Fortunately for passengers on the belchy commuter-rail train at Ruggles around 8 a.m., they could all de-train and continue on their way on the Orange Line. Interestingly, not long after, Anthony Bonaceto tweeted, Back Bay station began filling with smoke. Maybe Puff the Magic Loco was on its way to the yard?
Update, 7:25 p.m.: One track was cleared and limited train service through Ruggles resumed.
Commuter-rail and Amtrak service through Ruggles is stopped as transit and fire officials investigate a fatal train-vs-person collision on the inbound side this evening. The T is describing it as a "trespasser strike."
Dan Esdale reports his outbound train to Franklin stopped, then headed back to South Station.
Tarik Muhammad didn't want any company on his trip out of Ruggles on Aug. 31, 2010, so when a man sat next to him, he told him to move - and when the man refused, they got into an argument that ended when Muhammed began beating and stabbing him, prosecutors say. Channel 4 has the surveillance video shown in court today.
A student was robbed of cash and then sliced in the hand around 9:10 p.m. at Ruggles and Tremont streets, the latest violent incident within a quick walk of the Boston Police headquarters building.
Police are looking for a black man with a goatee in a dark hoodie, who wielded the knife and who may also be packing a gun, and a black woman, also in a dark hoodie.
There was another two-on-one knifepoint robbery in the lower busway at the Ruggles T stop Sunday night.
Melissa J. Gibson spotted Repent Now Man on the Orange Line.
A 14-year-old student who was punched, robbed and warned not to snitch by two classmates at the Ruggles stop on the Orange Line around 2 p.m. yesterday thought he'd managed to escape them by making his way to the Cambridgeside Galleria.
But, he told police, the two - and an older guy - were waiting for him when he left the mall around 5:40 p.m. and they jumped him again, stole his cell phone and threatened to "drop him" in class if he told anyone what had happened.
MBTA Transit Police report arresting one of the classmates and the older teen on a Green Line shuttle bus at North Station.
MBTA and state officials today announced the release of real-time data on three of the system's four subway lines, along with plans to install monitors showing train and bus arrival info at every station where subways and buses connect.
Over the next several weeks, application developers who have already built smartphone and other apps for bus arrivals will use the new data for similar train-based services. At a ceremony at the Ruggles stop on the Orange Line, Catch the Bus builder Jared Egan showed off his upcoming Catch the T app.
MBTA General Manager Richard Davey said the Green Line was left out because, unlike the other three lines, buses and commuter rail, its trains do not have the sort of tracking systems in place to allow accurate predictions of when trains will arrive in a station. It's the same reason you don't hear "the next train to [wherever] is now approaching" announcements on the Green Line - the new real-time data is based on that announcement system for the other three lines.
Davey said real-time tracking of commuter rail trains could be just a few months away.
He added that monitors unwrapped today at Ruggles and Back Bay will eventually be joined by similar monitors at other key stations.
Charlie on the Commuter Rail shows how the stairs are failing apart, barely three years after they were repaired following two years of being shut as unsafe.
Anna B reports on the past week at the Ruggles commuter-rail stop, at which not a single train's destination was announced, forcing commuters to play commuter-rail roulette:
... This Friday, fed up, I asked a conductor who was collecting fares about why no one announced what line the train was. He told me, "We did but you probably couldn't hear us going by 30 mph." I call bullshit. Not a single conductor was in a doorway as it pulled up to Ruggles. ...
... Aloisi and Chang-Diaz getting breakfast @ Brother's...
Ed. question: Is there any station in all of T-land with a better name than Ruggles? I'd rank it even higher than Wonderland.
Peter Maranci reports that not only did he get into Ruggles 35 minutes late - because the train ahead of his died and had to be pushed off the tracks (and then shot?) - but then he and other commuters had to rely on the kindness of a conductor just to get out:
... [B]oth of the doors on the side that I was on were stuck (no conductors around, of course!). We all turned and ran for other doors, but the train was moving by the time we got to them. Finally a conductor stopped the train, and we got off. But the doors now opened on the closed part of the platform, the part that has been crumbling for years. We stepped out onto a thick sheet of unsanded ice. We all made it across the ice and around the "CLOSED" barrier safely ...
Charlie on the Commuter Rail shows (with both photos and video) how a stairway at Ruggles, re-opened just last year after a couple of years of being shut, are already falling apart - individual steps are coming loose as the nails or bolts that hold them to their base rust away.
Charlie on the Commuter Rail notes that the issue of commuter-rail conductors not announcing where their trains are going at Ruggles grows only worse:
They often don't bother to announce the destination of the train, and sometimes they don't even step out on the platform! Since the trains have been more and more erratic, time-wise (they can vary from the schedule by five minutes or more) this is particularly worrisome. Often passengers have to go into a train and ask the passengers inside where the train is going.
Also, there was a car on the Franklin Line last night that smelled like sewage.
You may recall how the initial "let's mess with commuters' heads and not announce destinations at stations like Ruggles" thing started during the secret work action, which is supposed to be over, but, you know, conductors just wanna have fun.
Meanwhile, Train Stopping shows that what we have on commuter rail is a failure to communicate: In response to a commuter complaining about inaccurate delay info on mbta.com, a customer-service manager at MBCR (which actually runs the trains), replied:
We provide the MBTA with the delay information but we cannot access their website to post delay information; that falls under their purview.
Allegedly the MBTA is working on a fix, but has provide no completion date.
Michaela reports the Ruggles Dunkin' Donuts has some guy who made such a good French vanilla iced coffee with sugar and milk that:
By the time I got to Back Bay station. I wish I asked him his name and hours for September so I can specifically go out of my way to get that iced coffee again and again when I'm back in Boston for good.
Both Friday and Monday, Quasit's train from Franklin never stopped at Ruggles due to - sing it with me - signal problems:
I've put in for the on-time service guarantee on both days. Since the train never arrived at my destination, the MBTA can hardly claim that it was on time!
However, he does report some progress: At least conductors announced the bypass on the train.
Charlie on the Commuter Rail describes what one might think is a scene from a third-world railroad station at Ruggles the other night, except that's probably an insult to third-world railroad stations:
... Nothing came in when or where it was supposed to. The Needham Heights train that shows up at Ruggles at 4:13 PM...didn't. Trains came at the wrong time, half an hour late or more.
And in every single case the conductors didn't bother to announce what the train was.
Some teen beef at Ruggles station escalated into gunfire yesterday afternoon; nobody injured, however, according to Boston Police, who report they have a gun and one suspect - a juvenile arrested after a foot chase at Tremont Street and Melnea Cass Boulevard. A second suspect eluded MBTA, Northeastern and Boston police.
Jeremy Thomas, 18, and Jonathan Thomas, 20, face charges that they shot a guy twice (well, that one of them shot the guy repeatedly but only managed to hit him twice) as their Orange Line train opened its doors at Ruggles station on June 28. Roxbury District Court Judge Edward Redd today ordered the brothers held on $200,000 cash bail, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office.