Still working on the improving transit speed follow-up post, which is getting very long and I need to either break it down into separate posts or stop being so long-winded. In either case, it’s not ready to be published yet, so here’s a quick and easy post.

Question(s): Can’t you turn the heat down? Or up? Can you turn the air conditioning off, it’s too cold in here!

Answer: Sorry, no. There’s not exactly a thermostat in the trains… let me show you what there is to work with:

 Part of the upper console of a Type 2

This one gets asked fairly frequently, especially in the spring and fall when the temperature outside fluctuates so widely. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system in the train turns on when the operator turns on the train’s auxiliaries (done when starting up a train to take it out of the yard) and should automatically adjust to the temperature outside. As shown in the above picture, the HVAC switch all the way over to the right lets the operator turn the HVAC off but that’s all. There are no adjustments for temperature like your car has.  You can’t even turn the HVAC back on with that switch – notice how there’s no “on” side. Once the HVAC system is off, the only way to turn it back on is by auxing the train off (the switch next to it) and auxing the train back on. This is generally only done as part of troubleshooting if the HVAC system has a fault and needs to be reset. So no, there’s not a lot that can be done with the heat or A/C for the train passengers short of simply having them on.


3 responses to “HVAC

  1. I remember riding Max its very first day out to Gresham in 1986. It was a hot Friday evening in September and there was no AC in those days!

  2. Great post! How often I wanted to be able to turn down or up the heat in the trains when my passengers asked me to – yet I could not! And how frustrating when one train car lost the HVAC and became too cold or too hot depending on the season – and nobody told me until it became unbearable or I discovered it at the end of the line. :-(

    There are SO many things I miss about my MAX trains – but this is NOT one of them. :-)

    Keep up the good work! You are amazing, you know, with your explanation of MAX technical stuff. It is fun to read – and I learn a lot. :-)

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