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North Station problem causes commuter rail delays

Commuter trains on lines north of Boston experienced delays and cancellations this morning due to the cold weather.

Extreme cold impacted Tower A at North Station, a major signal transmission device allowing dispatchers to control movement of trains in and out of the station, said Scott Farmelant, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., which runs commuter rail service for the MBTA.

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At least 20 10-to-15-minute delays were reported and four canceled trains were reported between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m., the station’s peak service hours, he said.

“It’s sensitive equipment, and the extreme cold weather we experienced impacts the older rail equipment that’s in operation,” Farmelant said.

Problems were reported on the Haverhill, Fitchburg/South Acton, Lowell, and Newburyport/Rockport lines.

Amtrak trains traveling between Washington and Boston are also operating on a modified schedule today due to cold weather problems, but they are expected to be running normally tomorrow, spokesperson Clifford Cole said.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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