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Morning does not become the Red Line; Orange Line also isn't fine

Major delays on the Red Line this morning. At Quincy Center, a train died and one car filled with smoke. Then the doors wouldn't open. Kerstin Haley reports:

People busted open the windows to let people out.

The Orange Line is also having its problems - once you could get to the trains. JTGard6306 reports:

Oak Grove is literally biggest disaster ive ever seen in my life. Accidents, fights, ZERO spots. AVOID!

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...thankfully the T and local FDs have lots of experience with rapid transit related fires.

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Another one to forward to the IOC!

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What if an IOC member comes [to ride the Orange Line or the far reaches of the Red Line] to do an independent spot inspection? They might somehow get the idea that this city isn't ready for this shit

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Ride the subway?! IOC members' idea of public transit is black car service.

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Okay, I get it. Your world ends at the Charles, but if you look at cities building up their infrastructure for big events, even 6 months from the Olympics or World Cup or whatever things tend to be Snafued. Trust me, the IOC will not be looking at the aftermath of a snowstorm in 2015 as a judge for how the MBTA will be in 2024. What they might look at would be commitments to infrastructure upgrades (in this case, the new cars on order, surprise surprise, for the Orange and Red lines) to make sure Boston will have a means to transport people 9 years from now.

The IOC were worried about infrastructure on Salt Lake City, Athens, Sochi, and now Rio. That a train caught fire in Quincy today is no different than when trains caught fire in London 9 years before they hosted the games.

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I was in QC when this train pulled up. At first it looked like the train had overshot the station, until the doors finally opened except for one car, that was lights out on the inside. Then, you hear a loud whining noise and notice black smoke coming from the car with the doors closed.

About 2-3 minutes go by as more smoke pours out from this car and you notice the motorman run past, but paying little attention to this smoking car. That's when people notice they're still passengers inside this car, as Quincy Center fills with smoke.

I notice two guys trying to pry open one of the doors with their bare hands, but its no use. I run over to help out a couple of gentlemen trying to do this, and you can hear people start to panic on the inside.

Then someone next to us does the only thing left to do and starts booting the windows. Others catch on and yell for people to stand back from the windows as they kick them in. Once they are smashed we start helping people climb out thru the windows one by one.

It was absolute chaos for a few minutes, but thanks to some quick thinking Quincy residents we were able to help out some terrified T riders.

https://www.reddit.com/r/boston/comments/2u2oxp/red_line_train_on_fire_a...

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Aren't there emergency door release levers, accessible from outside the car via those little square openings on either side of the doors? (In the picture below, one can be seen in the middle of the creepy stewardess' neck.) If so, this knowledge should be made available for use in emergencies such as this.
IMAGE(http://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/img_6675.jpg)

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I was wondering this myself. There's ones on the inside and outside.. why weren't these used. I know they aren't well marked but the T a few years ago explained where they were...

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I didn't know about the ones outside the car, but there's one inside the car, yes? Did any of the passengers try that? If they did (and it didn't work), I wonder if the outside release would have done any better.

Big hooray for the T employee running by a closed car full of asphyxiating passengers. That's some customer service, all right.

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It's train dependent but they are under the first seats next to the door. Its a little door you pull up and there's a lever.

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...one class of Red Line cars does not have the outside door releases (the black rubber circles). It's either the 01500's or the 01600's, but from one photo, it looks like it was the car in question. If they aren't there on the outside, the ones under the seat inside (which aren't well advertised good reason - don't want people opening a door onto the third rail) might not be there, either.

You can always open the doors to the next car to move away from a smokey car (emergency only, obviously). There are emergency pulls to unlock the end doors (and dump the brakes, stopping the train) on the doors at either end.

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I heard the problem was not a fire, but a "runaway motor", essentially meaning a short results in the motor and wheels on one axle spinning while the train is stopped. That generates the "whirring" noise and produces a lot of smoke as the brake shoes are burned off and the spinning steel wheels are grinding into the steel rail. The solution is usually to cut power to the motors either by locking them out from within the train, or if that doesn't work, actually lifting the third-rail shoes along the side of the car. It appears this problem was compounded by door failure in the car, and thus people not wanting to wait until the power to the motor was cut.
There is an emergency door release on the doors at the end of each car (the door leading either to the motorperson's cab or the next car). The older Red Line cars however don't have the external door release levers near the bottom of each platform-side door leaf.

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Friday Globe story noted that the doors not opening on the car was not a door failure, but was a direct result of the wheels's still spinning on one of the axles:

"He said the “doors functioned correctly for today’s incident” because they are not supposed to open when the train is still moving. Because of the propulsion failure, some of the car’s wheels were still spinning during the stop, which caused the doors to stay closed, according to Pesaturo."

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Claiming there was no malfunction of the door mechanisms completely overlooks the fact that passengers were trapped in a car filling with smoke, with no apparent means of escape.

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is exactly what PR types are paid to do. However, what is inexcusable is when MSM outlets like the Glob(e) accept obvious BS at face value.

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I believe my train was directly behind the disabled one. It took us about 45 minutes to get from Braintree station to Quincy Center, where we had to disembark so that our train could push the one in front of it.Quincy Center was a mess, with the usual rush hour crowds trying to cram onto a couple of buses heading to JFK (I saw one leave with a guy standing in the stairwell right next to the door). I decided to head home rather than to spend another hour+ getting to my office in North Cambridge; I really feel for those who don't have that flexibility.

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How much time needs to pass before we can blame Charlie?

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In between taking turns lavishing praise on the governor, could someone fit in a question about the collapse of our public transporation system?

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Send a question yourself. Granted, it's only to the mayor's office and not the governor, but this campaign is everyone's chance to help shape the conversation around the future of transportation in Boston.

goboston2030.org

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Before the Olympics guys start playing around with how to spend money to ruin the Boston Common, they better fix the MBTA first!!!!

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http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/27971845/smoke-forces-red-line-passenge...

An MBTA spokesperson said that there was no emergency, and added that it was unclear why someone kicked out the window. The spokesperson did say that the train's propulsion system resulted in a burst of smoke on the train.

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Never heard the expression "Where there's smoke there is usually no fire?"

People on the T need to chill out and stop booting out windows for no reason. Check your paranoia.

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The customer is always wrong

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