Signals give no quarter: Trains slow through Porter

The MBTA reports "moderate" delays on the Red Line due to signal issues at Porter Square. Ben Chan reports his normal 25-minute commute from Quincy took an hour this morning.

Commuters like myself are frustrated and pretty annoyed.



Free tagging: 


I opted for the red line

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I opted for the red line instead of orange this morning in an effort to be kind to someone else.... and instantly regretted it.

Boarded at Davis at 8:05, arrived at DTX at 8:50. Took more than 20 minutes just to get the one stop to Porter.

The good old days

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Progress on the red line, fifty years ago the signs at Ashmont read 18 minutes to Park street station. Today it takes a red line train 18 minutes to pass park street in Dorchester and another 10 to get to Fields Corner station.

DTX to Kendall

9:15 am. Took 35 minutes. Creep. Crawl. Stop. Doors open at Charles for a very long time. Then slowwwwwwwww creep all the way into Kendall/MIT.

That was due to unrelated

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That was due to unrelated (and expected) residual delays resulting from the Longfellow Bridge work done over the weekend:

Red Line trains will experience minor delays in northbound service from Charles/MGH to Kendall/MIT stations October 30-31 due to a speed restriction.

Due to a speed restriction resulting from earlier weekend track work for the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project, northbound Red Line trains will experience minor delays in service.

35 minutes to go 3 stops is a little extreme for "minor delays" though.

Signal Problems

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My train at 8:45 was told "signal problems"

Yes, the southbound issues

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Yes, the southbound issues (and subsequent cascading northbound delays) were due to signal problems at Porter.

But Swirly's account of a slow creep across the Longfellow was not due to signal problems, but rather the Longfellow Bridge construction, and the T announced those delays ahead of time.


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Vote in the Governors race, and make improving our transportation systems important in the debate. Baker said a lot about improving the T and cutting costs. So far he has done the same thing as most of the recent republican governors: set up 'commissions', cut service and increased fares, delayed or cancelled much need expansion (the T's overcrowding is part of their issue), all the while the service gets worse and worse. And the next fare increase according to his timeline the last time he raised fares is coming up. Vote him out, and get someone who is committed to a future with good public transportation whether (the olympics, Amazon, etc) come or not.

Sounds great

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I'll ponder how Baker is letting the T get run down during the 4 week period we are in now of bustitution on the Orange Line as they do work on the infrastructure in anticipation of the arrival of the new subway cars Patrick ordered late in his second term.

In short, come 2022 I'm expecting that the T (or at least the Orange and Red Lines) will be running a lot better than it is now, and I expect that you will not be willing to give credit to the current administration for getting the fiscal priorities in order. For instance, they've been cancelling superfluous expansion to focus on maintenance of the current system. You know, like trying to make it that signal problems at Porter don't remain the everyday occurrence that they are now.

Wish they'd cancel more

Wish they'd cancel more superfluous - and worse: deleterious - expansion, such as south coast rail and South station expansion.

Please explain

Why do you perceive these as supefluous?

Do you use South Station at Rush Hour?

Do you use Amtrak from South Station?

Do you ever spend much time in the communities that will be served by rail expansion? Do you understand how this opens up affordable housing?

If I may

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Go reread the article. The T is having issues with its existing infrastructure. Creating more infrastructure costs money, as does maintaining the existing system. Given the choice between expanding the system at the expense on maintaining the current system or bringing the current system up to a good state of repair (all of this assuming that the riders have no appetite for massive fare increases and the non-T riding taxpayers have no appetite for tax increases dedicated to the T), which one would you pick?

The South Station expansion could possibly be funded through air rights, but South Coast Rail, which I have thought of as an admirable idea since I did work with the Old Colony Planning Council tangentially concerning, is something that could be deferred until everything else it at least close to being in shape.


South Station Expansion isn't needed if we do the North South Rail Link. Superfluous. Deleterious because there's a limited amount of money, NSRL would be transformational in ways that SSX could only dream about, and if we do SSX it will be that much longer before we can pay for NSRL.

South Coast Rail would cause operational havok on the existing lines, and costs a massive amount of money for very few likely riders. See