Way back in November, Mike Schreck wondered why one particular evening train on the Needham Line left Back Bay at 6:01 p.m. rather than the scheduled 6:03 p.m., which meant he missed the train home. Last week, he finally got an answer from Keolis:
Hello Mike. Train crews operate according to Naval Observatory Time, which may differ slightly from other watches/phones, as well as station clocks. We hope you have not had any issues boarding your train since.
No doubt Keolis was unaware that Mike is one of those people with time to get the correct time - turns out he sets his watch to be 40 seconds ahead of Naval Observatory time, which means:
So when my phone turns 6:03pm, train should think it's still 6:02pm. Yet train was gone before 6:01pm on phone.
Now, should you want to set your watch to Naval Observatory time, you could try this Naval Observatory time Web page, only it's screwed up right now (government shutdown?) and doesn't have its security certificate set right, so, at least in Firefox, you'll be blocked unless you tell your browser you really, really want to disregard the particular security risk that represents, which, even if you live life on the edge like some careless reporters, is rather more work than it's probably worth, especially since most phones these days have their time set to some approximation of official government time anyway - and the vagaries of Web propagation mean the time you see there could be off by a couple of seconds.