Anatomy of a MAX car, Part 1

And now.. a reference post describing a train car in detail, so if I refer to any part of it by its name in another post, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Type 1, 2, and 3:

The cars are symmetrical, so it wouldn’t be helpful to describe them by “front end” or “back end” – so instead there is the A-end and B-end.  C is the section in the middle, because we enjoy being difficult like that.

A-end of 326

A cab of 326

B-end of 326

B cab of 326

Same car, different ends

Type 4s:

Not symmetrical since there is only one cab per car.  So the cab is always the A-end, and the parlor area where passengers can sit is always the B-end.

Car 412 A-EndCar 412 A-End

Car 420 B-endCar 420 B-end

On top of the train is the pantograph. In the Type 1s, 2s, and 3s, the elbow of the pantograph points towards the B cab and the open part points towards the A cab – it’s the quickest way to tell when you’re outside the car which end is A and which end is B, which is necessary for some troubleshooting procedures.

Car 304Car 304, coupled at its A end

Type 4Pantograph on the Type 4 – notice how it points to the cab, which is the A end

In the Type 4s, that’s reversed – the open part of the pan points to the B-end and the elbow points to the A-end, because as I said, we enjoy being difficult. But it’s always easier to tell which end of the 4 is A and which is B, since only A has a cab.

Doors and Bridgeplates

Type 2 with bridgeplates outType 2 with doors open and bridgeplates deployed

Every door in a train car is numbered from 1 to 8, with door 1 being the first door on the left facing the A cab and door 8 being the last door on the right.  On the right side (facing the A cab), doors 4 and 6 on the low-floor cars (Type 2, 3, and 4) are bridgeplate doors, and on the left, doors 3 and 5 are bridgeplate doors.  The bridgeplate is the ramp that can be deployed to assist passengers in wheelchairs or other mobility devices in boarding and exiting the train.

Emergency intercoms

The passenger emergency intercoms are push-to-talk intercoms used if there is an emergency on board the train.

Good things to use this button for – alerting the operator if a passenger has a medical emergency, if something happens that requires police involvement, smelling something burning onboard the train, spotting something that looks like it could be a mechanical failure on the train, etc.

Bad things to use this button for – a shiny thing for your toddler to press, as a means of asking the operator what time it is or if this train goes downtown, or as a means of asking the operator for advice on your romantic life. Yes, that has happened.

Type 1 IntercomIn the Type 1s, you can find the emergency intercoms to contact the operator by looking above the seat located to the left of the cabs.

Low-floor intercomIn the Type 2s and 3s, the intercoms are located near doors 3, 4, 5, and 6.

In the Type 4s, there are intercoms at doors 1, 4, 5, and 8.

Reader boards

The reader boards are the displays in the train that show the name of the next stop (connected to the APACU, which is the automated audio/readerboard announcement system, and maybe I’ll give that its own entry in the future)

Readerboard, Type 2Type 2/3 Reader board

Readerboard on a Type 4Type 4 Reader board

Type 1s have no readerboards.

If the readerboards are dark or aren’t showing the right stop, let the operator know – it’s not always obvious from the cab if the readerboards aren’t working right.

More to come..


3 responses to “Anatomy of a MAX car, Part 1

  1. Very nice! :-) Very informative! And accurate.

  2. (No idea if you will see this comment)
    “If the readerboards are dark or aren’t showing the right stop, let the operator know”
    What’s the best way to let the operator know something that’s not an emergency? Just knock on the door?

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