Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How Dispatch is Supposed to Be Done

After my ranting about bad dispatching at North Station yesterday, today was a similar situation, save for the fact that, having caught the 6:48 inbound train from Chelsea, I was meeting the Orange Line at North Station instead of Haymarket, and at least two trains ahead of yesterday.
However, again, the situation was similar. As I'm walking throught the tunnel underneatch Causeway Street toward the "magic gates" and "Enter Here" (as opposed to "There") signs at the North Station Green Line/Orange Line megaplex, I hear the "Attention Passengers... The Next Orange Line Train to Oak Grove is Now Arriving." So I hasten a little, trying to find an available set of magic gates amongst those being gone through by everybody exiting. But then it hits me: most, if not all of the people are coming from the Outbound side. Which means a train had just come through. So I get downstairs and the Oak Grove train pulls in moments later and the conductor annoucing the train is going to wait; and it does for about 45 seconds.
Now here it made sense. Why?--let me tell you. Because the platform was empty meaning that the previous train did not run express to Wellington, displacing everybody who would've been on it like it did yesterday. So since the previous train did not run express, it did make sense to hold up this train. That's all I was getting at yesterday. You Orange Line dispatchers (as well as on the Blue and Red Lines) don't need to do both: running the behind train express and holding up the next train. And if you can help it, especially during rush hour, try not to do either. Just let the trains run. They'll separate themselves by the end of the line. Such as the case yesterday when I'm transferring at North Station from a Forest Hills trains to an E to Lechmere and miss a double E sitting right there in the station as the Orange Line was pulling in and taking off as I get to the top step on the upper level (and proving a rant which I never actually made about how the everybody should be on one level with the Green Line in the middle). Another double E to Lechmere was there within, literally 20 seconds. Besides the annoying speed stops through the "train yard" just past North Station, our train was held up only about 15 seconds just before Science Park by a red light because of the train ahead--that was it.

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