Riders on the Providence Line lost at commuter-rail roulette big time this morning. A train got to Mansfield and passed to the other side - but not before riders got to sit on it for 45 minutes waiting for a pusher train that itself gave up the ghost - although it turned out it was only mostly dead and so it slogged into Mansfield with its own full complement of exasperated riders and little space in which to cram the passengers from the completely dead train, which, as soon as it was emptied, revived just enough to head back to Providence.
According to T alerts, Needham, Providence and Franklin Line riders who just want to go home are currently delayed due to "congestion."
MBCR explains that, in this case, "congestion" means an outbound Amtrak train was mistakenly switched onto the Needham tracks, which is sort of like the train equivalent of a truck trying to get on Storrow Drive, given that Amtrak trains use electric power and the Needham Line, well, doesn't.
UPDATE: The death toll was updated late this morning, after authorities found a third body.
Two men and a woman in an SUV sitting on the Northeast Corridor tracks in Mansfield died when a Amtrak train heading to Boston slammed into the vehicle around midnight, Transit Police report.
The collision and investigating halted Acela and regional service between Boston and Providence until shortly after 7 a.m., Amtrak reports. Service on the Providence Line was slowed.
Police say they are continuing to investigate why the SUV was on the tracks.
Around 7:50 a.m., a Red Line train ascended in Elijah's whirlwind at Alewife. That was about an hour after train 804 from Providence breathed it last, leaving commuters just hanging around Mansfield until the 806 could get to them, as Joe shows:
At 7:16 p.m., Courtney Webster checked in from the 6:10 p.m. Providence Line train, which, rather than approaching Providence, had spent most of that time sitting just outside Ruggles:
Finally have a rescue train.
The locomotive on the 808 train out of Providence turned out to be the little engine that couldn't. Now it's sitting dead on the tracks, waiting for the 810 to arrive and sloooowly push it all the way into Boston. In the meantime, Joe shows us the scene in Mansfield, reports:
Nothing moving inbound to Boston from Mansfield. No commuter rail or Amtrak.
Jeffrey reported from the Providence Line at 7:36 a.m.
Here's a first. The engineer forgot to stop at route 128 and we rode backwards for five miles to go back. Get the guy a coffee.
Tristan was among the refugees from Train 806 out of Providence this morning, forced to deboard at 128 after their train was given last rites. He reports passengers were told they could get on an inbound Amtrak train - which promptly left the station before anybody could get on it. Most then got on a train from Canton.
Dead trains on the Red, Green, Needham and Providence/Stoughton lines (so far) made for another interesting commute for many this morning.
UPDATE: "Significant delays" possible on the Fitchburg Line due to signal problems.
Commuter-rail lines that share the Northeast Corridor with Amtrak (Providence, Franklin and Needham) are reporting delays thanks to an overhead Amtrak wire that came down somewhere between Forest Hills and downtown.
It's heartwarming how the little choo-choos help each other out. When the 6:33 into Boston belched its last and died in Sharon, the train behind it agreed to help out and push it all the way into Boston. Good train, good! Of course, that does mean 30-minute delays, but at least Providence Line riders get to have a nice warm feeling, unlike their counterparts on the Newburyport/Rockport line, facing lengthy delays due to boring signal problems, and riders on the Fitchburg Line, facing long delays because, well, it's the Fitchburg Line.
Amelia Sutton recounts a recent four-hour train ride on commuter rail from Providence to Boston. For those unfamiliar with that route, no, it's not supposed to take four hours:
Perhaps I should have seen a blacked-out train with no AC or electricity to be a bad omen when boarding in Providence. But no. The conductors assured us that the engine was functional thanks to "reserve batteries." We would be fine!
Downed power lines somewhere in the Canton area mean no Amtrak service between Boston and New York and, of course, massive delays on the Providence/Stoughton Line that have left stranded commuters hoping for the buses the T is promising.
This time by an outbound commuter-rail train on the Providence Line, about 5:20 p.m. just outbound from the commuter-rail station, AlertNewEngland reports.
MBTA Transit Police report finding somebody with an apparent gunshot wound this afternoon. Two outbound Providence/Stoughton trains from South Station were delayed; service is back to normal otherwise.
Mary McVeigh took this photo around 4:50 p.m. from her seat on the 811 train to Providence. The train that stopped all of a sudden when the engine died 30 minutes earlier. The train with no lights or heat. But, she adds:
At least we can watch the snow fall.
Broken trains on the Red Line and Providence Line, signal problems on the Blue Line, a broken rail on the Needham Line (a broken rail? What'd they do? Taunt it mercilessly until it collapsed in a sobbing heap on the ground?), speed restrictions on the Kingston/Plymouth Line. Amazingly, no delays reported on the Green Line.
The Providence Line inbound is all messed up this morning due to a disabled train at Ruggles.
Benjamin Morton is onboard the 7:35 a.m. train from Providence, which as I type is at least 30 minutes late. He tweets:
"we got another couple things to try, but no progress yet, hopefully we get it moving soon" - 32min late
Over at CommonWealth, Jack Sullivan reports the ties that keep MBTA commuter-rail trains on the tracks south of Boston are falling apart: