• MBTA, Commuter Rail delay riders on coldest day of winter

    By: Sharman Sacchetti


    BOSTON - On Tuesday, the coldest day so far this winter, the MBTA and Commuter Rail had several problems that caused delays for people across the state.

    “The MBTA apologizes to its customers who were adversely impacted by this morning's track problem on the Red Line and the derailment on the Haverhill Line,” a statement from the MBTA said.

    The problems were largely created by the cold weather.

    “We are sorry that today's cold snap disrupted the commutes of some of our commuter rail and red line customers,” Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack said.

    One of the major problems was a broken rail on the Commuter Rail that caused a derailment on the Haverhill Line.

    “Service was impacted on all lines out of North Station simply because those train sets couldn’t serve Newburyport, Rockport, Haverhill and Fitchburg,” Keolis spokesman Mac Daniel said.

    Passengers were told to board buses between stops, but often times they said there was not a train where they arrived.

    “They had initially four or five buses that took us from Bradford to here and now most of them are gone and people are sitting here, people are trying to keep warm it's just a little ridiculous,” one rider said.

    The Red Line was a major focus of this summer's $83 million winter resiliency work, but it still had several problems.

    “It was not possible in one season to fix all of the problems of the system,” Pollack said.

    They say the incidents today aren't representative of what commuters should expect.

    "We certainly at Keolis and the MBTA are confident that we’re ready for this winter, I would hope that commuters wouldn’t take this as an indication of service from now on in,” Daniel said.

    Commuters are not pleased, and say there shouldn't be fare increases with such poor service. 

    Commuter Susan Laniewski said, "I've been riding the MBTA since1993 and in the past 5 years it's gotten to the point where it's not worth riding anymore."

    • A track issue at Savin Hill caused moderate delays on the Red Line. Buses replaced between JFK/UMass and Ashmont in both directions.
    • A track issue on the Red Line near Central caused severe delays in both directions.
    • Disabled trains at Kenmore, Haymarket and Woodland caused moderate delays on the Green Line.  A disabled train caused minor delays on the Red Line Braintree branch.



    • All trains on the Haverhill Line were behind schedule and multiple trains were canceled due to a major track problem between Lawrence and Andover.
    • Greenbush and Stoughton Line trains were delayed due to a crossing malfunction.
    • Track issues were widespread and either delayed or canceled multiple Lowell, Fitchburg, Newburyport/Rockport, Middleborough/Lakeville and Kingston/Plymouth Line trains.
    • Multiple Greenbush and Rockport Line trains were operating behind schedule due to signal problem.
    • Newburyport Trains were behind schedule due to a switch problem near North Station.
    • Lowell and Providence/Stoughton Line trains were either cancelled or behind schedule due to mechanical issues.

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    MBTA, Commuter Rail delay riders on coldest day of winter