Miles on the MBTA, who usually tries to find the good in even the dowdiest T stop, finds absolutely nothing worthwhile about pitiful Hastings, a tiny little stop on the Fitchburg Line in Weston, right down to the Sharpie-drawn station sign on a plank of wood:
They...they even drew a little sign around "Hastings" and gave the MBTA website and everything! So...this is the signage. THIS IS THE ONLY INDICATION THAT PEOPLE ARE WAITING AT THE HASTINGS COMMUTER RAIL STATION ON THE FITCHBURG LINE IN WESTON, MASSACHURSETSTES! HASTINGS? MORE LIKE HATE-STINGS, BECAUSE THIS STATION IS THE WORST!
Transit Police report a male bicyclist, 25-30, rode around a crossing gate in the down position at Park Street in Somerville around 1:30 p.m. and was promptly struck and killed by an outbound Fitchburg Line train.
Finn alerted us to an update from the T earlier this morning:
Fitchburg Update: Train 1400 is operating 70-100 min late between South Acton & North Station at reduced speed due to a mechanical problem.
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.
Riders aren't supposed to ride in the spaces between cars on commuter rail, but, eh, whadaya gonna do, right, Fitchburg Line riders? Finn, who was among those lucky riders around 7 a.m., reports a conductor's reassuring words:
If you're in there, make sure you hold on.
The T has posted a video of a weekend replacement of a Fitchburg Line bridge over Rte. 62 in Concord - compressed to just four minutes.
Around 6:15 near the Park Street crossing, R.S.Y. Buchanan reports. He adds the driver of the car got out before the crash.
Even normally pessimistic Fitchburg Line commuters probably didn't expect this: By 7 p.m., the 5:30 train to Fitchburg train hadn't moved more than a few feet from North Station. As Billy Lazarro explains, passengers finally walked down the track to another train, which also then just sat there.
The dreaded slippery rail struck again this morning.
Let's see: There's a dead Red Line train at Park Street, a dead trolley somewhere on the inbound side of the D line and there are major delays for some no doubt good reason on the Fitchburg Line.
Happened on 128 at Rte. 20, backing up 128 southbound and halting inbound service on the Fitchburg Line, since part of the truck seemed to have landed on the tracks, only it didn't.
Dead trains at JFK/UMass and Harvard creating all sorts of fun for commuters this morning.
Various commuter-rail lines into North Station also having various issues. The Fitchburg Line has major delays because the 6:55 train hit somebody near Snake Hill Road in Ayer. The MBTA reports the person's injuries are not considered life threatening.
Transit Police report a Belmont woman followed GPS directions a little too closely last night - Her car wound up on the tracks of the Fitchburg Line:
An MBTA spokesman said police are still investigating how the person came to be on the tracks before being hit by an inbound train shortly before 4 p.m..
Shortly after 4 p.m., a rider on one train e-mailed UHub:
Train stopped due to what the conductor said is an apparent suicide between the two stops. He said the police are going to be on the scene for a few hours, so now we're waiting for the train to turn back to West Concord to disembark the train.
Riders on the 5:40 train to Fitchburg tweeted their train came to a sudden stop in Cambridge after hitting a car at a crossing there. AsianKerr reported the conductor came on the PA not long after:
Sorry folks, we have struck a vehicle.
After getting the remains of the car out of the way and after the train engineer was interviewed by police, the train started back up around 6:24 p.m.
MBTA Transit Police report on an incident at 8:15 p.m.:
An Eastbound MBTA Fitchburg Line train struck a trespasser on Track 1 approximately 200 yards east of the Route 2 Bridge in Concord, MA. The person struck was pronounced deceased.
Police report the victim was a white woman, between roughly 18 and 22.
You know it's bad, Lee Ann Hooley tweets this morning, when the conductor announces "If you do need to get into town quickly, I suggest you drive."
Hooley and AsianKerr were among the hostages this morning on the Fitchburg Line, where yet another choo-choo went bye-bye, forcing commuters to wait for another train to come up and get hitched to their train for the long, even slower ride into Boston.
AsianKerr was onboard the 6:30 train when she tweeted at 6:50:
Brian Cummings reports via e-mail on the horsey set in Weston this morning:
Well, this is a first. Around 7:00 or so, going inbound to Boston saw a beautiful chestnut horse running toward Boston alongside the tracks, followed by a woman running behind, followed by a panting MBTA cop. Between Silver Hill and Hastings. Train delayed for 10-15 minutes. All three none the worse for wear.
At least we weren't robbed by outlaws.
MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo reports train 406 was delayed 11 minutes as Weston and Lincoln police corraled the wayward equine.
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