Welcome aboard

Welcome to MAX FAQs, a blog about TriMet’s light rail system in Portland, OR

WHAT THIS BLOG IS NOT: An official TriMet publication. If you want the “official” answer to something, contact them.  The author of this blog absolves all responsibility as to how long it will take you to get a response from TriMet or how satisfied you will be with your answer.

WHAT THIS BLOG IS:  Here pretty much for my own entertainment (and ranting, when need be), a dumping ground for the gig or so of MAX photos/video I’ve taken (not an exaggeration) that I don’t really have any other place to put because, generally speaking, who cares about a bunch of train pictures?

Elmonica 170thWHY: I scan Twitter for news about TriMet (especially light rail) and noticed that a lot of questions or comments about light rail go unanswered by whoever runs the TriMet Twitter, or occasionally are answered not entirely correctly. Which I guess is sort of understandable, since they field all sorts of questions there and a 140 character maximum doesn’t leave a lot of room for providing detailed answers.
Meanwhile, I think that knowledge is best when shared, and would like to both point out some basic things to help people use MAX safely and comfortably, and answer some frequently asked questions for the few people out there who are interested in this topic.  I find the whole MAX system to be very complex yet very elegant, the intricacies of which are irrelevant to most daily commuters but it really is amazing how it all comes together.

I am not the foremost authority about Portland’s light rail system – far from it! And I’ll happily yield blogging authority to any of the people who are more knowledgeable about it than me. But right now there aren’t a lot of light rail blogs out there so I figure it’s fair game and an open topic to write about.  I won’t pretend to speak with the knowledge and expertise of the people who have been operating, maintaining, and directing train movement since the day it started, but I know essentially enough rail to get my face slapped.

Let’s see if I do :D

White vertical pre-emptAnd…. go!

3 responses to “Welcome aboard

  1. Very nicely put together!

    I used to be a big follower of Eva’s blog when she was over here, but now I can hopefully count on you to get my LR fix..other than the one I get 5-6 days a week as a fellow operator.

    Between Christian’s blog, your blog and Al’s-I should be set.

    Another note: Thanks for not bring one of those few, select “new guy” basher in your posts. I am relatively “new” a g a i n..(I’m what I call a retread, back again) and not all of them make a ton of mistakes or operate poorly. And besides, we ALL have our bad days.

    There a a small few operators that choose to “forget” that although some are new to Light Rail, they are NOT new to Trimet..or for that matter, to Bus or transit/rail operations. I’ve given up on trying to figure out how long you have to be at Trimet before you’re not the new guy..back in the day..when I first arrived at Trimet, every time I would ask, I get a different milestone..meet that milestone and a new one gets set..so in essence, you will always be the new guy…until your name is Vic or Bonny, right? lol..

    Kudo’s to you for being fair. I’m glad I found this blog…after Eva took down her LRV shingle, I was really hoping I wouldn’t need to start my own.

    Would you email me and reveal your “superhero” identify?

    Take care, thanks again and enjoy!


    • Believe me when I say that I’m the last person who would bash a new operator! It’d be extremely hypocritical of me to look down on any operator who doesn’t know how to do something or makes a newbie mistake (given how much *I* don’t know, and I know that there’s a lot that I don’t know compared to other people), provided that they’re willing to learn. I don’t care for the attitude of some new people who think that because they passed training they know everything, even more than the people who have been out here for more than a decade, but thankfully that attitude seems pretty rare.

      I actually found that a lot of senior operators were more than happy to teach me when I basically said “I don’t understand this as well as I think I should, can you help?” about one thing or another – one of the smartest things I ever did was befriend a few high-seniority line trainers! I think in general they’d rather take 10 minutes to explain something or demonstrate something to a newcomer than run the risk of that operator thinking they know what they’re doing when they actually don’t.

      If you were thinking about starting a rail blog, please don’t let the existence of mine stop you, since I’m sure you’d be coming at it from a different perspective than me :)

  2. Pingback: Portland Transit Blogging 2010

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