Commuter rail delayed after lightning damages signal system

Fire crews battled the blaze near Forest Hills station on Saturday morning.
Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff
Fire crews battled the blaze near Forest Hills station on Saturday morning.

Commuter rail delays continued Monday after a lightning strike damaged an Amtrak signal system at Forest Hills Station on Saturday.

More than a dozen trains on the Franklin, Providence/Stoughton, and Needham lines were delayed between 10 and 50 minutes Monday morning due to the signal issue, the MBTA said on its service alerts website.

Keolis Commuter Services, the company that operates the commuter rail for the MBTA, had warned its customers of the delays in a statement Sunday.


Inbound passengers on the Franklin, Providence/Stoughton, and Needham lines can expect to depart on time, but they might arrive at Back Bay or South Station 20 to 30 minutes late, the company said.

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The inbound Providence/Stoughton line trains will bypass Ruggles Station, according to the statement. Commuters traveling to Ruggles will need to get off at Back Bay Station and continue on the Orange Line. Commuters who usually board at Ruggles will need to use the Orange Line, according to the statement.

There is no estimate as to when Amtrak will finish repairing the system, Keolis spokeswoman Leslie Aun said Monday.

Amtrak’s signaling system is used to guide the commuter rail trains and until the repairs are made, the system may need to be operated manually, Aun explained in a telephone interview Sunday.

“It would be like if you’re driving your car down the highway and suddenly all the lights go away and all the signs go away,” Aun said. “It’s the signaling system that guides the trains, so you need signals to operate the trains going at full speed.”


Commuters traveling outbound or in the afternoon should not be affected, according to the statement.

Aneri Pattani can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @apattani95.