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Why snow, cold take such a toll on Orange Line trains

And what the MBTA is trying to do about it until it can replace the 31-year-old Orange Line cars:

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...by an Actual Bostonian goes to ...Joe Keeffe!

Not the most photogenic guy...he doesn't exactly make love to the camera (thank Vishnu) but so much better than a smarmy professional P.R. firm-created video with some sort of Steve Thomas or Kevin O'Connor host talking about something they know little about. Informative video (alas, doesn't make the breakdowns any less frustrating).

Up, Up with Schlubs!!

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Let's hope that the next generation design (from my keyboard to God's ears!) of orange line cars takes into account the climate they are supposed to operate in. Though, of course, the prior record with T car design doesn't offer much promise.

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I think its great that the T's new administration is starting to do these things, and that they are having real T employees do them (that guy was great). It makes me feel somewhat better that when the orange line is late its basically due to really old cars and nature as opposed to someone not having bothered to fix something they were supposed to. The inovative hair net fix is also nice. That said, hopefully when they ultimately replace these things, these issues will be taken into account because I don't think the snow is going away.

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The corrosion on some cars is horrendous - like, drop marbles out the holes in the side or floor near the doors and ends of the trains horrendous.

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Great and informative video. I'm really glad to see the MBTA taking the initiative to explain to customers why service delays are occurring. I'm really enjoying the transparency of the Davey administration.

This said, he precisely pointed out key areas where the Orange Line train design is weak. If these areas are not taken into to consideration when the new Orange Line trains are ordered, then I will be extremely disappointed.

Also, when I toured the OCC last semester and asked about OL trains, the manager on the floor mentioned that OL trains should be ordered within the next 3 years or so. The tracks needed to be upgraded with tracking systems first (what made real-time train data possible).

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It really made no sense that the orange line order wasnt stuck in with the blue line order, since the lines essentially use the same cars.

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Are the new Blue Line cars shorter than the old ones - and their counterparts on the Orange Line?

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New Blue Line cars are the same size as old Blue Line cars, and both are 17 feet shorter than present or future Orange Line cars

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I've noticed the same. They seem ridiculously short.

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are both shorter and narrower than the Orange Line ones. This is because the Blue Line tunnel under Boston Harbor was originally built for streetcars.

However, the new Blue Line cars do have similar dimensions to the previous ones. They are a boxier design and, thus, look 'stubby' compared to the older ones.

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I don't think they had a spare $360-400 million dollars hanging around at the time the Blue Line order was placed to also replace the Orange Line fleet.

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hairnets and electrical tape. very advanced engineering.

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...when they were built \ designed, it was for use on the El...

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The northern end of the line had already been moved off of the Charlestown El by the time these cars arrived in 1980-81. Having said that, I would agree that there was no fundamental design flaw with these cars. Traction motors are mounted on axles, and axles are just above the rail surface, that is true of all electric rail cars. Thy ran through at least 20-25 winters without major problems. Only in the last few years have they started to have more motor and air-brake system issues during snow and cold, suggesting that major component overhauls probably should have been performed more frequently as the cars began to age. The cracks in the filter holders is probably the biggest issue identified here, and the hairnets are a band-aid vs. a full replacement of these components. If there is no money for new cars anytime soon, then they are going to have to step up on the motor and air system overhauls to keep these cars going reliably. They also need to step up the repainting and the floor repairs. I'm sure the people who maintain the cars are well aware of what needs to be done, but getting the budget increased to do it will not be easy.

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These cars were built to run on the present Oak Grove to downtown route, which was up and running in 1976. A full four years before these cars were built. Though the El was still in place for the southern part of the line for only six more years.

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