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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

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Speaking of the RTS, where is the best place to see them in Boston? Which T station would be best to spot them or which parts of town can I see the RTS. Are they running all day or only used during peak/rush hour service? I will be in Boston in mid-May and would like to see and ride the RTS.

Technology is great ... here is a link to TransSee that can track MBTA buses by route and number. If you go to the bottom of the screen, you can see where the unit numbers for the RTS buses can be entered. Most (if not all) of the remaining RTS buses are out of the Charleston garage which would concentrate on routes north of downtown.

http://doconnor.homeip.net/TransSee/RouteList.php?a=mbta

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The MassDOT board of directors will meet on June 29 to vote on a contract with New Flyer for 150 XDE40 and 175 XN40 buses. The contract includes options for an additional 100 XDE40 and 100 XN40 buses.

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The MassDOT board of directors will meet on June 29 to vote on a contract with New Flyer for 150 XDE40 and 175 XN40 buses. The contract includes options for an additional 100 XDE40 and 100 XN40 buses.

Wow!

Pretty interesting to see the mix between CNG and hybrid buses too. Usually if a TA invests in CNG infrastructure, they go ahead and make the whole fleet CNG.

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Wow!

Pretty interesting to see the mix between CNG and hybrid buses too. Usually if a TA invests in CNG infrastructure, they go ahead and make the whole fleet CNG.

Only three of the MBTA's eight bus garages have CNG fueling stations - Arborway and Cabot (40-foot fleets) and Southampton (60-foot buses). There are no plans to expand CNG to any of the other five facilities, so the authority is planning to transition the fleet from diesel to hybrid at these locations

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According to the MBTA website announcement, the Xcelsiors will replace the 17 C40LF's from 1999-2001 as well as all 299 of the 2003-04 NABI LFW's. This means that the 60 or so remaining 1994-96 RTS buses will continue on until 2017-18 the option orders are exercised.

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The NABI's have not been very reliable on the T. Plus, the RTS's are diesel and have primarily been used only as rush-hour buses in recent years. The NABI's are CNG's and must be used in full service at the Arborway and Cabot garages. As for the C40LF's - there are only 17 of them and they've always been oddballs in the fleet. They have relatively low mileage but the tanks would need to be re-certified and the T doesn't seem interested in doing this (6000 and 6001 have expired tanks already).

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The NABI's have not been very reliable on the T. Plus, the RTS's are diesel and have primarily been used only as rush-hour buses in recent years. The NABI's are CNG's and must be used in full service at the Arborway and Cabot garages. As for the C40LF's - there are only 17 of them and they've always been oddballs in the fleet. They have relatively low mileage but the tanks would need to be re-certified and the T doesn't seem interested in doing this (6000 and 6001 have expired tanks already).

Thanks, makes sense given the shelf-life of CNG tanks and the fact that CNG systems made around the year 2000 were never as reliable as what we've come to expect from CNG buses nowadays.

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On Thursday the MBTA pulled all 60 of its New Flyer XDE40 Xcelsior buses off the road due to a safety issue. Reportedly the issue is with the front suspension and all buses must be inspected before returning to service. NF D40LF's were pulled from Quincy garage and Neoplan AN440LF's from Albany Street and Fellsway to help make service at Charlestown garage along with all available RTS buses. Some Xcelsiors began returning to service late Thursday but as of Friday morning the borrowed buses are still showing up on various Charlestown routes.

Jim

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Well that's interesting :o Good thing they only had to pull 60 and not a 350 unit batch or something. I wonder if it had something to do with a bad batch of suspension related parts? I assume by now any major manufacturing or design flaws in the Xcelsior's suspension should've been found and corrected.

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It looks like the MBTA has selected a vendor for the 60-foot diesel-electric hybrid bus contract to replace the CNG Neoplan AN460LF fleet. I don't have any other information, but I should know more after the Fiscal and Management Control Board meets on Monday. I have a feeling New Flyer will be awarded the contract.

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As expected, the contract was awarded today for $52.6 million. There are two options for 1 and 45 additional 60-foot diesel-electric hybrids, with the first one being a prototype unit with higher capacity energy storage (more/larger batteries) for extended range all-electric operation in the Silver Line waterfront tunnel and, contingent on the successful testing of the prototype, the other 45 to replace the 32 Neoplan AN460LF dual mode buses. The additional 13 buses would be used for the new Silver Line Gateway route. Unfortunately, I still don't have confirmation of who won the contract.

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There are two options for 1 and 45 additional 60-foot diesel-electric hybrids, with the first one being a prototype unit with higher capacity energy storage (more/larger batteries) for extended range all-electric operation in the Silver Line waterfront tunnel and, contingent on the successful testing of the prototype, the other 45 to replace the 32 Neoplan AN460LF dual mode buses.

