Tagged With "MBTA Commuter Rail"

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MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
On my daily commute, I pass two of what I call PRR-style signals that span double-tracks for the Boston to Fitchburg MBTA commuter rail heading west. I believe the signals have one light per track. One signal is for the block before the Concord station and the other is for the block before the West Concord station. I like to see what colors or combinations the lights are between the two stations and try to anticipate where the train is. In the last month, instead of having a (usually) steady...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Gregg ·
I know the lights are always illuminated in CTC territory at least with CN right across Canada, However I have noticed the lights on CP close to where rail are not always lighted. It's not CTC but maybe ABS or an occupancy block system (a easy system almost like train orders). I have a couple of spots that I check to see if the lights are lighted or not so I might want to watch a train... If the lights go out, the train has gone. Yep ACE... rule 27. you got it. A signal imperfectly displayed...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Well, the signals were apparently lit and working on this northern branch of the MBTA commuter rail but that didn't stop this truck from running through the crossing arm earlier today. Although in fairness to the driver, a medical emergency hasn't been ruled out. Luckily, all passengers were OK. It's a pretty riveting video: http://m.wcvb.com/news/driver-...ickup-truck/41153320 TRRR
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Yes, approach lighting seems to be the consensus here, Tom. Thanks. I went to the MBTA community-focused website but found no mention for the commuter rail signals but three subway lines are implementing new signals for cost sayings. But I do miss seeing the signal lights continuously lit on my drive home. Tomlinson Run Railroad
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Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
I hopefully search the new major catalogs each release looking for something representative of the Boston subway system or Boston streetcars. Each time I come away empty handed and puzzled. (Even investigating other scales like Ho and Z, it seems.) With the rich subway and streetcar tradition in Boston can someone tell me why I have yet to see a model compared to samples from other major cities? (Exception: someone's kitbashed version on this forum.) I'm just puzzled: Is it a licensing...
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

ChooChoo1972 ·
If you are into wooden trains the MBTA store still has the blue line and commuter rail available: https://www.mbtagifts.com/ They used to have green and red lines too but I guess they sold out of those. It is good to see that the MTH commuter rail set includes the control car.
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Adriatic ·
As an out of stater, I'm kinda neutral..... When I think of trolleys, it's San Fran, then Ohio's Red Devils because of the race with an airplane. Interuban subways and els? Chicago & NYC come to mind, thats really about it though many others existed. Mention of each area would bring these imediately to mind as part of the history and landscape...but with Boston mentioned, I just think of boats and U.S. History... eventually the B&M does creep in, but that's it. The fact it was also...
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Re: MBTA Fallen Hero Car

ed new haven line ·
The nicest paint I've seen in awhile. Sure gets ones attention. Thanks to those who designed and painted it.
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Re: MBTA Fallen Hero Car

dottyperry ·
I did some research on this car and found that each of the stars bears the name of a fallen member of the military who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is running on a different line every day.
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MBTA Fallen Hero Car

dottyperry ·
Saw this unique car in Readville MA on the Fairmount line yesterday. Nice  to know they are remembered and their ultimate  sacrifices are appreciated!   
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

challenger3980 ·
These signals may be operating under Approach lighting (NOT to be confused with APPROACH ASPECT), where the signals are only lit when a train enters the block preceding the signal. The reason behind approach lighting is to reduce the electrical demand, and prolong bulb life, by not having the signal lit when there is no one to observe/obey the signal. There is nothing unsafe about this, if a train was to approach the signal, and it was not lit, the engineer would be required to treat the...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Doug, Thanks for the background. I wondered if it was somehow a cost-cutting measure, even though the fares just went up again. It makes sense to read that safety rules exist for approaching a truly unlit signal. If a signal only lights now when a train is approaching a block, I'll have to keep that in mind and note more closely which colors are for which track during my next 10-second "Where's Charlie" commuting game. Of course the best days are when the train is actually on the track I'm...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

