Monday, January 29, 2007

UPDATED: The new Blue Line trains exist....REALLY

photo from railroad.net

The first 2 of the long delayed new Blue Line cars have been delivered and are at the T's Wellington service center in Medford to begin testing.

The cars which are manufactured by Siemens were ordered by the T in 2001 with a promised delivery date of January 2004 but the contract has suffered numerous delays.


94 cars have been ordered and Blue Line riders can look forward to 6 car trains in the hopefully not to distant future.

T officials and riders are keeping their fingers crossed that will not see a repeat of the Breda trolley fiasco that has plagued the Green Line. The first Breda cars were delivered for testing on January 31, 1998 and the T is only accepting the final cars in that order now.

Back in June a T insider posted on railroad.net the reason for the delays and says neither the T or Siemens was at fault in this case

Ok let’s give this a shot!!!!

The Blue Line Siemens #5 cars are only about 20 months delayed and this delay has been caused by circumstances beyond Siemens and the MBTA control.

The primary reason for the delay is the fact that Buckeye Steel the company which was originally going to supply the trucks went bankrupt. The reason Buckeye Steel was chosen was because their the same company which made the Hawker Siddeley #4 car truck and it was service proven. Siemens was forced to scramble and locate another truck supplier which took the better part of a year.

There have been 4 or 5 other sub-suppliers which have had to withdraw for similar reasons and each time forcing siemens to find other suppliers.

So I suggest you cut Siemens and the MBTA some slack by being a little more patient before you start passing judgment on a vehicle which has not even been delivered yet.

I would rather the Siemens #5 car be delivered late and configured correctly then have to deal with fixing problems which could have been resolved prior to delivery.

The proto-type is quite an impressive vehicle from what I’ve seen and If Siemens delivers the same quality in the rest of the fleet I can assure you and the MBTA will not be disappointed with the finished product.


Keeping fingers crossed.

6 comments:

Rob said...

Does anyone know how the new cars are getting from Europe (?) to Wellington?

Anonymous said...

I saw one of the new new blue line cars on the Mass Pike Tuesday on a giant flat bed. Are they being shipped to New York then driven up to Boston??

Charlie said...

They are being assembled in upstate New York ( keeps them legal in the "Buy USA" program

Charlie said...

The T has issued a press release on the arrival of the Blue Line cars

T Receives Two Prototype Blue Line Trains; GM Calls It "A Good Sign"

Anonymous said...

"Only 20 months delayed? This is not insignificant and to suggest that it is is not an acceptable answer, especially given the growing demands seen on the Blue Line over the past 10 years. Overall Blue Line improvements that would allow for an increase to 6-car trains are many years behind schedule (who is to blame for that?)

And to suggest the delays are due to circumstances beyond the T and Seimens is also skirting responsibility and accountabiltiy. The bid that Seimens submitted was based on a certain set of subcontractors to perform the work. It's Seimens responsibility to assess the viabilty of their subs. The fact that several subs, not just one, failed to perform reeks of mismanagement. In the construction industry, it is the general contractor who is ultimately reponsible for the project. If the GC's subs fail to perform, it's the GC's problem. It should be no different with Seimens. They are at fault.

Anonymous said...

What is the door configuration of the new cars? I read that the capacity of a rapid transit system is determined by the number of doors that serve a station per hour. So adding an extra pair of doors to each car could do a lot to ease the Blue Line's capacity problems.