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Another fine mess on the B Line

One of the last trains on the B Line overnight, running through the Commonwealth Avenue and Chestnut Hill Avenue intersection around 1:30 AM, hopped the tracks. This normally wouldn't be a big deal, as it happens pretty regularly with the new Breda trains. Except, this time it hopped the track right into a power pole. The shorted power lines lit the train car on fire. About thirty people on board were able to get off safely but it's taken all morning and then some for officials to untangle the mess and realign the wheels to put the train back on the tracks to move it out of the way. As of 6 AM, the train is still in the middle of the intersection and the B Line is being bussed from BC to Babcock Street.

Of course, this all began over 4 hours ago, but it is just now "breaking news" on all of the local news agencies and television stations without a single article to link even at this hour.

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Comments

It's 7:35 and this is still the most information I can find about it posted anywhere. The news report didn't even give the exact location or that that portion of the green line was being bussed - things you'd think would be important considering it effects commuters.

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The T website would have said:

Due to an accident at (location), service has been disrupted on the green line on the B and E branches. B line service stops at (station) and E line service will run only to Brigham Circle.

The T will/will not be bussing in these areas. Bus routes 39 and (number) and (number) will be running on High Frequency Emergency Schedules (links).

Bus routs X Y and Z will be running on low frequency emergency schedules (links) due to the need for green line coverage.

Please consult emergency schedules and plan for delays. Consider alternate routes and modes of transit during the morning commute.

Thank you for riding the T.

You wake up, you check the web or hear about it on the radio, and then you either shift your plans or bug your neighbor for a ride to Cleveland Circle or drop you off near work. The reduced demand and surprise cuts the load on the system because people can divert or make alternative arrangements or work from home or grab their bikes or what have you until the emergency has passed.

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http://wbztv.com/local/trolley.fire.green.2.723561...

With video... but yeah a little late.

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At least not past Brigham Circle and it looks severely limited even on that stretch. They have a guy posted at Heath Street, but he's not really bothering to tell anyone about the lack of trains. It wasn't until the third 39 bus came that he told me and I was waiting at Heath Street the whole time. This isn't like shuttle service where the bus itself is a clue, after all.

No one is telling the people waiting at the street stops. Making things worse, my bus skipped the Mission St stop, too. Seems like too much of a coincidence for this to be going on while the B Line is FUBAR, but who knows. MBTA.com mentions the B Line but no warning about

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I didn't see a single train from Heath Street to Longwood, and I did see big crowds at every stop...which means there hasn't been any E-line trains at all.

Did the green line director retire this morning?

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The E line disruption is still not mentioned online. I get that its not their biggest problem, but the reality is that some people prefer to take the train rather than the #39 bus and they need to be telling those people that a train isn't coming. Seems like no one cares to do that.

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The E Line has been going to Health Street at least since 10:30am this morning. I work right at Bringham Circle and they have been going past Bringham towards Health.

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I don't know what fantasy land you live in.

I didn't see a single train from heath to longwood- none at heath, none on the lines, none waiting at brigham which is their quasi-staging area.

People who gave up and got on the 39 were complaining to each other about having been there more than half an hour.

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I saw one leave Bringham heading towards Health and one coming from Health. They weren't running this morning when i got ot work around 7:45am(I saw the guy using the switch) but when I went out for my smoke break this morning they were running all the way out again. Maybe you should go get your eyes checked.

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...because the crowds of people standing around waiting were not doing so because of the pleasant weather.

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I avoid the E line like the plague and opt for the #39 cause Bringham is always packed with people waiting for a train. I was just outside again and they are still running all the way to Health.

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I would guess all the E-line trains were trapped in the BC yard. Or, alternately, stolen to run outbound on the B-line.

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Stealth reports sitting on a bus all the way to Kenmore because trolleys can't turn around at Babcock - no matter what the media or the T's own Web site claim.

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Just saw that they are bussing BC to Washington and transferring to train there now. Sad that we're more up to date than the MBTA or any other news source...

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I used to live a block away from the Commonwealth / Chestnut Hill Ave. intersection, and the tracks there have been in a bad state for a long, long time. A derailment there was always one of my worst fears, as the curve combined with the state of the track caused a lot of wheel popping that made waiting for an inbound train on the incredibly-narrow-to-the-point-where-it’s-unsafe Chestnut Hill platform a bit harrowing.

I’ve always believed that if a train were to derail anywhere on the B Line, this is where it would happen.

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My boyfriend actually caught a woman last fall when she was hit by the train at this stop, catching her before she was knocked into the morning traffic on Comm Av.

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The train derailed and knocked her into traffic... or was she standing on the tracks as the conductor was frantically beeping for her to move?

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The platform is narrow and trains "swing" on a curve in a manner not accounted for by the width of the yellow strip (which assumes a straightaway).

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I suspect they were talking about the painfully short platform at Chestnut Hill Ave. There are spots where there isn't much more than the yellow safety line.

Like here.

Even after it widens, the "safe" place to stand isn't any larger than the safety line. It doesn't take a derailed train for someone to be knocked into the street. We're talking about a few inches between being hit by a train and standing in the street, so the "sweet spot" is very limited.

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At least the outbound platform pictured in that link gets noticeably wider closer to the intersection. The inbound is a disaster waiting to happen.

A derailment any further down the track would have easily killed anyone waiting for the train.

The stations outside the sphere of influence of BU and BC don't get fancy things like room to stand, or traffic barriers.

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The outbound does get better up at the front, but it also has that frightening taper into nothingness that the outbound side doesn't have IIRC. Basically, both suck in their own ways.

I'd note, though, that Chestnut Hill is absolutely within the sphere of influence of BC. Heck, you can see one of their shuttle buses going down Comm Ave in that pic. That actually makes for a fun little race. The Google Car almost catches up to it before it turns at Wallingford.

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I had a text message about this from the MBTA at 4:30 AM. Not perfect but still something. You can sign up on the T web site and also have them send messages to regular E-Mail or Blackberry, etc.

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Anyone else find it totally ridiculous how many T employees were hanging out around this fine mess? How many were actually working on resolving the problem?? And this was at 9:30 this morning.

Meanwhile, the #86 could barely turn on to Chestnut Hill Av from Comm Av (already having been rerouted) because a transit cop car and a T pick-up truck were almost completely blocking the road.

Boston's and organized labor's finest, right there.

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Loads of 'em just standing around, wearing their orange safety vests. BC Station - about a mile away from the scene. Great.

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