Kaitlin McKinley Becker

Communication Issue Causes Significant Delays for Commuter Rail Trains

The MBTA first announced a communication issue affecting trains at 2:15 p.m. Saturday

A communication issue with the MBTA caused "significant delays" for Commuter Rail trains heading in and out of North Station on Saturday, according to several tweets from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's commuter rail account.

Just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, the agency said the communication issue on the north side of the commuter rail network had been resolved and normal service had resumed for all trains.

The MBTA first announced a communication issue affecting trains at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, saying trains in and out of North Station may experience delays of up to 15 minutes. Almost four hours later, the MBTA updated commuters to say trains were now experiencing significant delays due to ongoing communication issues. 

The MBTA had said its agents were working to solve the communication system failure as soon as possible while they investigated the root cause of the outage.

All Newburyport and Rockport line trains were experiencing significant delays, with trains reported to be holding in place at 4:20 p.m. A Rockport train that left North Station at 2:20 p.m. was still stopped at Swampscott as of 4 p.m. Another Rockport train was stopped at a Beverly station following a 2 p.m. departure. The MBTA said at 4 p.m. that it remained stopped at Beverly.

A Newburyport train that departed North Station at 1:30 p.m. was unable to pull into Salem and was backed up to Swampscott where it remained stopped at 3:55 p.m.

At 5:40 p.m., the MBTA announced that shuttle buses were replacing Lowell line service between North Station and Lowell. An 11:30 p.m. train from North Station to Lowell was replaced by a shuttle bus.

Fitchburg trains and Middleborough/Lakeville trains were operating up to an hour behind schedule.

The agency said just after 6 p.m. that most of the trains are now able to move and it is working on resuming normal service on all lines.

Residual delays were reported by the MBTA around 7:15 p.m.

Real-time location and prediction information remain unavailable due to a technical issue that was not resolved Friday night.

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