Section of Orange Line service suspended for hours due to track fire

Fire on Orange Line track causes lengthy delays for Friday commuters

MEDFORD, Mass. — It was another tough commute for MBTA riders after a track fire suspended Orange Line service for multiple hours on Friday afternoon and evening.

The MBTA tweeted after 3 p.m. Friday that Orange Line service is experiencing delays after reports of smoke onboard a train between Wellington and Malden Center.

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Soon after, the MBTA confirmed a fire on the track.

Passengers were evacuated and the third rail power was deactivated. Armstrong Ambulance told Boston 25 News one person was transported. No injuries were reported by passengers say the whole experience was terrifying.

"People started yelling and banging on the door to try and get the driver to stop, which he did," said Kim Vanderbeck, who was forced to evacuate out onto the tracks with the rest of the riders.

"I would say it was at least a three-to-four-foot jump off the front of the train, off onto the tracks," she added.

Shuttle buses replaced service between Oak Grove and Community College until service was fully restored on the Orange Line around 7 p.m.

Many passengers were not happy having to get on the crowded buses that have just 39 seats on average.

"And you can see the buses filled pretty fast, so you have to wait another five minutes or something," said Krischan Phanju. "Definitely, I would say, an hour-plus wait for people who have to get home today."

"I pay a lot of money, you raise the prices on me, MBTA," said Jasmine Smith. "So I pay $90 [per] month for the train to catch on fire, thank you."

The fire also caused delays on the Commuter Rail's Haverhill Line.

Passengers aboard took to Twitter to share videos, photos and, of course, their frustration.

"We were going under a tunnel and started seeing what we thought were sparks that quickly became clear was fire when we were going under a tunnel," Vanderbeck said.

Riders weren't the only ones who took to Twitter calling for change.

This comes one week after the MBTA rolled out the first new trains in decades on the Orange Line. As seen from Sky25, Friday's incident, however, did not involve one of the new trains.

A spokesperson for the MBTA released a statement to Boston 25 News when we asked for comment:

T personnel are working to identify the root cause of today's fire. The MBTA apologizes to its customers whose commutes were disrupted today. The T is committed to accelerating its capital improvement projects, which include major upgrades to subway track, power and signal infrastructure and all new fleets of trains.