Cold Weather Causes Delays for MBTA

The MBTA was urging commuters to give themselves extra time during their Monday morning commutes as the transit system continues to recover from both heavy snow and a prolonged cold snap.

Just before 9 a.m. Monday, the MBTA's T-Alert text message system was unavailable, although there were delays on both the subway and commuter rail lines. 
"We're working with @GovDSupport to resolve this ASAP and apologize for the inconvenience," read a tweet from the MBTA.

Just before 9 a.m., the MBTA's T-Alert text message system was unavailable, although there were delays on both the subway and commuter rail lines. 

"We're working with @GovDSupport to resolve this ASAP and apologize for the inconvenience," read a tweet from the MBTA.

On the Orange Line, the passageway at Downtown Crossing, from the Red Line southbound to Orange Line northbound, was out of service due to flooding.

There were moderate delays on the Blue Line due to a track problem between Wood Island and the Airport.

And moderate delays were also reported on the Red Line due to a disabled train at Harvard.

Wollaston Station was closed for renovation starting Monday, causing shuttle buses to replace Red Line service in both directions between Braintree and the North Quincy station.

Ten to twenty minutes delays were reported on the MBTA Commuter rail on the Greenbush, Middleborough/Lakeville, Fitchburg, Haverhill, Framingham/Worcester, Newburyport/Rockport, Lowell, and Providence/Stoughton lines.

While hundreds of MBTA employees and contractors have been working nonstop to keep the system functioning in extremely frigid conditions, delays were possible so officials wanted riders to plan an extra 15-20 minutes into their commute.

"I know there's a larger portion of my day that will just be eaten up by the commute," said Andrew Summerfield.

Green line cars at the Riverside Station in Newton were being left on overnight Sunday into Monday, staying warm.

Their doors, brakes and propulsion systems have been tested all weekend.

"Get it together, come on. People gotta be at work."

Alex Steidle, from Revere, says traveling by train this winter has been frustrating.

"It sucks because I come into work late all the time because of it. I take the train every day."

While most MBTA services are scheduled to operate as normal Monday, two morning Commuter Rail trips will not be running at all.

Train 900 (6:20 a.m. from Stoughton) will not run. Customers from Stoughton and Canton Center are advised to take Train 902 (6:45 a.m. from Stoughton) or Train 804 (6:00 a.m. from Providence), which will make additional stops at the following times: Canton Junction at 6:41 a.m., Route 128 at 6:47 a.m. (normally scheduled), and Hyde Park at 6:53 a.m.

The second train canceled Monday is Fitchburg Line Train 401 (6:25 a.m. from Boston). Customers are asked to board Train 491 (6:45 a.m. from Boston), which will be extended to make all stops between Littleton/Route 495 and Wachusett. This will result in a delay of up to 30 minutes to passengers who normally take Train 401 (6:25am from Boston). Train 408 (7:10 a.m. from Wachusett) will also make local stops to Boston, adding about 30 minutes to the trip.

Keolis has been using a portable jet blower to clear snow and ice from the rails.

"I think it's on the side of safety. I'd rather them say yo know, 15-minute delay becuase of whatever they need to do to make sure that the trains are running smoothing versus not knowing that," said Akeem Lloyd of Providence.

The MBTA's general manager has not been happy with the leadership at Keolis, telling them to raise their level of service. 

He checked back in with them on Sunday to make sure they are ready for Monday.

MBTA officials say the safety of its customers and employees continues to be the first priority but that they are making every effort to operate subway trains and buses at or near regular weekday schedules.

Ferry services will operate as normal, except for the Hingham ferry line, which is still out of service while the Hingham Dock is repaired. In the meantime, bus shuttle service continues to operate from the dock to the West Hingham Commuter Rail Station on the Greenbush Line.

"On behalf of the entire MBTA, I would like to thank our customers for their patience and support during this extraordinary cold snap," said MBTA General Manager Luis Ramírez. "I also extend my gratitude to our employees, contractors, and the communities in which we operate for their dedication and hard work under these extreme temperatures."

Commuters are encouraged to check the weather forecast, prepare for extremely cold temperatures, and exercise caution during slippery conditions. Officials also encourage MBTA customers to visit the MBTA website, sign up for and check T-Alerts, and follow the T on Twitter @MBTA as well as the commuter rail at @MBTA_CR where all service updates and the most up-to-date service information will be provided. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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