An apparent electrical fire on an inbound Red Line train at Central filled the train and then the station with smoke around 9 a.m., as passengers were evacuated, Cambridge firefighters rushed down into the station and the T kept tweeting increasing delays due to what it only called "a mechanical problem."
By 10 a.m., the T was reporting delays of up to an hour and the rolling out of substitute buses between Davis and Park.
Christine Jacobson, who was on the train, reports:
Day is off to a banner start with my MBTA red line train filling up with smoke and being decommissioned at central station, which was consequently also filled with smoke.
Everyone was safe when I exited, just lots of people covering their nose and mouths to protect from the smoke. I did not take any photos - I just got out of there fast!
Central Square Florist reports Cambridge Fire responded in force:
State Rep. Mike Connolly reports:
Here in Central Square where there was an electrical fire on an inbound MBTA Red Line train during rush hour this morning. T staff say the fire has been put out, but “it’s smokey as hell down there.” Thank you to @CambridgeMAFire for keeping us safe.
At first, the T reported delays of just 15 minutes. Cathy MacDonald, stuck at Harvard, snorted:
The delay is actually longer than 15 mins. We’ve been sitting here at Harvard for 15+ minutes, jam packed on the car, and unable to hear the announcements from the operator.
And riders elsewhere on the Red Line reported they were delayed as well. Chris Kupa at JFK/UMass, wondered where buses were for riders like him:
We’ve been sitting at JFK for 25 minutes. Get all the busses rolling. People need to get to work out here too!
Riders getting off a substitute bus at Park Street (photo by Myron Freeman):
Meanwhile, back at Central, the Red Line cavalry has arrived (photo by Mike Connolly:
At 10:07 a.m., Connolly added:
The inbound side of the tracks remains closed. Additional MBTA staff are now here helping riders board shuttle buses to Park Street. I’m sorry to report this has been another morning in the ongoing transportation disaster in Massachusetts.