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T says use the 39; power problems on the E Line

The T reports it's canceled service on the E Line between Brigham Circle and Heath Street due to a "power problem near Mission Park."



Nothing new on the E as it is the worst line on the green line.

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I've lived near the end of this line for years and before that on the B line, which I feel is worse. The stretch after Brigham circle certainly has issues due to being street level, but the time, reliability, and crowd issues are overall better than the B line. I rarely have problems and use it almost every day.

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is that the T always seems to suspend the service at random times and for dubious reasons. It's particularly interesting when they suspend service than resume it ten minutes later.

However, the true orphan child of the Green Line these days is neither the E nor the B, but the C. Especially if you're trying to take it eastbound (inbound) to North Station , as the trains are often short-turned at Government Center, forcing one to wait fior the next Lechmere train, which is inevitably overcrowded.

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incompetence, the T continuing to try and ditch this section of line permanently, or both.

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Probably both. They were trying to ditch it several years ago, but with alll the new apartment buildings that have been built and are currently being built on that stretch of S. Huntington not having the E line go all the way to Heath St seems like a really bad idea.

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I mean its Boston's main Veterans Hospital. Isn't your governor and president very pro-Veteran? Why isn't this the top GLX project? Boston astounds me on a regular basis

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If I recall from my time at Boston Latin in the early 70s, there used to be three different trolley lines going down Huntington. Aside from the Heath Street there was one that went all the way to Arborway (was this the "A", maybe?), and one that only went as far as Brigham Circle.

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That was the trolley to Watertown via Brighton and Newton Corner; it branched off from the B at Packards Corner in Allston.

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All of the trolley lines that went down Huntington Avenue in the 70s began and terminated at Park Street. You could never get one, for example, at Government Center.

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Not quite. All of the "E-slash" short-turns originated at Lechmere because they needed access to a storage yard for supplying cars. Without a yard Heath/Brigham Circle/Northeastern to Park/GC wouldn't have had access to enough car supply to be able to run at all as regular service patterns.

This led to a daily equipment assignment peculiarity on the E from the late-70's to the end of Arborway service in '85. Arborway service used PCC streetcars only because Arborway Yard was a PCC-only facility and the wire past Heath was incompatible with LRV pantographs. But those Heath St. short-turns that ran during peak hours used Boeing LRV's more or less exclusively because that was the rolling stock assigned to Lechmere Yard, where the peak-period Heath turns had to be fed from. For a period of roughly 8 years give or take you could from any point along Huntington watch a parade of alternating PCC's and LRV's go by for several hours each day...while on every other line they kept equipment more or less uniform: all-LRV or all-PCC. (The B was the second-to-last line to jettison the PCC's in '82, but the times the PCC fleet was assigned there the B ran almost exclusively PCC with very few LRV interlopers. The C, contrastingly, was one of the earliest lines to go all-LRV, hence the north-end storage at North Station/Canal St. and Lechmere Yard going all-LRV and making an early LRV convert of the Heath short-turns.)

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The main branch of the "E" line was the Arborway-Park Street line. Those were operated with PCCs (President's Conference Cars) until 1985.

The "short turn" branches - noted with an "E" with a red backslash - ended their runs at Heath Street, Brigham Circle and Northeastern. Heath St had the full turnaround loop (as it does today); Brigham Circle and Northeastern have tracks that can switch the trolleys onto the opposite track (without having to use Heath Street).

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Two, actually. E Arborway-Park St. service ran all-day, but was augmented during rush hour by E Lechmere-Heath St. short-turn service. Heath turns would then go dark during the off-peak. That was the daily service pattern from the dawn of the MBTA to 1985.

They did that because keeping Arborway service flat at off-peak -like headways all day long instead of surging them for rush hour made it easiest to maneuver through car congestion on the street-running section through JP without the trolleys getting all bunched up to hell (like they do on the B). The Heath turns were then timed to plug gaps/bunching for timekeeping in/out of the subway and to double-up service on the heaviest-ridership inner half of the line.

Using them in-tandem is how street-running managed to "work" in Boston spite of the road congestion, and work better than the post-'85 bus replacement because even though the JP trolleys ran a few minutes wider-spaced they still had more seats than any bus on the corridor. In the 90's and early-00's when there was still major talk of re-extending the E back to Forest Hills a lot of the criticism of that plan ("trolleys on streets will never work in Boston!", etc. etc.) conveniently omitted the fact that the daily service plan used to be forked, and probably would be again. As a monolithic service that runs Lechmere-JP all day and attempts to surge at rush...yeah, bunching in traffic would be the prevailing problem. Not nearly as much if short-turns via Heath or via new D-to-E connecting trackage at Brookline Village were timed to bolster service on Huntington-proper and plug gaps in the spacing while street-running to Hyde Square or Forest Hills ran on its own pattern.

Hell, you could make an excellent case that lack of short-turning capability is a major drag on the B today. If they ever end up revamping the crazy road layout on Comm Ave. from Packards to Allston St. into a saner Beacon St. Brookline -type setup, possibly the best thing they could do is add a Blandford St.-style turnback yard between Harvard Ave. and Griggs St. that's put into use during rush, Sox games, and late nights when the students are stuffing trolleys like sardine cans. They could then introduce Harvard Ave. short-turns to handle the overcrowding and tame the bunching through BU where it's worst, drop frequencies up the hill on the lowest-ridership portion of B, and compensate BC from the drop in frequencies by super-extending some C's up Chestnut Hill Ave. to BC to keep the corridor in balance. Functionally it's little more than reclaiming the lost art of short-turn dispatching that the T used to do every single day on Huntington pre-1985 to throttle and even out service...but have seemingly forgotten how to do anywhere today.

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