and I were on this train
(Globe article on Boston.com) that got stuck between Porter and Harvard squares. (Some of the details in that article are a bit off; for instance, the train got stuck around 9:00am. I’m guessing the time quoted in the article is when the T decided it had to be taken out of service.) According to some of the T personnel on the train, the initial problem was that the brakes locked, but at some point that somehow turned into a power problem. They sent a rescue train to try to push us into Harvard; when that didn’t work they tried to pull us back to Porter, and we got most of the way there, but had to walk the last thousand feet or so along the tracks. This was delayed for quite a while, because (I gather) there was a section of track where they were having trouble getting the third rail turned off. All in all, we were underground for a little over 2.5 hours, and then we got shuttlebusses from Porter to Harvard, and got back on the train. (Shuttle busses had been replacing service between Porter and Harvard since shortly after our train initially got stuck.)
All the T personnel we interacted with were extremely professional and impressively competent. Along the tunnel,they had a sort of bucket-brigade of people along the route warning us of every tripping hazard or wet spot and shining flashlights for us. They clearly know how to handle stuff like this, and I think if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I hope plumtreeblossom
and I end up with a bunch of MBTA employees.
The passengers, with one slightly grumpy exception in our car, were quite understanding and pleasant during our shared ordeal.
We were so
drenched by the time we got out. The A/C was on on our train until they decided to evacuate (and turned off the third rail), and it wasn’t too bad after that, but the tunnel was pretty hot and muggy. [EDIT:
I suspect they never actually turned off the A/C, just turned it down to conserve power. Not sure. It was pretty warm walking in the tunnel, though.]
I haven’t looked at it yet, but plumtreeblossom
says we made it onto the TV news, at about 3/4 of the way through this video
PS — Meant to post this yesterday, but with catching up at work, dress rehearsal, and the limitations of my phone keyboard I never managed.