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Orange Line has failed track - riders now taken aback

Just got an alert from the T that they are now running shuttle buses between Oak Grove and Wellington due to a track problem at Malden Center.

Shuttle buses replacing Orange Line service between Oak Grove and Wellington stations due to a track problem

Affected stops:
Oak Grove
Malden Center
Wellington

Last Updated: 7/7/2015 1:56:04 PM

Orange Line experiencing moderate delays due to a track problem at Malden Center

Last Updated: 7/7/2015 1:43:14 PM

Update - As of 2:40 pm, shuttle buses cancelled, but T still reporting minor delays.

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Comments

I've harped on this over and over, but there has been regular bussing, replacing trains, on this end of the line for years now. What exactly have they been doing? Signal work was the original reason, then the work on the Assembly stop. I'm baffled.

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is for "emergency" reasons. The present round of scheduled bustitutions is for the T's Orange Line winterization work - see http://www.universalhub.com/2015/nighttime-oak-grove-commuters-will-need...

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Like "Groundhog Day" only less entertaining.

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Ride The T Angry!

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Greasing the rails literally

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Most people think of hardened steel as immovable but that is not the case.

While current work has been a string of construction efforts, first new signals, then Assembly Station, and now winter-ization efforts, any and all train tracks can be subject to heat "kinks" caused by high daily heat which can cause the rails to expand and eventually warp.

It has already happened more than once to the MBTA in the past where tracks are exposed to direct sunlight and prolonged summer heat. It's not the T's fault. That is just science and nature at play.

Commuter rails are also subject to the same problem and when there are periods fo prolonged heat it is not unusual for some railroads to declare "slow orders" meaning that they will travel at a much-lower rate of speed in case the tracks ahead are warped, giving the locomotive engineer the opportunity to stop before there is an accident.

Repairing heat warps can take a few hours to days to fix.

This has been talked about before, and specifically here in 2011. See the picture. And this was also in the Malden area.

http://www.universalhub.com/2011/hopefully-rush-hour-service-saturday-be...

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The problem this time was a tree down across the tracks

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My point being, these things happen from time to time. It sucks, but just like rails getting warped in the heat, trees fall over.

Aside from a period this winter, I think the T does an okay job (as a Forest Hills Orange Line rider). I'm going on the road for a few days in a bit, and I am dreading rush hour traffic.

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and exceptional weather conditions.

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I'm also tired of hearing about the snow as if the T is unproblematic in every other season.

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I say again, the T is not primarily a transportation system. It is a patronage system. It has as many retirees as employees and that is it's purpose, not caring if it gets it's customers to their destination.

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The line item that represents ~3% of their budget is their primary purpose? OK.

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Track problems? In the one area of the entire system with an extra track just sitting there, waiting to be used?

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The extra track is between Community College and Wellington. Although it was designed so the 'middle' track could be used an express track, and was originally supposed to run all the way to Oak Grove, the third track can't be used in revenue service because a) the platform at Community abutting the track doesn't have an elevator and b) Assembly Station doesn't have a platform for the third track.

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"all clear - now let's reiterate the entire original alert" (IMO a very idiotic practice) - message regarding the shuttle buses. Which was then immediately followed by an "Orange Line experiencing minor delays due to an earlier track problem at Malden" alert.

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Meanwhile, we have fun with fire on the commuter rail! An all around winning day for public transit... http://m.providencejournal.com/article/20150707/NEWS/150709557/14022/NEWS

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has burned before. Love the "but it's too expensive to remove an abandoned bridge" mentality of the government.

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Here's what kills me about the MBTA system, problems always pop up but there's yet to be any solutions and it's not like these problems are new it's the same ones over and over again but who gets the bad end of the stick, the commuters. We have to hear fare is going up to pay for new buses, new trains or because their budget is to low but there's always enough to pay the employees a great salary and the retirees a great pension don't you think it's time for a pay cut MBTA? Or maybe a fair cut for bad service? We had the worst winter with public transportation last winter because they wasn't prepared for this type of weather, SERIOUSLY? We live up north for crying out loud you should always have a plan for the worst in my opinion. the MBTA needs to worry more about the people who's putting their checks together because what's the worth of using something that's broken, you won't get a lot out of it.

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of mandating how and where the MBTA spends at least a portion of its money. Right now, it's "oh, we can't afford to put additional trains in service, but guess what- we're putting in a gazillion new spy cameras we really don't need just because we got a "special" grant to do it". Or "Hey, we can't afford decided we don't want to properly staff our trains, so instead of providing the proper means for purchasing tickets and paying for parking at our stations, we;ve decided instead to force our patrons to use a smartphone app to pay for fares and/or their parking, even if many of those people don't have a smartphone, or care to use it for those purposes."

Or how about the utterly idiotic concept of "We want to maximize non-fare revenue, so we'll lease our land to Clear Channel for $2500 a month so they can install a bliiboard that generates $17,000 a month in revenue for them".

Fix these things first - then I might be willing to listen to you about how "unreasonable" you think the salaries and pensions are.

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of mandating how and where the MBTA spends at least a portion of its money.

The cameras were a grant from the DHS. Can't re-route money like that

Get the fed to change it's laws, and you can have that. This is more of a fed thing than a state level thing.

These laws were designed to do just that, to make sure funds went to project and not get derailed into sweetheart deals and what not. This is why it's like that. And while I agree that sometimes it seems like $ is throw to the wind for useless things, it really is necessary sometimes to have strings tacked onto grants.

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