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First MBTA Hyundai-Rotem Coaches Arrive

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MBTA cars give New Bedford a taste of what's coming down the tracks

 

By DON CUDDY

doncuddy@s-t.com

January 11, 2012 12:25 AM

 

NEW BEDFORD — Four shiny MBTA passenger railroad cars arrived in New Bedford on Sunday afternoon, a sight many city residents probably doubted they would see in their lifetime. Unfortunately for the hopes of commuter rail boosters, their appearance did not signal the long-awaited return of regional train service. The cars, shrouded in plastic, arrived in the harbor on a barge.

 

The rail cars were shipped to Boston from Korea, where they were manufactured by the Hyundai Corp., and were the first part of a contract that calls for 80 cars to be delivered to the MBTA.

 

The cars will be stored until June at the EPA facility on Herman Melville Boulevard, which has rail access, according to Kristin Decas of the Harbor Development Commission.

 

"They were shipped to Boston but they needed somewhere to store them," Decas said. "I believe Hyundai had to get some here by a certain date to fulfill a contractual obligation. But I think that it's great for the city. It's a showcase for the port's capabilities, and when the cars roll out in June it will illustrate the future potential of commuter rail."

 

While in New Bedford, the cars will be subjected to "diagnostic testing" Decas said. However, there will be no more cars coming through the port, as the remainder are scheduled to arrive in Philadelphia, according to her information. The operation was a cooperative effort between the EPA, which owns the storage site, the MBTA and the city, Decas said.

 

"There are a number of agencies involved and I know that they are planning to send out a press release with more information soon," Decas said.

 

A call to the MBTA press office seeking information was not returned at press time.

 

tl;dr Pilots of the MBTA's newest commuter coaches have arrived in Massachusetts, ironically via a port city that keeps begging for commuter rail service but will never get it.

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tl;dr Pilots of the MBTA's newest commuter coaches have arrived in Massachusetts, ironically via a port city that keeps begging for commuter rail service but will never get it.

 

Not to get off topic. If the "T" commuter rails can have daily service to Providence, i don't understand why New Bedford, Mass. which is not that far away could not have service as well.

 

Cool the MBTA is getting new trains.

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Not to get off topic. If the "T" commuter rails can have daily service to Providence, i don't understand why New Bedford, Mass. which is not that far away could not have service as well.

 

Restoring service to New Bedford will 1.4 billion dollars and destroy millions of acres of marshland, causing massive amounts of environmental damage. The new line would only serve a handful of customers, a few thousand at the very most. Travel times from New Bedford to Boston would be 15 to 30 minutes longer than those of existing express bus service. Basically, commuter rail to New Bedford would cost too much money and cause too much environmental damage only to serve a handful of customers that would be better off riding existing buses. Providence, on the other hand, already had Amtrak service to and from Boston prior to it's receiving commuter rail service. The most the T had to do was build a layover yard in Rhode Island and extend existing Attleboro trains a few miles south to Providence. It was a pretty simple process, especially since the state of Rhode Island was (and still is) paying much of the costs of the added service.

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