Something went bang at State Street; people fled Orange Line

State Street being evacuated

Orange Line riders after the boom. Photo by Chuck Giroux.

UPDATED with latest info from the T.

Around 8:50 a.m., an inbound Orange Line train pulled into State Street and there was a large "bang." Chuck Giroux photographed people rushing out of the station.

Although initial reports seemed to indicate the train had hit part of a fallen light fixture on the tracks, a T spokesman says the bang came from the subway equivalent of a shock absorber giving out:

An air bag blew. It was in the undercarriage of the train's 4th car. The air bags on subway cars are similar to shock absorbers on motor vehicles.

Kurt Salaman reports:

it was a very loud booming sound, but i think it was something with the train. We didn't stick around to find out though.

The T pulled the train out of service.



Free tagging: 


Oh, you're right, man, does that bite

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I didn't go with a rhyme this time because the first few seconds sounded like it might be something a lot more serious than a mere dead train. Fortunately, it turned out to be not all that serious, if you discount the fact that it's kind of concerning that a light fixture just plummeted to the tracks and what that might say about the infrastructure at that station.


I thought that might be the

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I thought that might be the reason for the lack of rhyme, but for what it's worth, I found myself mentally completing the headline with "toute suite".

"Power Issue?"

The T is calling this a power issue... weird.

Orange Line: Moderate delays due to power issue at State.

Power issue

They can't figure out who to blame and what department to saddle with the repair costs.


I blame The George W. Bush

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I blame The George W. Bush for diverting federal public transportation funds from rail projects to Bus Rapid Transit.


When that was issued

When that alert was issued, they were preparing to remove debris from the pit. Usually they would cut the power for having a bunch of people working in the track area. I imagine they had to briefly cut power before allowing them down there, so they billed it as a broad "power problem."

Also, "debris blocking service" isn't one of their default alerts. So, "power" or "police" it is, I guess?


If whatever fell from the

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If whatever fell from the ceiling was metallic, and if it made contact with the third rail, then it may have caused a brief "out and back" short in the power section

Latest update from the MBTA

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Just updated my post with a statement from the T: Wasn't a falling light fixture but an airbag blowing out on the bottom of one of the train cars.

Blown air bag

You'll know if you ride a train with a blown air bag. You feel every little bump. The train will rattle incessantly and each switch you go over will rock the car. I believe that trains will a blown airbag are also legally limited to a reduced speed. Luckily it is nothing major, though.



Heh, I wouldn't be surprised. :P The only times I've experienced riding in a car with deflated airbags is on the Red Line.

Yeah okay. No one "fled."

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Yeah okay. No one "fled." They decided to evacuate the station and told us to leave.