Thursday, October 15, 2009

Strange morning, courtesy of the MBCR

Strange things were happening on the #708 train out of Franklin this morning. It was a double train, with an engine in the middle; I heard that the prior train had broken down, and was being pushed along.

I also saw my first "wrapped" coach, a double that had been turned into a huge advertisement for some bank. Here's a photo:

On the train, a woman had a large brown dog sitting on the seat next to her. It was some sort of hound, and was letting out a near-continuous high-pitched whine. I didn't see anything to indicate that it was a service dog. I couldn't tell if a ticket had been purchased for it, although it was using a full seat and it was VERY crowded on the train that morning. People were jammed in the aisles.

The train was due in at Ruggles at 7:50 AM, but didn't arrive until 8:24. So accordingly I put in for the on-time guarantee. I guess that will make up for the $8.75 I was charged for forgetting to change my pass on the 1st!

The stairway at Ruggles continues to deteriorate. Intriguing deep holes are opening up in the sides of it:

A week ago I saw that the afternoon Providence train (stopping at Ruggles on the outbound trip at roughly 3:56 PM) was incredibly crowded. People were jammed into the vestibule areas, between coaches - the areas with signs that say "PASSENGERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO RIDE IN THE VESTIBULE". I counted at least ten people in one vestibule, and more than that in two others.

I also had an interesting ride home last week; when I got on the coach, it was pitch black inside. I mean really black; the only light came from a laptop that some guy was using down at the other end of the coach.

It was eerie! The power came back after about fifteen minutes, though.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mysterious Thing

It's boring, waiting for the train at Ruggles in the evening, so once again I was looking at the stairs. The disintegration continues, but today I saw something new:

What IS that thing? It looks like a heavy cable, almost like a motorcycle lock, clamped around the base of the stair railing - and the other end goes into the concrete. Where the insulation doesn't cover it, it's clearly a multiple-wire cable. It can't be electrical. It doesn't look as if it has any structural purpose - how could it be holding anything in place? It's not tightly attached! Why does it go into the cement? Does anyone know?

There's another cable just like it on the other side of the stairs, by the way.

You might have noticed that there are bricks missing at the left-hand bottom side of the base of the stairs now. Here's a better shot:

Could the cable be some sort of temporary thing, like a clamp to hold things in place? It really doesn't look like it to me.

Rude conductor

It's been a long time since I ran across a rude conductor; I guess I was due. Here's the complaint that I just filed with the MBCR:
Conductor 1719 was extremely rude to me this evening. I'd forgotten to switch to my October pass, and so she charged me for the trip, plus the onboard purchase penalty fee. I recognize that she was within her rights to do so, although she certainly knew that I was a regular T pass subscriber; I have been riding in her coaches since long before she began working on #715.

What was NOT appropriate, however, was the delight which she displayed in charging me. She smirked and spoke in a very condescending manner. I don't know why she apparently felt that my forgetfulness was her personal victory; I haven't had any personal interaction with her before.

In any case, I found her conduct completely offensive and rude. That sort of arrogant and insulting behavior does nothing to enhance the reputation or image of the MBTA and MBCR.
It was the equivalent of a victory dance - just a nasty, sneering smirk. Apparently charging me $8.75 was the high point of her day.