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For third straight day, delays and a cancellation on commuter rail lines

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File

For the third straight day, “mechanical issues’’ are causing delays and at least one cancellation on the MBTA’s commuter rail lines Friday morning.

Keolis Commuter Services, the commuter rail operator, canceled the Framingham line train 581 and reported Middleboro line train 002 became disabled due to “mechanical issues’’ and is currently being assisted into Boston by train 004.

A Providence line train started in South Attleboro instead of Providence, also due to “mechanical issues,’’ according to Tweets on @MBTA_CR, the Twitter account maintained by Keolis.

The Globe reported that Keolis operated the required number of locomotives for regular service during only four of 23 weekdays in March, a troubling statistic behind some of the many cancellations and delays that have recently plagued their lines.


Since July, the MBTA has fined Keolis Commuter Services $204,000 for not having enough locomotives available for regular weekday service, according to figures released Thursday afternoon by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

The data comes as Keolis has blamed the MBTA’s defective new locomotives for some of its cancellations and delays. In an e-mail, Keolis spokesman Tory Mazzola wrote that Friday’s problems were related to older locomotives.

“We made significant progress on locomotive maintenance over the past several days, including through last night, and were ready to operate full service,’’ he wrote in an e-mailed statement. “However, this morning an additional legacy locomotive required maintenance due to last minute equipment failure.’’

He added, “we appreciate the patience of customers as we resolve this as quickly as possible.”

The number of cancellations on Friday is lower than earlier this week when Keolis canceled four trains on Thursday and Wednesday.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.