Updated, 1:20 p.m.
An Eversource power cable near Woodland station burst into flames, shorting out service on the D Line. The T is now busing passengers between Riverside and Newton Highlands.
WBZ reports the seared cable also means no service for some 3,800 Eversource customers in Newton.
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.
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.
The Grim Reaper harvested a train at Harvard Square this morning and now hundreds of Red Line riders are stacking up like cordwood waiting for inbound trains that just aren't coming.
Meaghan O'Malley reports she got on at Davis at 7:30 a.m. and hadn't even reached Harvard by 7:57.
Meg spotted Fros-T waiting for the Red Line at North Quincy this morning.
Shortly before 7 p.m., the driver of a car with New York plates rolled over on Beacon Street at Carlton in Brookline, shutting both the road and the Green Line, Nick Barber reports.
No clue about the Red Line, but there's police action at Mass. Ave. on the Orange Line.
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.
Riverside Line riders are being herded onto buses this morning as T workers try to repair the damage from the tree that fell on the wires at Chestnut Hill this morning. Several bus lines are now running delayed, even aside from the snow, due to buses being diverted to the impromptu D shuttle.
Use buses on existing routes and tie the service to getting workers to their jobs - especially at Logan - rather than worrying about drunken kids spilling out of clubs at 2 a.m., Ari Ofsevit, Jeremy Mendelson and James Aloisi write in CommonWealth.
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.
The Globe reports the T is looking at replacing the current fare machines on buses and trolleys with new devices that would only accept payments by phone, credit card or CharlieCard.
A T board member said that in addition to speeding up boarding, the new system would satisfy what she claims is public demand to be charged based on distance or time of day. Ed. question: Any of you T riders clamoring to be charged more for riding at rush hour or from Forest Hills to Braintree?
Are you an advocate for Public Transit? If so, this may interest you. National Conference in Boston, open to interested parties.
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).