I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the trolleybus operations?

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I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for the trolleybus operations?

It would be the end of the trolleybus operation in the Silver Line Waterfront tunnel. The trackless trolley network out of the Harvard Square tunnel (routes 71, 72, 73 and 77A) is safe for now, even though these routes are periodically interrupted by road construction.

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Correction to one of my previous posts (#77): The contract includes options for 200 XD40 and 200 XDE40 buses, not 100 XN40 and 100 XDE40. These option buses will presumably replace everything older than the 2008 D40LFs except the Neoplan AN440LF trackless trolleys.

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A fuel cell-powered Eldorado Axess has arrived on MBTA property. This bus is provided by the FTA to test fuel cell technology in buses. It will be operated by the MBTA for 6 months.

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On 4/29/2016 at 0:34 AM, swtat said:

As of last week, the rest of the C40LF fleet was retired.

Thanks for the update.

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The new Xcelsiors are starting to come in fast now.  The XN60's are entering service as Arborway garage first (8 buses in service, 11 more in testing) and the XDE40's at Cabot garage (12 in service so far, 4 more in testing).  Already, 30 of the NABI 40LFW's are stored at these garages.

The first XDE60 (1253) entered service today at Southampton garage and three more are in testing.  Already there are 16 of the 42 remaining AN460LF's out of service - safe to say that the T is probably anxious to get those junkers off the road as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, the last 37 RTS buses soldier on at Charlestown garage.  21 to 22 years old and still going strong. :)

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I was in Boston over the weekend and I saw 0072 running in the North end. She is an RTS, according to the wiki, built in 1994!

I rode the Silver Line buses a lot, Neoplan dual-mode 60 footers that run on and off wire. Very impressive buses! There is an automated announcement letting you know that the engine will shut down briefly while they make the switch between modes.

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December 20, 2016:

 

PAN AM SERVES DEFAULT AND DISPUTE NOTICES CONCERNING IMPORTANT OPERATION SAFETY AGREEMENTS WITH THE MBTA: Pan Am Southern LLC (PAS) and Pan Am Railways (PAR) today served default and dispute notices concerning important operational safety agreements with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA). A 2014 agreement between the two railroads and MBTA (copy available upon request) was intended to enable a Positive Train Control (PTC) system to be in place by the federal deadline of Dec. 31, 2018. This safety system would be compliant with federal law and appropriate to the joint passenger and freight rail services conducted over the eastern Massachusetts area. In today's notices, PAS and PAR report that MBTA has disavowed the 2014 agreement, raising questions about the three railroads' ability to implement PTC on Boston-area rail lines by the federal deadline. This throws into doubt the continuation of commuter service on those lines beyond that date. In 2008, Congress passed a law requiring freight and passenger railroads that meet certain criteria to finance, develop, install, test, and implement PTC systems across 60,000 miles of the nation's rail network by Dec. 31, 2015, which later was extended to Dec. 31, 2018. PTC uses communication-based/processor-based train control technology to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and train movement through a main line switch in the improper position. In addition to providing service across its own lines, MBTA performs commuter service over properties owned by PAS. The 2014 PTC agreement governs the installation of PTC over all of the jointly-operated MBTA, PAS, and PAR lines. The agreement was the result of several years of cooperative discussions, plans, and submissions by MBTA to federal agencies (both for regulatory compliance and financial support purposes). The 2014 agreement also covers installation of locomotive equipment that would be necessary for operations for PAS and PAR freight rail service in the Commonwealth. Since execution of the 2014 agreement, PAS and PAR have acted in reliance on the agreement to ensure safe and compliant passenger services. MBTA repeatedly has progressed and affirmed plans for PTC installation in accordance with the agreement, including in its 2016 Annual PTC Implementation Progress Report submitted to the Federal Railroad Administration. PAS and PAR are concerned that MBTA's recent disavowal could set back design and implementation of an integrated PTC system by several years, creating uncertainty about compliance with the federal mandate and the continuation of passenger services. PAS and PAR strongly believe the best path forward lies in reaffirmation of the 2014 PTC agreement and building on the efforts PAS, PAR, and MBTA have taken since PTC was mandated. PAS and PAR pledge to work cooperatively with MBTA to implement a joint freight/passenger PTC system as soon as possible. (Pan Am Southern/Pan Am Railways - - posted 12/20) 

http://www.railpace.com/hotnews/

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The Red line will have one type of car in the future with 134 more type 4 cars on order. MBTA also has plan to increase services on the red line, during peak periods, to 3 minute headways:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/12/12/wants-buy-more-red-line-cars-from-chinese-company-outside-bidding-rules/hYOe3X4hHkUOYz7uHfP2vI/story.html

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