Delays Leave MBTA Commuters In The Cold

ANDOVER (WBZ-AM) -- It wasn't a good morning for mass transit commuters--or the mass transit system itself.

Several lines were delayed up to 30 minutes, rails cracked, switches froze, and in some cases, riders were left waiting in the cold.

Keolis's spokesperson Tory Mazzolla told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal they're trying to keep up.

"When the temperature drops to such extreme lows, that's when rail can be susceptible to cracking," he said. "Over the last 12-24 hours, we have seen cracked rail and we've seen some mechanical challenges with the locomotives. Our teams continue to work as quickly as they can to repair those."

In a release, Mazzolla reminded riders to exercise caution when boarding trains and walking on platforms, and urged them to dress in layers and check for service updates.

Meanwhile, the morning T commute was snared by a disabled Orange Line train at Tufts Medical Center, and speeds were reduced on the Red Line between the JFK/UMass and Andrew stations to ensure a more reliable ride in the low temperatures.

Michael, who was waiting on the Commuter Rail platform in Andover, was bundled up tight.

"I got a sweatshirt on, a hooded jacket, and an L.L. Bean coat that's supposed to be, 40 below zero, it's supposed to keep you warm, and it does," he said.

He said his walk to the station takes about 15 minutes.

Keolis said in a release that they took "preventative steps" to prepare for the cold weather, but said service was still impacted because of the extreme conditions.

"Locomotives, those we run at a low idle to ensure that they're ready for service the next day," Mazzolla said.

Commuters like Laura in Andover are just dreaming of warmer days.

"Twenty degrees would feel warm right now," she said. "Damn, I could wear a bathing suit!"

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karyn Regal reports

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