By Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of commuters were forced out into the cold Wednesday morning after a smoldering cable inside Arlington MBTA station halted service on the Green Line during morning rush hour.

Just after 8 a.m. the Boston Fire Department responded to Arlington Station.

Firefighters had to shut down power inside the station while they examined the problem.

That led to Green Line service being suspended between Kenmore Station and Government Center for about three hours.

Another similar issue happened at the Arlington station around 9p.m. Wednesday night. The MBTA encouraged riders to make use of the adjacent Orange Line Stations for service between North Station and Copley Station.

“It’s ten degrees, there’s hundreds of people waiting for shuttle buses and they’re not coming quickly,” said one morning commuter.

The shutdown left many people late for work and school as they tried to find an alternate way to get to their destination.

“I left at 8:15 and it’s now after nine o’clock,” said Christiana Fisher who was late for work.

When power was shut off, seven trains carrying passengers had to be evacuated.

It all happened on the coldest day so far of the season.

The temperature in Boston was hovering around 10 degrees Wednesday morning.

“I got to Park Street they told me the line wasn’t running so I walked from Park,” said commuter Erin Mulcahey. “I’m really late for work and it’s cold so I’m glad I remembered my hat and gloves today.”

The cause of the smoke condition is under investigation, but Boston Fire Dept. Chief Robert Calobrisi says the cold could be a factor.

“Maybe the friction that’s caused by the motors operating over capacity,” he suggested.

Shuttle buses brought crowds of commuters between stops while the trolleys were down.

Service finally resumed by 11 a.m. after fire crews cleared the smoke and checked for problems on other cables.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.

Beth Germano

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