they likely installed ones compatible with their test track third rail system, which will get swapped out for MBTA-standard ones before the trains get shipped over here. The problem is that compared to NYC and other cities that use third rails, our third rail is mounted higher and closed to the track, and a cover might get hit by parts of the train. NYC actually used the MBTA/CTA style uncovered third rail on the el lines, and had third rail shoes that worked with both the subway and el style of third rail until only the subway-style was left after all the el lines (not to be confused with elevated subway lines) were closed.

    Is our crumbling and decaying

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    Is our crumbling and decaying infrastructure and nonstop electrical and switch problems ready for some like this going 63 mph? Donald, Charlie, Marty, MBTA, and hospital emergency rooms take note.

    Infrastructure probably is not ready

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    I imagine the trains will never see 63 mph. It's like how Acela trains theoretically can go a zillion miles an hour, but in practice go much slower than that for most of the route.

    The Acela

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    Actually pretty much hits it total top speed at this point between BOS and PVD, and its top speed was never actually that high given the crazy FRA weight restrictions/etc that made them into pigs. The new Acela II rolling stock should be a bit better and hit over 170mph (in our select little stretch of track).

    I believe the new Blue line

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    I believe the new Blue line trains have the capability to do 60 also but are governed to only reach a max speed of 40. I'm sure that will be the case for the new OL trains.

    off topic

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    The speedometer on my first car went up to 85mph. The speedometer on my current car goes up to 145mph.

    I liked the old speedo better. The new one has gratuitous verniers.

    Mind the gap.

    As for 3rd rail covers, Park Street Red Line is a must. People enter/exit on both sides of the train. One side of standing passengers has the 3rd rail directly below them. With people falling and getting pushed on the tracks covering the 3rd rail should be top priority.


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    If these trains are ready to go why do they have to send them to Springfield to be built?

    Two reasons

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    The state requires it.

    They've built one, count it, one, test train. That does not mean the trains are ready to actually carry passengers.

    Dreary Beijing

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    It's kind of haunting seeing videos of pollution-filled skylines in China. Thankfully we used to have an EPA that tackled these sorts of issues so that we can see a clear sky most days.


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    The interior of those is set up like the old red line cars from when I was a kid. I hope the lights flicker too.

    Good thing they are

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    Good thing they are assembling them in Springfield, by goddamn Americans (at least recent ones, I imagine the wages are low).

    Off-topic, but to be fair

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    Off-topic, but to be fair (since I was the one who injected Federal stats for transit breakdowns and T last-place 2016 into an earlier discussion) ...

    NJTransit 2017 progress report is that they've really sucked this year (shocking!).

    So, T may not be bottom-ranked for long.


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    I clicked save twice. Sorry.