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Red Line to be shut for two hours between North Quincy and JFK/UMass for repairs

Damaged signal equipment at JFK/UMass

The car that derailed damaged signal equipment at JFK/UMass. Photo via MassDOT.

The MBTA reports it'll be shutting the subway line down at 11 a.m. to try to make signal repairs related to the derailment yesterday:

Shuttle buses replacing Red Line service in both directions between North Quincy and JFK/UMass from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM today to make repairs in the area of yesterday's derailment.

In a series of tweets this morning, the T explained the damage done by the car that derailed:

During the derailment, the train struck multiple signal bungalows outside of JFK/UMass. These are the sheds that house the hardware that controls our signal system.

Without the signal system, trains must be given permission from our Operations Control Center to move from one station to the next, one train at a time. This also means we need people along the tracks to physically set the routes to direct trains.

This failure prevents clear communication to train tracking, GPS apps, and countdown clocks. To avoid inaccurate predictions, we've turned off the countdown clocks across the Red Line.

Looking ahead, bungalows will need to be rebuilt, new signals & cables installed, tracks repaired. At this time, we can't say how long that will take.

For now, trains will continue to travel at slower speeds. We ask customers to allow extra time & use all available services.

We know this is a big ask. We sincerely appreciate all our riders' understanding and patience while crews work around the clock to fix this. We promise to keep updating you as more info becomes available.

Free tagging: 


Thats one way to get new signals



Unfortunate that all of that equipment is actually only a few years old.

And it all has to be tested.

Crumbling infrastructure, endless war, inept leadership, minority rule, the wealthy hoarding their money offshore, and ever increasing wealth disparity.

All we need now is an invasion from the Goths and this place is gonna fall like Rome.


If anything, it'll be an invasion of the post-punk kids that topples the empire.


If they're not already here.

Aren't the Techbros some of the ones the wealthy hoarding their money offshore, being a big part of ever increasing wealth disparity?

Like wealthy Romans gtfo towards the end and set up their own little kingdoms away from Rome, our tech bros have Randian visions of little islands run entirely on bitcoin.

Wouldn't the Goths be too full of angst and self-loathing to invade?
Besides, seems to me that Goths would scoff at invasions as "mainstream."

T-Alert says until 2, not 1.

Because they tweeted 1 p.m. earlier.

More likely they (understandably) just have no clue how long it will take.


Tweet has seemingly been deleted.

Pushed the '1' key into the '2' key right after it took out our 20th century space-age signaling equipment.

Someone pass me that astronaut ice cream.

At least they now have a real reason to delay trains because of signal problems at JFK/UMASS.


The State Department plans to issues an advisory to all tourists to use extreme caution while riding the MBTA.

Maybe we could get the military to invade the MBTA and rebuild it?

we'll have to take it away from you. "

So the entire signal infrastructure was housed in a plywood shed under the station? is there more of a prime example of why the T needs to updated infrastructure. I mean that is a joke and bad even by 1980's standards.


Noted before, but all that equipment is actually only 2-3 years old.

i know that some of the orange line equipment is on the platform. why not there.
also the communications and signaling software is supposedly the major hold up on teh new orange line trains. I though they were updating and upgrading the whole system, because it was all 10+ years old

Columbia Junction was rebuilt as its own project in 2014-2016 prior to doing other signal work:

And being under a bridge does help when it comes to bad weather. The building looks like a shipping container, which is when one would typically find. They could move the building to the Berkshires, I suppose, but having it next to the tracks does have an upside.

While I support the T updating its infrastructure (especially unglamorous things like this) I think it might be worth looking into how up to date the signaling infrastructure is to the south of us.

Under a bridge, sure, or in a room off a station. But 3 feet from the tracks?

Almost all rail signal equipment is in boxes right next to the tracks. This is because the property [aka right of way] is typically not much wider than needed for the tracks. And because it's convenient to have it right next to the tracks as all the cabling runs along said tracks.
This is also true for road signaling equipment which is what those metal boxes by curbs are for.

Rail and road equip are very different. This incident is called cutting corners

I'm pretty sure no one was suggesting moving it to the berkshires but great suggestion.

Seems like there is something between do nothing and "move it to the berkshires" like oh I don't know, upgrading the housing. Is it really any surprise that winter and rain create signal issues when this is the protection for electronics?

Like for real you find the need to respond with some snarky bullshit like "they could move it to the berkshires but having it close" hurmph and look at how crappy NY is at signals...huh?

when you carry that much water for the T you might find yourself submerged.

I mean, until a train hit it, it was doing it's job just fine. I'm sure that it has the proper HVAC to keep things as they should. I don't see why it would require something acceptable to your view of architecture. As for the location, I was going to note how proximity to the line is good, and thankfully someone else already did.

You don’t know my view of architecture, whatever that means.

As far as the housing it wasn’t fine until a train hit it. There are signal problems all the time at this junction. You are making assumptions about being sure it has all the hvac bells and whistles needed to “keep things as they should”. Given the reality of t infrastructure that’s quite an assumption on your part, and one I’m not willing to make.

Carrying that much water for the t must get heavy.

Form, function, history...? Wouldn't it have something to do with some of the infrastructure needing to be where the lines are, which connect the signals, which are along the tracks? Signals which (in this type of control system) are needed where tracks switch/branch/merge?

That's a good article about NYCTA & signals/train control. One bit of background - they mention testing new control technology on the L line. That's probably because the L line - rails, signals & rolling stock - is physically separated from all of the other lines. Just about any other NYCTA line (other than maybe the Staten Island RR and one of the shuttle lines) is directly connected with other lines and would present the possibility of test trains going out of upgraded areas and old-style trains entering areas controlled by new signal system.

Red Line train heel flips off track and crushes signal station at JFK. Charlie Baker pro skater.

"Signal bungalow"
Because I'm most familiar with the UK variation of the term, "bungalow" just conjures up for me a humble place of domestic leisure and recreation. Plus, it automatically makes me recall this bit of dialogue from a certain British TV show:

Mrs Little: "There was nothing we could do, Mervyn. If we'd have had the whole Philharmonic Orchestra in there, he'd still have gone."

Mervyn: "I'm going upstairs, I can't bear it."

Mrs Little: "There isn't an upstairs dear, it's a bungalow."

The MBTA is just being euphemistic in its choice of phrasing. "Signal Shack", while being pleasantly alliterative, is a bit too close to the truth of that construction. So they picked a word for a nicer and not quite as small building that has no relation to what they actually built.

"There's a crazy little shack beyond the tracks
And everybody calls it the signal shack
Well, it's just a storage facility and it's made out of wood
Its appearance and overall durability is not very good
That's not the reason why I've got to get back
To that signal shack, whoa baby
To that signal shack."

Signal bungalow is a term used by railroads throughout the continent.

No, bungalow is what they're called.

Do a google image search for "signal bungalow" and you'll see pictures of these things, "signal shack" and you won't.

I rode the red line earlier, and was sorry to see the countdown timers not working in the stations.

However, countdown information is still available via the MBTA's website. Click on the location box and choose "use my location". Your phone will (likely) confirm you want the MBTA to know your location. Once you choose okay, it will populate with your (approximate) address, and give you the train arrival predictions for the station you are in (along with any buses nearby).


Didn’t the developer of a close by large residential rental property said there was no need to have parking spaces because this development was close and short walk to JFK Station?

And that is still the case and will continue to be the case for the foreseeable future.

Your point?