Chaotic Commute: Severe Delays on Commuter Rail, Amtrak Trains

Amtrak has been unable to fix the signal issue in time for the PM commute; new departure stations will be announced

Massive delays continue for many rail passengers trying to get in and out of Boston.

A problem with a signal operated by Amtrak outside South Station, the city's busiest commuter hub, has prevented most commuter rail trains from entering the station on Thursday.

The issues are leaving commuters frustrated.

"It took me three hours to get in and I have no idea how long it's going to take me to get home tonight," said Lisa Gleaby.

"Is this a world class city or is it a third world country?" asked Jeffrey Beard. "Absolutely laughable that we're stuck here, can't get home, this is ridiculous. You work hard, you pay your taxes, and you get this? It's abominable. Ridiculous."

MassDOT says Amtrak has been unable to resolve the track signal issue, and that new departure stations for the evening commute are as follows:

  • Fairmount Line: Trains will originate/terminate at Newmarket Station, with a bus between Newmarket and South Station
  • Framingham/Worcester Line: Trains will start/end at Back Bay
  • Providence/Stoughton: Trains will start/end at South Station
  • Needham Line: Trains will start/end at Back Bay; approximately on schedule from Back Bay
  • Greenbush Line: Trains will start/end at Quincy Center
  • Franklin Line: Trains will start/end at Back Bay
  • Middleboro Line: Trains will start/end at JFK/UMass Station
  • Kingston/Plymouth Line: Trains will start/end at Braintree

MassDOT advises anyone taking lines other than Providence/Stoughton not to go to South Station.

As a result, passengers heading into the city have been forced to get off trains before the station and transfer to other transit lines or, in some cases, walk the remaining distance.

Amtrak has also warned travelers of potential 1-2 hour delays.

A frustrated Gov. Charlie Baker said during his monthly "Ask the Governor" segment on WGBH-FM that his administration has asked Amtrak if the signal would be fixed by the afternoon rush hour and Amtrak could not give a definitive answer.

Passengers should expect delays to continue Friday morning.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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