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Old 12-30-2017, 01:47 AM   #1
Jahvon09
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Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

The MBTA Is again having trouble & delays. Winter has just started and there are problems already.

This past week saw delays on a few lines, mainly the Red Line. The 2 recent snowstorms & bitter cold have caused commuters to stand on platforms in artic air, making things very difficult for them.

Commuter rail has also had some issues. The Red Line's third rail has been getting iced up. Again! The T says that it is trying to head off problems at the past, but we'll see if this winter's problems are going to be the same as the ones that took place during the 2014 / 2015 season.

Last edited by Jahvon09; 12-30-2017 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 12-30-2017, 03:51 AM   #2
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

3 inches of snow a week ago that hasn't melted. The horror. No wonder why the mbta is having issues.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahvon09 View Post
The MBTA Is again having trouble & delays. Winter has ujust started and there are problems already.
The first deep freeze of any winter is going to crack rails.

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Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
3 inches of snow a week ago that hasn't melted. The horror. No wonder why the mbta is having issues.
This is far more about the cold, and problems that the first deep cold of any winter can cause, such as cracking the running rails as they shrink to their winter minimum. Basically a record cold December means that we've pulled January's problems ahead by month. I don't know if there's a good non-destructive testing system that can predict which rails will crack in the cold (is there?)

The availability of snow moisture is also going to make rail/third rail icing a potential problem if there are patches where the heat is busted. This is something that pops up on the first cold snap.
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Old 12-30-2017, 05:48 PM   #4
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

How on earth can steel rails crack?

They are supposed to be made to last for a very long time before they have to be replaced. Unless cheap materials are being used to make them.

Buy quality once, or buy junk forever!!
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

^ all materials expand and contract because of the temperature. Wear from this happens, no matter how "quality" the rails are. It is just physics.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:14 PM   #6
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

Something should be done to make them more strengthened against this type of thing.

After all, you don't hear about the steel used to build skyscrapers doing that!
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

As a metal worker, I can tell you even the carbon steel alloys that can reliably handle an extreme amount of expansion and contraction are cost prohibitive for use in something like laying track. So yes it exists, but there isn't enough money out there to use it for something like that. ( I'm talking about $500 for 3 ft of the raw, round barstock.)
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:35 PM   #8
Arlington
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahvon09 View Post
Something should be done to make them more strengthened against this type of thing.

After all, you don't hear about the steel used to build skyscrapers doing that!
That's because skyscraper steel is on the inside, typically temperature controlled, often coated with insulation, and because even when the steel is on the outside, with the steel almost always under compression (not tension) skyscrapers are only anchored at one end (the ground) and are permitted to shrink,grow as opposed to modern CWR which is anchored all along and not permitted to shrink lengthwise in the cold, nor expand in the heat. Having the rails be the same size all year creates tremendous stresses that are carefully managed but still sometimes result in summer buckling an winter cracking.

Old fashioned stick rail (that went clickity-clack) and steel bridges have/had regular expansion joints all along and was therefore a noisy / bumpy ride, higher friction and let things beat against each other too much.
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Last edited by Arlington; 12-30-2017 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:40 PM   #9
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Re: Winter 2017 / 2018; MBTA.

I just looked up the properties of rail steel, it seems the standard for heavy rail already is exactly what I had in mind. Also helps me understand how rail projects see such cost over runs- I didn't even realize how high grade the steel has to be, I bet the majority of the population would far underestimate the costs of rail as well.
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