Passengers on the MBTA’s Orange Line faced more delays Thursday as two trains broke down and had to be taken out of service during the morning commute.
The first delay was reported around 6 a.m. when MBTA officials tweeted that a train at Wellington had a mechanical problem.
A second wave of delays was announced less than two hours later, when the MBTA tweeted that there was another train with a mechanical problem at Tufts at 7:50 a.m.
MBTA officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Frustrated by the slowdown, many passengers turned to Twitter to complain about the beleaguered subway line, and at one point Thursday morning the hashtag #OrangeLine was the No. 1 trending topic in the United States and worldwide.
Bethany Geary was one of the passengers on the second train that broke down. She said she was on her way to work when the train suddenly stopped in the tunnel between the Tufts MBTA station and Back Bay.
“We were stopped for about five to 10 minutes, and then I heard the conductor say there was traffic ahead,” she said in a telephone interview.
The train lurched forward, then started rolling backwards and stopped. This happened three times, she said. When another announcement was made over the speakers, the MBTA employee repeated the same message: They were stopped because of traffic. Geary said she learned about the mechanical problem from reading about it on Twitter.
“Twitter, unfortunately, was more reliable than the MBTA employee,” she said.
After 15 to 20 minutes of waiting, the train slowly pulled into Back Bay and all the passengers were told to get off the train, she said.
Geary said that whenever the MBTA announces delays, she adds 10 minutes to the T’s estimates. If the T says 10 minutes, she assumes it will be 20 minutes. It’s just one of many pet peeves that she and other riders have with the MBTA.
“At least be accurate with the information,” she said.
Geary takes the Orange Line regularly and said she leaves extra early for work because of it.
“I’m always prepared for the Orange Line to be super delayed,” she said. “I just hope there’s a solution soon.”
Sam Brewer, the assistant director of media relations for the WGBH Educational Foundation, was going to take the Orange Line to work Thursday but changed his mind after he looked at Google Maps and saw there was a 25-minute delay.
After looking at all the alternative options, he decided to take an Uber so he could make it to work at a reasonable time.
“So I spent $29.38 on an Uber Pool . . . while perusing car prices on my phone most of the way,” Brewer said in an e-mail.
Orange Line passengers have had days of miserable commutes. On Tuesday, parts of the line were out of service because of a power problem.
On Wednesday morning, Orange Line passengers were forced to wait outside in the cold on crowded platforms after three different trains broke down.
The disabled trains were just the latest in a series of troubles for the Orange Line, which recently underwent an extensive makeover, complete with gleaming new train cars and new tracks. But passengers have yet to reap the benefits of those modernization efforts, and some riders say the service has only gotten worse.
The first two new Orange Line trains were taken off the tracks in mid-November because officials said they were concerned about an “uncommon noise” from the cars.
On Wednesday, the MBTA officials offered details about the problem: A 5-by-13-inch pad between the upper and lower parts of the subway cars — the truck, or undercarriage, which includes the wheels, and the body, which carries passengers — was “wearing irregularly,” general manager Steve Poftak said.
Poftak said the MBTA was still working to determine the cause of the problem and find a solution.
It’s unclear when the new trains will return to service.
Talking to reporters Wednesday night, Governor Charlie Baker voiced support for the early rollout of some Orange Line trains.
“One of the benefits they get out of running some of these trains early is they get a chance to determine if in fact there are things they need to change as part of the rest of the assembly as they go through the process of moving several hundred of them onto the Orange Line over the next year and a half,” Baker said.