Here's something that's almost beyond belief: Three of four subway lines causing grief

The MBTA says power problems downtown are causing delays of up to 25 minutes on the Green, Blue and Orange lines.

The last time something like this happened was in 2009, when a worker accidentally disconnected the second main power line feeding the T while the first line was being repaired.


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T website says 30+ minutes.

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T website says 30+ minutes.

Blue Line issues between Airport ant Gov't Ctr.
Orange Line issues between DTX and North Station
Green Line issues between Copley and North Station.

All C and D trains are terminating at Kenmore eastbound. Only B trains are running between Kenmore and Copley.

Calling Ed Markey

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I wish our political leaders in Washington could concentrate on local issues like the MBTA instead of global issues which they can't solve.


I think I'm missing something

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How would a member of the United States Senate be able to help with electrical supply issues, which occur less than yearly, on a local transit system? I mean, other than pushing for increased transit funding, which I am sure he does. I mean, look at all the federal money going to things like the GLX and South Coast Rail.


Calling your civics teacher

He or she has some leftover work to do.

Senators and Representatives to the US Congress are there to represent us in the making of NATIONAL laws and the handling of NATIONAL issues.

You need to talk to your state and local reps about local issues.


Public transit and many other local issues

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are almost always federally funded. Our U.S. Reps and Senators play a very important role in obtaining federal funding. Their #1 job in D.C. Is absolutely representing their state and district.

This thread confuses me

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In an earlier comment, you answered your own question. Funding from the FTA goes to much more than the GLX and SCR (for example, Wollaston Station's complete renovation, for merely one example). At the federal level, I'm not sure much more can happen aside from providing additional funding through federal grants. I don't know the history of how MA Senators have secured that, but as a matter of fact, that's what US Rep Capuano was doing. As Pressley has replaced him, and as far as I know, is not on the same House commission for transportation and transit, I've yet to see how we've replaced that advocacy. But, to piggyback on your other concern, I'd agree that there are things we could be doing to create new means of funding for initiatives like this at the state and local level, without getting into the specific policy ideas floating around. From what I know, a lot of what's preventing accelerated progress is the lack of staffing to allow oversight of new construction and improvement projects.

I do believe

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You answered better than I did.

Congress doesn’t provide solutions to problems like this. The provide the money for the solutions.

Ah, got it.

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Not sure if that point got across to me in the original post. The more money we have for the engineering solutions, the better. I hope everyone understands that. Personally, I need to read up on why the MBTA doesn't create its own power anymore, just out of curiousity.


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Let's blame it on the parade......oh wait.

The parade actually helped us in this respect

We got a good view of how the system will fail once the Mayor's tens of thousands of new homes are complete, and future residents need to get to work. We'll get to witness this again during the July 4th celebrations.


Its probably time for an Expansion Moratorium

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I know it may not be popular but its needed. Warren, Markey, Pressley, Lynch etc. need to hold the MBTA and MassDOT accountable. No more federal funding until they fix what they have.


Kinda ironic using "No Big Dig" Reagan for your jab

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You do realize Reagan called out the Big Dig for being a disaster in the making. In 1987, Ron nearly saved Boston from its 25 Billion disaster. Reagan would have given a thumbs up to a Boston moratorium


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Red line is down too. Ain’t nobody goin’ nowhere.

No issues with Northside commuter rail

I wonder if the comfortably full train was because of the delays elsewhere?

I left my office at 5:20, train boarded at 5:40 and I got a seat, left on time, no delays to West Medford and I was home with my bike by 6:10. Pretty efficient for once.

Here was the weird thing for me

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I went from Back Bay to Forest Hills during all of this, and the commute was 10 minutes longer. All in all not that bad, but then again I wasn't heading into the belly of the beast.

Signal power problem

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The trains seem to have ample power. The power at several stations appears to be out, with backup emergency lights on and faregates open. Track signals have lost power, causing most of the delays.

Serious question. How can a system be designed with a single point of failure that takes down three subway lines? It would seem to be availed of Engineering 101.


The question is, "who's cable."

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This is clearly a failure of alternating (AC) current feeding a series of points in the central subway system. AC power comes from Eversource in Boston and purchased by the MBTA for use in its stations for the Charlie Gates, a majority of lighting, and powering its signal systems. Was the cable Eversource's or something that the MBTA supports once inside their property jurisdiction? From the sounds of things and TV reports the feeder line was Eversource's so the failure may have been out of the MBTA's hands. Eversource feeds this power to the MBTA in numerous locations throughout its territory, and in those areas where applicable the AC power comes from other companies sych as National Grid, etc.

The trains were running fine on direct current (DC) at an average of 600 volts. The delays were caused by the signal failures and the need to have an MBTA person on the platform to relay (and confirm) a train's position and get permissions by the dispatcher via 2-way radio to move to the next station platform. This is not an MBTA choice or policy. They were following federal regulations that define what you do when something like this happens. So before we blame the MBTA, let's consider that they were following the laws that govern transit systems.

As to some lights in stations working, that is genius on the part of those who designed the systems in the early 1900s. Those lights are actually operating off the 3rd rail power at 600 Vols DC. Look up; they are clearly marked as such. These lights are a part of a series-parallel DC power circuit that helps to assure that proper voltage and current is maintained along the length of the system. These "bleeders" are as much a part of the circuit as the trains are. The genius is that the designers used the current to provide extra lights. These lights serve other purposes but this is the one that applies to this conversation.

So as much as we may love to hate the T, there are other players in this situation that may be at fault and while there were delays they were following the rules set forth by federal regulators.


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It happens often, multiple lines going down. Commuters play MBTA BINGO. We almost got full coverage today!

You don't invest in a car

Cars are real property, but are actually consumables.

Getting this through my adolescent head when I was taking Personal Finance II in my junior year was one of the more important financial things I have learned in life.

Then by that definition

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Every car that isn't an original classic is a POS. The only cars that go up in value are museum pieces. If you buy a car as an investment, you're doing it wrong. If you buy it as a consumable, you at least know what you're getting yourself into.

You're like a person who buys a boat thinking that the purchase is the only time they have to put out any money.

POS cars

POS cars don't decline in value as much as Nice Cars.

You buy a new car for $30K and drive it 15K miles in a year, the value will drop $5K.

You buy a POS for $3K and drive it 15K miles in a year, the value will drop $500.


Just run the numbers before you buy the load. Include insurance, taxes, maintenance, parking costs, fuel, time spent in traffic that you can't work, etc. Those cost a lot more than people think.

One of these might be even better yet for large portions of the year. Costs a lot less than a brake job or set of tires for an automobile, or even a gym membership.