For once, the T actually appears to be doing something totally sensible
By roadman on Fri, 04/25/2014 - 5:12pm
Got this alert earlier:
Park St: Beginning Wed, Apr 30, the D & E branches will switch berths with D branch trains berthing on Track 2 & E branch trains berthing on Track 1
Green Line D branch
Green Line E branch
Last updated: Apr 25 2014 3:58 PM
As to why this is sensible - at present D trains terminate at Park Street most of the time due to Government Center being closed, and this change will eliminate the "musical platforms" nonsense that currently happens.
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Not so sure
I don't think it's going to make sense at all. The B and D are the two busiest lines. Every evening, I see the B Line backed up just south of Park. With both the B and D discharging at Park St and holding, I imagine they're going to back up to Boylston. Once that happens, it just a catastrophic domino effect from there, where the entire central subway will be jammed.
Actually, now that I think about it, this gives them the option to loop the D at either Park or Gov Center, as a way to balance out the traffic on an as needed basis. I'm still not convinced that putting the two busiest lines together at Park will be a good move, though.
Before the Government Center closure, it had
become common practice during rush hour to routinely hold D trains at Park Street for "headway adjustment" - such holds would normally last between 5 and 10 minutes. This normally required that multiple following C trains be shunted onto the 'fence rail" (as Track 2 is referred to by operations folks).
Now, if they intended to hold a B train, or short turn one at Park Street, as well in the same time frame, this usually resulted in "the great circle of trollies" - where you could quickly wind up with stopped streetcars being backed up all the way from Park Street westbound, around the Government Center loop, and back to Park Street eastbound - and sometimes beyond.
The other problem this change solves
is the fact that, even before the GC closure, the Green Line "alphabet' scheduling policy inevitably resulted in E trains entering Park Street westbound having to wait for BC trains that hadn't yet left.
Hey, you people seem to know
Hey, you people seem to know what you are talking about, I have a question re: the T that I have never known anyone appropriate to ask.
Is there anything preventing the train operator from opening the doors on the wrong side of the train while stopped? Seems like it could be devastating and never seems to happen.
AFAIK, there is nothing on the current equipment
that would prevent an operator from doing this. Many times on the Green Line cars, and this goes back to the days of the PCCs, I personally witnessed instances at Haymarket, Government Center and the "wall track" at Park Street - all of which are left-side boarding - where the operator would open one or more right side doors to let inspectors or track maintenance folks board the train.
I'm reminded of an incident that happened in the early days of the Type 7 cars. Operator was entering Government Center station, and the doors opened before the train came to a stop. The operator reported the incident to the dispatcher with this exact exchange:
Operator: Car 36XX (don't recall the exact number) to Central.
Central Control: 6XX (for brevity, the leading '3' is omitted from radio conservations), go ahead
Operator: Coming into Government Center, I was able to open the doors while the train was still moving at 8 miles an hour.
Central Control then had an inspector board the train at Park Street, who then took over control of the car. Entering Boylston, he tried to replicate what the operator claimed had happened, but was unable to. As the inspector got off the train (as did I), he indicated there was no problem, but requested the operator be asked to see the supervisor before they brought the train in for the next trip.
Reminds me of something that
Reminds me of something that happened to me once on commuter rail in another state.
Mornings, as we approached our major station, I and a few others would get up and wait in the vestibule at the end of the car - to be in prime position for the mad dash to the subway.
One morning, as I stood in the vestibule on the hinged gate that folds down over the steps to allow high-platform boarding and we were still doing ~50-60 mph - the exterior door next to me slid open!
Cured me of the need to be in position to be the first one out!
Nothing at all
Nope, nothing at all preventing that. In fact, I know someone who claims to have seen it happen (and I trust that they actually did). I believe they said it was a Red Line train. Luckily, no one was apparently leaning on the doors, or they'd have been dumped onto the other track's third rail.
There was a video a few
There was a video a few months ago of a Red Line car moving with a door open which was apparently not locked out. When the red lights are on outside the train I believe it makes the doors are opened. Take a looksee next time you are in the station. The fail-safe to keep the operator from opening the doors—on heavy rail trains, at least—is that there are separate controls for the doors on either side. The left side opens the left-side doors, the right side opens the right. That's why the doors at Park don't open and close at the same time. I assume the door controls for a trolley car (and for that matter, the trolley buses with left-side doors) are on different sides of the panel. Although if you open the wrong door in a streetcar, you don't drop someone on 600 volts of DC.
In New York City, where the 10 car trains have a separate guard/conductor, the conductor points at a black and white striped sign that signifies the train is properly positioned at the platform. At every stop. It also means they're on the right side of the platform (I'm not sure there are any Park Street-style platforms in New York). It's kind of fun to watch. That's why they have the windows that open, so they can point. Video here, more info here.
Why not run the D to North
Why not run the D to North Station or even better, Lechmere like it used to. If government center is down, it seems odd to decide to shorten, rather than lengthen the line. Since the green line extension will require 2 lines going to Lechmere (and beyond) why not start now, build up a base of people using the green line at lechmere and its bus connections.
Shortened runs = fewer trains = fewer crews = happier "labor is evil" upper management.
Also a problem
Motorists who don't mind that Green Line riders pay for federal gasoline subsidies, but would raise hell if Massachusetts wanted to implement higher taxes for better public transit.
Well it could work, But?
Park st is the subway version of musical chairs game. Yesterday I was riding the E train and it said "Doors open on the RIGHT". But instead got rerouted to the right track and "Doors open on the LEFT". Got really confused. There was a "D Riverside" train blocking the "E platform.
Today waiting for a "C Train" at St. Mary st. one train came but was too crowded and one was directly right behind it. The second train wasn't crowded but got stuck in tunnel before Kenmore. Driver says "Train is rerouted. LAST STOP: KENMORE". The driver kicked everyone off and passengers on platform tried to board and driver screamed onboard this train is OUT OF SERVICE. Everyone on platform was angry and 3-car Park St. train came next and decided to stall with driver taking a walk along the train and do a random check.
Green Line is like the Monopoly game where you take chances and risks and either sometimes win or lose. Most of the times it loses.
I love playing Green Line Roulette. Get on the First Train that shows up and just keep changing every time it either get re-routed or is terminating until you reach your destination.
When the Red Sox are in town
This is a must when the Red Sox are playing and the game is almost over. The T will short-turn a lot of C and D cars through the loop at Kenmore to provide extra service outbound (and might turn B cars at Blandford to provide extra service inbound) to deal with the crowds. If you're taking a C or D car and you're east of Kenmore, get on whatever comes first and ride it Kenmore, then transfer to the line you need.
Or better yet
walk or take a cab. Yes, I believe the MBTA's Red Sox service is that bad that I advocate AGAINST taking the Green Line at that time. Of course, if you are unable to walk great distances, then you don't really have a choice here.