Firefighters responded to South Station shortly before 9:30 p.m. for a trash fire on the outbound side of the Red Line. The fire was not on the tracks, it was quickly blasted with some water and that was that, except for the smell of smoke and the delays on the Red Line.
Jack Cawley reports:
I did not find this reassuring at Braintree station.
State officials tonight released a schedule for re-opening currently shut subway segments. The Red Line will be extended to North Quincy on Friday, followed by Braintree on Monday, along with B trolleys on the Green Line. The Mattapan Line will remain shut until Friday, Feb. 27.
However, officials cautioned:
Reduced train counts due to the unprecedented winter storms will result in longer wait times and some crowding in the short term.
They had a reporter talking about all our issues: Snow, collapsing roofs, killer icicles and, of course, the T. The reporter breathlessly declared one Red Line station was so bad "the bathrooms don't even work!"
Wait, Red Line stations have bathrooms?
But the B Line? Amanda McNeil reports:
Direct quote from 57 driver "All the buses leaving Watertown are full. Y'all better just start walking"
An Orange Line tried withered on the vine at Tufts.
Three inbound Red Line trains passed through Central after 8:30 a.m. and nobody could get on any of them.
The T just announced it's restored service between JFK/UMass and Ashmont. Braintree? That's another story.
See all those people? They're waiting for an Orange Line shuttle bus at Malden Center. "Shuttle bus line is MASSIVE!" Rich reports.
On the more frostbitten segments of the T today, riders slowly shuffled through long lines for shuttle buses. The luckier ones boarded one of the growing number of big charter buses the T has hired, such as these buses that Marta spotted at JFK/UMass for the ride to Quincy and Braintree:
The Orange Line is running between Sullivan and Forest Hills this morning. It's still limited bus service between Sullivan and Oak Grove, though.
Same basic idea on the southern end of the Red Line: It's buses all the way down past JFK/UMass.
The MBTA provided this photo of workers clearing ice and snow on Red Line tracks near Water Street in Quincy this morning.
Prison inmates are working on the line today as well.
Updated: Not just anybody can show up to shovel out the Red Line.
The MBTA is working with local unions to get lots of people working to shovel out the Braintree branch of the Red Line tomorrow.
The T contact the Boston Building Trades and the SEIU, who in turn asked members with shovels to show up tomorrow at the Bayside Expo Center for a 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift digging out the tracks, which have not been used to carry passengers since the last storm.
They'll be paid $30 an hour.
A T spokesman says the move is part of "an all out snow removal offensive on the Braintree branch tomorrow."
Around 6 p.m., the outbound platform at Charles/MGH looked pretty much the same right after a train pulled out as it did before. As Lindsay Devers reports, the train was so crowded nobody could get on it.
Elsewhere? At least people waiting for trains out of South Station were inside. Ditto for North Station, where Ben Higgins snapped the departure list:
And so it's come to this: With the Braintree leg of the Red Line effectively out of commission since that train got stuck for two hours, the T is turning to Peter Pan, which normally provides bus service to places like Vermont, to help ferry riders between Braintree and JFK/UMass tonight and tomorrow.
In a statement, the Carmen's Union, which represents MBTA bus drivers, says:
Will captured the mood on one Red Line car this morning.
The MBTA says it will run the Green and Blue Lines, but at reduced frequencies tomorrow. There will be trains on the Red and Orange Lines, "but the level of that service will not be determined until later today."
Commuter rail will only make about 70% of normal trips, but there will be no service to Plymouth, TF Green Airport or Wickford Junction.
And buses will continue to replace the Mattapan Line.