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Orange Line halted by a smoke plume, but that's not what made riders fume

Around 6:30 a.m., the T advised riders they'd have to board shuttle buses between Wellington and Oak Grove due to smoke on the tracks in Malden. Finn reports some riders took the T at its word:

No station official at Oak Grove. Some people boarded the waiting train; others waited at Banks for a shuttle. Then the train left! Those outside angrily went inside, where an official showed up and told us "they put out the fire" and there is no shuttling.

Free tagging: 


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I got caught in this. At 6:05, the message boards at Malden Center switched to “this station is closed.” And there was an announcement saying shuttle buses would be used between Malden and Wellington. We saw workers walk off the platform and onto the tracks so I figured the third rail was off and this might be a while. We all headed down to the shuttle buses but there weren’t any yet. There was a regular bus to Wellington though and people were flocking to it. I asked the driver how long it would take to get toWellington and he says “it depends on traffic.” He couldn’t tell me the scheduled arrival time? He couldn’t tell me the route would take a half hour even with no traffic so I could make a more informed decision? If I had known it was so long, I’d have waited for an actual shuttle bus. I don’t know if they actually ran any shuttle buses but at least I’d have been at the station when the trains started moving a short time later. I understand the difficulty of handling emergencies and arranging shuttle buses and all that, but when they won’t convey information they know, it’s very frustrating. And it would help if they had staff at the station. There wasn’t anyone aside from the guys on the tracks.

I would like to say that when they were shuttling the Orange Line a few weeks ago (also for a track fire between Malden and Wellington), my shuttle driver was a great guy and really helped make the situation a lot better. I wish that experience was more common.

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