KOOLjock1 ·
PRR style? Jon
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Gregg ·
A little off topic but this one would come up in rule classes every now and then. You're on single track CTC territory and have a green (clear) approach signal(single green). When you get to the home signal ,the bottom light is burnt out. You now have a green over a burnt out light. Stop or keep on going?
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Ace ·
Would it only be older signal systems in some locations that have signals lit all the time? Because"approach lighting" seems like the norm to me for most places.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Rusty Traque ·
BNSF's 3 track Chicago-Aurora mainline signals are lit all the time due to traffic density. The whole system was upgraded about a decade ago from searchlight signals to three color signals: Rusty
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Ace ·
I'm not up on all the specifics of operating rules, but I would suppose that a light not illuminated should be treated the same as a most restrictive indication. In this example you would proceed at reduced speed expecting the next signal to indicate stop or diverging route ? On the original subject, I would expect constantly lit signals to be used only on heavy-traffic lines with frequent trains, which is a minor portion of total route mileage in the USA.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

RICKC ·
I remember once on NS going east, down the mountain, into Altoona when all the signals went dark. We had to stop at every signal. Man, that seemed to take forever to get our coal train down that hill. To keep our train under control to be able to stop at every signal we had to crawl from one signal to the other. If I remember correctly those signals are every mile. Rick
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Gregg ·
I'm glad I wasn't your head end brakeman....Did you also have to take all duel control switches OFF power, making sure the gears were messed and lined for the proper route and then put back on power after the leading wheels of the engine were on the points? No a big problem with one switch but on double or more tracks perhaps 5 switches might have to taken off power to get by one signal.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Matt Kirsch ·
Must be a NS thing. I cross the NS Southern Tier line on the way to visit my parents and there's a signal a few hundred feet South of the crossing. One of the few times I saw the signal green was when Rich and the 765 was mere minutes away last year. Shortly after that the signal went dark and has been ever since. I only saw it lit once recently immediately after a train had passed.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

New Haven Joe ·
The signals on the UP line between Oakland and San Jose are dark in my area unless a train is approaching. You can tell that a train is coming when the signal turns on. NH Joe
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Thanks for the info and stories. I'm off to work but saw the following on the MBTA's 100-year old signal switches: http://www.wbur.org/morningedi...a-signal-maintenance Perhaps more to add later ... Tomlinson (gotta) Run Railroad
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

juniata guy ·
I was on a BNSF office car trip between Houston and New Orleans in the late 1990's. An ice storm had hit the entire region bringing down power lines and disabling all the wayside signals and grade crossing protection. We moved at restricted speed, stopping at every dark signal as well as at every road crossing equipped with gates and or crossing signals. The train had to be flagged over each of these crossings. The powers that be finally said "enough" around Crowley, LA and put all of us...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Number 90 ·
In Southern California, UP and SP used approach lighting on their signals and - when a train approached - lighted both units on 2-unit (2-"head") signals, while Santa Fe signals were continuously lighted and the bottom unit of a 2-unit signal was dark, unless required for a particular aspect to be displayed. Red over dark, flashing red over dark, yellow over dark, flashing yellow over dark, and green over dark were legitimate aspects and the Signal Aspects and Indications page of the ATSF...
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

New Haven Joe ·
Everyone involved was lucky to have survived this crash. It is fortunate that the train wasn't going faster when it hit the truck. It will be interesting to learn the results of the investigation to find out why the truck driver ran through the crossing gate. NH Joe
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Number 90 ·
Getting back to the topic, approach lighting is the standard today. Any remaining continuously lighted signals outside of very high traffic areas is on borrowed time.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Dominic Mazoch ·
But if I am driving along the UP Sunset Route west of Rosenberg, TX, I can tell if there is an actual train in the area if the signals are lite.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

Number 90 ·
I feel your pain. For decades I have "read the signals" on parallel tracks while driving, and now, I guess I'll just have to watch the road.
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Re: MBTA commuter rail (Boston) signals gone dark?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Hi Jon, What I was trying to convey was the shape of the armature, not anything related to signal aspects. For some reason I was under the impression that the Pennsy was the first to install those inverted U-shaped signals that straddled two or more tracks and with lights on disks. So, when I see one of these structures, I think of the PRR, even out in the wilds of Boston and Maine country :-). I could be wrong as to my "facts" as I can't remember where I got that impression from. An...
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Article on the Status of the MBTA's (Boston) 1944-45 PCC Trolleys

TomlinsonRunRR ·
I just stumbled on this interesting and wide-ranging article on Boston's Mattapan line 1944/45 PCC trolleys. Mention is also made of Philadelphia and San Francisco's historic trolleys: http://commonwealthmagazine.org recent article on Mattapan's PCC cars Awesome moment: they still have cords you can pull to stop the car at your stop. (Memories of childhood for sure.) Tomlinson Run Railroad
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Re: Article on the Status of the MBTA's (Boston) 1944-45 PCC Trolleys

