Monday, January 15, 2007

had a nice "perk" on Commuter Rail tonight

I was at the Amtrak station in Providence tonight waiting to take the T Commuter Rail to Boston at 8:10. Just before 8 PM they made an announcement that passengers going to Rte. 128, Back Bay or South Station could instead ride the Amtrak Aclea. All they said was that the train due in Providence at 8:10 was "broken down".

I hadn't been on Acela in a couple of years and it is still an amazingly smooth ride at speeds up to 130 mph in Attleboro and Mansfield and we were at 128 Station in what seemed like no more than 15 minutes. While Acela certainly doesn't compare to high speed trains in Europe and Asia it is the best we have in North America and will be for the foreseeable future. Sadly for all the money spent on Acela there are many times the Chinatown buses get to New York faster at a fraction of the cost.
Arrived at South Station just after 8:30 and hopped on the Red Line and because of delays that had happened earlier the train ran express to Harvard from Park St.

Sometimes commuting can be a pleasure.


Dani B. said...

Sometimes the chips just seem to fall into place.

Anonymous said...

The T could easily speed up the Providence line by buying some electric engines.

Running diesel engines on an electrified line is a big waste. The only drawback to electrified rail service is the large upfront cost to putting in the overhead catenary wires, which was already done on this line for the Acela project. Electric engines are cheaper to run, faster (which also means more frequent trains and lower crew costs), and far less polluting.