Things you don't expect to see outside Shoppers World in Framingham: Green Line trolleys

Green Line trolley on Rte. 9 in Framingham

John Costello was waiting for a light on Rte. 9 westbound outside the Shoppers World Olive Garden around noon today when a Green Line trolley rolled past.

For the past few years, the T has been sending trolleys out to some factory in upstate New York for rehabbing, but generally, the take the turnpike to the New York line, so what was the trolley doing on Rte. 9? Maybe the flat-bed driver just had a hankering for some unlimited breadsticks.

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I remember when I was a kid

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I remember when I was a kid and my dog got old and went to a farm upstate. I'll be so happy when he comes back to visit.

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Please just tell me

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There weren't 70 people inside, pounding on the windows begging to be let out because they didn't hear the announcement that the train was going express, Packard's Corner to Syracuse

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Why?

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Do we have to send these trolleys out of state to be repaired. Doesn't the MBTA have large repair shops at Riverside and Everett?

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They do, but not big enough for a total rebuild

Minor repairs can be done at Riverside and Everett, but since these trolleys will be rebuilt from stem to stern (brand new stainless steel bodies, all new electronics, new floors), it's better to send the trolleys out of state (in this case, Hornell, NY) for these total repairs.

Same goes for the 2008 New Flyer buses that operate out of Lynn and Quincy - they're being sent to Midwest Bus Repairs in Owosso, MI for a total inside-out repair (the same as the Neoplan buses in 2014-2016 and the now-retired NABIs in 2010). Same idea: minor repairs are usually done in house, but major repairs and rebuilds go out of state.

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Also

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While IMHO the workers at the everett shops do awesome work*, sometimes doing an entire rebuild of several cars is best left to a large manufacturer who can fit the bill.

* Yes awesome.. why? I find it outstanding that they are able to keep 30+ year old equipment going. I can't say that for many mechanics..

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Also

It's a good idea to have those shops free to do the regular maintenance and fixing that comes up, rather than filled with a rebuilding project.

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Well they're prepped for

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Well they're prepped for shipment and then received back at Riverside. Perhaps they can't negotiate some of the ramps at the 90/128 interchange? Or maybe the driver just decided to take route 9 via Wellesley instead due to traffic.

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Trains

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Why didn't they use a train to deliver them? Alstom is along a railroad line that links up to the same track that runs all the way to Riverside.

(I'm sure there's a reason why they didn't.. but I forget)

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They did in the past with the PCCs and the Boeings

In the 1950s, they delivered the PCCs from Pullman-Standard in Worcester and the Boeing LRVs to Riverside via flatbed train. I think they were able to do it by having trains backing into Riverside and having a direct connection to the Riverside facilities. The railroad tracks still exist, but I think those rails are used for testing new trolleys (or trolleys returned from Alstom).

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As much as I wish they still

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As much as I wish they still shipped things like this via rail, road is just a lot cheaper and easier. The trolleys would have to be loaded onto a flatcar for shipment as a high and wide load. CSX could probably handle it, but the added logistical concerns probably make it much easier to just truck it. Especially since any time any piece of equipment sits idle for more than a few minutes in a railyard it ends up tagged with graffiti. Remember how many of the Rotem bilevels would show up graffitied?

Also the spur from the B&A to Riverside isn't intact all the way. The first few hundred feet of it out of Riverside are wired up for trolleys, and then there's a break in the rails before a few hundred feet of it that's occasionally used by Keolis for MOW storage. You physically couldn't get a locomotive and a flatcar into Riverside from the B&A, meaning the trolleys would have to be put on a truck and transloaded to rail somewhere else. At that point, just keep it on the truck.

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I was thinking of that

I looked at Google Maps of that area, and the railroad spur and the trolleys break around that point. You'd have to get a crane to offload the trolleys from the spur to the trolley tracks.

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They take the Pike

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I got stuck behind one a month or two ago going from 128 to 30. It was heading west longer than I was so I don’t know where they joined Rt 9. Passed another pulled over on the side of the pike recently too.

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Someone chime in here and

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Someone chime in here and help me out..
Didn't they use to rehab them somewhere out west in MA as well? For some reason I remember seeing Green Line Trolleys cruising by 495/Rt 2 in the Littleton area. They'd do it late at night, and I remember seeing tons of Staties escorting the thing.

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Regular occurrence

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I work facing this part of Rt 9 and have several times glanced out to see these going by. Ironically there used to be trolley service through here.

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Direction

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Why is the trailer coming from the west?

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But it is turning to go to rt

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But it is turning to go to rt 30 and possibly the Turnpike. Why was it turning off Rt 9 eastbound when it would have been coming from NY on the Pike?

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Green Line trains on flatbed heading west on Rt. 30

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Last March I was about to get in my car at the Framingham Main Post Office when I viewed a beat up Green Line train on a flatbed trailer heading west on Route 30 with a number of Massachusetts State Police vehicles escorting the tractor trailer. In June I saw the pictured Green Line train heading east on Route 9. At that time I thought that maybe there was a repair or refurbishing facility in maybe Worcester, or possibly the old GM Plant in Framingham? The unanswered question is; Why travel through Framingham if the repair facility is in Up State New York?

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