Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency; Related Service Issues

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Dick H
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Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency; Related Service Issues

Post by Dick H » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:03 pm

Gas leaks with many fires in Lawrence, North Andover area. MBTA trains and Downeasters are being held until further notice. 6PM 9/13.

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Disney Guy
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Re: 2018 Commuter Rail Delay Thread

Post by Disney Guy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:03 pm

Several street gas mains in Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence became overpressurized probably due to a malfunctioning gas substation pressure regulator. This caused damage to water heaters and other equipment in scattered homes and buildings throughout that area and some of the homes and buildings (reportedly about one hundred altogether) caught fire or exploded due to gas leakage from the damaged equipment.

Possible exterior damage to gas mains or equipment from the overpressure leading to an accumulation of gas in the atmosphere outside that, if near the railroad, could be ignited by a passing train.
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.

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Re: 2018 Commuter Rail Delay Thread

Post by BandA » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:45 pm

The Columbia Gas Company posted a news release on their website today about upgrades to the gas system occurring around the state. ... sachusetts

Gas explosions & fires began about 4:45PM

If you are from outside the area or living under a rock, 1 18yo dead when house exploded and chimney fell onto a car in the driveway. He was sitting in the car. 10 or 11 in the hospital with injuries from explosions and some smoke inhalation.

5 exit ramps on I-495 closed (entrance ramps open). Power has been shut off. Evacuations have been ordered, especially in south Lawrence.

Andover, North Andover, and Lawrence south of the Merrimack River affected. 38 fires in Andover alone, something like 70 fires overall. Nobody from the gas company had spoken to Andover as-of 9PM. Andover fire struck 10 alarms + summoned two "task forces" from the state.

I ASSUME and SPECULATE that the gas company somehow connected the high-pressure system to the low pressure system, or broke the pressure regulator. I ASSUME that this has nothing to do with National Grid locking out their gas workers, but I assume those workers weren't available for mutual aid. National Grid and Columbia Gas are completely separate companies AFAIK.

Obviously, MBTA & Amtrak could not operate through an uncontrolled gas leak / fire zone. Presumably railroad equipment is out-of-position and needs to be moved.....

Diverging Route
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Re: 2018 Commuter Rail Delay Thread

Post by Diverging Route » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:53 am

Haverhill line truncated at Reading today. Buses from Haverhill and Bradford to Anderson/Woburn where there will be free parking. Keolis says "additional capacity" on Lowell Line trains today; unknown yet if this means additional coaches on existing trains or supplemental service.

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Re: 2018 Commuter Rail Delay Thread

Post by GP40MC1118 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:55 am

Extra sets made it to Bradford yesterday. Everything back to Boston, so there's your increased capacity.
Two Downeaster sets in Boston too (685/687)


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Re: Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency; Related Service Issues

Post by Backshophoss » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:27 pm

Has MBTA been allowed to restore service for mon AM Rush?
Also read that there was a plane crash in Woburn area.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

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Re: Merrimack Valley Gas Emergency; Related Service Issues

Post by blackcap » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:48 pm

Service to Ballardvale, Andover, and Lawrence resumed today, albeit with speed restrictions in that area.

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