Posted by Richard Davey, MassDOT Rail & Transit Administrator and MBTA General Manager
Dear MBTA customers,
The source of last night’s electrical fire is still under investigation. As a result of the fire, service on a portion of three subway lines (Green, Red, Orange) was shut down from 10pm to end of service last night. Signal wiring in a portion of the Red Line tunnel by Park St. Station was damaged which is what is causing delays in today’s service of approximately 15 minutes on the Red Line.
T operations and maintenance staff and Boston Fire personnel responded to the fire and evacuated passengers quickly, professional and efficiently. A team of T employees worked overnight to restore regular service (with delays) on the Red Line in time for the morning commute. Secretary Mullan and I were on scene throughout the morning.
You should know that 10-15 minute delays will continue on the Red Line for the the next week until the wiring is upgraded and replaced during the weekend of May 8th and 9th.
After the fires in September 2009 the T moved quickly to review, evaluate and address the wiring issues in the tunnels with the following actions:
1. A comprehensive review was undertaken and any immediate risks have already been addressed. Earlier this month, MBTA subway personnel initiated a “re-sectioning” project, which shortens power feeds in the Red Line. This will ensure that future disruptions will require busing for shorter distances, (i.e., that a lengthy shutdown such as last night’s which spanned six stations would be substantially shorter).
2. The MBTA’s 5-year Capital Improvement Program (approved this month by the MassDOT Board of Directors) includes $200M in power improvements including cables, substations and electrical systems.
3. Next fiscal year alone, the T will spend $37 million upgrading outdated cables and breakers along the Orange and Red Lines, including the section where last night’s fire occurred. This addresses a key point in the David D’Alessandro report issued in November.
Thank you for your patience as we work hard to address the impacts of last night’s fire.
South Station Expansion: 1980s Renovation posted on Jan 31
The South Station Expansion project is about improving transportation service through more train tracks and redesigned platforms; upgraded switches, signals, and other infrastructure; and new passenger amenities. The proposed expansion will protect and prepare the station for future demand as other efforts have done over …Continue Reading South Station Expansion: 1980s Renovation
New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Public Meeting Set posted on Jan 29
MassDOT is conducting a study of the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Corridor, a bridge that spans New Bedford Harbor. The swing bridge connecting the communities of New Bedford and Fairhaven is functionally obsolete, constrains marine traffic, and its opening results in extensive vehicle delays. This study …Continue Reading New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge Public Meeting Set
Winter Storm Update: Travel Ban Lifted, MBTA Open posted on Jan 28
The statewide travel ban has been lifted as of midnight. Motorists, especially those in the City of Boston and Eastern counties, are asked to use caution as MassDOT crews continue to plow and clear state roadways and ramps. Parking bans are still in effect in …Continue Reading Winter Storm Update: Travel Ban Lifted, MBTA Open