Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On Time Train but the Silver Line Was Packed

The P508 was on time this morning. We arrived at South Station at 8:19 a.m. The Silver Line was mobbed, though. I had to wait for three full buses to pass before I could get on.

Read the following article in today's MetroWest Daily News regarding how the state plans to balance the needs of the commuter rail commuters with the needs of automobile drivers in high traffic areas such as the intersections of Routes 126 and 135 in Framingham. Framingham officials are concerned that increasing the number of commuter rail trains will only increase the bottleneck situation that occurs in some areas along the rail line.

Some Worcester line commuters were quoted in the article:
Grafton resident Kevin McCarthy, who takes the commuter rail to his job in Boston, correlated the train's occasional tardiness with the CSX ownership of the tracks.

CSX freight takes precedence over the commuter train, which sometimes throws the train's schedule out of whack, said McCarthy.

"They always put themselves first," he said. "It never runs early, I'll say that much."

Robert Van, a 44-year-old jeweler from Hopkinton, who uses the commuter rail to get to his job in Boston, concurred.

"(CSX) should work with the MBTA," he said.

In other news, Governor Deval Patrick was recently on the North Shore, where he made some announcements regarding the Beverly Depot commuter rail station project, according to the Gloucester Daily Times.

Finally, major upgrades are planned for the Rockport commuter rail station, according to WickedLocalGloucester.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wrote an email to MBCR Customer Service with questions regarding scheduling. My original email and their response is attached below. What annoyed me (to put it mildly) was that the response was copied word for word from their FAQ.

--Original Email------
Why is there a four hour gap in service between South Station and Worcester from 12:16pm to 4:11 (The same is true for weekend service also)? There have been many times when I was able to leave the office early, but was "stranded" in Boston until 4pm. Frequently, these are pre-holiday early closings and snow-related closings. Are there plans to add service to address this gap or is this tied-up in limbo until the CSX issue is resolved?

During the morning rush hour, there is an inbound local train P506) sandwiched between two express trains (P502) and (P508). During the afternoon rush hour, there are two consecutive express trains (P519) and (P523). Why is the P521 not local all the way into Worcester like during the morning rush hour?

Regarding the morning rush hour, wouldn't be more efficient to run express trains only from Worcester to Boston, and local trains from Framingham to Boston? This would greatly reduce the travel time for customers living west of Framingham and provide more inbound trains. As it stands now, customers living east of Framingham get one train every half or so.

Thank you very much for your time.

----MBCR's Response-------

Dear ******,

I have read your email with your suggestions and comments for the service on the Worcester line.

I so want you to know that with each schedule review a number of factors are looked at. For a number of trains, equipment and crew availability proves to be a problem. In other areas, we have to balance our schedules with other companies, whether passenger rail or freight; in this case CSX, owner/operator of this line. There is also the impact that changing the time of one train will have to not only other trains on the line, but along the system as well. Many lines share stops as they come closer to Boston, so there must be some balance between the trains.

I have notified the manager responsible for scheduling for his review when implementing the next schedule change for this line.

I am sorry for the inconvenience in the interim, but thank you for writing to us with your concern.


Linda Dillon

MBCR Customer Service Manager