• Explain the reason for this switcheroo

  • 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

  by Yellowspoon
Explain this switcheroo to me. I go into Boston twice a week or so from Waban. This has happened to me four times in the past three weeks, and I observed a 5th occurrence.

Three times, the train has pulled into Kenmore and there is another car sitting on the inside track that came from Commonwealth Avenue. There's two minutes of shuffling wherein both operators swap trains. I presume the operators of the second car swap places as well. The cars from Commonwealth Avenue depart first. By the time we get to Hynes, the destination has now been changed to Park Street from GovCen. I'm assuming the other cars changed destinations, too, because Park Street tracks 2 & 3 are empty when we arrive. If I had swapped cars, too, I would have been at my destination.

In the fourth instance, I was at Copley and wanted to go to Haymarket, so I took a North Station train that suddenly change its destination to Park Street.

In the fifth instance, I was on a type-9 that was rerouted to Park Street. In this instance, I presume it was because there was another Riverside car right behind it that pulled into Park Street, track 4, just after we did.
  by CRail
There are a plethora of reasons why a car can be short turned at Park Street. In the case of the Kenmore crew swap, it was more the trains swapping than the crews as the crews typically continue their original trip but the cars get rerouted. This is most commonly to send a car from BC or Lechmere to the carhouse for service or inspections, or perhaps because of a mechanical issue that developed en route. You'd have to be in earshot of the radio chatter to know for sure what was going on in any specific instance.
  by Disney Guy
Were passengers going to Government Center and beyond told to switch trains in Kenmore?

I would think it would be better to dispatch the Park St. train before the Government Center or North Station train. That would reduce bunching and station dwell time at succeeding stations.

OT: I would think that having someone direct inbound trains manually at Copley Junction would improve customer service. Since all Lechmere trains come from Huntington Ave., a Lechmere train could be held up to let another train (if already or almost there) enter Copley first. This would make it easier for passengers on the other trains to get off and catch the Lechmere train if desired.