Commuter rail

By - 4/29/16 - 6:32 am

Transit Police report a man was hit and killed by a Lowell Line train near 662 Boston Ave. in Medford around 7 p.m. on Thursday.

By - 4/26/16 - 7:34 am

The Herald reports Keolis estimates the T loses $35 million a year in unpaid commuter-rail fares and wants to spend $10 million on new gates at North, South and Back Bay stations. No word on how much is lost on overcrowded trains that conductors can't get through to check tickets.

The T itself, meanwhile, wants to hire private contractors to make sure people don't sneak on the back of Green Line trolleys.

By - 4/17/16 - 6:48 pm

The T and Keolis are not very happy with Amtrak today. In an "important" statement on the signal woes that knocked out or slowed service into and out of South Station (including Amtrak's), the local rail operators write: Read more.

By - 4/17/16 - 9:09 am

UPDATE: Amtrak got the signals working again around 2 p.m.

Around 8:45 a.m., the T announced: "Due to a signal problem, South Side trains cannot arrive to/depart from South Station." Again.

The T blamed Amtrak for the problems. Again.

By - 4/14/16 - 10:01 am

Josh Wardell watched in amazement this morning as the warning lights came on where the train tracks cross Main Street in Cambridge and drivers said "screw that" and just kept on going.

By - 4/10/16 - 2:24 pm
Old train semaphores in Waltham

Back in the old days, railroads used to use semaphores to signal train engineers whether they could go forward and how fast. You can still see one of these semaphores where the old Boston & Maine (now MBTA, natch) line to Fitchburg crosses Elm Street in downtown Waltham - mounted on a switching tower that sits next to a switch for what used to be a line to Watertown.

The signals were, of course, not very useful at night, so there were also bulbs to signal engineers: Read more.

By - 4/9/16 - 1:54 pm

A concerned, and probably disgusted, citizen requested a cleanup around 1 p.m. at the Roslindale Village commuter-rail stop:

There is a large beheaded rooster next to the commuter rail tracks at the pedestrian crossing.

By - 4/4/16 - 8:48 am

Keolis says it's found a way to deal with the fact that commuter-rail passengers with smartphones often know about problems on their lines before their conductors: Give the conductors modified iPhones that let them access "real-time data" on train and rail-line problems.

Keolis this morning begins handing out some 400 of the devices to conductors. Keolis says the phones have been modified so they can't be used to access the Internet, e-mail or any non-Keolis apps. And while they can be used to make emergency calls, "they cannot be used for ordinary phone calls," Keolis says. Read more.

By - 3/30/16 - 10:26 am
New insided of Back Bay station

In addition to showing the new towers it wants to build above Back Bay station, Boston Properties' BRA filing also shows several renderings of what a revamped station would look like.

They show a station that retains the unique wooden arches that hold up the roof. Gone, at least from the rendering, though, is the haze that now often fills the station, in particular, the Amtrak/commuter-rail ticket and waiting area - Boston Properties is promising a fix to the station's diesel-smog problem. Read more.

By - 3/28/16 - 1:20 pm

Are you an advocate for Public Transit? If so, this may interest you. National Conference in Boston, open to interested parties.

By - 3/28/16 - 7:46 am

The T's started posting daily reliability stats, broken down by buses, commuter rail and subway. If you click on the large plus sign for each, you'll get more detailed breakdowns by line (and looks like the T's finally acknowledged the Silver Line is a bus, because that's where you'll find its data).

By - 3/20/16 - 6:39 pm
Waldo being escorted out of South Station

And then they escorted him out of South Station for being disorderly.

By - 3/14/16 - 5:24 pm

East Street, specifically. Delays now piling up on the Franklin Line.

By - 3/10/16 - 5:19 pm

New Hampshire Public Radio reports the state's House of Representatives says it won't pay for a study on extending MBTA commuter rail to the state.

By - 3/2/16 - 6:01 pm

Somebody was hit by a train near Mansfield station this afternoon. The station itself was shut - and the parking lot is closed - and delays persist along the Providence Line.

By - 3/1/16 - 10:25 am

State officials say they've had to push back replacement of the aging Comm. Ave. bridge over the turnpike by a year because of design mistakes by an engineering firm working on the project.

The delay, however, means the state is increasing the number of open lanes in each direction on the turnpike under the bridge from three to four lanes. Read more.

By - 2/24/16 - 9:20 pm

Tonight's commuter-rail tale of woe comes from Jennifer Emmaline, who thought her train from Worcester to Boston would leave at 7:50 p.m., only to learn that a) An Amtrak train that got to Union Station, looked around and decided that was as good a place as any to just die and b) The solution turned out to be to connect that train to her train, which would then try to pull it all the way to South Station. Read more.

By - 2/24/16 - 10:52 am

The Supreme Judicial Court today ordered a trial for a man charged with reckless endangerment of a child after he was allegedly caught drunkenly stumbling down the Kingston/Plymouth Line with his 11-year-old son.

A district-court judge had tossed the charge - but left standing another criminal complaint for violating a law against walking on train tracks - saying prosecutors had failed to prove that David Coggeshall knew he was putting his son at risk as they ambled down the tracks in 2013.

The state's highest court ruled, in essence: Please. Read more.

By - 2/24/16 - 10:09 am

On the heels of the shutdown of the Gardenside entrance to the Orange and Green Lines at North Station comes news that the pedestrian tunnel from Back Bay to Copley Place will be shut through December, starting March 6, so that Simon Co. can make the Dartmouth Street side of their mall less of a forbidding, soulless expanse of a wall, or something.

By - 2/22/16 - 6:56 pm

Just got these alerts from the T within about 30 seconds of each other:

Delay: Haverhill Train 219 (6:20 pm from North Station) is stopped at Melrose Highlands due to a vehicle on the tracks near Greenwood Station.
Delay: Haverhill Train 274 (6:38 pm inbound) will depart Reading Station behind schedule due to a vehicle on the tracks near Greenwood Station.

Wonder if the driver was related to that woman in Andover Sunday morning, or was just another person putting blind faith in their GPS.