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Haverhill/Reading line hosed

3:50 Reading and 4:30 Haverhill trains cancelled. Latest alert indicates next Haverhill train at 5:35.

Ugh!

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Looking at mbta.com just now, a bunch of trains on just about every line from N. Station are cancelled this afternoon. Which has actually been par for the course these last few weeks. Trains on the Newburyport/Rockport line were cancelled this morning, as they have been frequently since the fares went up. Something bigger is happening, we mere riders just don't know what.

I'm reminded of the 2009 Globe story that found the porn den in the MBTA maintenance shed...

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As I left North Station to get the Orange Line to Oak Grove (to then get a bus to Melrose Highlands) - this was about 3:40 pm, the only two trains on the board showing cancelled were the 3:50 Reading train and the 4:20 Anderson-Woburn train. All other trains were still showing On Time. And, although the 4:30 Haverhill train was still showing On Time on the board, the T had already issued an alert announcing that train was also cancelled.

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I took the 4:30 Haverhill but it was every other train on line cancelled

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indicating that the 4:30 pm Haverhill train was cancelled was a lie. Wonderful.

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Service abysmal the last few weeks. Haverhill/Reading cancelations and delays are a daily occurrence. 3 rush hour trains canceled today. How do the following result in WORSE service?

1: Schedule changes to reduce number of trains per day
2: Schedule changes to increase turn-around time
3: Increased fares for improved maintenance
4: Good weather

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I'll say it again:

Mean Distance Between Failures on the Commuter Rail.

It's the biggest scandal nobody's talking about.

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When the same trains are consistently cancelled (like the 6:05 Reading train, which has just been cancelled for the third Tuesday in a row), it can't be attributed to a failure of equipment. And that's the real scandal that somebody should be investigating. Too bad our "local" media is more interested in going on needless junkets to Cleveland and Philadelphia than they are in reporting on actual local news.

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Just because one huge problem exists doesn't mean other problems can't exist.

Also, that might be the train they like to cancel if any of the Haverhill sets breaks down, since it's a short turn.

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is a 'turn' of the equipment that comes in from Reading. On Monday afternoon, the train from Reading came in, and the crew promptly told us they were instructed to cancel the next outbound train. As there were four other sets of equipment sitting in the station, forgive me if I'm not buying the "shortage of equipment argument."

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I don't know if this was the case, but let's say one of those four sets was broken. Or the next inbound train scheduled to arrive was broken. Or a train laying over in the yard waiting for the PM rush was broken.

Even if the train that usually becomes the short-turn is working, something has to get cancelled if they're one train short. And they typically choose a short-turn, since the following full-length run covers all its stops.

What's your theory?

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The other problem with broken-down trains is that they block the line, which can take hours to resolve, and then all the trains are in the wrong places.

Which is why having a fleet where each train breaks down once a month is a recipe for disaster.

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