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Trains everywhere given last rites, commuters know first-hand that bites

Good thing it's only raining. Let's see:

Riders were ordered off an Orange Line train at Sullivan, around 8:10 a.m. Those riders were not happy. Nor were the riders already waiting at Sullivan, natch.

But drivers, at least on Rte. 2, aren't feeling too smug:

Traffic on Rte. 2 east is the worst I've ever seen. Going on 30 mins plus from Waltham to Alewife.

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it won't rain during the Olympics.

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These problems happen because the T is old. SO we can host the 2024 Olympics which will force the state to invest $5 billion in public transit or we can wake up in 2030 and complain about the exact same problems we had this morning. Take a second to think about how we could leverage the Olympics rather than being a knee jerk cynic.

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There are more choices than 1)do nothing or 2)get the Olympics to fix our transit for us -- and you should be damn glad of that fact, because there's no way in hell the IOC will ever pick Boston, absent some truly mind-blowing sexual favors.

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...or, you know, well...

ah nevermind.

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Relying on the Olympics to fix our transit is a gamble. Relying on the state to suddenly decide to adequately fund transit is a much bigger gamble. If you disagree then you're blissfully naive about our political system and its decades-long history of ignoring transit. What makes you think that's about to change? Is it Beacon Hill's timid allocation of 1/3 of the required funds for Gov. Patrick's transportation bill last year? Or is it the voters deciding to strip indexing from the gas tax a couple of weeks ago?

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Surprisingly my Newburyport train was only 5 minutes late this morning!

No bilevels today so it was expectedly crowded, but hey, can't have everything.

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The Fitchburg mess had a dead train as well. #406 was reported cancelled by the T. Keolis sacrificed Anderson/Woburn train #352 in the process, as I heard that was sent to Littleton to run as an extra train from there inbound.

I stay as far away from the southside as possible, but a friend who does ride south says that the cancelled Providence line train (#808) is the busiest morning train on the system. Must be making a nice mess.

Oh, and just saw the tweet that #710 out of Forge Park is limping along 45 minutes late, "passengers to be transferred to another train."

Commuting will be fun when it starts snowing!

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So, Wednesday.

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And shouldn't have said anything. Mechanical problems this morning mean I've gone 3 stops in an hour.

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i tip my hat to all of you that deal with this BS on a regular basis, if it were me, i'd be stabby by now.

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It builds character!

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Wonder why cycling is gaining popularity? This is one reason.

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Are you seriously claiming that people are starting to bike from Providence, Fitchbur, Franklin etc. to Boston instead of taking the train?

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No.

People are, however, quite obviously using Hubway and personal bikes for shorter runs, given Red and Orange and Green clusterf*cks, and short-range commuter-rail trips (e.g. Belmont, Waltham to Cambridge; Newton and Winchester to Boston).

It isn't uncommon for commuter trains to blow through some of the closer-in stops (Belmont, West Medford) or not take on any passengers because they are over full.

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bit must be a recent - i.e. Keolis - practice, as the only time I recall MBCR doing that - at least on the Reading/Haverhill line - was the mornings of the Patriots and Red Sox parades.

However, since the takeover by the French, this has happened at leat three times I'm aware of. And twice the overcrowding was because they had cancelled one or more previous trains.

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This has been an issue at West Medford for several years. Not daily, but occasionally.

You have to consider that ridership has increased in the last several years, too.

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since the takeover by the French,

Seriously?

As in the French nation took over the operation of the T?

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This (overcrowding leading to passing stops or not loading all passengers) happens on buses like the #1 frequently and the silver bus often cannot load all passengers on the first stop. Happens on the red line occasionally as well. All of those are USA run, so I dont think its a french/Keolis problem as much as a lack of long term investment in the MBTA problem.

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If you are seeing local trains do that, you really ought to be contacting the T, because they aren't supposed to. If there is a time listed in the schedule for that train making that stop, it is going to make that stop. No question.*

Only time it wouldn't would be if it were a flag stop (noted by an F next to the time on the schedule) and no one on board wanted to get off, and no one was waiting on the platform.

*in special circumstances the dispatcher may instruct a train to run express or local when it is not scheduled to, but it should only slip a station if no one wanted to get off and there was another train directly behind it.

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operative phrase here being "and there was another train directly behind it." In T speak, "directly" could mean anything from five minutes to one hour.

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I say the same about people who drive.

