Boo hoo hoo: Train died near Andrew

Update: Mere seconds after posting this around 9:15 a.m., we started seeing reports of new delays heading towards Alewife.

A Red Line train died near Andrew during rush hour, causing delays for riders going into town from Dorchester, about an hour after signal problems near Davis caused delays for riders going into town from Cambridge and Somerville.

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About the same time as the initial Red Line fun

By on

the Green Line dispatcher decided to play an especially annoying game of musical trains.

Got on a Cleveland Circle train at North Station about 8:40. As we were about to leave Government Center, the operator made an announcement about passengers wanting Riverside service having to go to Park Street, as "no Riverside service will be running to Government Center." Of course, the doors on the front car had already been closed when this announcement had been made - and weren't re-opened.

So, we get into Park Street, and of course there's no Riverside train either on the platform or sitting on the eastbound loop track. Then the operator makes the standard "schedule adjustment" announcement - with no indication of how long the delay might be (an INCREASINGLY pet peeve of mine). Overhearing the radio, I learn that the dispatcher is holding the train until a Boston College train - which is also neither on the platform nor in the eastbound loop - departs first. In other words, what I call the "alphabet order" game - which may make some sense at 10:30 at night, but has NO PLACE being done during normal rush hour service.

But this charade gets even better. About two minutes later, the doors close and the train moves. Only, instead of proceeding out of the station, it pulls forward into the Heath Street berth and re-opens the doors. The operator then makes the same "schedule adjustment" announcement, with the additional caveat "This is NOT a Heath Street train. That train is directly behind us". In other words, the dispatcher is intentionally screwing up the berthing of trains so a train that is only now coming through the loop can have priority.

Finally left Park Street about eight minutes later - after the BC train left. Oh, and during all this time, NO Riverside train - the one that passengers were shunted from Government Center to Park Street to board - ever showed up.

You can't make this stuff up - and more's the pity.

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