Malfunction of equipment used on Green Line project snarls Commuter Rail service

BOSTON (WHDH) - Commuter Rail service on part of the Lowell line was suspended for hours after equipment being used on Green Line Extension project malfunctioned, leaving a drill rig immobile on the tracks in Somerville, officials said.

Service between North Station and the Woburn Anderson Transportation Center was impacted by the malfunction, according to the MBTA.

“Working at the site of a future abutment wall for the new Broadway Bridge in Somerville, a drill rig experienced a mechanical failure and is immobile near the Commuter Rail tracks,” transit officials said in a press release.

MassDOT urged commuters on Interstate 93 north and south to prepare for an increase in traffic due to shuttle buses and rideshares that will be on the highway.

Out of an abundance of caution, the MBTA set up diversions in service.

Hundreds of passengers were forced to take the Orange Line to Wellington Station and then board a shuttle bus to their final destination.

“It is an inconvenience for sure,” one man said. “Typical of them. At least they are still offering to get us home somehow.”

While officials worked to sort out the issues on the Lowell line, the Rockport line also suffered some delays when a draw bridge in Beverly got stuck in the open position.

Commuters were forced to sit and wait for over an hour.

“It’s hard. You know, I work a very hard job and I am tired,” commuter Sara Pioli said, “I just want to have a reliable way home.”

Instead of waiting on the Commuter Rail Pioli called her husband who came to her rescue on his motorcycle.

All trains are now running on schedule.

The MBTA released an apology reading:

“Dear Lowell Line passengers, we apologize for the long and frustrating commute you experienced tonight. A drill rig working on the Green Line Extension Project experienced a mechanical failure in Somerville near the tracks. As safety is our priority, we decided to suspend train traffic between North Station and West Medford and a bus/subway alternative plan was temporarily organized to accommodate inbound and outbound passengers. Normal train service has resume on the Lowell line. thank you for your patience while we worked to remove the drill rig from the track area.”



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