As you might expect, the MBTA pulled out all the stops today for the inaugural runs of the new Silver Line 3 between Chelsea and South Station.
State officials shut the Silver Line tunnel in the waterfront area today after "loose pieces of concrete" fell from the ceiling at the World Trade Center station onto the inbound platform. MassDOT blames "ongoing construction activity on Congress Street" right near the station. Read more.
The Chelsea Record reports the MBTA has sprung for money to buy some software that will let the operator of the Chelsea Street Bridge give the T a head's up when the bridge is about to be lifted to let boats through - so the T can re-route the new Silver Line buses on detour routes, rather than just sitting waiting for the bridge to come down.
The T plans to start up the Silver Line extension between Chelsea and Logan Airport on April 21. The route mostly uses a recycled railroad right of way - but includes travel over the bridge, the center section of which is lifted for the tankers that traverse Chelsea Creek.
Cybah reports the T was testing out Silver Line buses at the new Chelsea station, as it gets ready to extend the bus line from Logan into Chelsea via a dedicated route next month.
What do you call a Silver Line tunnel with a dead bus in it? A mess. The MBTA reports "moderate" delays on the SL1 and SL2 due to a bus that died between Courthouse and South Station.
UPDATE: The delays were increased to the dreaded "severe" and the T is now running the buses on the street.
Cybah has posted his latest batch of photos showing progress on the project to extend the Silver Line through East Boston into Chelsea by way of an old rail line. He took them around 5 a.m. today.
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).
There's a group that really likes buses, and they've got the snazzy graphics to prove they're better than subways, at least if you give them their own lanes and raised platforms and stuff. Oddly, the Silver Line, our one example of "bus rapid transit," isn't listed on their gold standards or BRT in action pages.
A Silver Line sprinkler system went kablooie near Courthouse station. As of 5:40 p.m., the Fire Department was halting buses from entering the station, water was pooling to about a foot deep in the tunnel and a BWSC crew was on the way.
Problems on the Red and Green lines mean crankytime for evening T commuters. Christie F. gives us a taste:
35 minutes ago my train pulled out of Lechmere. We still haven't reached Haymarket.
Southbound Red Line service has yet to reach standstill proportions, but that's of little solace to people jammed onto platforms who can't even sardine themselves into trains.
The state Department of Transportation today approved a $33-million contract with McCourt Construction Co. to start extending the Silver Line from the Airport T stop to Chelsea. Much of the route will be in a busway built along the former Grand Junction railroad:
State officials expect the initial route, from the airport to Eastern Avenue in Chelsea, to be completed in two years.
Although that would be something to see. Ben Rey captured the scene at World Trade Center around 5:10 p.m., when an inbound bus kicked the bucket and another inbound bus was forced to squeeze around it to keep the Silver Line from becoming a Red Line on rubber.
A dead train at Sullivan Square around 8:20 a.m. quickly cascaded into commuting hell for Orange Line riders heading into the city from the north. At Malden, riders were told to
abandon all hope get on commuter rail. At Community College, riders were told to just go home walk to North Station.
A train died earlier in the morning on the Red Line. Two trolleys were taken out and shot on the Green Line. A Silver Line bus suffered an existential crisis at Mass. Ave. and Washington Street and could go no further.
The man arrested in a Silver Line tunnel in South Boston early Friday morning after allegedly driving into it drunk gave police his brother's name and personal information - which they then used to bring charges in court and alert the media about the arrest.
Now, police say, James Tilton, 57, is in even more trouble than he was following the 1 a.m. crash at the bottom of the Silver Line ramp off D Street. In a statement, Lt. Det. Richard Sullivan of the Transit Police special crimes unit says:
UPDATE: Transit Police now say the man they arrested was actually William Tilton's brother, James and that James is now in a heap of trouble both for the OUI arrest and for identifying himself as his brother when arrested.
William Tilton, 58, of Wilmington faces an OUI charge today following his arrest by Transit Police in the Silver Line tunnel off D Street early this morning, after his car came to a rather sudden stop, thanks to the barriers designed to deploy to stop people like him, the MBTA rerports.
Unfortunately for him, he wasn't able to figure out how to start the vehicle, parked at Silver Line Way in South Boston around 10 p.m. Or at least, that's how police were describing it on their radio as the incident unfolded.
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