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Smoldering Cable Causes Problems On Boston’s Green Line

Commutes wait for shuttle buses outside Kenmore station. (mahhk/Instagram)

Commutes wait for shuttle buses outside Kenmore station. (mahhk/Instagram)

BOSTON — A smoldering cable in Boston’s subway system prompted a more than two-hour power shutdown that forced between 1,000 and 1,500 commuters riding trolleys between stations to walk through tunnels to exit the system.

MBTA officials said firefighters responded to reports of smoke from an electric box about 100 feet outside Arlington Street station around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The T shut off power around 8:30 a.m. and employees escorted Green Line riders on four two-car trolleys through tunnels to the nearest stations. No injuries were reported.

MBTA general manager Beverly Scott said 70 buses were diverted to shuttle passengers to their destinations and full trolley service resumed at 10:55 a.m.

Scott called the situation unfortunate and said a power cable overloaded because of a combination of cold temperatures and the age of the system.

Spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the T knows the situation didn’t make a lot of people happy on a bitter cold morning.

“We have been following social media, we’ve been seeing mixed reviews of the way the situation was handled,” he said. “We did everything in our power to mitigate the situation as soon as possible.”

Despite the temperatures, when a shuttle bus pulled up in Kenmore Square, commuter Karen Jou was hesitant to board.

“It’s kind of full and I don’t want to be a sardine and with the flu season I’d rather stand outside freezing cold than catch a cold in the bus with other people,” Jou said.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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  • X-Ray

    The breakdowns are most likely the result of inadequate, delayed and deferred maintenance.

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