Tommy ·
New York City banned trolley trains in 1925.
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Re: Article on the Status of the MBTA's (Boston) 1944-45 PCC Trolleys

Tommy ·
They renovated the historic station at the end of the line and turned it into a so-called "modern" nightmare on Elm street, completely destroying its historical character. The line would have been a money-maker and tourist attraction if they would have permitted a trolley museum to establish itself on the end of the line and use the right-of-way, but the MBTA has refused such requests many times.
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Re: Article on the Status of the MBTA's (Boston) 1944-45 PCC Trolleys

RJR ·
For 3 years around 1960 I rode those cars frequently, on the Boston College/Commonwealth line, where they ran in trains of 3 PCCs. Fast, comfortable, and better than driving.
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Re: Article on the Status of the MBTA's (Boston) 1944-45 PCC Trolleys

prrhorseshoecurve ·
The line would have been a money-maker and tourist attraction if they would have permitted a trolley museum to establish itself on the end of the line and use the right-of-way, but the MBTA has refused such requests many times. Well don't you think that's kind of dangerous? Also many of these museums- trough lack of funds/volunteers look like junkyards/ eye sores too! [ from a non railroading perspective]
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Photographs of Boston's Elevated Orange Line (Mass. Bay Transist Authority)

TomlinsonRunRR ·
The Boston Public Library's web site is currently calling out a photography project from the 80's (I believe), involving collaboration between students and professional photographers. The Orange Line was their subject. If you click the link below and then the button to see the entire collection, you'll get a list of several relevant MBTA and El "railway" links on the left side for further browsing: https://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:mp48vj12x
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Bill and Rusty, Thanks for the info; I guess I got started looking late -- since 2015. There's hope, as the MTH site identified a few still around. I think the Seashore? Trolley Museum was selling the Corgi models for a while, but I don't remember seeing any in Boston livery. Encouraging news, although still no subway cars. Thanks! Tomlinson Run Railroad
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

NH Bill ·
MTH released 4 PCC electric street cars from Boston between 2004 and 2011. If you visit the MTH website product locator, search for PCC and filter on road name Boston, you will see them. Hope that helps .
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Rusty Traque ·
Corgi made a Boston PCC: Rusty
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Laughing out loud! TRRR
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

artyoung ·
I think they're still trying to get Charlie off of that train
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Chris Lonero ·
I have been waiting for the same thing for a long time now. MTH has made some PCC Boston cars and MBTA which is great but a Boston subway is way overdue.
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

prrhorseshoecurve ·
island modelworks has some boston kits available: http://islandmodelworks.com/OB.html
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
PRRHorseshoeCurve, Thanks for the photo and link! That's definitely somethig to think about. (Those wheels look a little odd to me but what do I know?) Of course, I've got a model to finish already before thinking of a new one . TRRR
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Choochoo1972, Yeah, that's a nice shop. Thanks. Every so often I eye the subway/street car beverage coasters that they have for sale. Except for the price, they would be great fun for a train running party at the Tomlinson Run RR. The graphics are great! TRRR
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

TomlinsonRunRR ·
Have you ever met Charlie? Clearly it was part of the Mrs.' strategy! TRRR
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Apples55 ·
LOL... Always wondered why poor old Charlie's wife never handed him a nickel along with the sandwich as the train passed through Sculley Square Station
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Craignor ·
The curse of the Bambino.
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Serenska ·
The population of Boston is 655K. The population of Chicago is 2.7MM. The population of New York is 8.5MM. Holding metro area populations constant and assuming the ratio of train collectors to non-train collectors is also constant, this is an issue of demand, pure and simple. Please don't shoot the messenger. Steven J. Serenska
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

Nate ·
Interesting question. This is not the answer you are looking for but. In the mid fifties Ken Kidder was importing many brass models from Japan. He was going to have subway cars made. I frequented Ma Websters Model train Shop on 45th Street in Manhattan. There on display was an O Scale Kidder brass Boston Subway car. ( not that a 14 year old kid could afford anyway). It was not for sale and was a display piece. They told me they were waiting for an IRT R-17. I went to the shop often with my...
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Re: Why are there no Boston subway or street car models?

jojofry ·
Well there's only one baseball team. 27 time world champs. !
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