Orange Line rush hour problems

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Orange Line rush hour problems

Postby jwhite07 » Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 pm

A small fire at Downtown Crossing northbound shut down the Orange Line for about half an hour just after 4pm. When I arrived at Downtown Crossing, there was a thin haze of smoke in the station, but despite it, a southbound train pulled in and I got on the lead car, glad to be dodging that mess just in time. Or so I thought.

When we made our station stop at Chinatown, I heard the ratchet-clank of a handbrake being applied eminating from the operator's cab, and thought "uh oh... that sounds like we're going to be here for a while". Sure enough, the guard comes on the PA and announces that we were going to be standing by for a while due to "power problems". I correctly deduced this as related to the fire at Downtown Crossing - Boston Fire Department wanted the third rail power shut off because they were going to be in the track pit. I overheard the Central Control dispatcher calling trains at North Station and Ruggles and everywhere in between, telling them to hold at their location and apply handbrakes.

The third rail power was then shut down between State Street and Chinatown, and all of the lights in our car went out except for the battery-powered emergency lights. We sat for about 20 minutes like that. The guard was very good about making announcements every so often apologizing for the delay and saying we'd get going as soon as possible. At least we were at a station and the doors were open, and some folks had gotten off and were milling about on the platform or gave up and left (I had only one stop to go, but I didn't particularly feel like getting soaked).

Finally I overheard the okay to restore power and shortly after that the lights blinked back on and the air compressors started humming again. It took a few minutes longer for us to actually get going again because there was apparently a balky door stuck open somewhere in the train. I bailed out at New England Medical and had to make my way through a pretty impressive crowd of people waiting for the train I had just gotten off.

Another adventure commute!
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Postby caduceus » Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:44 pm

I got down to the Oak Grove platform about 4:20pm. I noticed the haze around the collection area, but three was a train at the platform and bolted for it - but it was complete packed. They closed the doors and it pulled out.

That's when I noticed therest of the platform was empty except for several firefighters and an MBTA inspector. After the train pulled out, they were looking in to the pit, but I didn't notice anything, and it appeared that they were leaving.

Another train pulled up - but stopped short of the station, and sat there...and sat there...and sat there. No announcements over the PA, and the platofrm was getting crowded. By about 4:32pm, it hadn't moved, and I had to - took the Red Line to Porter to still catch the express. Made it just in time - only to find out that flooding was delaying it...

The T knows I'm leaving for a long weekend.
First Law of Public Transportation: You can never be early, but you can always be late.
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Re: Orange Line rush hour problems

Postby NealG » Fri Apr 02, 2004 9:48 am

jwhite07 wrote: The guard was very good about making announcements every so often apologizing for the delay and saying we'd get going as soon as possible.

Announcements are so important. Nothing makes me more annoyed than to be waiting on a platform or being on a delayed train with no announcements of delays. As long as they let people know whats going on, I feel satisfied. It makes me think that they actually have things in control.
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