Danger. Overhead catenary wires are alive!?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one to poke fun at public transport systems; I love them, I use them in whichever city I visit, and I visit a lot of cities around the world. I was given Mark Ovenden’s wonderful Transit Maps of the World and geekishly pore over it, memorizing details, recalling experiences I’ve had in the cities he covers. But the time has come to stand up, proud, and be counted in revealing a fundamental flaw in my local transit authority, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, MBTA, or more simply, the ‘T’ that has gone unreported for years.

As a regular Boston-London passenger, I travel from my home in Central Square, Cambridge, on the Red Line, to South Station in Boston, where I transfer to the Silver Line (Line SL1) which was built as a link out to Boston’s Logan International Airport in 2005.  My gripe is that since that date I’ve had to endure a sign which frankly appalls me. What was going through the mind of the MBTA employee who declared ‘Danger Overhead Catenary Wires Are Alive!? For those of you who need a little prodding as to my indignation, the catenary wires are ‘live‘, flowing with electricity, they’re certainly not ‘alive’ as in ‘living’……

Rant over.


  1. Alison on June 8, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    😍 I’ve seen this sign for years, and other than a cursory “wat.” just ignored it. Today I waited 20 minutes for the Silver Line to Logan (it was 6am) so had some time to correct my ignorance. I took a similar snap, looked up catenary online, and posted on fb. Today I have learned a whole lot more about math, physics, power options, and parabolas than I ever expected. Quite a journey.

  2. Denise on June 11, 2018 at 9:22 am

    And yet it’s right next to a simple, well-worded sign: “Do Not Cross.” How about “Danger: Do Not Touch Overhead Wires”?

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