The T

By - 2/24/16 - 9:04 am

Shortly before 9 a.m., Lyzard reported:

MBTA is jerking us around on the Longfellow for over 10 minutes .start.. Stop.. Starts. Stops. Riders Ready to puke.

Five minutes later, the T announced "moderate" delays due to signal problems on the bridge and now at least one train is just sitting there.

By - 2/23/16 - 7:46 am

But the State House News Service reports he won't be doing that anymore - he retired.

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.

By - 2/20/16 - 11:26 am
Levers and interlocking board at South Station's old Tower 1

Some of the levers that used to control the switches at South Station. See it larger.

Thursday's South Station meltdown proved to be the fault of a computerized track-switching system in a building called Tower 1 (and seems Amtrak still is unsure what happened).

Today, Tower 1 is a shed, basically, but it once was an actual three-story tower in the middle of all the tracks funneling towards South Station. Installed in 1899, it handled the more than 700 trains that once came into and left what was once the busiest train station in the country, using hand-cranked levers to control pneumatic tubes that changed the
settings of switches in the station's large "interlocking," where trains could be guided from one set of tracks to another. Read more.

By - 2/19/16 - 11:09 am
Illuminated Government Center station in Boston

The T reports Government Center is still on track to re-open late next month, after two years of renovations.

The T adds the lights are programmable and multi-colored, which could lead to interesting possibilities for concerts and performances on City Hall Plaza.

By - 2/19/16 - 9:06 am

Dave, a Worcester Line rider with an interest in trains, begins to break down what happened with the trains into and out of South Station yesterday: It all involves an Amtrak computer room, called Tower 1 from the days when it was an actual tower with men who moved actual levers to switch trains.

By - 2/19/16 - 7:38 am

Word from Keolis came around 5:40 a.m.

Now about the problems on the Fitchburg and Lowell lines into North Station ...

By - 2/18/16 - 6:08 pm

Delays of ten minutes on all Reading/Haverhill, Fitchburg, and Lowell departures. No reason given though.

By - 2/18/16 - 3:03 pm

This just in from MassDOT:

Amtrak officials notified MassDOT today that the Amtrak signal failure will not be resolved by the start of the evening commute. Because of this Amtrak failure, the only commuter rail trains that will depart from South Station are those that serve the Providence/Attleboro and Stoughton Lines.

MassDOT is urging all other Commuter Rail passengers not to arrive at South Station. Instead, MBTA will post new schedules by 3:30 PM today indicating which trains will depart from the alternative stations. These alternative stations will include JFK/UMASS, Back Bay, Forest Hills, Quincy Center, and Braintree.

The new schedules for today’s commute will be posted on MBTA.com by 3:30 PM today.

By - 2/18/16 - 2:26 pm
Amtrak logo, sort of

Amtrak is reporting 1-2 hour delays on its trains in and out of Boston due to the same South Station problem that screwed up commuter-rail service this morning (and which continue to screw up commuter-rail service), adds:

Signals are currently being operated manually which significantly limits the amount of trains arriving and departing the station. Amtrak engineering forces are actively working to fix the issue and restore scheduled service.

By - 2/18/16 - 11:16 am
I don't always make memes, but when I do, they're about the Green Line Extension

Meme created by Kristin MacDougall.

Wicked Local Somerville reports the city of Somerville is planning on spending $25,000 to $35,000 to hire a PR company to push back against the nay-saying nellies at the state:

As state officials consider cutting the Green Line Extension, Somerville is hiring a PR firm to promote the project via placed interviews and op-eds, Reddit Ask Me Anything forums and "memes."

By - 2/18/16 - 10:56 am

Jim Braude reports Gov. Baker will be doing his monthly "Ask the Governor" segment on his show on WGBH at noon.

James Madden suggests T riders ask the governor why they couldn't get to work on time today.

By - 2/18/16 - 8:22 am
Porter Square with lots of people in the Red Line station

Hangin' out at Porter Square. Photo by Jamie E.

Just as the T was telling riders from the South Shore to try their luck with the Red Line because commuter rail was dead, a Red Line train realized it was more than six feet under near South Station and started pushing up daisies. Read more.

By - 2/18/16 - 8:11 am
Commuter rail riders crushed at Forest Hills on the Orange Line

Orange crushed: Keolis refugees at Forest Hills. Photo by Michael Morgenstern.

It's Amtrakageddon this morning as trains can't get past Back Bay and the T throws up its hands and tells riders to find some other way to get to work. That sort of worked for riders coming in from the west, but riders on trains from the South Shore got on Red Line trains that just sat there.

UPDATE, 9:50 a.m.: Read more.

By - 2/17/16 - 12:51 pm
Proposed new Orange Line cars

New Orange Line cars like these can't get here soon enough.

MBTA General Manager Frank DiPaola says an exterior metal panel fell off a southbound Orange Line train at State Street last night and then a second train ran over it, leading to a chaotic scene that involved passengers kicking out windows to escape the second train when it and the station began filling with smoke. In a statement, he says: Read more.

By - 2/16/16 - 8:56 pm
Riders evacuating Orange Line train at State Street

Rider jumps out of Orange Line train. Photo by Florian Penzkofer.

Heather Parker reports she was on an Orange Line train to Forest Hills, when there was a bang and what looked like flames as the train entered State Street shortly before 9 p.m.

Passengers evacuated the train, the station filled with smoke and firefighters arrived and asked the T to shut power in both directions, from Community College to Tufts.

Read more.

By - 2/16/16 - 7:36 pm

An Amtrak train headed to Boston lost power this afternoon, and possibly had a bit of a fire, an MBTA commuter-rail train was enlisted to push it to Boston and now things are still bollixed up betwixt Boston and Providence.

At 7:19 p.m., Brian Moore reported that after 89 minutes, his Stoughton-bound train from Back Bay still hadn't made it to Westwood. The T was reporting similar delays from Providence to Boston.

By - 2/16/16 - 7:45 am
Stairs down to Newtonville MBTA station covered in ice

Alexis Deise peered down the stairs at the Newtonville stop on the Worcester Line this morning.

At 7:45 a.m., there were delays on numerous lines due to mechanical problems, "late turn of equipment" and, of course, train traffic.

By - 2/15/16 - 10:44 am
November Project participants on a Red Line train

For a holiday morning, one Red Line train seemed a bit crowded this morning, Charles Cherney reports.