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South Station packed as commuters scramble for last trains

South Station was pulsing with anxious commuters and other travelers as the region’s transportation system prepares for the blizzard. The last Amtrak trains were preparing to leave the train depot by 1:40 Friday afternoon, and commuter rail trains were to stop running after 3:30 p.m.

The MBTA is also scheduled to cancel service after 3:30 p.m., prompting many travelers to line up early for the ride home.

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“We’ve had a lot of misses when they say it’s going to be bad and nothing happens but I don’t think that’s going to happen this time. I think it’s going to be bad,” said Linda Rinaldi of Norfolk, as she waited for a train out.

“I just hope it’s not as bad as 1978.”

Amtrak trains were virtually sold out by noon, according to Amtrak administrator Floyd Hooks of Boston.

“I think they’re more prepared this time than they have been in the past,” said Amtrak engineer Mo Munger of Watertown. “I was here during the storm of 1978 too and this one looks like it’ll be another bad one.”

Despite the chaotic conditions and inconveniences caused by the early transit closings, some travelers said they appreciated all the steps authorities were taking to prepare.

“The MBTA shutting down is a good thing,” said Richard Mitchell of Dorchester. “Better safe than sorry, even if it may suck for some people.”

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