The MBTA is urging Red Line riders to leave early to get where they're going from now until whenever:
Due to ongoing track work from Longfellow Bridge Project, trains will use reduced speeds between Kendall/MIT & Charles/MGH until further notice.
We finally get some weekend service, then this?
That the MBTA can't or won't even provide an estimate of how many days or weeks of slower service commuters will face. True, they're not in charge of the bridge reconstruction but I'm sure they've been closely involved with the Commonwealth and City on this ridiculous project.
How, pray tell, is this project ridiculous?
The bridge needed to be repaired.
An estimate of the time period of the speed restriction would be nice.
An earnest question from one who doesn't ride this train- did they remove the earlier speed restriction just to bring it back now, or was there a speed restriction and this is just an order to go slower? Inquiring minds want to know.
and has been riding that way for years, it appears that this speed restriction is new due to the bridge work.
It really is not that bad. So you go over the bridge at a slower speed for a short amount of time. All part of repairing the bridge.
Your train would slowly creep onto the bridge and sit there until traffic downtown cleared.
this bridge work, anon.
Of course if there is red line traffic up a head, the train will sometimes slow down and/or stop on the bridge - lol!
What they're likely doing now is taking out the shoo-fly track (located just west of Charles/MGH) and restoring the original straight-line track as the westbound side of the bridge is being rebuilt and finished. Rather than go at full speed (IIRC 25-30 mph) over these rebuilt tracks and to protect the Longfellow workers, the MBTA is restricting the speeds over the bridge to 10 mph.
The bridge needed to be replaced. A new, identical looking bridge could have been built easier, faster, and for much less money than what they're doing.
Ridiculous, is the idea of replicating obsolete construction techniques on some twisted notion of "historical accuracy". Really — how many people actually notice the steel substructure of the Longfellow Bridge? Of those of us who do, how many people actually care if that part of the bridge is "historically accurate"?
As it was, they disassembled all the stonework from the towers and other parts of the bridge. What ironwork hadn't been stolen was also removed for restoration. They could have done all of that, and then built an entirely new substructure with modern techniques and materials, and finished it off by putting back the original stonework and iron railings.
The Longfellow Bridge isn't some treasured artifact in a museum. It's not unattractive, but as bridges go, I don't think its design and decoration are things of great beauty. If it's so precious, why did the state allow it to fall into such disrepair? Do you think after the project is completed, they're going to take any better care of it in the future?
If there were unlimited funds available for transportation infrastructure, and everything else was in a good state of repair, then it might be justifiable to spend lots of extra money (and years of extra time) to do such an accurate historic restoration. Otherwise, how is it not ridiculous?
Has anyone else noticed that, once the train is moving, the ride over the bridge has been really smooth? Like European-subway quiet? I noticed this even when they were allowed to go at 20-25 on the new track there. None of the loud clack and creaking that you hear in any other part of the Red Line. How can we get this on the rest of the Red Line?
now that you mentioned it, it is smoother.
How can we get this on the rest of the Red Line?
Completely rebuild the rest of the Red Line?
I would assume that this would entail stripping down to the track bed, so that would be a long period of closure of the line.
But hey, if they can just rebuild the switches and signals, a lot of us would be happy.
Yankee, which has been hired by the T to run the bus replacement, has been running inaccessible buses which is completely out of compliance with ADA regulations. The Federal Transit Authority caught wind and told the T on Tuesday morning that if they ever pulled this kind of shit again (for example: requiring people in mobility devices to wait for a separate vehicle, or during Commuter Rail shutdowns running inaccessible buses on express routes while accessible buses made every stop and therefore a longer trip) there would be a very public rebuke. Half an hour later the T dropped the replacement service this weekend.
This should be a huge scandal but of course everyone at the T has clammed up about it. However, if someone wanted to sue, they could sue the T for a lot based on the behavior this summer. The T effed up, royally, in trying to privatize things, and now it's quite possible the Longfellow Bridge replacement will be delayed several weeks (the last shutdown was is planned for Dec 17, but if it has to be pushed back it will probably be pushed in to January since the next two weekends are Christmas and New Years).
(Are there enough low-floor T buses to run service on weekends? Certainly. Enough drivers? Maybe, although trying to bus portions of the Red and Orange lines may strain the work limit requirements of 589 drivers. However, this is still on the T, for not getting their shit together to do the Orange Line work earlier. Or, find a contractor with low-floor, accessible buses and run those.)
So, hooray, now we probably have several weeks of speed restrictions.
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