Roommate works a block from my job, and he was in Florida two weeks ago so I had to drive one day for street cleaning. Oy. Got on the expressway at 530. I was losing clumps of hair by the time I got home at 645. I don't know how people do it daily. And I live in Chelsea, I can't imagine some poor saps who drive from New Hampshire or Worcester daily..

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The only thing that makes people more stabby than the T is driving.

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I tried relying on the Commuter Rail to get from Hamilton to work in DTX on off hours. I lasted about three days before saying 'f*** it' and spending slightly more to drive in and park in the employee garage.

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And didn't even back up to let passengers off! I felt so sorry for the Roxbury Latin/Catholic Memorial boys who needed to be at school!

Seriously, dude. It's a train track, not a NASCAR track!

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...can we all please be polite and let the people who have been standing there for 5 years board first?

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all bets are off...

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A wire is down on the D.

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Down from what? Elvish saboteurs? Or by "down" did you mean that it's depressed and figures it'll screw up everybody else's day, because misery loves company?

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Probably a little of both. #MBTA

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Probably a turkey saboteur given that is it the D line in Brookline/Newton and a branch just happened to fall in the right spot to fowl everything up.

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An elvish turkey saboteur.

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Tree touching wire, so T's reaction is "Let's not wait unti the tree pushes the wire down."

Source - heard actual radio conservations on Green Line train while enroute from North Station to Boylston

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But I can still count on one hand the number of times my CR train has been more than 15 minutes late in the past year. Definitely beats driving!

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Must be nice. I know I sure can't. I can't even do that for the past month, much less year.

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Sadly, this is the result of an inability to maintain as well as purchase replacement equipment due to a lack of investment in transportation infrastructure beyond our highways. At least the current state administration recognized the need to do something even if it was late in happening. Let's hope the transition in power in January doesn't stop the momentum.

The past-their-lifespan F40 and GP40 locomotives simply cannot do much more and their mechanics and electronics fail with regularity. Couple that with no spare parts (not being made anymore) makes life difficult. The T is also not set up for serious major repairs so when that happens locomotives are cycled out of service and are "shopped" to a facility out of state that can do the repairs. Given this has a bid process and is costly, not much of that is going to happen, especially with new locomotives being delivered.

As soon as the new locomotives are cut in the old ones will be retired. As of right now, there are only a few on the north and south sides. Acceptance testing takes time. It's not like a new automobile in a car dealership. Also there is only one company manufacturing passenger rail locomotives in the USA, or better stated, only one willing to bid on passenger locomotives, in the nation. Other bidders outside the USA would need to gear up an assembly plant (for final assembly) in the USA to meet the requirements of the Federal "Buy America" Act which prevents the T from purchasing locomotives from foreign soil companies. Those companies have to factor-in the cost of an assembly plant as well.

Sometimes the worn electronics of the cab control cars also fail. Those are the controls that operate the train when its running backwards. Same problem here as to repairs. As more of the Rotem stock is accepted they will replace the older aging single-level coaches.

The planned new Orange and Red line trains will also take time as the Chinese company that won the bid still needs to build a final assembly plant in Springfield. The majority of the assembly will be done in China, and then the near-completed cars will be shipped by boat to the USA and either trucked or flat-bedded by rail to Springfield for final assembly. Bids for new Green line trains are in process now. Manufacturing years off.

So we're a decent year or more before we see any relief on the commuter rail, at least relief that is measurable, and even longer for the subway. Complaining that "someone needs to do something" is underway. Consistent bitching won't make anything go faster - sad to say.

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Let's hope the transition in power in January doesn't stop the momentum.

Given that the transition in power is to the party of "never saw a government program I didn't hate"*, I consider that unlikely.

*except for the military, and since the Bush administration did this nifty shell game to hide the military budget, we're all good here.

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A little nitpicking - there are several American manufacturers of passenger locomotives:
-GE (not currently producing passenger locomotives, but made the Genesis units that are the backbone of the Amtrak and VIA fleets)
-EMD (currently producing F125 diesels for Metrolink)
-MPI (built the HSP-46s the T just purchased, but plans on taking a break from producing new locomotives after almost being bankrupted by the T's obsessive overcustomization)
-Siemens (currently producing Charger diesels for Amtrak, and ACS-64 electrics also for Amtrak)

Otherwise, you're pretty much spot on.

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But again, your point is well taken.

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Yep, but their factory is in the states, so they comply. In fact their products use more American-built components than the Chinese subway cars we're going to get.

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is why it's so expensive to live anywhere close to downtown.

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