By - 2/19/14 - 7:18 pm

really do have nothing more than a big dart board in their office that they use to determine which stock excuse to post in order to justify their mismanagement of the commuter rail inform their customers of train changes. Consider the Haverhill Line, which has been posting issues with various trains since about 2:30 this afternoon. First, they started blaming delays on the (very minimal) snow. Then the delays were blamed on "mechanical problem", which was soon alternated with "equipment shortage." Now, they're stating the latest delays are due to signal problems.

The inconsistency here boggles the mind.

By - 1/4/14 - 12:05 pm

The Globe reports MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott will urge her board this week to hire a French company, Keolis, to run commuter rail, rather than re-upping with MBCR, the company that now runs the trains.

Charlene McBride asks:

I wonder if a French company running the commuter rail could bring us the bar car?

By - 12/28/13 - 11:37 am

The Globe reports that MBCR, which currently runs commuter rail for the MBTA, has promised to build a $65-million repair on part of the site of the old Stop & Shop warehouse complex on the Readville/Dedham line if its contract is renewed.

In 2007, a developer proposed 1,850 housing units on the site, in a proposal that would have required Boston annexing a landlocked piece of Dedham. Dedham didn't like the purchase price, though, so turned the idea down.

Given the land's location right atop marshes that feed into the Neponset River, there could be some interesting environmental filings if the project goes forward. It sits next to the tracks used by several commuter-rail lines and Amtrak.

By - 9/3/13 - 12:24 pm

MBTA Alert

All Clear (re: Haverhill Line Train 260 (8:00 am from Reading) cancelled today)

Last updated: Sep 3 2013 8:58 AM

Cost of a zone 2 ticket - $6.00

Time spent waiting for the next train to arrive - 30 minutes

Sending an "all clear" alert for a train that never ran - priceless

By - 8/15/13 - 1:19 pm

MBCR is reminding Patriots fans that new July Fourth-like security restrictions at Gillette Stadium mean they'll be turned away if they try to get into the stadium with largeish bags Friday night. And don't think you can just leave that stuff on the train to the game, because you can't. So think like you're heading out for a night of clubbing instead of a night cheering on (maybe) Brady:

By - 5/13/13 - 12:13 pm

Case in point:

Haverhill 213 10:30 AM OB experiencing 30-45 min delays due to residual delay 5/13/2013 11:46 AM

Are the people who write these things really that dumb? Oh wait, I guess that's a rhetorical question.

By - 3/28/13 - 7:41 am

The folks at Railroad.net report the Grand Junction bridge over the Charles River - which connects rail lines north and south of the city - has had to be shut again, only three months after it was re-opened following extensive repairs.

By - 6/8/12 - 9:25 am

that the T hailed as a temporary solution to the commuter rail's reliablity problems.

Well, I've learned from a reliable source (retired MBCR employee who's a friend of mine) that, at the direction of T management, the MBCR has taken all those locomotives out of service, and they will be heading back to Maryland early Saturday morning.

The reason for this - mechanical problems that made the locomotives too unreliable to operate.

By - 11/30/11 - 2:24 pm


By - 6/27/11 - 11:34 am

Seems MBCR will have mimes stationed in North and South stations this afternoon to help usher in the expansion of quiet-car service across all the T's commuter-rail lines.

By - 5/15/11 - 10:07 am

The Globe has a fun piece detailing the relationship between the MBTA and MBCR:

Then, in 2007, the MBTA added contract language that effectively offset the penalties and the T began paying Mass Bay about $2 million a year in bonuses for trains that did arrive on time, even as customers were complaining that an increasing number of trains were arriving late or not at all.

By - 1/29/11 - 1:00 pm

This is one of our new-via-Utah locomotives, getting inspected or something at the Boston Engine Terminal in Somerville.

By - 2/19/10 - 10:13 am

As of this morning, the new "train arrival system" countdown timers have been activated on the Reading/Haverhill line, at least at the stations between Wakefield and Greenwood.

With the new system in place, most of the annoying "nanny" messages have gone away. Between the 'countdown' timer, which displays about every thirty seconds, there was only one "non-train" message advising folks to renew their monthly passes online. Not sure if this welcome lack of clutter on the boards is a permanent condition or not.

By - 1/29/10 - 11:53 am

Got this T alert on my cell this morning.

(Haverhill Alert) Haverhill # 212 (7:30am ib) will service customers from Lawrence to Boston. Amtrak Downeaster will pick up customers at Haverhill for Boston.

Of course, the question is - What happened to the passengers from Bradford?

By - 1/22/10 - 10:34 am

Just got this e-mail from MBCR regarding changes in off-peak boarding of trains.

Customer Service Information

Changes to “Off-Peak” Boarding

Beginning Monday, February 1, 2010, new off peak train boarding and operating procedures will be implemented on all commuter rail lines. From this date forward, no off peak trains will be allowed to depart a station until all exterior doors are fully closed.

By - 1/14/10 - 5:02 pm

From the T web page:

Fairmount Alerts

Fairmount Train#763 (5:10 outbound) & Train#764 (5:53 pm inbound) is cancelled. 1/14/2010 4:44 PM

Fairmount All IB & OB trips are experiencing delays of 20-25 minutes delays. 1/14/2010 4:37 PM

Fairmount Train#759 (3:30pm outbound) experiencing a 40 min delay. 1/14/2010 4:36 PM

Fairmount Train#760 (4:13 pm inbound) experiencing 20-25 min delays. 1/14/2010 4:22 PM

By - 1/8/10 - 12:21 pm

More useless and expensive electronic gizoms that "feel good but do little if any actual good" are coming. Just got this e-mail from them:

Now boarding…!

By - 1/6/10 - 11:54 am

Got this e-mail from MBCR regarding a change in policy about exiting trains.

Customer Service Notice

Control Coach Changes

Monday, January 11, 2010!

Effective January 11, 2010, except in the case of emergency, customers will no longer be allowed to enter or exit from the “operating end” of the control coach. The engineer operates the train from this location on inbound trips. Upon arrival into Boston, there are mandatory safety duties for engineers to perform which do not allow for foot traffic through the operating end of these coaches.

Signs will be placed on the coach door on that end of all control cars to remind customers of this rule.

By - 12/31/09 - 10:21 am

MBCR conductor Alexis Roman yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against his employer for injuries he says he received when a Worcester Line train crashed into the bumper at the end of the tracks at South Station on Sept. 15.

Roman says that by allowing the crash, the company, which operates the MBTA's commuter lines, was negligent and failed to provide him with a safe workplace.

His lawsuit does not specify the nature of his injuries, but says they caused him injuries severe enough to results in physical pain, mental anguish and lost wages. About a dozen people were treated for what officials said at the time were minor injuries.