Good thing for the few remaining commuters there are bars near North Station

Because frozen switches mean nobody knows when they're getting home tonight.

UPDATE, 6:10 p.m.: MBCR reports the problem is fixed, but that commuters should expect "residual" delays.



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    You mean before mbcr ran

    By on

    You mean before mbcr ran things? Yes. Here's hoping the T doesn't award them another contract. They are politically connected but incompetent.

    Voting is closed. 12

    Not so much in the mid '90s

    I remember getting to Alewife and having extensive delays, etc. with no explanation. Mostly in the winter. Early 1994 was the worst, but early 1995 was also pretty bad.

    Voting is closed. 9

    In the 1970s the equipment on

    By on

    In the 1970s the equipment on the north-side commuter rail was primarily diesel rail cars built by the Budd company purchased by the Boston and Maine Railroad in the 1950s. By the late 1970s, the engines and transmissions on the Budd cars had become so worn out that the MBTA had to start hauling them around with diesel locomotives. The winter of 78, with the famous blizzard in February and the earlier big storm in January, did in the transmissions and engines on most of the Budd car fleet that were still self-propelled by then. There were lots of delays and failures.

    On the MBTA itself, in the mid-1970s the Green Line fleet was made up 100% of PCC cars built in the 1940s and 50s (like the ones still at Mattapan). The aged cars by the 1970s had large numbers of failures in heavy snow. During the winter of 75-76, they had an evening rush-hour after a storm when only 46 PCCs were available for service and there were supposed to be 210 to meet the schedule (I remember the numbers from a Globe article at the time). A packed single car would come into the station when it was supposed to be a three-car train (the PCCs were only 48-feet long vs. 71-feet for the cars that later replaced them, so a 2-car train of present equipment holds the same as a 3-car train of PCCs).

    They also had a lot of problems on the South Shore Red Line branch (still only went as far as Quincy in the 1970s) with ice building up on the third-rail and third-rail heaters not doing their job. Trains would stall out, or would coast along for sections with no power. The inconsistent power would result in the air compressors going on and off and that would result in brake problems because of low air-pressure. During one of the 78 storms, the fire department had to cut fences and rescue people from two stalled trains near Freeport St.

    Things were not so great on the MBTA in the 1970s.

    Voting is closed. 16