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Amtrak, MBTA commuter rail riders may face delays again getting home tonight

A downed Amtrak overhead power wire, which slowed much of Boston’s commuter rail and Amtrak transit this morning, could also affect the evening commute, officials said.

Passengers on 39 inbound and 22 outbound trains on six commuter rail lines, as well as six Amtrak trains, experienced delays this morning ranging from 20 minutes to more than an hour during peak service hours.

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The cause was a downed wire on the Amtrak line at the Forest Hills station in Hyde Park, officials said.

When Acela Train 2151 bound for New York passed at 5:45 a.m., its overhead catenary wire fell, knocking out power for the line and the train itself, which was “blocking one of the mainline tracks in and out of South Station,” said Scott Farmelant, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., which runs commuter service for the MBTA.

The live wire prompted officials to shut down tracks between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m., Farmelant said, which is why passengers on the Fairmount, Franklin/Forge Park, Needham, Providence, Stoughton, and Framingham/Worcester lines experienced delays of seven to 58 minutes for “every single train during peak hours,” Farmelant said.

“The MBTA commuter rail shares lines with other train carriers, which means shared problems,” Farmelant said.

As of 10:30 a.m., one Amtrak line was out of service with crews in the process of repairing the downed line, said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole, who said he expects repairs to be completed this afternoon. Farmelant said he expected residual delays throughout the day.

As of 12:30 p.m., three MBTA lines were still feeling delays, with trains running 10 to 25 minutes behind schedule on the Framingham/Worcester, Franklin/Forge Park, and Newburyport/Rockport lines.

Residual delays also will come into play for passengers going in and out of Boston on Amtrak.

“People traveling between Boston and New York may experience delays of several hours,” Cole said.

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at
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