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Maybe you should have drove? A train died at Oak Grove

The MBTA reports delays of up to 25 minutes on the Orange Line due to a train that went to meet its maker at Oak Grove, one of the poor tired old trains that has been shouldering its superannuated burden for just so long and could no longer take it, we assume, rather than one of the sprightly shiny new young thangs just off the truck from the Springfield assembly plant.

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While your T headlines are required by UHub Law to rhyme, I'm not sure I can condone bad grammar. Suggestions:

If only I drove
A train died at Oak Grove

Maybe you should have driven?
A tried died at Oak Griv...hm

Commuters unable to rove
After train dies at Oak Grove

Stab me with a clove
My train died at Oak Grove

Voting closed 16

Trains break. It happens.

What I'd like to know is how does the MBTA's response compare with other subway systems? Do other agencies do any better at fixing the broken train quickly, or pushing it out of the way?

NYC can bypass blockages easily on their 4-track lines. But do other 2-track systems run trains on the unaffected part of the line by turning back before the end of the line, or run past the blockage with two-way operation on the other track, rather than stopping everything?

Voting closed 10

If you want to look at other cities for lessons for the MBTA, then you're already off at the wrong foot by accepting trains just break and it's about how the MBTA reacts. Much less that you want to examine NYC for lessons.

If this was 20 or even 10 years ago, wanting to point out NYC how their "4-track lines" and "24-hour and goes everywhere" was an exemplar. But these days NYC is also in a similar state of debilitation. Sure then and now, it was dirty, but there was a time it was reliably frequent and breakdowns were a rarity. It wasn't the cleaning or nicest of rides - but you can trust it will get you to where you want to go.

But somewhere between the 2000s and late 2010s - NYC has become as much as a nightmare as us here.


Rather than looking within the US. Other countries and other cities shows the true limits of how well a system can be. For an extreme but yet demonstrative example - A Japanese rail company publicly apologizes for leaving early - by 20 seconds.

I have no hope of even entertaining the thought of a MBTA that runs so well that being off by 20 seconds is an aberration that merits apologizing. But if we're going to look at other systems, then there are systems out there that the measurement of reliability to not about how well the system responds to a breakdown - but the rarity of the breakdown happening in-and-of-itself. Also, it's clean. Something even when NYC was more reliable mostly didn't have.

Voting closed 11

You seem to have missed my point about NYC.

I didn't make any claims about their reliability or on-time performance compared to ours. (And you didn't provide actual stats either.) I just pointed out that they have the 4-track infrastructure which allows bypassing a blockage. It happens all the time: "Southbound [6] trains are running on the express track from Hunts Point Av to 3 Av-138 St because a train's brakes were activated at Longwood Av.For service to/from bypassed stations, consider taking a northbound [6] train."

I wanted to discuss better ways to bypass a blockage, but I didn't want someone to say, "oh, NYC can do that with 4 tracks but we can't" because I wanted to compare us to other 2-track systems (around the world -- I didn't mention the U.S.)

Of course it's better if the disruption doesn't happen in the first place. But that's a separate discussion. I wanted to ask what we can do operationally with the trains and tracks we have.

Voting closed 7

The MBTA disaster trove continues to grow with today's at Oak Grove.

Voting closed 12

There's (finally) a winter storm coming, so the trains wanted to practice being ready to break down when they're needed the most...

Voting closed 16


Oak A - Byee!

Voting closed 7

I’m so desperate to see more new Orange Line trains, I’ll even be delighted to hear their monotonous and ridiculous “Face coverings are required” announcement 22 times* on a single trip from Forest Hills to Downtown Crossing.

*It’s true. I’ve counted.

Voting closed 10