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The train from West Gloucester was wicked late; it lost power and riders just had to wait - and wait

People trying to get into Boston from West Gloucester on commuter rail this morning had an extra 2 1/2 hours added to their trip when their train came down with what the T described as "a mechanical issue" somewhere between Chelsea and North Station.

At 10:02 a.m., the T reported that train 2102, the 8:13 a.m. train out of West Gloucester was running a tad late - like 55 to 65 minutes. Normally, the whole trip only takes about an hour.

Return of Sasha wasn't on that train, but the one scheduled after it, the more reliable 2104. At 10:53, she reported:

This train lost power and they're telling us on train 2104 that we might have to push them in.

She updated at 11:23:

We just connected to them below the encore boston harbor hotel in Everett. didn't expect to be a part of this today! at least im not in the train with no power, which i actually was planning on. it's wild.

At 11:30, the T increased its delay estimate:

Rockport Train 2102 (8:13 am from W. Gloucester) is stopped between Chelsea and North Station and is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes behind schedule due to a mechanical issue. It is being assisted by Train 2104 for continued service to North Station.


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You could walk from Chelsea to North station in half an hour, which is one fifth the reported delay

Voting closed 13

You are forgetting that it is not possible to walk over the Tobin Bridge.

Voting closed 19

The train was near the Encore, far from the Tobin Bridge. It was in the area of Sullivan Square and the Orange Line. However, it probably was dangerous to walk to the T. JMHO!

Voting closed 11

Would it have made sense for the T to rustle up a bus or two and send it over to the train and shuttle the riders to the Orange Line?

Voting closed 12

They probably could have just told all of them to get on the SL3 to South Station if the train had failed at Chelsea. But if it failed close to the casino, I can see how getting people off the train and to some sort of access point safely would be a problem -- there aren't a lot of good options.

Voting closed 15

where people could have been unloaded from the train and then walked through Encore to Route 99, which has several bus routes going to Sullivan.

Location of crossing

You'd still have a pretty long walk around the entire Encore building and grounds to get to a bus stop. Unless you brought shuttle buses into the driveway behind Encore.

From Chelsea, the 111 bus would have been another option, going to Haymarket.

Voting closed 14

I knew about the grade crossing. But it's still logistically difficult since they probably weren't stopped right at the grade crossing, and railroad tracks tend to be on embankments which are raised a couple of feet above surrounding property. So you have to get everyone out of the train without injury (the steps don't go down quite far enough) and then have people walk to the grade crossing. Keolis would also have to stop service on the northbound track until everyone had been shepherded to that point of egress or another.

Unless it's clear that the train isn't going anywhere for days (derailed or track is severely damaged) the safest option probably is to just wait for the next train to push it to North Station.

Voting closed 13

Would it have made sense for the T to rustle up a bus or two and send it over to the train and shuttle the riders to the Orange Line?

You see, the commuter rail, the buses, and the Orange Line are run by different divisions of the T, and it's completely unreasonable to expect them to interact with each other.

Voting closed 12

Commuter Rail mechanical unreliability is the biggest MBTA scandal that should exist but doesn't.

If your car broke down once a month, would you keep driving it, or get a different one? That's how often an MBTA locomotive fails on average.

What if it broke down in a way that blocked the entire road you were on, extending 40 miles back?

Other commuter railroads in this country are 10 to 100 times more reliable.

Voting closed 16