Vandals Tag Two Old MBTA Trolleys On Display at Boylston Street Station

Police are on the hunt for the alleged culprit.

Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear

Transit Police are trying to figure out who painted their mark on two historic trolleys on display at the Boylston Street station this week.

Peering in between the small holes of the metal gate that separates passengers from the two vehicles, a T employee, who was not authorized to give his name, said he was in shock at the extensive graffiti that was tagged along the sides of the trolleys, in large black and white lettering.

“Man, someone tagged that up real good,” the T employee said, surveying the damage.

Officials from the MBTA said they’re turning to video surveillance to try and nail whoever may be responsible for the graffiti found Tuesday. In the meantime, the black-and-white taggings remain an eyesore to the general public congregating on the platforms nearby, waiting for their Green Line trains to arrive.

“I’m totally bummed,” said Nick, who declined to give his last name.

A train fan, Nick came down to see what happened to the trolleys once he had heard about the act of vandalism. “It’s a disgrace. I hope whoever did it left enough of his calling card,” he said. “That’s what they like to do, leave their mark. I hope they bag him.”

Two trolleys were hit with the spray paint, one worse than the other, however. Police said the incident happened sometime between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Sprawled along the side of the first trolley, a PCC 3295, Car No. 3295, one of the last of its kind built by the Pullman-Standard Company based in Lowell in the 1950s was nearly covered from top to bottom in the mid-section of the trolley. The words appear to say “FUGUE,” a tag that instantly comes up when searched on Google and the photo-sharing site Flickr. “Fugue not only has the most intellectual name in Boston, he’s gettin [sic] up all around the city,” one website boasts.

The other tag name appears to say “CIGA,” which has been spotted in other prominent spots in the city, including the sides of buildings.

The car was one of 50 purchased by the Metropolitan Transit Authority—the name of Boston’s railway system before it became known as the MBTA—more than half a century ago.

During the early 1980s, the trolley car was restored to its original condition, to be put on display, by the “Friends of 3295,” an MBTA volunteer group. it was fixed up in order to commemorate the Riverside Line’s 25th anniversary. The trolley is owned by the MBTA, according to an email from officials.

The second car, donated for display by the Seashore Trolley Museum in Maine, had less damage to its exterior but was still marked by white lines and tags. The No. 5734 trolley, a Type 5 car, is a “semi convertible” that was built specifically for Boston’s subway system by the Brill Car Company in 1924. “The last of these cars ran in service in 1959, having operated in all parts of Boston and its suburbs,” according to a sign posted next to the trolley.

MBTA officials would not say how the alleged suspects gained access to the area, but said they are investigating. The transit agency has special officers assigned to tracking down graffiti artists. “The Transit Police Department’s Special Crimes Unit investigates graffiti cases. A detective with experience in graffiti investigations and prosecutions dedicates as much time as needed to handle such cases,” said T Spokesman Joe Pesturo in an email. “The detective, if necessary, also gets assistance from others in the Unit.”

A call to the Board of Directors at the Seashore Museum was not immediately returned.

The Boston Street Railway Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the Boston area’s rich public transit history, called the news of the vandalized trains “sad.”




  • Ann Hessenius

    I just happened to see these two beautiful old trains at Boylston St. station last week, and was so surprised!…Great to see them once again. This is terrible news.

  • Jan Dumas

    Just saw this on the news. Makes me sick to my
    stomach. How I really feel would get me tossed off the site.


    Serves the MBTA right. Biggest joke in America. Money grubbing, greedy organization with lazy, overpaid employees.

    • Rhonin

      Who and why are agreeing this guy? Yes, MBTA sucks. But how does this hurt the lazy and overpaid employees? How does it punish the organization? Tagging a historic train only hurts our eyes.

      • The Truth Hurts

        I’m sure there were lazy, overpaid employees very close to the incident that couldn’t have cared less and could have prevented the whole ordeal if they paid any attention at all…….

        • Trider

          The incident occurred when the station was closed for the evening and there were no employees on duty. If you feel T employees are lazy and overpaid, why don’t you apply for a job there?

          • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

            That’s the response you get from jealousy. They are taking their anger out on people everyday because their situation sucks. Sorry for them

        • Rhonin

          Again, assuming there was a T employee around when the station was closed, how does that punish that guy?

          Again to the 11 people upvoting. How is this vandalism “serves the MBTA right?” WE get to see this eyesore and WE probably going to have to pay for it in taxes. We are the ones getting “served”, not the MBTA or its employees.

        • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

          Hate the T much?

      • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

        The mbta sucks. Saves me twelve grand a year. Yeah that sucks. I also don’t have to drive. If got spit and assaulted on a weekly basis I would be grumpy to. I have met so professional people that do care about their job. Bit no one ever talks about them. Instead there dealing with negative people. Maybe the mbta doesn’t suck. Maybe it’s the situation that you are in. 1.5 million people a day ride the. T. HOW THERE ARENT 1.5 million complaint is that the T doesn’t suck.

        • Rhonin

          Read the context you asshole. Calling me an idiot is completely uncalled for. Calling you an idiot may have an argument. Because you and I both seems dissenting to KWAPT as you are and we seem to be both just as outrage at the vandalism. We should be allies, but apparently you can’t read.

          • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

            Where did I call u an idiot? Was it in the context?

