Downtown

By - 3/1/16 - 4:39 pm
Two suspects in downtown stickups in Boston

Guy on left wanted; guy on right arrested.

Boston Police report arresting Jose Manuel Lopez on charges he was sticking up pedestrians at knifepoint in recent weeks downtown. Read more.

By - 2/29/16 - 10:53 pm
Interesting sky over downtown Boston

Erica Mattison looked up this afternoon (about 45 minutes before somebody in the South End was nearly blinded by the setting sun reflecting off the other side of the tower).

By - 2/29/16 - 6:42 pm
Millennium Tower

Marc Choquette gives us a taste of his new afternoon ritual at his office at 500 Harrison Ave. in the South End: Having his retinas fried to a cinder by the blinding light reflected off Millennium Tower.

By - 2/25/16 - 1:40 pm

The Fort Point Boston Blog reports on efforts by the Boston Preservation Alliance, The Friends of the Northern Avenue Bridge and the Fort Point Neighborhood Association to make sure the now unusable bridge is eventually restored. Read more.

By - 2/25/16 - 8:33 am

Some sort of power problem at Back Bay means the T is urging people headed for downtown points to use the Green Line instead. Meanwhile, The Management reports:

Stuck at Aquarium and i can't even see the penguins. Blue Line delay due to "signal problem" at Orient Heights.

By - 2/23/16 - 10:10 am
Peering down a hatch near the Charles River at North Station

Peering down a gap on the North Station side of the river. Photo by Margaret Phan.

UPDATE: The Globe reports police have video that appears to show Marr falling into the river.

A Boston Police dive team and other searchers have returned to the Charles River near North Station, where crews searched last week for evidence related to the disappearance of Zachary Marr, last seen outside the Bell in Hand and the Boston Public Market on Feb. 13. Read more.

By - 2/22/16 - 4:13 pm

RoadTrip New England met him in Liberty Square.

By - 2/22/16 - 8:38 am
Protesting winter in Boston

Bcole took in a protest against winter outside South Station this morning.

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.