Saturday, January 21, 2012

Back To Business

And so I unceremoniously return to the internet. Various side projects, research work, and adventures have kept me from updating this as often as I would have liked. At any rate, enough of my life story... This afternoon I was rambling around town and wound up in Dudley Square. I got a few photos of the dual-modes subbing on the 749's ("SL5") and 751's ("SL4"). To my surprise I also spotted 1018 on the road with them:

Usually during snowy and very rainy weather Neoplan AN460's (such as 1018) are taken off the road and the DMA's and C40's sub-in to meet the schedule. Why the substitutions? Well - as the below photo taken last winter shows - let's just say that the Neoplan artics don't do so well in slick conditions.

My guess is that a combination of the SL Waterfront services getting first dibs on the dual-modes and a shortage of C40's (6001 is at Everett for repairs and several others are out for other maintenance, leaving only about five of the sixteen buses in that fleet in service), 1018 was put on to avoid any impact on service. Thankfully, I spotted it again later in the day non-jackknifed.

Speaking of maintenance, during the blog's hiatus I paid a visit to the Everett Shops and got to see first-hand the NABI mid-life overhauls. About 175 of the 299 NABI's are being overhauled in-house at Everett, while the remainder are out in Michigan. A handful of buses are withdrawn from service at any given time and completed buses can be identified by their new bike racks.

While at Everett I also went out back to the RTS graveyard, which is home to some other seldom seen equipment as well:

Scrap-list RTS buses parked out back

The craptastic Orion hybrid buses which averaged
about 60 miles between failures

Type 8 shell slowly being cannibalized for spare parts

Neoplan AN460 #1000 -- used for maintenance training

Orion #5001 and the "magnetic induction" bus

An engine-less bus

Other than that I went up to the Seashore Trolley Museum's annual transit day; have taken up the "hobby" of riding the T before 5:00 AM; spent some time working on a book(let) about Boston's horsecars; and recently went to several of the MBTA fare increase/service cuts public meetings. But more on that stuff later.