Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Super, Super Late P508 Train

Happy November 5th! I'm still on an election high from last night. I know not everyone is as happy as I am - I overheard some comments this morning about people upset with the outcome of our national election. I do hope that our country comes together and works together now that the campaigns are over. Two years of campaigning is exhausting.

So I got to work at 9:30 a.m. this morning. The P508 was an hour late getting to South Station. We arrived at 9:21 a.m.

It was a quadruple whammy of a commute:
  1. A cancelled train (the p506 - due to mechanical issues I think), resulting in a 25-30 minute initial delay for the p508.
  2. No passes were collected.
  3. Oh and we became a local, so we made all stops into Boston.
  4. Oh yeah . . . and there were no announcements about it at all. Awesome. NOT.
Well, at least I was able to sleep on the train to make up for staying up to watch President-elect Obama's victory speech.

In addition to some comments I heard from people, there was a conversation happening on the train. Someone said "Commute number one under Obama, not going very well," with someone else retorting "Well, look at all of the stellar commutes we had under Bush." Political fun for trapped commuter rail passengers.

While there wasn't any train news today, there was some news about MBTA buses. Specifically, the MBTA's Board of Directors is scheduled to vote tomorrow on overhauling 30% of its bus fleet. According to The Boston Globe, if approved, the T would spend $27.5 million to refurbish 123 compressed natural gas buses purchased between 2003 and 2004. Another 176 buses bought during the same period would also be overhauled. The project is estimated to take three years to complete. MBTA buses transport 400,000 people each weekday.


Richard said...

I was very happy as well this morning, but the train really got me angry. An hour late is just not acceptable. It fouls up everyone's day. I think the addition of the 6:05 train is messing things up. This is the second time in less than 2 weeks that the 6:55 train has been an hour late getting into Boston. It was also a good 15 minutes late on Monday. I wish there was something that we as riders could do to improve this situation. The state politicians grandstand at the introduction of 5 new trains in Worcester...all local! I think that now they've done this that they don't feel that they have to do anything else for a while. It's very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Richard, the problem Wednesday had nothing to do with the 6:05 at all, but a mechanical problem with the 6:30 train.

The biggest problem the Commuter Rail system faces is the age and vulnerability of the coaches and locomotives. Things break, and the older things get, the more likely things are going to break down. Unfortunately, things aren't going to get much better for this winter.

Anonymous said...

The trains have been late every single day since the implementation of the new, "expanded" Worcester schedule.

If you want to see this for yourself just subscribe on the MBTA web site to get "ALERTS" that will tell you when the trains are late. I get them sent to my cell phone and, believe me, the trains have been notoriously late FOR YEARS but they've been especially horrible ever since the new schedule went into affect a few weeks ago. I have been absolutely inundated with text messages from the MBTA which are terrible attampts to make excuses for their crappy service.


They always blame CSX for the problems. GUESS WHAT? I have a scanner that's tuned in to the MBTA, CSX, and MBCR channels, and CSX is communicating just fine today, as usual. The reasons for the delays, in other words, are bull crap.

So get ready for another crappy commute, you guys, brought to you by the crappy MBTA.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous saying CSX had no communication problems:

The CSX dispatcher's radio and telephone failed this morning, and information had to be relayed through the Worcester CSX yard office. There WAS in FACT a communication failure with the radio/telephone system with CSX in Selkirk, NY where the train dispatchers are.