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MBTA: D Line Service Trouble May be Due to Faulty Equipment

With a number of recent breakdowns and service trouble, the MBTA says they have personnel working "around the clock to prevent failures."

Frequent passengers on the MBTA's Green D Line can tell you that lately, service has not been the best. 

Just last week, shuttle buses had to replace train service after a wire problem at the Waban Station in Newton. Five days earlier, another wire problem shut down all Newton service on the Green Line between Riverside and Reservoir stations.

With a number of recent service interruptions, the MBTA says it has been "aggressive" in its inspections of the overhead (catenary) wire systems, according to an email sent to Newton Patch from MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The problems, Pesaturo says, could be due to new equipment recently installed on the line. 

"After the most recent disruption, [workers] concluded that the failures have occurred at locations were crews have recently installed new trolley wire splices," Pesaturo says.

Wire splices are used to weave together the ends of two piece of wires, and are often used to put together a wire that has been broken, cut or damaged.

Since the new wire splices seem to be the source of the power problem, Pesaturo says the MBTA's Power Department has contacted the manufacturer of the wire splices and made them aware of the problems with the product. 

In the meantime, Pesaturo says the MBTA has added personnel who are "working around the clock to prevent failures" and maintenance staff is in the process of inspecting all the wire splices currently in use. 

The MBTA is also working on hiring a consultant to review a number of aspects to the rail line including a preventative maintenance plan, connections between the trolley and the wires as well as inspections of different components used on the rail, Pesaturo says. 

"The MBTA apologizes for the recent disruptions in service, but please be assured that staff is working hard to prevent wire problems before they occur," Pesaturo says. 

Mark Golden September 17, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I have been caught in the web of both recent wire failures. The first on a Saturday, did indeed require busing of passengers between Riverside and Reservoir. I got off the #59 bus (that arrived at my stop 20 minutes late) and was greeted by a few T workers advising us where to get the shuttle bus that would be along shortly to take us to Reservoir. After a while a HUGE articulating bus arrived and we all jammed into it along with those it had picked up from Riverside and other stops. It continued along the route until Reservoir. The bus was NO STANDING ROOM LEFT. Again at Reservoir, there was T staff to help us and direct us to the inbound train car. YES, I said CAR. One car, a single car train. There were more people from that one bus than normally go on 2 cars. So, there we were, on a one car finally heading to the East. Now, just to make sure that those on the train were completly uncomfortable they continued to make stops all the way in. Up until the time we were herded into the one car, the T was handling this quite well. BUT, they blew it when it came to the trolley. They cannot say there were no more cars available. Reservoir is a terminal and has an overload of cars. As for this last episode, I cannot complain as to how it was handled. Although I would like to suggest that this would have been a great time for a 3 car train, even if it was not the height of the Rush Hour when I was there. I had to let the first train go by without me due to overcrowding.

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