I got on a three-car train this morning. I thought it was a little late (that is, past rush hour) for a three-car trolley, but the Ways of the T are Mysterious and Not to be Questioned. Maybe because my train was unexpectedly long, it was rear-ended by another train in the tunnel between Copley and Arlington stations at around 9:30 am. (We were not in Arlington station yet, as has been reported in the media.)
Fortunately for yours truly, I was in the first car out of three, and it was an old train. It felt like we ran over something. Our hardy train continued on to Arlington where we stood for a while. Then the police and the firemen started coming down into the station, and the conductor tossed us all out with a vague promise of buses upstairs. (I didn’t start riding the T yesterday, lady!)
More firemen were swarming upstairs and on the street, and they treated one conductor, who seemed shaken but unhurt. I hung around for a bit eavesdropping on the firemen to figure out what happened, even though I was worried about being so close to the T entrance and whatever smelled like it was burning down there. Once I heard it was a collision (and not a squishing or a bomb or smallpox) and the TV cameras showed up, I started walking to Park Street.
On the way, I met a passenger from the other train. It wasn’t so lucky. The other train derailed (which means it was a Breda), and its passengers came out at Copley and had even further to walk to Park Street and continuing service.
When we got to Park, the whole place was swarming with T personnel, T vehicles, cops, cop cars, and Green Line replacement buses. A cop wouldn’t let us down to the outbound (westbound) Green Line platform, so I thought I’d be walking to Cambridge. But I asked one of the many swarming T personnel, and he said I could go into the inbound (eastbound) entrance. I told my sob story to the poor T babe in the booth, and she let me in for free. (I only have a bus pass, so I can’t board the subway at underground stops.)
Note that if all the trains involved had been hardy old Kinki Sharyos like mine, we could have kept going to Park Street in the trolley–we made it to Arlington fine–and I’d still be wondering now who we squished down there.
The MBTA, of course, is describing the collision and derailment as “operational difficulties,” but Channel 5 tells the ugly truth.