MassDOT and the MBTA today withdrew impending changes to the schedules of North Station commuter-rail line, saying they will come up with new proposed schedules next month to go into effect this spring - after public comment. Read more.
This just in from Keolis:
Keolis Commuter Services, which operates the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail system, finished out the month of October with an unadjusted on-time weekday performance rate of 90.44 percent, the best performance for that month in nearly a decade.
A significant number of delays for the month were caused by trains that had to be operated at lower speeds for safety reasons because of slippery rail conditions. When adjusted for slippery rail and other conditions or incidents not under the control of Keolis, on-time performance was 94.44 percent.
Ari Ofsevit analyzes the new train times:
A consultant and a computer model were used for these schedules, but common sense seems to have been left by the wayside.
The most blatant example of this is the timing of the schedules: there are no trains - on any line - arriving at North Station between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m., and none which depart North Station between 6:30 and 7:25 p.m. So for anyone who works a 10 to 6 shift is completely hosed. This needs to be fixed. If no one rode these trains, I could see the logic. But people do.
Tl;dr: Blame the dreaded wheel slip and compressor fault failure for a cascading series of delays on the Franklin Line yesterday morning.
UPDATE: Some lines not affected by the signal problems are late because of the dreaded slippery rail.
The T is reporting delays on trains from the south due to Amtrak signal problems. And trains that would normally stop at Ruggles just aren't.
Also, trains decided it was Judgment Day on the Green and Red Lines and so gave up the ghost.
MBTA Trains lets you click on a commuter-rail line and see where the trains are.
If the morning cold snap was a test of the newfound resiliency on commuter rail, well, some riders wish to have a word with the T. Laura was among those stuck on a Norwegian Blue of a Newburyport/Rockport train in Swampscott this morning.
The driver of a tractor-trailer had some trouble making the turn onto High Street at the West Medford stop on the Lowell Line this morning, taking out the crossing gates and becoming an instant obstacle to rush-hour trains, as Colleen Mirabello shows us.
Ken Krause has photos of the quick work to remove the truck, the now ruined crossing gates and a light pole the truck also took out, and posted video showing some of the aftermath of having a crossing in the middle of a city with no crossing gates: Read more.
It's that other most wonderful time of the year - Slippery Rail Season.
Got this e-mail from Keolis:
Fall 2015- Slippery Rail Season
Ari Ofsevit makes the case that adding electric wires and buying electric-powered cars would make a lot more sense on the only in-city commuter-rail line than the individual diesel cars the T proposed buying until the governor put the kibosh on them: Electrification would be cheaper in the long run and the trains would get to and from downtown faster.
State officials recently gathered to celebrate the spring, 2016 start of "bullet train" service that will get some Worcester commuters into Back Bay in an hour - which is still a couple minutes slower than the Beeliner service introduced by the Boston and Albany on May 1, 1950 (using Buddliners, no less).
H/t Ari Ofsevit.
Frustrated commuters are checking in from a Rockport Line train that has joined the choir eternal in a tunnel in Salem.
A homeless man was ordered held yesterday at his arraignment on charges that he beat a man into unconsciousness Sunday night on a commuter-rail platform at Back Bay - then returned the next morning to tell police the still unconscious man had been attacked by somebody else - the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports. Read more.
The T has posted a video of a weekend replacement of a Fitchburg Line bridge over Rte. 62 in Concord - compressed to just four minutes.
Updated with Transit Police info; she did not fall off a bridge.
A woman was hit by a Worcester Line train around noon. She was transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive, Transit Police say.
City Councilors Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan) and Michelle Wu (at large) hope to hold a hearing at which MBTA officials can explain the differing fares for commuter-rail stations within Boston city limits - in particular at stations south of Forest Hills. Read more.