Some things run hot and cold - but not the Worcester Line

The Worcester Line has trouble in cold weather. It also has trouble in warm weather - the MBTA just announced speed restrictions on the line because of the high temperatures.



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This seems to be the case

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This seems to be the case with the red line as well or any MBTA train. It always seems to have major delays when the temperature go below 32 degrees and go above 90 degrees.

Don't forget the leaves on

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Don't forget the leaves on the tracks in the fall. Truly, this is a train for one season.

Fun Story About Slippery Rail

I was once waiting at Melrose Highlands for a train, and it soon became apparent is was running late. Finally the thing rounded the corner from Greenwood and we saw it's lights glaring at us. But then I noticed something just wasn't right... it was going way too fast! It flew past the mini-high platform and continued to show no signs of stopping. I thought maybe it was an earlier train which was REALLYYYY late. Alas, it really was the train we were all waiting for. As it flew across Franklin Street I could see sparks flying out from underneath the locomotive as it struggled to gain traction! The train continued to scream over the rails for quite a while, and then it suddenly decelerated rapidly and ground to a halt over the Melrose St Bridge. Everyone on the platform just looked at each other, down to the train, and back at each other. It was then that the smell of something burning (the brakes) suddenly hit us, and there was also visible haze/smoke when looking towards the train.

I measure it out in Google Maps and if I recall correctly, it stopped half a mile beyond the mini-high platform. It took a while but they slowly back it up to Franklin Street, the conductor had to flag it across (signals aren't set up for a train heading that direction on the inbound track). The conductor was hanging out the door when the train finally got back to us and the conductor smiled and said something along the lines of, "You didn't think we forgot about ya', did ya'?!"

And that, my friends... is the most extreme case of slippery rail I've ever heard of. Sometimes I run into the people who were on the platform that day (only a handful, all regulars) and joke about it. It was a very bizarre event.

One season?

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Too optimistic; I'm sure in the spring the cherry blossom petals or the falling pollen screw up the rails, or something.

It's not due to an actual

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It's not due to an actual problem. CSX, the freight railroad that dispatches the Worcester line, always imposes slower speeds on very hot and cold days.

They do this because they can't inspect most of their tracks every day for heat-related problems. It doesn't matter that the T maintains and inspects this line -- CSX won't waive their rule.

At some point in the next year or so, the T will take over dispatching of the Worcester line, so it will be treated the same as the other commuter rail lines.