Wire issue disrupts Green Line service Tuesday morning

An issue with a damaged power wire shut down all Green Line service.
mbta green line suspended
An image of the crowds waiting for shuttle bus service after the Green Line shut down Tuesday morning. Photo: @bertelleo/Twitter

A problem with a power wire shut down service on the MBTA Green Line for a few hours Tuesday morning, stranding hundreds of passengers during their commutes.

 

The MBTA announced that service was suspended between Government Center and Kenmore Square around 8:30 a.m. 

 

“Please expect delays as buses are dispatched,” the MBTA Twitter account read. “Passengers may use the Orange Line between N Station and Back Bay Stations.”

 

Service was suspended in both directions on the B, C, D and E branches, MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said in an email. Service was restored to all Green Line branches around 11:10 a.m. 

 

The issue stemmed from an overhead wire that sustained damage between Arlington and Copley Stations on the westbound side, according to Pesaturo. The cause of that damage was an insulator failure in the overhead wire system. Buses substituted for trolley service, and the MBTA asked customers to consider taking the Orange Line between Back Bay and Haymarket Stations while Green Line service is suspended.

Some passengers were on trains and inside MBTA tunnels when the issue occurred. Because of the damaged power line, two trains that were in between Boylston and Arlington stations had to be evacuated, Pesaturo said. For the other trains, customers were able to exit onto station platforms. There were no injuries during the incident.

While crews were on scene to get Green Line service back up and running, passengers took to Twitter to show the crowds that formed while waiting for buses and Orange Line trains.

“I am one of the lucky few who manage to fight their way into an @MBTA shuttle,” one Twitter user said along with a video of a massive crowd waiting at Kenmore Station. “There are still masses of people who are stranded at Kenmore due to this green line shutdown.”

The section where the problem occurred on Tuesday had been inspected less than a week ago. The MBTA Power Department will keep working to identify the root cause of the failure, Pesaturo said.  

About three years ago, the MBTA upped its inspections, which helped decrease wire issues, he noted. The last disruption due to an overhead wire problem was November 2017.  

"At a minimum, every element of the entire 50-mile system of feeder cables, anchors, weights, insulators, pulleys and brackets is inspected once a week," Peaturo said in an email. "There are crews assigned to nothing other than wire inspection, maintenance and repairs."
 

 
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