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T bus catches on fire on Huron Avenue in Cambridge

MBTA bus on fire in Cambridge

Intestinal Fortitude captured the scene when a 72 bus erupted in flames on Huron Avenue in Cambridge around 3 p.m. after overhead trolley lines fell on it. More photos of the flaming bus.

Cambridge Police report no passengers were injured; the driver was being evaluated.

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Move along. Nothing to see hear

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Voting closed 12

For the last month or so, they have been running electric trolley buses back and forth on the 72 route, always marked out-of-service. I was surprised, because its been years since they have run them on the route, and the Huron ave reconstruction was completed like 2 years ago with no sign of the return of electric trolleys, but maybe they have been testing the overhead wires in preparation for resumption of service. In any case, I guess the testing today failed.

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Voting closed 6

The city of Cambridge has been doing construction on Huron Avenue for the past three to four years (similar to what they did on the 73 Waverley route in Belmont), so rather than running trolley buses, the T has been running diesel buses.

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Voting closed 1

So wait...

erupted in flames on Huron Avenue in Cambridge around 3 p.m. after overhead trolley lines fell on it.

^^^ KEY mention here. So it wasn't the bus itself.

Of course the bigger question is, why did they fall at all. AND. Why are they electrified. They've been re-doing the harvard busway so trackless trolley service has been replaced with regular buses.

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Voting closed 9

The stops have changed to avoid the upper busway, but the trolleys are still running.

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Voting closed 6

With the Harvard bus tunnel closed, there would be no way to move buses between the garage in North Cambridge and the trackless routes in Watertown and Belmont, but the 72 route on Huron Ave allows the transfer of buses between the garage and the routes (fun fact: the 72 was the first ETB route the T ran). The 72 itself will mostly run diesels as it is planned to change its route to better accommodate passengers as part of the Better Bus Project, although there might be a supplemental electric bus on Huron at rush hour. However, because the wires allow buses to bypass the tunnel, they likely won't be going anywhere soon.

(Unless the T uses this as an excuse to get rid of the trolley buses, because why would you want a proven, zero-emission technology when you could use either more diesels or electric buses which work great except when it's hot or cold.)

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Voting closed 9

Correct fact: The Harvard-Lechmere line (now the Route 69) was the first Boston area trackless trolley line in 1936. The Huron Ave. line was converted in 1938, it is the oldest of the existing lines, but not the first

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Voting closed 1

If you don't think battery buses are up to the task of replacing trackless trolleys, then I assume you also don't think they are up to the task of replacing diesel buses (since the duty cycles are the same).

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Voting closed 4

Zero emission can't be true. You've just moved the emissions somewhere else.
With all the losses in an overhead distribution system. You might be better off with a few diesel buses. Anyone got some real numbers?

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Voting closed 5