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Flood waters recede, but not enough to allow repairs to damaged Riverside line

Sun shines on sinkhole: Compare to yesterdaySun shines on sinkhole: Compare today's photo by the T to yesterday's.

What a difference a day makes. However, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo says he cannot yet give a definite answer on when the Riverside line can be re-opened. "Flood waters continue to flow through the site, and work crews cannot even begin to start rebuilding the rail bed until the water recedes."

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If the MBTA would at least provide a target date. Unless the damage is so bad that that they feel its going to take MONTHS to repair, just saying something like "we hope to have the Riverside line back up and running by Opening Day, but can't make any promises" would be reasonable.

And if the MBTA does feel that this will take months to repair... how about extending D line service from Reservoir to Lechmere during the interim? It's a small concession the MBTA could make that could help retain Riverside line ridership it risks losing during a prolonged service disruption, especially if they realize pretty quickly that "D line transportation between Riverside and Reservoir won't be back to normal until sometime this summer".

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It's a freakin' railroad which is now hanging in space. Can you at least give them until the raging torrent subsides before they are required to come up with an estimate of when things will be back to normal?

Until late last night, it was still raining at like a 1/2" per hour in places. I dare say they'll need at least a couple days/weeks just to evaluate the scope of the issue. Nevermind putting together a plan and schedule by which it will be fixed...

Don't get me wrong. To say that the MBTA's construction group is not known for their efficiency would be like saying the last couple days have been a little wet.... But taking ridiculous pot shots at them for stuff like this is what the Herald is for... If they haven't got a rough timeline out in a week, *then* I'll start griping...

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I understand that this is going to take awhile and would not be surprised if the Riverside line is out until at least Memorial Day. I also understand that sinkhole is getting even bigger and could pose a real danger to life and limb. But how hard is it to just come out and say "we are still assessing the damage" and that "this could take a month or two to fix"?

Look, I'm giving the MBTA a lot of leeway on very extenuating circumstances. But the fact remains they aren't even telling regular Riverside commuters on outbound trains from Boston that the last stop is Reservoir until the last possible minute. I know because I WAS ON ONE OF THOSE TRAINS LAST NIGHT. One would think that will all the news articles about the breach that outbound D-line trains from Boston should say "Reservoir" by now, not "Riverside".

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First, I agree with you regarding the announcements. They ought to have the drivers of the trains relaying it to passengers at a miniumum.

But you're nit picking when you insist that they come out and specifically say "We're still assessing the damage" and "this could take a month or two to fix".

Barring a statement where they specifcally say "Well, we were thinking about assessing the damage, but decided not to..." it goes without saying that they're assessing the damage.

And since this assessment is still going on, just throwing out an arbitrary and wide ranging timeline like "a month or two" is absurd.

I just find it silly that, for a change, the T decides wait until they've got a clear(er) picture of a situation to avoid sticking their foot in their mouth, and they get criticized for not immediately sticking thier foot in their mouth...

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when the T was having a car shortage due to a) teething problems with the then new Type 7 cars (3600 series) and B) the fact that a number of the more trouble-prone Boeing cars had already been taken out of service in anticipation of the new Type 7s, they instituted an operational change. Faced with these problems, for about six or seven months (IIRC), all service terminated at either Park Street or Government Center, and they ran a shuttle between Government Center and Lechmere.

Despite a large number of signs and announcements announcing the new procedures, many passengers going to Lechmere were still confused even a couple of months after the change. The T finally figured out it was because, in conjunction with these changes, all the operators were signing their cars Government Center instead of Lechmere. Once they relaxed this and started signing cars Lechmere again, nearly all of this confusion magically went away.

I suspect one of the reasons they continue to sign the westbound trains Riverside is to avoid a repeat of that fisaco. Although I do agree they probably should give the passengers earlier warning about the need to change to buses as they approach Reservoir.

My issue with the current crop of T alerts and announcements (I get Green Line alerts on my cell, and I heard a couple of the PA announcements last night at Boylston and North Station) about the D line is that they are still referring to the washout as a "weather related problem". While technically accurate, this term implies a very temporary condition and not a longer term issue like the T is now facing.

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... There were any announcements or postings anywhere before Reservoir. Or if the train said "The destination of this train is Reservoir." Or if the announcer mentioned it sometime before the train stopped at Reservoir. I mean, I already knew, but some people were surprised.

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extended to Lechmere. As I've previously noted in other posts, if they sent all eastbound service to Lechmere and dispatched the westbound trips out of Lechmere based on where the next train should go (i.e. it's 10:58 - next train goes to BC) instead of the current failed policy that dictates "the train came from Riverside, so it HAS to go back to Riverside", it would greatly improve Green Line service AND eliminate the need for a) terminating eastbound trains mid-route and b) those annoying "headway adjustments".

In the meanwhile, unless most of the streetcars based out of Riverside carhouse were actually in service and east of Chestnut Hill when the washout closed the D line, it's highly doubtful they would institute a Reservoir to Lechmere routing.

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Agreed as to trains going to Lechmere, although I suggest that at the very least, they should all go to North Station. To have the two lines with highest ridership stop two stations short of a major transportation hub -- where commuter trains depart on specific schedules -- is just wonky. So now, a majority of the people headed to catch a commuter line are forced to disembark at GC, only to have to wait for trains that are often already full (that these are sometimes single-car trains during or near rush hour is a whole other can of worms).

instead of the current failed policy that dictates "the train came from Riverside, so it HAS to go back to Riverside"

Perhaps the drivers are only trained/allowed to run trains on their specific line? Piloting through traffic on South Huntington's a far cry from cruising along a dedicated right of way in Newton. Or, more believably, perhaps it is some archaic union rule that prevents drivers from having to switch.

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who has long since retired and moved away. As I understand it, that Green Line drivers are trained to run trains on all of the lines, not just the run they are eventually assigned to once they complete training. My friend also indicated that the "out and back to the same terminal" policy was instituted by T management, although he wouldn't elborate about the possible rationale. So, it might be some archane union stipulation, or it just may be that the policy somehow gives the T justification to minimize the number of trains in service at any given time.

As for your suggestion of running trains at least to North Station, I agree that the current situation is inexcusable. However, I believe that running all trains past North Station to Lechmere would be more efficient operationally. This is because the turnback at North Station is a set of stub end tracks, whereas Lechmere has two loops to turn trains. It also simplifies the westbound release of trains if they are all originating from the same point - in other words, you avoid the current fiasco of stopping a loaded westbound train before, say, Government Center to release an empty train from the loop, only to further delay the loaded train from entering Government Center because of the well-intentioned but equally archane "only one train at a time on the at least two-train capacity platform" rule (and yes, I'm well aware that a handful of stations - like Boylston for one - do not have two-train platform capacity).

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They can't start repairs, but they can at least order a bigger culvert this time :)

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I just went out there to take a look, and its pretty bad. There is still a ton of water flowing through the site, and the building next to it (looks like offices) is up to the doorknobs in water on the side of the breach. There is a pumping truck that's keeping the rest of the site from flooding, but there's a decent sized stream flowing through.

There are a bunch of people there too, people from the T are milling around and they are dumping a bunch of rocks into the ravine it looks like, although the tracks are still hanging there. If I had to guess I'd say they are just trying to stop the water. There are also some contractors running around assessing the damage to the building there. The water looks like it got up about 2'6" - 3' on all sides of the offices, so that building must be wrecked inside.

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"I only slowed it down. Nothing can stop it." - from Daylight

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