THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Wrench is thrown into argument that old trains hobble commuter line

The commuter rail has been beset this winter by delays in service that have infuriated passengers. The commuter rail has been beset this winter by delays in service that have infuriated passengers. (Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/File 2010)
March 8, 2011

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

I TAKE exception to Ronald Held’s March 3 letter “Commuter line’s woes linked to worn-out trains,’’ in which he writes that if people drove cars made in the 1980s, the roads would be impassable, presumably on account of broken-down cars. My little BMW was built in 1986, has more than 266,000 miles on it, and I find it is a reliable, fun form of transportation. Everything works fine, it passes inspection every time, and if I drive carefully, I can get well over 30 miles per gallon on the highway. In addition, insurance costs are low, as is my annual excise tax. With an older car, one needs to count on making needed repairs every season. But it is important to note that maintenance, not the age of the vehicle, is the key predictor of reliability. If the company that runs the MBTA’s commuter rail service paid serious attention to servicing its fleet of locomotives, I would be quite surprised if service and on-time performance did not go up appreciably.

Alan D. Hoch, Groton