        • Rhonin

          Also, in your argument of 1.5 million riders as support for the T. Read up Universal Hub and see how many breakdowns the T suffers just the past month. Learn the ineptitude that this is management who kicked-the-can to look for new Orange Line trains 10 years late and now we have to another number of years to go. Think about the speed of the Green Line. Or understand the insanity of the MBTA refusing to use signal priority even when Brookline offer to pay for it themselves. For non-management level, there’s still too many bad employees while I can agree most are doing their best. Of course, I would appreciate if you don’t call me an idiot when we seem to be mostly in alignment.

          And thus why I dissented to him as much as you do. I cannot say the MBTA doesn’t suck until the equipment for multiple lines, get new trains for both Orange, Green, and even the Red, and whatever the cause of “signal problems” that plagues the MBTA.

          • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

            Where did I call u an idiot?

          • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

            Again I’m going to ask you and show me where I called ou an idiot? Are you getting your posts confused ?

          • Rhonin

            Apologies for the delay, I figured I was too late to respond when I have the availability and it seems I got your intention.

            If you scroll back up, you will see this:

            Wow. If this guy had something to do with this. Discusses user agreement
            doesn’t cover you when it comes to commuting a crime or having
            knowledge of a crime. You are an idiot. You should keep blabbing

            Since it was written in second person of “you”, chose as a reply directly to me, and I stated “MBTA sucks”. I figured you meant it to me than KWAPT. Going by your confusion, I guess you meant the first half as general third person which the later half to KWAPT.

          • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

            Yeah not you. I also said IF. bragging about it probably means he or she knows. Again that’s probably.

        • kgfkutflu

          this cant be the same ciga?

      • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

        Wow. If this guy had something to do with this. Discusses user agreement doesn’t cover you when it comes to commuting a crime or having knowledge of a crime. You are an idiot. You should keep blabbing

    • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

      And the tagger an jealous deadbeat on welfare that doesn’t try to get a job. Funny thing about it. These trains were donated. Secondly these so called lazy overpaid workers now get paid to remove the paint and restore the car. They sure showed the mbta.

    • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

      Congress and the senate shut down the country because they could say yay or nay. Over half are millionaires. Life time medical and pension after one term. Really? Who are the lazy ones?

    • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

      Yup. Because none should have a living wage. It’s a race to the bottom and you want those people to win. I’ll bet you make nothing and you want everyone else to make less than u. Way to support your fellow human being. Maybe we should give Walmart CEOs a raise. Or any CEO a raise. Most companies are reliant on goverment subsidies. A good chunk of your paycheck goes towards support them and all you can do is bitch about the MBTA. Maybe it could be run better. So couldn’t the banks airlines and macdonalds. You just choose to complain because you might have had a few bad experiences or ride it daily. Because your miserable doesn’t mean everyone around you has to be. So what do you do for a living? Bet you won’t own up!

      Way to focus on the story at hand though. A member of the public just. Ruined a piece of history. Not a lesson to the T. but at an attempt at self glorification. You know what’s funny. I just read the article and I don’t even remember or care what the tagil like. Lon forgotten

    • Sting17

      A non-profit group, The “Boston St. Rwy Assoc.” restored the trolley and gave it to the MBTA. The other trolley is on loan from The Seashore Trolley Museum. How is this hurting the T ? You’re hurting people who volunteer their time to make a difference. What if everybody just gave up and didn’t bother anymore ? How would you like it if someone did this to your house or your new car ? And then you started asking around to see if someone saw anything. Then someone says to you, “Well, you shouldn’t have bought a new car.” How would you feel ?

  • Kt

    They should force the tagger to remove the paint with just his toothbrush. What kind of chucklehead sullies up such beautiful, historic, still-useful vehicles?

  • Carl Mac

    Those POS should be made to clean off that crap, what a bunch of jerks.

  • GittyUps

    Fresh! They killed it. Glad to see these new jacks going for the gusto and keeping graffiti alive in this city. The paint can be removed but the historical impact of this power play by these young artists will be ingrained in our city’s rich history of graffiti forever. Rock on!

    • MarkForman

      How old are you?
      Probably not old enough to realize the destructive nature of this cruel vandalism!

      • this guy gus

        actually they have methods to completely remove the paint with out damaging the substrate what so ever….but the tax payers will front for that

    • Rhonin

      Is this a joke? Or are the outrage people actually in the minority?

    • disqus_fFOP7kjAQO

      Wow. Graffiti as history. Pretty sad. Hate to say it. Banks would not approve

      • this guy gus

        oh shit, you know banks?

        • disqus_610343

          Yup. I also know how to form sentences with correct grammar and punctuation.

          Little late on the response?

  • randall88

    Like any other media outlet..They have given the vandal/murderer/thief what they wanted… A moment in the limelight

  • Ken Smith

    Tagging, really? it’s 2014 that’s not old school, or art, really lame looking actually. Get a job and do something positive, “art” is probably not your calling.

  • losers

    Waste of time

    • daniel nelligan from whitman

      Waste of paint

  • Guest

    Whitmans most wanted right here. Dude is intimidated by women

  • jesus

    this is v cool !

  • Jerry remy

    Graffiti is big in Whitman I guess

  • Sting17

    We are DOOMED as a culture when people do this sort of thing. People have no respect for other people or historical things. The parents let them out with no supervision. Instead of being “brought up”, they are “dragged up”. Wait until someone goes into the MFA and :tags” a Renoir. You people won’t think it’s so funny anymore.