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Extreme Weather Travel Guide

Riders near the Green Line during rainy weather at Boston Marathon 2018

Flooding, excessive winds, soaring temperatures—we have to be ready for the worst when extreme weather hits New England. Regardless of the season, it’s our top priority to ensure your safety when you ride the T.

We’re working to minimize service disruptions due to rising sea levels and stronger, more frequent major storms by identifying vulnerabilities and updating at-risk infrastructure.

Learn more about our climate change efforts

When extreme weather does hit, here are some things to keep in mind.

Planning Your Commute

Plan ahead for your commute by checking alerts on our website and on Twitter.

Plan Ahead

On the platform in Park Street Station, a woman holds her smartphone with a Green Line train in the background.

Get service alerts via text or email.

Check alerts

Winter Travel Guide

Winter Guide Clickable Graphic

Worried about a winter storm? Find out how you can get ready for a snowy commute.

Check out our Winter Travel Guide

Nor’easters, Hurricanes, and Storms

Tiger dams tested for flooding prevention at Aquarium Station in 2019
We tested some “tiger dams” at the Long Wharf entrance at Aquarium Station in early 2019. It’s a short-term flood prevention measure at our disposal while we work on long-term flood prevention solutions.

Flooding, heavy winds, and lightning are the main causes for delays and disruptions to MBTA service during major storms.

On rare occasions, the Governor may issue a state of emergency or travel ban, which can impact the level of MBTA service available. If this happens, we will update our website and Twitter with related service changes.

Extreme Heat

Pedestrians cross the newly repainted crosswalk at Coolidge Corner (August 2019)

On summer’s hottest days, we may operate trains at reduced speeds in some areas to compensate for heat-related stress on the tracks, which could result in slightly longer travel times.

We’ll also have crews stationed around the system to provide assistance.

Learn more about keeping cool in the heat

What to Expect if You Take the T

Report a Hot Vehicle

Please let us know if you experience a hot bus or train by telling your operator.

You can also let a station official know, call 617-222-3200, send us a message, or tweet us @MBTA. Be sure to include your bus or train number.

Slippery Rail

Commuter Rail Train Drives Through Blue Hill Avenue Station in Fall

Every autumn, leaf peepers take in the beauty of New England’s fall foliage. It's not exactly extreme weather, but when leaves fall on Commuter Rail tracks, collect with debris, and pick up moisture, it can cause a dangerous condition called slippery rail. When train wheels crush the leaves, it transforms them into a slick film on the track.

When this happens, trains are required to begin braking for stops sooner and take more time to pick up speed when departing a station, which can cause delays.

To stay ahead of the problem, we:

  • Deploy specially designed MBTA train cars with rail pressure washers to clean tracks along wooded routes
  • Apply gel and a sand solution to the rails for improved train traction
  • Use drones to find areas where leaves and debris build up to stay ahead of problem areas

All schedule changes are detailed in system alerts, available on our website, on Twitter, and via text or email.

See all Commuter Rail service alerts

Plan Ahead

On the platform in Park Street Station, a woman holds her smartphone with a Green Line train in the background.

Get service alerts via text or email.

Check alerts

Winter Travel Guide

Winter Guide Clickable Graphic

Worried about a winter storm? Find out how you can get ready for a snowy commute.

Check out our Winter Travel Guide