‘Severe’ Orange Line Delays Add Frustrations To Cold Commute

A dead train stopped short at Sullivan Station.

Photo By Steve Annear

Photo By Steve Annear

As a train slowly rolled into Sullivan Station on Tuesday morning, the vehicle came to a brief stop before it reached the crowded platform where passengers waited in the 11-degree winter weather in hopes of getting to work on time.

After several seconds, the train began moving again, and passengers piled onto the vehicle, when suddenly, with the doors still open, the train operator announced the vehicle would be “standing by.”

It was one of several delays along the MBTA’s tracks Tuesday—something that seems to have become customary in the early mornings, as vehicles try and muster up the energy to travel to their respective stations in the bitter cold.

As Universal Hub reports, a Silver Line bus, two Green Line trains, and a Red Line vehicle were all delayed due to undetermined issues the same morning.

Not long after riders boarded the Orange Line train at Sullivan Tuesday, they were asked to step off because the train was disabled. It sat idly at the station, unable to move, as crowds of additional people started arriving at Sullivan expecting to hitch a ride.

A worker at the station said there were no shuttle buses coming to rescue those stranded by the disabled train, which, after more than an hour, was moved away from Sullivan.

Some passengers were able to board a train on the Outbound side of the tracks, which was supposed to be going to Oak Grove. The train was diverted from its original route so it could disperse some of the crowd that had overflowed the outdoor platform, to bring them into Boston.

Riders started draining out of the station, and looking for cab service outside of Sullivan. A long queue formed at the taxi stand directly outside, where drivers sporadically pulled up, leaving an influx of confused T-riders without many travel options.

Of course, complaints about the cold commute ended up on Twitter, and before long #OrangeLine was trending in Boston.

The disabled train caused residual delays further along the tracks, at Community College Station, where riders were told to walk to North Station to catch another ride.

Similarly, those trying to get to Sullivan from Malden, on the train inbound, were told to get on the Commuter Rail instead.

What caused the train to breakdown was not immediately clear, according to MBTA officials. The incident is still under investigation.