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Those Red and Orange Line cars were late even before the pandemic hit

The Globe shows how delays were already mounting for the new cars even before March.

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"But they already knew. On some level, they always knew."

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Voting closed 15

"But things were not always springlike in Springfield"

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Voting closed 13

We could have had cars made by manufacturers with operations already in the United States with staff ready and trained.

But no, we had to do "made in Massachusetts" garbage and pick some company who was more interested in getting into the US Market than to provide quality subway cars.

And then to top it off, we had to pick the *cheapest* bid.

We got what we paid for.. more years of using Subway cars almost as old i as I am.

Should we start taking bets that these cars will be Boeing-Vertrol cars Version 2.0 ?

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Voting closed 27

We could have gone with Northern European manufacturers who make well functioning equipment. Or just had the Chinese make the cars in China where they already had factories and the cost would be even less.

But the MBTA sucks at procurement. These trains were going to be delayed regardless. I Blame Romney (and later Patrick) for not ordering the new cars at the start of their terms. This was always going to be a 10 year project.

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Voting closed 17

They should have excluded Chinese companies from the bids. Buying any critical infrastructure from an adversary is not a good idea when spare parts might be an issue down the line. I fully expect these cars to fall apart before they are half way through their service life. Everything built in China these days is shiny and disposable with every possible corner cut to line the pocket of some party princeling.

There were plenty of established companies with good reputations in friendly countries which could have made these cars. The state stupidly went for the lowest bidder rather than weighing the lowest bid combined with quality and qualifications. Same mistake made with the original CharlieCard system. The MBTA never learns from its mistakes.

CAF probably should have gotten the contract so that the Red, Orange, and Green lines could have had parts commonality for the next 30-50 years of service.

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China can make quality products as shown by everything Apple makes. The Green Line cars made in Italy are still some of the worst in the system. Even if the cars were made by a domestic firm plenty of components would have come from China.

We don't need to be advocacies with China although some people in both countries would prefer that to be the case.

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Voting closed 14

Iphones aren’t physically a quality product-at all- they break, and scratch, and malfunction easily. They have a usable life of like 3 years.

A 12 year old could readily articulate that to you.

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Voting closed 11

I’ve had iPhones since a few months after the first one came out, and have never broken or scratched one, or experienced a serious malfunction. Of course, I have an advantage; I’m not twelve years old.

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Voting closed 14

I've never had an issue with the durability of an iPhone, and I generally keep mine for at least 3 years. I just have a thin case and a screen protector. I mean sure you can't throw it around and be too rough with it, but there are heavy duty cases available if you are.

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Voting closed 11

Of course, there aren't really any railcar manufacturers in the rest of the United States either. But foreign companies already had plants for final assembly in the U.S. to meet Federal funding requirements, so that's a little better than requiring a brand new Massachusetts factory just for this one-off project.

The best option would be to allow off-the-shelf railcars, built in whatever factory the manufacturer sees fit. These protectionist requirements make sure that the U.S. has the most expensive and least relevant mass transit systems of any developed country.

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Voting closed 17

The best option would be to allow off-the-shelf railcars, built in whatever factory the manufacturer sees fit.

The problem with the T is the tunnels are not standard, so you can't really use off the shelf rail cars.

Of course, there aren't really any railcar manufacturers in the rest of the United States either.

Gee I don't know, those nice shiney Blue Line cars were made in a Seimens plant state-side. Bombardier has a facility in Vermont. And Rotem has a facility in upstate New York.

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They didn't get off to a very good start, either (they also built new commuter-rail coaches for the T that were plagued with initial problems as well).

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The MBTA has 80 addtional commuter rail cars on order from Rotem right now:
https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2019-09/2019-09-23-fmcb-P-commu...

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Voting closed 11