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Late trains, short trains giving Worcester Line riders lots of pains

Or as Shuchi M puts it:

Woot, they cancelled two trains, brought a smaller train than usual, and made the express a local. Where did the fare hike money go MBTA?

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The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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n/t

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So today - clear weather, not even windy, and 28F - counts as "severe weather" enough to cancel trains? Yep, this winter is looking wonderful already.

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as I have said before, some of the recent probs are the result of too much focus on fighting the last battle (the 100 year winter) rather than the routine stuff that would have helped more. That's nuts (but it makes for good evening news stories). Catering to the media is no way to run a transportation system.

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Yes, the Braintree line was using shuttle buses nearly every weekend between August and December. This was supposedly to get the tracks ready for winter so they wouldn't freeze like they did last winter. But last winter we had four blizzards in less than a month (and no days above freezing for all of February). Highly unlikely that will happen again.

So we lost weekend train service for four months (and often had speed restrictions on Mondays because of the trackwork). All to prepare for conditions that, as you say, are unlikely to recur. Meanwhile, the problems with signals/disabled trains/etc persist.

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when I saw a short train crawling eastward between Wellesley Sq. and Wellesley Hills, I knew bad things were afoot.

It's okay though - that line only connects New England's 1st and 2nd largest cities (and some larger towns between). It's not important.

Yikes.

[update: if you look at Dave's tweet reel [http://dbperry.weebly.com/], it seems pretty clear that there was utter confusion and that the debacle is the result of pretty poor management out there today. I was complimentary of Keolis on how they handled the derail yesterday up north, but they have to come out in the same way today and explain what went wrong on Worcester line and what they are going to ensure there is a plan in place next time.

Second thought: Dave makes a point that I have been making to anyone who will listen - there is no redundancy in our transport network (any mode). This is a indefensible, dangerous and potentially catastrophic state of affairs.]

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Actually, as my blog post explains, I don't see how the debacle was the result of poor management - just an unfortunate confluence of two broken down trainsets. One could argue that the break down of two trainsets is a management failure, but I don't even buy that. The breakdowns MIGHT be the result of imperfect procurement processes for new equipment, especially with regards to the Rotem control cars. The HSP46 locomotives have had a number of failures, but they don't have a bad reputation (yet). Maybe I could accept an argument that the introduction of new equipment requires more robust contingency plans (like standby / extra / spare locomotives), but even that is weak (IMHO).

The communication problems were the result of things happening and changing too quick for accurate communications to be sent out.

Blog post explaining 1/6/2016:
http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/what-happened-wednesday-morning

In the heat of the battle yesterday (including reading my stream of tweets), it might have appeared to be a management failure, but once we learned the entire big picture, I really don't see a failure of management as a problem on this particular day.

But let's not forget, there are failures of management out there - see this post about 12/18/15:
http://dbperry.weebly.com/blog/why-did-p508-get-delayed-this-am

Thanks for the shout-out and glad somebody is reading my blog.

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I was on the lookout for your explanation for the better part of yesterday, but then things got hectic and I haven't yet read it. I will do so, as I really enjoy your blog and find incredibly useful.

Certainly I made my comment about management based on the Tweets "in the heat of the battle" and I understand your remarks on that above. You are right that my comments were generated in part by my feeling that there seems to be, in general, few contingency plans for any hiccups (let alone big ones).

My bigger thing is that riders should not have to rely on your tweets, or those of others, to get information on where to go (e.g., the back of the train). Even though I am confident you and your fellow passengers were providing excellent and reliable info, there has to be up to date info from an *official* source (whether that is by electronic sign OR Keolis/MBTA/MBTA Police personnel on the platforms. I know the situation was fluid, but for the safety of everyone involved, the acquisition and dissemination of information (particularly amongst Keolis/MBTA personnel) should not be that difficult in 2016.

[edit: having skimmed your explanatory post, I feel even more strongly about this. When you, a passenger, have more information available to you than some Keolis/MBTA personnel, I view that as an issue. I know that not everyone needs to know everything, and info overload can be a problem too, but when I hear things that suggest you had more info available to you than the dispatcher did to her/him, that troubles me.]

While I view it as somewhat of a lower risk w/r/t the CR, we just can't have hundreds or thousands of people crowding onto platforms (particularly in the subway) and unable to move. All it will take is a real or perceived threat (e.g. someone yelling "bomb" or "fire") and people are going to get killed. I don't want to even think about what would happen if there was a real emergency, but as I have said repeatedly on UHub, I am extremely concerned about a Cocoanut Grove on the T one of these days.

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service improvements once they kicked CSX off those tracks (a move that the region will be seriously regretting in about five years).

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I presume that you are saying this because of the increased traffic from trucks on area roadways, but I'm not sure (I don't think you're suggesting that there is going to be a major uptick in container shipments to the port, given the fact that rail access to the water was already more or less gone (that was prob not very forward-looking)).

Can you elaborate a bit when you have a moment?

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By the way, I view this debacle (and the overall lack of redundancy in the existing network - see my earlier comment) as an excellent example of why we must be talking about building a second NEC Spine (and one that goes through Worcester to Hartford, dammit, not through Providence (which already has relatively great service) and the hinterlands of NE CT to Hartford!) instead of following the increasingly flood-prone and curvy coastal route!

Incidentally, comment letters are due on the Draft EIS for the NEC Future project on Jan. 30th - we have to tell the feds we need a second spine!

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