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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Not seen every day: Low-speed derailment on Boston's Orange line train #T #mbta

The Boston rapid transit's Orange Line is pretty beat up. Its 130 cars are all over 30 years old, and past-due for replacement ---  literal antiques still in heavy daily service. (Imagine driving a 30-year old automobile, loaded with passengers, all day, every day....)

As a result, and there's a fair amount of "bubble gum and baling wire" repair work evident throughout.

New cars are on order, and are supposed to start arriving next year or so, trickling in over five years. We'll see.

The Orange Line trains are serviced, as well as can be expected for such high-mileage specimens, at the Wellington Maintenance Facility, attached to Wellington Station. The station and maintenance yard were built in 1975, so they're showing some heavy wear-and-tear, too.

Wellington is the station I use; it's a convenient 8 minute walk from my door. An enclosed, covered pedestrian bridge provides an aerial shortcut over the train yard to the station proper.

Sometimes, it leads to interesting views, like this low-speed derailment yesterday.

That kink in the train isn't supposed to be there:


(Cellphone camera, shot through a smudged Plexiglas window... sigh.)


It looks like a switch failure: A train was maneuvering through the yard, and one of the cars decided to head off in a different track.



The train was gone when I returned later that day, but sections of the rails where the accident happened sported fresh spots of fluorescent blaze-orange paint; I assume to indicate the rails that were damaged or that need further inspection.

Not a major deal, but a visual curiosity: I've never seen any type of derailment in person, before.