Remember when local highways used to have signs advertising the T as "the alternate route?"

The MBTA just reported:

Blue Line. Expect significant delays due to a wire problem. Seek alternative transportation where possible.

The Blue Line sure seems to have a lot of wire problems.

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Imagine if all the money that

Imagine if all the money that the feds have thrown at the T and other transit agencies in the name of homeland security instead went to infrastructure maintenance.

Every time I read of a massive T breakdown, I am reminded of this all-too-true Onion article --

http://www.theonion.com/articles/alqaeda-claims-us...

"The al-Qaeda network is fully prepared to continue the jihad against the American infidels by launching deadly attacks, but your outdated and rusting transportation infrastructure needs to be completely overhauled for those strikes even to be noticed," al-Zawahiri said. "We want to turn your bridges into rubble, but if we claimed credit for making them collapse, nobody would ever believe us."

Um...

What kind of "alternative transportation" do they suggest? Is there a secret bus that goes from Downtown to East Boston? Will the water taxi accept my Charlie Card? Will they be running extra commuter rail trains to Chelsea? Maybe I'll see if I can rent a kayak...

When the Blue Line works (which it does most of the time), getting downtown is super fast and convenient. When it doesn't, I sure wish there was more redundancy in the system.

There actually is a bus from

There actually is a bus from downtown to East Boston, at least a part of it. You can take the 455 or 459 Salem express buses from Haymarket or Downtown and get off at Boardman St., its about a 10 minute walk to Orient Heights from there.

If you are going to Wonderland, you can take the 110 bus from Wellington or the 441/442 Marblehead buses from Haymarket.

You have to pay the express bus fare to ride the buses from Haymarket, but it can be worth it to avoid the hassle of a shuttle.

ferry

The Winthrop ferry had more riders on it yesterday evening than I've ever seen (in my once or twice a week ridership). Yes, you have to pay "extra", but it is quite a nice alternative if you happen to be going that way.

It would figure this would

It would figure this would happen on the ONE day in the past two or three weeks that I've been able to get out of work on time.
Long story short. A trip from State to Wonderland that would normally take about 20 minutes took a little under 2 hours tonight.

Supposedly not

I've heard that the switch to overhead line is done because the "salty breeze" is too corrosive on the third rail.

Not sure how LIRR manages to get away with it and we can't.

Of course, Amtrak and MetroNorth run miles of overhead electrification in coastal areas too, so that should not be an issue either.

third rail and the ocean

I heard the problem was ice forming on the third rail during winter storms, which is more of a problem because the Blue Line is near the ocean.

In any case, there's no good reason not to use overhead catenary wire, as long as it's maintained properly.