Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MBCR Weather Related Speed Restrictions

I just received the following email from the MBCR's "Commuter Rail Customer News" updates I subscribe to.

To all of our Worcester Line Customers
Weather related speed restrictions

With the warm weather in full swing we would like to take this opportunity to explain the reason for speed restriction delays on this line.

CSX generally goes by a different standard than the MBTA commuter rail operation because of the large geographical territory of their railroad as well as the different maintenance standard they adhere to in non-MBTA territory. In those areas, there is no guarantee that a piece of track will have daily inspection or train service, so they have adopted a more stringent policy for heat restrictions. Unfortunately, CSX does not allow for "regional" variances that would allow the MBTA trains on the Worcester Line to operate under the same policies as the rest of the MBTA’s commuter rail system. This has been a topic of much discussion between the MBTA and CSX (owner/operator/maintainer of this line) in the past, but when operating on their railroad we must adhere to their restrictions.

With the current high temperatures please be assured that the MBTA/MBCR have maintainers continually surveying the condition of the rails on which we operate to ensure the safety of our passengers.

We do apologize for the inconvenience as a result of this situation.

Thank you for riding commuter rail.

Customer Service
Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail
Operating the Commuter Rail on behalf of the MBTA


BAM in RI said...

Both yesterday and today the 5:40 PM from South Station to Providence poked along from around Hyde Park to 128. Today a conductor announced the slow speed was the result of speed restriction. I'm guessing the delays on both days were heat-related.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem I have with that email...shouldn't they have fair notice for these speed restrictions? Like, do they have a clue that there might be delays at say, 3pm on a 95'F day? Or do the delays just spring up like stop signs along the rail? Because if the train crawls halfway to Framingham and the conductors don't acknowledge any delays until 20 minutes into the ride, I'm going to be mad. I'm way madder about the lack of information than about the speed restriction!

I actually prepared myself all day to expect a delay, but the P521 local got in to Framingham ON TIME on today's blazing hot evening. Too bad there was no AC in the car I was in :-(.

AJ said...

We had a pretty good run on the P523 last night. We seemed to chug along full speed until Southboro. We went about 10 mph from Southboro to Westboro, and then back to normal to Grafton. Seemed odd, more like when they're having signal troubles than a heat restriction, but it did make us about 20 minutes late. Fun fun.

Train Rider said...

I took the p529 last night and I think we got to Grafton about 10 minutes behind scheudule. I want to say I was in my car around 7:29 (scheduled arrival time 7:19).

Knock on wood, all of the cars I have been in have had AC working.
I would suggest writing to MBTA and MBCR when you encounter a non-AC working car.

I'm going to write to the T as well to see when speed restrictions occur. Is it always on hot days or do they crop up as CSX/MBTA dispatchers warrant? I'll post what I find out.

BAM: I know there have been a ton of issues on the Providence line lately ... feel free to send me updates and I can create posts on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, how many times can I personally complain to the T before I get flagged as a nuisance? Because I've already emailed them twice last week about 1) consistently faulty wireless on the Worcester line and 2) a refund process that doesn't email you a copy and then never sends you a refund, forcing you to remain in limbo and uncertain about when you're going to get your money back.

If I emailed them every time I had a car with no AC, faulty wireless, or a potentially non-functioning PA system, I'd be adding 3-4 emails to that per week. That might drive me crazy :-).

I would think the AC would be the one thing the conductors would complain about!