Commuter rail a mess; riders under a lot of stress

Sad commuters at South Station

Unhappy campers at South Station. Photo by Kerry O'Brien.

In the winter of 2015, the MBTA had a valid reason for delayed trains. Today? Who knows? But resigned riders are stacking up at South Station this evening.



Free tagging: 


Online mechanisms re switching travelplans for delayed travelers

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What online mechanisms are good for showing delayed rail travelers a) how they might switch to another option?... b) how to select another option?... c) regular buses?... d) chinatown buses?... e) other ground transportation?... f) air transportation?... g) ridesharing?... h) etc.?...


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And/or the mbta trip planner.

Can understand

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The lady's disgust, because that was me as well, 30
minute wait today. Seemed like all southbound trains were delayed. They've been on time a lot this summer, at least.


Late night news reports (a) a broke down train and (b) more signal problems Amtrak is 'working on'.

ooh - found the Official statement

"Train 743 experienced a mechanical problem just outside of the Readville facility. Crews worked quickly to resolve the issue. However, this impacted rush hour train movements into and out of South Station causing the delays. Additionally, there was a signal failure just beyond South Station terminal. Amtrak’s crews are working to resolve the issue. Trains are now on the move. We appreciate our customers’ patience while crews worked as quickly as possible to resolve these issues."

Source: MBTA Experiencing Delays Out of South Station - NECN
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well, these signal problems with Amtrak seem to be on going and never get fixed. I wish someone, somewhere would start holding them accountable.

Unfortunately it's not that

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Unfortunately it's not that simple. The MBTA just prefers to point fingers at Amtrak as much as possible to try and avoid blame. Same thing NJT and the MTA are doing in NYC right now with Penn Station.

In reality the T tends to use "Amtrak signal problems" as the delay reason whenever there is any sort of problem on the south side that can even remotely be related to Amtrak and/or anything electronic.

As for fixing issues, it's largely up to the state to do it. They own the infrastructure and for the most part control the purse strings.

Well, simple is in the eye of the beholder

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Yeah, I get it. But these "signal issues" have been going on for some time now with no explanation from anyone, really, on why they can't fix them or why they can't be fixed. I don't agree that the T uses it as an excuse; there are signal problems and that it Amtrak's responsibility to fix them as I currently understand it. In fact, they are still continuing today (not looking forward to commute home) as I type this reply.

Personally, I don't care whose responsibility it is but am searching for some accountability. The state needs to hold Amtrak accountable but it appears that the will is lagging.

They can fix half of the

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They can fix half of the Commonwealth Ave bridge in 2 weeks. But train riders have to deal with daily signal issues because the technology on train lines are decades out of date. There is a certain group hoarding all of the resources in this city, state and country and it sure as hell isn't public transportation users.

To be fair, when I heard the

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To be fair, when I heard the Comm Ave bridge was undergoing construction, at first I assumed it would be out of commission in one way or another for 3+ years; that seems to be the amount allotted for many of the other bridges.

But I do agree the T is massively underfunded.


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Someone hasn't been near Forest Hills since 2015.

I was in this mess yesterday.

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Worcester was running, as well as trains to Greenbush and Kingston. Franklin/Forge Park had serious delays along with Providence. Needham also had problems.

What we heard over the intercom was delays due to mechanical issues and track circuit problems.

I got lucky and grabbed the 5:45pm to Readville. The train I usually take, 5:20pm Franklin, was delayed 40-60 minutes per the last notification I received.

Good move

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The 5:20 is the same train my husband takes, and he ended up on the 5:50 Stoughton train instead and left before the Franklin train.

I saw a LOT of angry passengers in Canton.

Switch problem

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Evidently a switch problem made it difficult to get trains -- and crews -- from the yard to the station.

When you don't ride they hide

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I was at South Station yesterday and tried to get some information from the Transit cops assigned to the desk by the escalators. They and other employees went into hiding rather than assisting passengers.

North Station this morning

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As I passed through North Station this morning the announcer said something about "technical problems" with the departures too...while also reading out track numbers for trains. Maybe he meant something was wrong with the big board? But it made me wonder if there's a bigger T issue going on. And it made me worry about the return afternoon trip.

The first outbound Haverhill and Reading

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trains of the morning are almost always delayed due to "mechanical problems ". Makes you wonder if the theory about the alert/announcement writer having a dart board with the dozen or so "standard" excuses on it has any merit.


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Another terrible day on a typical summer evening and morning. If it isn't the subway heading home its the commuter rail. After years of broken promises, it's time to fire Stephanie Pollack

Embodiment of every T rider...

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...that woman in the foreground, whenever you hear "Attention ___Line passengers...". The stance, the face, the eyes...

1-2 Punch: Orange Line troubles

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When the Stoughton was clearly not coming anytime soon, I tried to make my appointment by catching the Orange Line from Back Bay to Forest Hills and then taking a bus, but alas! the Orange Line was experiencing "moderate" delays during rush hour Tuesday.