Downtown

By - 2/21/16 - 1:47 pm
South Station in Boston before 1930

South Station and what little there was of the Boston skyline in 1930. See it larger.

On New Year's Day, 1899, the first train steamed out of what was then called South Central Station at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street. Built to replace the four other train terminals south of downtown, the station was physically one of the largest in the world - and for decades served more passengers than any other station in the US. It had 26 platforms, apartments for railroad workers, 45 bathrooms with automatically flushing toilets and a separate women's waiting room with lounge and rocking chairs and cribs.

News photographer Leslie Jones chronicled the station's life in the middle of the 20th century, when trains were the dominant mode of transportation and the station went from Atlantic Avenue to Dorchester Avenue along Fort Point Channel. Here are some of his photos. Read more.

By - 2/20/16 - 11:26 am
Levers and interlocking board at South Station's old Tower 1

Some of the levers that used to control the switches at South Station. See it larger.

Thursday's South Station meltdown proved to be the fault of a computerized track-switching system in a building called Tower 1 (and seems Amtrak still is unsure what happened).

Today, Tower 1 is a shed, basically, but it once was an actual three-story tower in the middle of all the tracks funneling towards South Station. Installed in 1899, it handled the more than 700 trains that once came into and left what was once the busiest train station in the country, using hand-cranked levers to control pneumatic tubes that changed the
settings of switches in the station's large "interlocking," where trains could be guided from one set of tracks to another. Read more.

By - 2/19/16 - 11:09 am
Illuminated Government Center station in Boston

The T reports Government Center is still on track to re-open late next month, after two years of renovations.

The T adds the lights are programmable and multi-colored, which could lead to interesting possibilities for concerts and performances on City Hall Plaza.

By - 2/19/16 - 9:06 am

Dave, a Worcester Line rider with an interest in trains, begins to break down what happened with the trains into and out of South Station yesterday: It all involves an Amtrak computer room, called Tower 1 from the days when it was an actual tower with men who moved actual levers to switch trains.

By - 2/19/16 - 7:38 am

Word from Keolis came around 5:40 a.m.

Now about the problems on the Fitchburg and Lowell lines into North Station ...

By - 2/18/16 - 7:46 pm

MBTA Commuter Rail tweets:

Amtrak does not have an estimated time for restoration of the signal system at South Station. Delays should be anticipated tomorrow.

This was, of course, after a horrible evening commute that mirrored the horrible morning commute - with the main exception being that this time, when a Red Line train died downtown, it didn't gum up the entire Red Line.

By - 2/18/16 - 2:26 pm
Amtrak logo, sort of

Amtrak is reporting 1-2 hour delays on its trains in and out of Boston due to the same South Station problem that screwed up commuter-rail service this morning (and which continue to screw up commuter-rail service), adds:

Signals are currently being operated manually which significantly limits the amount of trains arriving and departing the station. Amtrak engineering forces are actively working to fix the issue and restore scheduled service.

By - 2/18/16 - 8:22 am
Porter Square with lots of people in the Red Line station

Hangin' out at Porter Square. Photo by Jamie E.

Just as the T was telling riders from the South Shore to try their luck with the Red Line because commuter rail was dead, a Red Line train realized it was more than six feet under near South Station and started pushing up daisies. Read more.

By - 2/17/16 - 1:17 pm
Crews searching Charles River near North Station

Searching the Charles near North Station around noon. Photo by Jennifer M.

Marr

NECN reports authorities are searching the Charles River near North Station for Zachary Marr, a Harvard resident who went missing after leaving the Bell in Hand early Saturday. The Globe reports police are searching Boston Harbor as well.

By - 2/17/16 - 12:51 pm
Proposed new Orange Line cars

New Orange Line cars like these can't get here soon enough.

MBTA General Manager Frank DiPaola says an exterior metal panel fell off a southbound Orange Line train at State Street last night and then a second train ran over it, leading to a chaotic scene that involved passengers kicking out windows to escape the second train when it and the station began filling with smoke. In a statement, he says: Read more.

By - 2/16/16 - 8:56 pm
Riders evacuating Orange Line train at State Street

Rider jumps out of Orange Line train. Photo by Florian Penzkofer.

Heather Parker reports she was on an Orange Line train to Forest Hills, when there was a bang and what looked like flames as the train entered State Street shortly before 9 p.m.

Passengers evacuated the train, the station filled with smoke and firefighters arrived and asked the T to shut power in both directions, from Community College to Tufts.

Read more.

By - 2/16/16 - 3:42 pm

The City of Boston Archaeology Program put together this animation showing changes in the land and water around Fanueil Hall over 400 years.

By - 2/16/16 - 11:45 am

UPDATE: Barney Fannings has gotten the OK to reopen.

ISD inspectors have shut several restaurants after their sprinkler pipes burst, flooding their kitchens with water and, in some cases, shutting off their water altogether, over the past three days. The tally so far:

Barney Fannings, 99 Broad St., downtown
Boston Beer Garden, 732 Broadway, South Boston
Upper Crust, 683 Tremont St., South End
Viga, 291 Devonshire St., downtown
Whiskey's Steakhouse, 885 Boylston St., Back Bay

By - 2/15/16 - 4:25 pm

It's been another busy day for firefighters as pipes across Boston freeze, burst and then pour water all over the place.

Elainy Mata shows us the scene at 73 Tremont St., where a pipe over a Citizens Bank ATM gave way this afternoon: Read more.

By - 2/15/16 - 4:06 pm

UPDATE, 5 p.m. Theaters have been re-opened.

The AMC Boston Common closed its doors after shooing patrons out around 2:30 p.m. due to some sort of security threat or maybe just burst pipes.

And then a worker put Closed until further notice signs on the doors.

By - 2/14/16 - 1:19 pm
Surveillance photo of Zachary Marr

Surveillance photo of Zachary Marr, outside the Boston Public Market.

Zachary Marr

Police in the town of Harvard are looking for a local man last spotted outside the Bell in Hand in Boston:

Zachary Marr, was last seen in Boston on 02/13/2016, in the area of the Bell in Hand Bar, and did not return home.

Read more.

By - 2/14/16 - 9:58 am
Sea smoke over Boston Harbor

When subzero air meets still liquid water, the result is "sea smoke," as our own Cybah shows us with this view of Boston Harbor this morning.

Eric Ballard videoed the sea smoke in action: Read more.

By - 2/12/16 - 10:21 am
The remains of the car on I-93 in Boston

The remains of the car on the Expressway. Photo by Ben.

State Police report a manhole on the southbound side of the O'Neill Tunnel became dislodged and went airborne - flying right into the windshield of a car and killing the driver. Read more.

By - 2/10/16 - 6:17 pm

The Boston Business Journal reports the 13,000 square feet at the top of Millennium Tower are under agreement. Although the name of the buyer is, of course, under wraps, the Journal reports he or she is local and that they intend to use the space as a "family residence." Also no word if their kids will attend a BPS school.

By - 2/10/16 - 6:01 pm
Crowded at North Station

Sdconnor shows us the scene at North Station around 5:30 p.m.:

People pushing through the crowd of delayed passengers to get to trains.