On board stuck Red Line trains, passengers were resigned to their fate

CAMBRIDGE – Ramsahoye Khemraj was the last of 447 commuters to be evacuated off Red Line trains after the trains became stuck inside the tunnel near Porter Square.

Khemraj, 36, said that during the two hours on the train he and fellow passengers spent underground, most people were were impatient, yet stoic, as they waited for the MBTA to figure out how to restart the trains so they could resume their journeys.

“You could see people were impatient, but nobody was expressing it,’’ he said. “We just didn’t really know what was going on.’’

Khemraj started his day with the MBTA at the Alewife station at 8:50 a.m. where he boarded the train; he finally arrived at the Harvard Square station at about 12:45 p.m., having missed two meetings he was prepared to attend.


Khemraj was not alone in suffering a disrupted day.

Curtis Chin, 28, boarded at Porter Square at 8:50 a.m. and arrived in Harvard Square more than three hours later, forcing him to decide whether to head to a Boston hospital where he was scheduled to work as a volunteer.

“I don’t know, what can you do?’’ Chin said as he emerged from the shuttle bus at Harvard Square.

Carly Sternberg, 23, of Plymouth, said her experience “wasn’t that awful.’’ However, she added, the last hour became harder to bear when the air conditioning was shut off.

“We just kind of hung out, talking,’’ she said. “But everyone was pretty excited to get off.’’

Carol Zaczkiewicz, in an e-mail sent to the Globe, said her day began when she boarded the 77 Bus and her Charlie Card did not work. The card did work at the Alewife station, however, she added.

“My story got a few chuckles a couple hours later as we sat in the glow from the emergency lighting system on the subway car, ‘’ Zaczkiewicz, of Arlington, wrote. “We traded stories about the meetings we were missing. We assured one young person that any company that wouldn’t reschedule a job interview wasn’t worth working for – even in this economy. ‘’


She added, “we laughed about how we could get to the front of the evacuation line as a sheepish looking pregnant woman was escorted past us. Our chatter quieted when the one woman became ill, perhaps from the heat, and was tended to by men from the fire department. No one wanted to get to the head of the line that way.’’

However, in e-mails sent to the Globe, passengers who used the Red Line or other parts of the commuter system today complained that the T failed to update the traveling public about what was happening — and how long they expected it to last.

Commuters told the Globe that message alert signs at T stations repeated the same message for hours, any updates announced over loudspeakers were hard to hear or incomplete, and timely updates were not provided on social media sites like Twitter.

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