• #14 Orange Line Cars 1400-1551 (From Red/Orange Procurement 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

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  by diburning
The target in-service timeframe is October of this year. From what I've heard, they're trying to get a set into service before the end of the summer as a political move. They'd need to accept the four pilot cars as well as another pair before they'd run them in revenue service though. It would be PR suicide to run a 4-car train and have it be crowded.
Last edited by diburning on Fri May 25, 2018 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by orange1234
There is another pair of pilot cars that are undergoing tests at the CRRC factory in China. It is scheduled to be shipped to Boston in June. The first production cars from Springfield aren't due to enter service until December.
  by RenegadeMonster
Sighs, nothings ever easy.

How is it even acceptable that that one piece property the tracks were on was sold in 1985?

I also lol'ed at this line: "The tests would likely generate interest among train wonks"

Train Wonks?
  by nomis
It was Conrail's property to sell, so they sold to make some cash.

Run the test track as temporal separation from the national railroad network, therefore solving the issues of easements of interstate commerce, since it would still be a portion of railroad, and not just a disconnected track of subway cars.

Also, there is only about 100 feet or so left of the South Boston Lead (Track 61) left from the Old Colony mainline. The rest was ripped out about 2-3 weeks ago.
  by Arlington
The State should give itself some kind of "last look"/"first refusal" rights in such a sale--to beat any best offer by $1 so stuff like this can't happen.
  by Disney Guy
How easily can tests be run in the subway and main lines during midday hours when revenue trains don't run that often? Or were such tests already included in the plans?
  by rethcir
Mid day testing sounds like a complete nonstarter. Even when the frequencies are further apart (10 min plus?) there are multiple trains on the tracks at any given time, and a problem train would seriously foul the revenue train schedules.

Now why doesn’t the T just create a test loop way out in the sticks somewhere, where the real estate isn’t the most expensive in the state, rack up the test miles then truck in the vehicles when done? Surely they can get a few acres out in western MA for a song, put in temp tracking and go nuts?
  by craven
From the desk of 40 years of Planner/Buyer:

All of this Acquisition Process and Testing.....

Why, when the Quotations were sent out to various manufacturers to Bid this Red Line project, they didn't include the cars to be delivered to Specification ??

Why are the Tax payers paying for test tracks and testing protocol to be achieved/reviewed here in Massachusetts when the manufacturer should have been
tasked to pass these before shipment? Test tracks should have been built at the place of manufacture, NOT Massachusetts, where MDOT Engineers would visit and authorize releases.

Much cheaper to send test engineers to the point of manufacture.
  by orange1234
The cars are delivered to specifications, but the MBTA engineers still need to test them to make sure that they work as designed with the infrastructure. That's why they need to be tested at the factory and at the customer's facilities. This isn't unique to the MBTA; every transit authority goes through this. It's required because heavy rail subway cars are essentially custom vehicles. They need to go through a full design and engineering cycle as if they are a completely new product (which they are). If you're wondering why there aren't any generic, mass-produced heavy-rail subway vehicles, that's because every subway system in the world contains very unique infrastructure that the vehicles must be compatible with. The closest thing to a generic subway car the world ever saw was the SOAC. The concept never took off because there were too many engineering compromises from the vehicles having to be as generic as possible.
Last edited by CRail on Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by sb150
I may be naive but why can’t they use the yard leads from Cabot to the bumper track just before JFK? These tracks & signals were updated during the malfunction junction project. There must be many hours when there is no activity. Repaired trains use tracks along the way for testing.
  by BandA
Heck, the T can drive out to Springfield (or take the Lake Shore Ltd.) & perform the acceptance testing on the vendor's test track using their own crews. Might be cheaper than building their own facility. Or, the T should build test tracks that double as express tracks for rush hour and can be used for testing off-peak. Orange & Red Line cars should be able to be tested on the same track, but Red Line cars won't clear an Orange platform. I assume third-rail design is compatible.
  by dieciduej
With the testing of the new Orange Line cars between Wellington and Sullivan, and at some point Community College, I would consider to be better than out Springfield way. It is more realistic in terms of grades, Dana Bridge and the B&M flyover, then hitting the marks on station platforms and a decent flat between Assembly and Sullivan. Also after dark clearance tests in the tunnels, or how many light bulbs can I plink test! A flat test track at a vendor's test facility could mask some issues or I can do 90 on the flat, can't do crap on a hill.

The Red Line test track I am not sure on the realism in terms of grades but in either case an MBTA test track means MBTA engineers and operators are present and the operators are more aware of the how a train should really run instead of a textbook way.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I played an electrical test engineer who worked up from the field, so I would always laugh at textbook tests that would make things look good even though it had no bearing on how things would be used in the field.
  by R36 Combine Coach
orange1234 wrote:The closest thing to a generic subway car the world ever saw was the SOAC. The concept never took off because there were too many engineering compromises from the vehicles having to be as generic as possible.
And the Budd Universal Rail Transit Car, marketed in the 1980s and used on Baltimore Metro and Miami Metrorail, with a Breda built variant on LA Metro.
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