• Countdown Signs Discussion

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

  • 136 posts
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 10
  by jamesinclair
 
I believe Alewfie still has the light up signs - they just dont light up.
  by CRail
 
boblothrope wrote:At terminals like Alewife, where trains lay over at the platform, what determines when the starting bell rings? Is it automatic on a timer, or does someone in a control center do it?

Even if they know when the bell is going to ring, there's a lot of uncertainty in how long it will be until the train actually leaves. Which affects when the outbound train(s) waiting in the tunnel will arrive at Alewife.

At Alewife, these signs will also indirectly tell passengers which train is leaving first, since either Ashmont or Braintree will be listed first.

It's no fun to guess wrong when there are trains parked on both tracks. Train operators hardly ever make an announcement before they close the doors and go. There used to be light-up "Next Train" signs (and still are at Forest Hills), but they were removed a few years ago.
The bells ring off automatically, but the line's Dispatcher can take control over them either preventing it from ringing if a train is to be held, or ringing it sending a train out at a time a trip wasn't scheduled. The "Next Train" signs at Alewife are still there, they just don't use them anymore for some reason. I was happy when I saw they're still used at Forest Hills.
  by ns3010
 
Braintree also still has the lightup signs saying which track the next train will depart from, and they still work.

BostonUrbEx wrote: Bowdoin already has countdowns. Even just saw them 5 minutes ago. It displays BRD when an eastbound is boarding. I don't believe it counts down for terminating westbound trains, just the originating eastbounds.
Ok, I guess it just wasn't listed due to the station's being closed on Monday.

Kinda pointless, to be honest, to have signs that say that the train is boarding, when it is already obvious. But, I guess, if they're there, why not use them.
  by boblothrope
 
CRail wrote:The "Next Train" signs at Alewife are still there, they just don't use them anymore for some reason.
The sign assemblies are still there, but the panels now say "Ashmont/Braintree ->" rather than "Next Train ->".
  by jamesinclair
 
boblothrope wrote:
CRail wrote:The "Next Train" signs at Alewife are still there, they just don't use them anymore for some reason.
The sign assemblies are still there, but the panels now say "Ashmont/Braintree ->" rather than "Next Train ->".
Right, but theres one on each side, so if "Ashmont" on the right is lit up, it would be fair to say thats where you want to be.

What annoys me is that when two trains sit at the same time, both have their doors open, with no indication which one leaves in 1 minute and which one leaves in 7.
  by boblothrope
 
jamesinclair wrote:
boblothrope wrote: The sign assemblies are still there, but the panels now say "Ashmont/Braintree ->" rather than "Next Train ->".
Right, but theres one on each side, so if "Ashmont" on the right is lit up, it would be fair to say thats where you want to be.
If the signs worked like that, the vast majority of passengers would have no idea what they meant.

Right now one of the signs is always lit, and the other is always dark. But riders don't flock to the lit one if the other train is leaving first.
  by Robert Paniagua
 
I wonder if Charles/MGH will ever get cowntdown clocks, and replace the current signs they have, since the display is smaller than essentially the rest of the system
  by The EGE
 
Every station I've seen so far has had trains in one direction only on each sign. However, Airport has trains in both directions on all signs:
Image
  by SM89
 
The EGE wrote:Every station I've seen so far has had trains in one direction only on each sign. However, Airport has trains in both directions on all signs:
I assume it has something to do with how they're wired. The same is true for Back Bay where all signs show both directions and the opposite is true at State where the joint Devonshire entrance only shows Forest Hills trains..
  by octr202
 
Hopefully in time (once the initial rollout is complete) they can focus on installing some more flexible displays at some entrances. Particularly at the downtown stations with more than one line, it would be nice to have monitors that could show the next couple trains on all lines serving the station. Something like the LCD monitors used at North and South Stations would fit the bill.

Ideally this would include the Silver Line at South Station, and will really be helpful when/if the proposed Green Line tracking system is implemented.
  by The EGE
 
I'm really curious if they'll have the display set to rotate through several views at the Green Line stations. At Copley to Government Center, you need a minimum of four slots for the 4 different destinations, and 3 lots at Hynes and Kenmore. The signs seem only able to display 2 slots at once.
  by jamesinclair
 
The EGE wrote:I'm really curious if they'll have the display set to rotate through several views at the Green Line stations. At Copley to Government Center, you need a minimum of four slots for the 4 different destinations, and 3 lots at Hynes and Kenmore. The signs seem only able to display 2 slots at once.
Rotation should be trivial.
  by The EGE
 
jamesinclair wrote:
The EGE wrote:I'm really curious if they'll have the display set to rotate through several views at the Green Line stations. At Copley to Government Center, you need a minimum of four slots for the 4 different destinations, and 3 lots at Hynes and Kenmore. The signs seem only able to display 2 slots at once.
Rotation should be trivial.
I would hope so, but I know nothing about the displays. Ultimately, I would hope that the downtown Green Line and transfer stations will get larger boards in select locations showing a larger number of trains. In the early years, Park Street used to have a large board on the westbound platform showing the berths for the next trains to three dozen different locations. A modern large board (i.e, a large flatscreen TV) could show the next two trains to each of the terminals, and perhaps the number of cars per train (like the DC metro does).

Being able to show more than 2 trains at any one time will only get more important over the next decade. The Green Line Extension will bring branches to the northside for the first time since 1948*, and for the first time since at least the 1980s** there will be four separate northern termini. Operational changes (the return of short turn trains, Boston Colleges via Beacon Street) or new construction (Needham, Dudley, D-E connector) would also make the westbound situation more complex.

*On April 2, 1948, the 92 Sullivan - Brattle Loop via Main Street line was bustituted, leaving the 93 Sullivan Brattle Loop via Bunker Hill Street route as the sole northside branch. I believe that the GLX routes will be the first trolley routes to the northside to go through Park rather than looping at Brattle Loop or Adams Square.

**The last scheduled use of the Park Street loop was the mid 1980s. I can't pick out the exact last time when the four lines were separately scheduled to loop at Park, Government Center, Canal Street/North Station, and Lechmere.
  by wicked
 
IIRC, the last time Park Street was used as a regular terminus was for the pre-bustitution E to Arborway (so late 1985?). That's what I remember from my youthful readings of Car-Free.

I was at Broadway today and at the fare gates, the sign there lists trains going in both directions.
  • 1
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 10