Wicked Good Guides / Boston Subway Stories /

Orange Line

NOTE: Here are older Boston subway stories. For more current T tales, see Universal Hub's MBTA pages.

Compiled by Adam Gaffin

Extending the T

Beth writes:
I was riding in to downtown Boston on the Orange Line, from the Malden Station stop. Seated next to me was a little boy who was REALLY excited to be on the train. He stared out the window and narrated everything to his mother: Trees! I see tracks! What's that light?! Are we going into a tunnel now?

And at every stop, he turned to his mom to show him where we were on the subway map posted next to them. He was on his way to figuring out all the lines on the system, and finally his mom just started reading off all the Orange Line stops to him to satisfy his curiosity. "Community College, North Station, Haymarket, State, Downtown Crossing..." She got to the Chinatown stop, and he was suddenly riveted. Eyes wide, he looked up at her.

"You mean, this train goes all the way to China?"

Putting the "T" in "bitch"

Devin writes:
I was at Downtown Crossing around midnight on Friday night waiting for a southbound train. There were only a few other people waiting. Then two people came from the Park Street tunnel with bicycles and a T employee told them they couldn't have bycicles in Downtown Crossing and that they would have to go outside and get back on at Chinatown. She explained how, "It's like a law and stuff," and that it's a fire hazard... but that it's only for Downtown Crossing and Park Street, you can have a bicycle in the other stations.

Buy my question would by why it's a fire hazard to have a bicycle in Downtown Crossing, but it's not a fire hazard in Chinatown.

So, they argued about this for a while. A crowd gathered around and people started questioning the T person why bycicles weren't allowed. Everybody was supporting the byciclists, except in the background I could here one guy saying, "Just leave, you're going to make me miss my bus." The two people refused to leave so the T woman called the T police and explained how she was just looking out for them because now they would miss the last train of the night because they would be talking to the TPD.

So the next train pulls into the station before the police can arrive. They both get on the train and the T woman holds the door open and tells them to get off, but they don't. She goes over to the conductor and explains what is happening. The train sits there for a minute or two. Then the woman goes back to the booth to talk to somebody else, the conductor closed the doors and the train moved on.

The conductor was probably thinking, "Oh please, you want to make me late getting home because two people have bycicles on an empty train?" That woman really puts the "T" in bitch.


A writes:
A few years back I was going for some reason to downtown boston.
The driver went on the intecom (i suppose to anounce the next station) but the only thing he did was sneeze 3 times (then he apolagized and anounced the station but I was cracking up the rest of the ride).

A very familar stranger

Back in the late 70's I used to ride the Orange Line to work. I would get on at Dudley Station to Washington St.There was this young woman who rode every day also, she got on at one of the previous stops and like me she was a "strap hanger". We always exchanged greatings and small talk. One day on a very crowed train she told me she was moving to N.Y. citty and that Friday would be her last ride. I was sad because I liked her and my day went by faster. Friday came and she was there as always, and she looked very hot that day. As we were going she sort of got me excited (motion of the train) Well she looked at me smiled and helped ease the situation right there on the train between Northampton amd Essex. I really was taken by that. When the train got to Washington she gave me a big kiss and thanked me for the company in the mornings. She melted into the crowed and that was the last I saw of her. Still dream of that day.


One very uncrowded weekend afternoon on the Orange Line to Wellington, a guy called up someone on his cell phone and proceeded to tell this lucky person, quite loudly in a very quiet train, about everything he eaten recently, in very vivid detail. This took several minutes of food description. A few of us had to bust out laughing.

A sticky situation

This one time I was riding the Red Line home from the South Shoah with my boyfriend, and as soon as there were empty seats we sat down (you know how it is). Well, I tried to get back up right away because something came back up with me when I did. So I said, really loud, "(boyfriend)! Theah's somethin' sticky on my butt! It's stuck to my ass!" So everyone on the train turned around to look. I pulled the most disgusting, half-melted, covered in fuzzy sh*t, pre-digested lollipop off of the back of my pants, looked at it in shock, then tossed it onto the floor saying "it was USED!" This one guy whipped his head around, he'd been reading a newspaper and I guess he thought it was a condom. I thank God every day it WASN'T. Ugh.

Egging her on

Halloween, 2000. I was on the Orange Line riding home from an evening class at Northeastern. Some kids got on at Mass Ave, and got off at Back Bay. As they got off, they whipped an egg off the back of the head at the poor lady who happened to be sitting next to the door. The gentlemen next to her took out a rag and proceeded to clean her off. I'm not sure what was weirder, the egging, or the act of kindness.

A stinky situation

I was in high school so it was about 10 years ago ... I was on the train with a friend and the train was extremely packed. All of a sudden the driver came over the loudspeaker and he said: "Aren't you glad you used Dial today? Don't you wish everyone did?" Half the people holding the top railing pulled their arms down...me and my friend were peeing our pants laughing for the rest of the ride.

Singin' the stations

I was on the inbound Orange Line one day during PM rush hour. I got on at Oak Grove, which is the first stop. As the train departed the station, the lady came on the PA and announced "Malden Center, next stop," it sounded like she was singing it. So we got to Malden Center and she said it regularly. But as we approached Wellington, I noticed it again, but I thought i was just hearing things. But then when we got to Sullivan she sang so loudly, "Sullivan Square doors open on the left". Later that night I got on at Chinatown and nevertheless, she was singing away the stops!

Gender bender

My adult daughter was riding the Orange, when a "person" sat beside her. This "person" began to chat with Sarah. "She" explained that "She" was coming to Boston from New York City (so, you all know where this is going, LOL) to attend a brother's funeral. "She" explained the homosexual brother had died of AIDs. "She" explained that "She" only did hard drugs once in a while.

"Her" hair was numerous colors, like a rainbow; clothing was stretched tightly and huge gold, gaudy jewelry, dripped in every place jewelery can be worn. (On the T???)

"She" also sported numerous tattoos and many piercings, "Some, "She" told Sarah, were in personal places." "She", then described the locations to my daughter... (NO! I am not going to tell you where. Use your imagination on this one.)

Now, "She" continued this banter and began to talk about my daughter's clothing, nails, red hair, makeup. Then, "She" began to talk about breast sizes, bras, corsets, stockings and garter belts. "Do you think I am pretty?" "She" asked. "As pretty as you?" (At this point, I asked Sarah why she didn't get off the T and wait for the next train. She replied, "I was having too much fun!)

Getting back to breat sizes, my daughter is "petite". "She" continued about how Estrogen enhances breast sizes. Tongue in cheek, Sarah turned the subject to whether "She" thought Sarah might be benefited by this hormone. Batting sezy false eyelashes, "She" gathered ample breats in hands and shook them, in time, with shoulders swaying to show Sarah. "She" the, lifted a skirt and asked if Sarah would like to feel smooth, hair-free legs. (My daughter declined.)

Finally, "Her" stop arrived. Blowing kisses and swishing hips as "She" deboarded the train, "She" said, "Ta-ta, Darling." Sarah watched as the 6'3" "person" vanished as the train continued.