Choke, cough, hack, wheeze: MBTA says it's finally doing something about the miasma inside Back Bay station

Planned work at Back Bay station

The MBTA reports it's begun work - finally - on systems aimed at curbing the amount of diesel smoke that now pours into Back Bay station's concourse whenever one of its trains pulls into the station.

The first phase, shown above, involves new doorways and air pumps for the stairways to tracks 1 and 2 with the goal of creating a sort of pressurized seal that keeps the diesel smoke from rising up the stairways into the ground-level part of the station. The T says the new system should be in place by early fall.

After that, the T will install large jet-engine like fans to move the fumes out of the station - similar to fans now in place at Forest Hills on the Orange Line. That system is still being designed, the T says.



Free tagging: 



100% Wrong. Why?

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Things called infrastructure $$$ and New England energy rates. Btw, do you know how many times a diesel train saves an electrified train that loses power? Going all-electric would doom the network

Maybe because the stupid high

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Maybe because the stupid high cost, political will, and NIMBYism with electrifying a whole line is orders of magnitude above putting in a fan system on one platformat one station?!


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They could just electrify all CR lines that run thru backbay station.

Green Energy
No Smoke for people to die from

Win Win for Everyone!

(except oil companies)


They can still win

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They just need to diversify into natural gas that we use in MA to generate our electricity :)

Don Quixote

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It would be much higher already if people were not so silly about windmills.
The Boston area actually has more wind than Chicago and it's time we make some use out of it other than enriching Copley Square umbrella stores. Hell, you could probably power the whole "Hancock" building off the wind shear it generates by itself like some kind of perpetual motion machine.


Windmills are a blight

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IMHO, they're hideous, and it just plain pisses me off to see them sitting still all the time.


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Oil and gas drilling rigs are much easier on the eyes.


Depends on your definitions of MA's ...

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By perruptor on Wed, 04/24/2019 - 6:38am
Only 65% of MA's electricity is generated using gas. Over 12% comes from renewables, and that is increasing constantly.

Actually -- Soon virtually all the electricity generated in Massachusetts will be from Natural Gas as the last of the Coal is gone and Pilgrim will soon shut down

Actual generation powered by renewable sources in Massachusetts is virtually insignificant -- and we should be thankful for that as "renewable sources" [except for traditional "Big Hydro"] are not a reliable source of baseload generation

So where do these "Fake Sources" come from -- the rest of our electricity is imported from various places outside MA through our interconnections provided by ISO New England [controlled from a center near Holyoke and is a mixture of sources including:

  1. Coal,
  2. Natural Gas
  3. Nuclear
  4. Hydro
  5. Solar
  6. Wind

which varies depending on the time of the day, calendar and state of equipment


No, it doesn't

The link in my comment is to a Federal government website by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. You think ISO New England is saying something different, good for you.

Or start with the Providence

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Or start with the Providence Line, because it's the busiest line and the WIRES ARE ALREADY THERE!

Electric trains, besides not stinking up the place, are faster and way more reliable.

The LIRR's newest electric trains break down about every 400,000 miles. Even their 30-year-old M3s go about 100,000 miles between breakdowns.

Meanwhile, the T's diesel locomotives break down about every 8,000 miles. Would you buy a car that stranded you and 10,000 other people every 3 months?


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Wasn't this supposed to be part of the entire station redo that was going to be paid for by the developer who was going to build on top of the station? Whatever happened to that proposal? It was the pretty terrible/lazy stacked boxes one (but got us a new station paid for, I guess).

And yes - however this is done it is needed. Any time I need to get on the Needham Line at Back Bay it is akin to descending into the depths of hell, just missing the "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" sign above the stairs.


You have triggered... inner Dante nerd here, so pardon the pedantry. Either spelling is valid. Though Dante was writing in the Tuscan dialect which in his time was substantially the same as it is now, spelling had not really been codified. Consequently some words could be spelled two ways- one reflecting the more Latinate version of the word (in this case “ intrare”) and another which reflected how the word was pronounced (“entrare”). “Entrare” won out, though, and is how the verb is spelled in modern Italian, which is basically the Tuscan dialect elevated to the status of the national language

Jeez... right on schedule.

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Jeez... right on schedule. We've only been inhaling the mass amount of diesel fumes for the last 15+ years!

15+ years? try 32 years!

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the current version of Back Bay Station was built in 1987, so we've been dealing with the mess for 32 years. I'd hate to see the lungs of the people that actually work in that building!

Amtrak closed their ticket office

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in Back Bay Station several years ago because of the diesel pollution. The walls along the Amtrak/commuter rail platforms are black from all the soot.

holding my breath

oh, excellent. so the upstairs station air quality will improve, but those of us waiting down on the platform will now be subjected to even WORSE air quality because the fumes won't be able to float upstairs anymore. (not to mention the clusterfuck that's going to happen when the sliding doors they've installed break down during the morning rush hour and the escalators don't stop bringing people to the top.)

what are we thinking, 10+ years til the fans are set up to move the air down on the platforms?