By adamg on Tue, 12/22/2009 - 4:23pm
A Red Line train derailed about 200 yards from Alewife station shortly after 4 p.m. today.
Channel 4 tweets no reported injuries, adds 65 people were on the train. Rick Nohl reports the train jumped the tracks about 200 yards from Alewife and that fire and MBTA crews on the scene were evacuating passengers to the station. He adds two cars of a six-car train came off the tracks.
As the T substituted shuttle buses between Harvard and Alewife, traffic along and around Mass. Ave. quickly came to a complete standstill. Commuters reported 2 1/2-mile backups around the Alewife rotary, said people were getting from Harvard to Alewife faster by walking than taking the bus. Traffic began backing up on the other side of the river on Storrow Drive as traffic jams radiated out of Harvard Square.
The D'Alessandro report pointed to potential problems in this particular stretch of the Red Line tunnel:
"Floating" slabs rest atop a series of rubber disks that are designed to absorb the vibration of a train as it travels along the track. Water leaking through the tunnel walls is creating several problems.
Just yesterday, the MBTA had to slow Red Line travel through Porter Square because leaking water had weakened a wall to the point of collapse.