As temperature climbs higher, commuters feel like they're on fire

Heat and the MBTA are two things you rarely want to see in the same sentence.

Remember those heat-related speed restrictions that were supposed to go away after the state bought the Worcester Line tracks? They didn't.

Down in the tunnels, the Green Line is melting in the dark:

Hell is a disabled #MBTA train underground, at rush hour, during the summer, with a Sox home game, surrounded by sweaty people.

The Red Line is moving, but not all cars have AC.



Free tagging: 



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They would have to fix things like this. MBTA issues should make you want the Olympics, it will finally give the political kick in the pants to get a lot of the stuff done that will otherwise take another 50 years.

To be fair, that tweet didn't

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To be fair, that tweet didn't explicitly give the cause of Worcester line delays as heat restrictions. It could have been any number of other things. In fact I doubt it was heat restrictions since that was a CSX company policy that the T does not have.


It was due to the heat but

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It was due to the heat but likely not due to heat restrictions. Likely equipment malfunctions or even signal malfunctions due to heat. It does do some crazy things to equipment (same as cold). Still delayed so it really does not matter so much why...

Speed restrictions are not bureaucratic nonsense

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Without knowing the answer in this particular case, let me point out that speed restrictions are not bureaucratic nonsense...

Heat causes metal to expand. Most passenger rail lines use continuously welded rail for comfort and speed. That's equivalent to a very long piece of steel, which can expand or contract due to temperature. Contraction is less of a problem because it just pulls at either end: it could break but then the track circuits would detect the broken rail right away. But expansion of a long piece of steel could cause it to kink and shift the rail out of place. If it happens in between inspections then it could cause an unwelcome surprise to the next train, which is not expecting a sudden curve in the track.

The prevention of kinked rail is done through proper and rigorous maintenance of the ballast that holds the cross-ties in place, enough to keep them from moving even when the steel expands. Again, I don't know the specifics of the Worcester line or this scenario. But it is possible that the Worcester tracks -- that were formerly owned by CSX and have been taken over by MBTA -- have still not undergone the track inspection and ballast maintenance that they should in order to suspend the need for speed restrictions. That's on the MBTA -- they should have done it by now. They also should have opened up the second track through Beacon Park to get rid of one of the more annoying bottlenecks in the line. I don't know what's taking so long. It's really obnoxious.

Before the T took over the

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Before the T took over the Worcester line from CSX, everyone was saying that there was nothing physically different between the Worcester lines and the other commuter rail lines. And that the speed restrictions were a CSX-specific policy, so they could go away once the T took over.

And now the T took over, and even the actual train crews are surprised that the heat restrictions still exist.

Sounds like bureaucratic nonsense to me. If there *is* a legitimate reason, the T should have *communicated it* to passengers. But they didn't, which is another form of bureaucratic nonsense.



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The smell of sweat mixed with the odor of urine and cheap booze should be marketed as MBTA cologne for men