Friday, October 24, 2008

Train Jumper

Was anyone on last night's P527 train? If you weren't, you missed a massive amount of excitement. The P527 departs South Station at 5:35 p.m. and it is an outbound train to Worcester. After the Wellesley Hills stop, the train started to leave the station when, all of a sudden, the emergency brakes came on and we jammed to a halt. It seems a passenger jumped off of the train as we were leaving.

Now, for the semi-comical part, there must have been at least 10 announcements that we were at the Wellesley Hills stop . . . so it's not like said passenger shouldn't have known we were at the station. I don't believe the passenger was hurt. According to the conductor, I know they refused medical attention and limped away. You know, the three Wellesley stops are not that far apart . . . is it worth it to risk serious injury JUMPING OFF OF A TRAIN to save 15-20 minutes? People are wacky!

Onto this morning's commute. I think the conductor on my car of the P508 was cranky. Either that or he had no patience for people who didn't have their passes out. I think his announcement was something like "Next stop West Natick . . . and here's an idea . . . have your passes or tickets ready." So, maybe he's glad it's Friday too. Anyhoo, we arrived outside of South Station at 8:20 a.m. and sat there for 6-8 minutes, with an official arrival time on the track of 8:28 a.m.

Now this is really weird. I never received an update from the MBCR's RailMail about the new MBTA schedule for the Worcester line. I know the updates were sent to riders on other lines. One of my coworkers rides the Plymouth line and received an update. Plus, yesterday the author of the Charlie on the Commuter Rail blog RAILED against the Franklin line's new schedule in a blog post. Even MySouthborough posted a Southborough-centric schedule. Yet I never received an email from RailMail. Who knows - maybe I'll receive it today.

In any event, my company sent out an announcement about the schedule changes going into effect this coming Monday, October 27, 2008. Here is the announcement:
Beginning Monday, October 27, 2008, changes will be made to the schedules on the following lines:
  • Framingham/Worcester
  • Franklin
  • Greenbush
  • Needham
  • Old Colony
  • Providence/Stoughton
No changes to the schedules on the following lines:

Lowell, Newburyport , Rockport, Fairmount, Fitchburg, Haverhill

Schedules are available to view, download and print online at where you can also sign up to receive e-alerts when your schedule changes.
Finally, The Patriot Ledger published an article in today's paper about how South Shore commuters feel about the new MBTA parking increases. Here are some quotes:
“The money has to come from somewhere, but I think the state should be helping more,” said Elizabeth Stouhlsatz of the Wollaston. “It’s bad all around.”

Jim Cotter of Quincy said that although he does not frequently park in MBTA lots, over the past six months he has been taking the T more often.

“I can’t imagine there aren’t ways they can cut costs internally instead of putting it on the public” he said. “They should be enticing people to take the T.”

The article also noted that the T is the largest owner of paid off-street parking in New England, with 43,000 spaces in 150 locations. What a trivia stat! In 2007, the T claims that more than 9 million vehicles parked at T lots.


Anonymous said...

Not that I am justifying jumping off a moving train, something that I would never have the balls to do, but it is possible that the car the jumper was on had a broken P/A system. That happens enough that it has its own special category on the T's complaint form on their website. And either the conductors are really bad in general about announcing stops, or a lot of the speakers are broken a lot of the time, because I've certainly been on silent cars many, many times before.

Kidney Stones said...

I was definitely on the same car as you, but I think the conductor was joking. He seemed like a laid-back, Italian guy or something.

And, can we all agree that we've had enough of the fun game I like to call "Sit Outside of South Station for 10 Minutes for No Reason!"?!?!?!

John Mc said...

Someone "walked off" the #279 on 10/23. As we started to pull out of N Station she came barreling down the aisle. I knew exactly what she was planning, but her getting off the train still had many people gasping. Where did they think she was running to?? Not the best that the conductors never really made a loud announcement of the train's departure before leaving. (just one about 5 minutes before hand that was so quiet it could barely be heard)

Anyway, given she was on the wrong train, it's no surprise she had no clue how to get off a moving train. We were going a a 'good trot' pace, so even I wouldn't have tried to get off. She did a little jump off and ended up doing a face plant on the platform, but we saw here get up just fine as we continued to leave the station.

Some people...

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember a few weeks ago another rather grumpy conductor lecturing everyone because someone apparently tried to jump *on* the express as it was departing Southboro. He made the announcement after West Natick. He actually said that he gets up at 4:30 AM we should get up 5 minutes earlier to be on time. I am unclear on if the person trying to get on actually did get on.

Ok fine, that person shouldn't have tried to get on. But did the rest of us really need a lecture? Not a great way to start the day.

When I first started taking the train in 2006 someone did jump off outside of Natick. No injuries but we were held up for 1 hour.

Anonymous said...

Is it definite that the parking fee is going to $4.00 per day from the $2.00 I now pay at South Attleboro?


Train Rider said...

As far as I know, all parking is increasing $2. So, if you pay $2 now, you can expect to pay $4. What a pain, huh?