• New Coaches to replace all existing single active coaches

  • 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 MBTA3247
BandA wrote:Single level cars are much faster boarding & getting off, and don't have the ADA problems. High level platforms were designed for and work better with single-level coaches - if they knew they were going to bi-levels it would have been a lot easier to stay with low platforms.
Back when the first high level platforms were being built in the US, they didn’t even know they would be going to steel carbodies, much less that they would eventually transition to bilevel equipment.
  by NorthPennLimited
Why can’t MBTA use federal money to fund the purchase of CRRC MLV cars?

-the T and Chicago are building Chinese subway cars
-SEPTA is buying Chinese MLV cars

There must be a loophole somewhere in the law.
  by MBTA3247
The T's order is being paid for entirely with state money, and all 3 orders were signed last year or earlier. The ban on Federal money for CRRC purchases only dates back a few months (earlier this year, IIRC).
  by Tallguy
Does anyone know of the technical difficulties of combining the new Bombardier bi-level EMUs with the MBTA Kawasakis and Rotems? Just thinking that a number of those might be a good start to electrification on the Providence Line
  by Backshophoss
That MLV II based EMU is going to fall flat during the R+D process,NJT is asking too much for this design mistake,MBTA will then tweak the design
even more,and make it impossible to build at a decent price.
MBTA could buy ACS-64's for the NEC based RI services,but runs diesels under the wire instead.
The K-cars were remanufactured to work with the Rotems,with mixed results.
IF MBTA buys the non powered MLV II Coaches/Cab Cars,use the NJY specs and don't add options,KEEP it SIMPLE,MBTA! :wink:
  by ST214
Backshophoss wrote: IF MBTA buys the non powered MLV II Coaches/Cab Cars,use the NJY specs and don't add options,KEEP it SIMPLE,MBTA! :wink:
The last time the MBTA kept it simple, they ordered more K cars from Kawasaki. Since then, it has been "Reinvent the wheel". I am not holding out hope for simplicity.
  by BandA
Does Bombardier have a "K car" design, or is it just the MLV for NJ and the Bi-level for the midwest with low boarding? Bi-level is such an imprecise term, like saying "dual mode"
  by MBTA3247
Not as such, but the MLV is very similar. I think the only significant difference is the MLV's are slightly shorter to fit inside Penn Station's clearance envelope, so in principle they would work fine here in Boston.
  by chrisf
The MLVs also have much lower seating capacity. The highest capacity MLV seats 142, while MBTA's cars seat between 179-185. The single level Bombardier CTC-1B (600 series) coaches seat 122, so the MLV wouldn't add much capacity if MBTA went with them.
Last edited by CRail on Thu May 23, 2019 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Unnecessary quote removed.
  by MBTA3247
Most of the seating difference is due to NJT having the MLVs configured with 2-2 seating, as opposed to the T’s preferred 3-2 seating.
  by BandA
3+2 seating is really cramped, and nobody wants to sit in that middle seat. If I was "Transportation Czar", I would order enough coaches & engines to seat everybody 2+2 for typical service on 90% of the trains. With automatic doors, high-level platforms at all major & near stations, and effective charlie card 2. That and a GOOD controlled-access system at the terminals & conductors will have time to check the fares AND keep the train safe! Fare collections & conductor efficiency will increase so much that they can increase capacity while narrowing subsidies!

New coaches can be the first step in a total transformation of T Commuter Rail in time for the Commuter Rail Bicentennial in 2034, less than 15 years away.
  by CRail
Sounds like you got the cheat codes for Sim City. Some things just aren't necessary, like 15 car trains with plush spacious seating and subway doors/platforms. There's ideal, then there's practical, and there's what we have, practical being a happy medium.

I'll never understand the T's fixation on replacing things we need more of. We need additional coaches, not coaches replaced. Single level cars have their advantages too including reduced dwell times and intercoach accessibility. I'd like to see new coaches replace 4 car trains with 6 car trains. Let's say, for example, the minimum capacity set on the north side was a 1600-single-K-R-K-Loco, we'd be in pretty decent shape. What I would do is a Pullman style refurbishment of the Bomb cars, a final once over of the Pullmans, and kiss and make up with Kawasaki for more 900s (and perhaps more 1700s). All platforms all high is a waste of money. I know it's the long term goal but it's still a waste, some stations simply don't need it.

Controlled access is pointless if you have POP tap on/tap off. It also wont be effective as such large crowds would storm the gates on rushhour trains that "piggybacking" would not only be possible it'd be unavoidable. It's another frivolous ineffective use of public funds.
  by conductorchris
Go to London and you'll find the vast majority have a seat. There is some 2-3 commuter seating, but also 2-2.

What does it get them? A much higher market share, for one. More people with a choice riding the train. An ability to charge much higher fares, for another (with discount cards for students, seniors and those on public assistance). Higher fares changes the economics of providing service considerably to the point that most services cover their costs or make money (of course they run trains with a staff of one, not the fleet of conductors + engineer as on the T).

Another thing about trains in London is that off-peak ridership is much higher. When the train is used all day long, the equipment costs are more spread out (or you consider them bought for rush hour and you have more off-peak revenue gravy). We could do that here with more frequent service (which would bring higher ridership and thus make the fleet more justified).

Oh and regarding high level platforms? Look at the new Bourne stop as the model. Very cheap to build. You could do the entire T in a summer with off-the shelf components bought in quantity and dropped off at each station by a work train and assembled. Trains would become faster, which has a considerable cost savings that would make a cheap conversion justified.

  by BandA
You're pointing in the right direction; Maximizing the efficiency of the conductor is a big key. High platforms, automatic doors and the "magic charlie card II" Then the conductor can handle lots of passengers effortlessly (any arms caught in the doors? <no> ==> close doors & proceed).

New coaches can have built-in tech to help automate tasks (like "hey is there anybody standing in the front vestibule of the 4th car? <yes> ==> don't proceed until vestibule is clear), passenger counts, fare audits etc.