A ‘Duffle-Type’ Bag Is To Blame For The Latest Red Line Fiasco

It wasn't the third rail that left riders out in the cold on Thursday.

The entire Red Line was on standby on Thursday as Transit and Boston Police rushed to the scene of a suspicious package at Park Street, leading to a station evacuation, and some pretty surly passengers.

Officials were called to the scene over an unattended duffle bag that, according to reports, had wires and canisters visibly showing. Because police didn’t want to take any chances, they cleared the station of all passengers, leaving riders out in the cold for the third straight day on the Red Line due to some type of activity on the tracks.

Service resumed at Park Street, and along the Red Line in general, around 4:30 p.m., after police deemed the bag was not a threat to the general public using specialized equipment. But officials warned of severe residual delays in service due to the police activity, after the trains were ordered held for more than an hour, leaving riders at other stations holed up during the investigation.

The hold-ups added to the frustrations riders felt on Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning, after two separate issues on the tracks near the JFK/UMass stop. During the week, in part due to the extreme cold weather conditions, the third rails cracked, leading to long delays during the peak travel times.

Transit Police Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor said this situation was a little bit different, however. “I think that our riders are very educated, and I think once they understood there was a suspicious item, they probably didn’t put that in the same category of some of the other delays over the last couple of days,” he said. “In some circumstances delays are caused like this, but it’s our responsibility to make sure everyone is safe on our public transit system.”

On Thursday, once riders were allowed back on the trains following the significant delays, some people resorted to extreme measures to make sure they could squeeze on the vehicles and make the commute home.

Like this guy: