• MBTA Radio Frequencies?

  • 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 mattl
 
Does anyone know the frequencies used by the MBTA for their radio communications? A friend is trying to figure it out, and currently believes it's around 800Mhz...
  by mitch3910
 
Each line uses a different frequency. I've got them in my scanner at home. If someone else doesn't come up with them before I get home, I'll check and post them up for you.
  by dieciduej
 
As of this time only Bus Operations have been moved over to the new 800 MHz radio system, which I believe uses the EDACS system, so they cannot be heard. Here are the frequencies for the RT lines:

Red Line 470.4125
Orange Line 470.6125
Green Line 470.6375
Blue Line 470.6875

All using a PL Tone of 162.2.

Although I have noticed that the Orange Line cars are now being equipped with the newer radios so at some point they will not be heard.

JoeD
  by diburning
 
These are from a list that I copied and pasted a while ago. Accuracy is not guaranteed. Frequencies may or may not still be in use.

North Side:
160.32000 - North Side (North Station, Newburyport Line, Rockport Line, Haverhill Line)
160.52000 - North Side (while on Pan Am dispatched territory such as the Fitchburg and Lowell Lines)
160.59000 - North Side (Fitchburg and Lowell Lines in MBTA Territory)
160.69500 - Engineering (Track, Builing, Bridge, and Signal Maintainance)
161.56500 - Engineering (Track, Builing, Bridge, and Signal Maintainance)
160.87500 - Boston Engine Terminal
161.16000 - Pan Am Dispatcher (while on Pan Am dispatched territory such as the Fitchburg and Lowell Lines)
161.46000 - Mechanic Help Desk

South Side:
160.68000 - CSX NA Dispatch (Worcester Line)
160.80000 - CSX Road Channel (Worcester Line)

Dispatchers and Trains both use the same frequency for these:
160.92000 - South Station, Northeast Corridor Lines
161.49000 - Old Colony Lines

These may or may not still be in use:

470.66250 - MBTA Police Channel 1 - PL Tone 131.8
483.56250 - MBTA Police Channel 2
  by sery2831
 
dieciduej wrote:Although I have noticed that the Orange Line cars are now being equipped with the newer radios so at some point they will not be heard.

JoeD
The new 0700 Blue Line cars were delivered with a new radio that is not currently used.
  by StevieC48
 
In the recent issue of scannermaster https://www.scannermaster.com/MA_RI_So_ ... 511320.htm they have the current frequencys including the new digital frequency list.
  by Head-end View
 
The higher-end scanners costing several hundred dollars can program EDACS and other more sophisticated trunked systems including digital. It gets complicated though, not for the novice scanner user.
Last edited by Head-end View on Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by typesix
 
The digital system chosen by the T, when fully implemented on all the lines, will not be listenable by any scanner. So hopefully the analog will continue for a long time.
  by tvachon
 
Does anyone have an online feed for the MBTA/MBCR radios? I can't seem to find anything.
  by Head-end View
 
Typesix, if you're willing to spend almost $500. you can buy a scanner that will program the most sophisticated digital trunking system. The only factor that I know of that would make it impossible to monitor is if they get an ENCRYPTED system, in which case you are correct. We're having that problem in my area now with our county police dept. having bought such a system. A buddy of mine has programmed it and can "see" activity on the system but because it's "encrypted" the scanner can't "decode" it. And yes, no scanner made today can decode an encrypted system. And I'm told it would be illegal for anyone to build a scanner with that capability. Not sure if it's true.
  by StevieC48
 
Ok the Mass State Police id trunked and I am able to listen to Troop F (Logan) anf Troop E (Mass Pike) and Troop A and H (Boston and South Boston) and it is labeled so I know what I am listening to . They if I am not mistaken they use a MOT-Type 2 Digital. Motorola equipment.
  by typesix
 
The system the T will be using is not encrypted, however the M/A Com system that will be used cannot be monitored by any consumer scanner. M/A Com will not allow Uniden or GRE/RadioShack(the two major scanner makes) to have a license or access to the tech specs in order to market scanners capable of scanning the T's system. You can find further info on the radioreference.com website on M/A Com systems.
  by Head-end View
 
Typesix, thanks for that info; it's a continuous learning process. Stevie, last I drove the Masspike almost a year ago, Troop E was still on the Turnpike's VHF freq's. Are they simulcasting the VHF and trunked or have they since discontinued the old VHF frequencies?
  by StevieC48
 
Thanks for the info type 6 it is appreciated.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
Does anyone know if all of the above still applies? I'm completely clueless as to how scanners work. I'm considering finally getting one. Would a scanner that can pick up MBTA frequencies also be capable of picking up fire, police, EMS, etc frequencies? I don't really know what I'm doing, but figure I'll check out some electronics stores soon for one.