What to Know
- MBTA officials took several precautions overnight to make sure subway cars and commuter rail trains could withstand the bitter cold.
- Precautions included storing as many trains as possible in tunnels and having maintenance teams continually open and close doors.
- The third rail was also tested overnight and crews were stationed strategically throughout the system to address any issues.
Delays were reported on MBTA trains and buses on Thursday morning due to the extreme cold.
The Boston Globe reports that commuter rail trains were late leaving South Station and North Station in Boston. There were also delays on the Stoughton, Haverhill, Needham, Franklin, Middleborough, Providence and Greenbush lines. A Keolis spokesperson told the Globe that some commuter lines saw 5 to 15 minute delays.
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The Red Line also experienced minor delays due to a disabled train at Alewife and some buses were delayed as well.
Alewife was even trending on Twitter on Thursday morning as a result of the Red Line delays.
"How is it a 'minor' delay when I've been sitting in an idle train at #alewife for the past 15 mins?" Twitter user @faithkeln said.
"Every day this week has been something else," added @TravizNavidad. "I go from Alewife to Downtown Crossing, which should take 25-30 minutes and every day this week has been about an hour. I'm tired. I'm sooooo tired of it."
"How is it that with modern technology, public transportation in Boston runs FAR more inefficiently than it did 50 years ago when I was a kid?" said @chaplinlives. "If I remember correctly, we had cold winters then too."
Rider Sidney Trantham, who takes the T daily, said aside from the frigid cold, her commute was easy."I took the Silver Line I took the orange train and so far no delays," Trantham said.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority took several steps to make sure their subway cars and commuter rail trains could withstand the bitter cold, including storing as many trains as possible in tunnels.
For the trains that were kept in the rail yards, maintenance teams kept them moving continually and opened and closed doors so that nothing would freeze. Heaters for switches and the critical third rail was also tested overnight.
Crews were also stationed strategically throughout the system to address issues as they pop up, primarily watching for broken rails because of the ice cold temperatures.
"If you have broken rail, that is a service suspension," said Jeff Gonneville, MBTA deputy general manager. "By having these teams, it allows us to minimize the impact."
Similar precautions were taken on the commuter rail.
Commuters who use the MBTA daily say they are trying to keep their expectations reasonable.
"The good thing is that pretty much everybody’s on the same page and understanding that the T is kind of a wish-wash in bad weather. So you can always go to work and say, 'Oh, the T,'" said commuter Justin O’Connor. "It’s a fun topic of conversation in the morning."