One of the quirks about riding the commuter rail is timing and another is tracks. For example, I pick up my train at Ruggles and there are 2 other trains that arrive around mine. Only 1 other arrives on the same track. How do I know this? Experience and paranoia. I have never felt more foolish and panicked when I got on the wrong train (years ago) and I had to take a taxi home. Every evening commute home, I tell myself "The train never comes early, don't jump the gun." and "Left track only."
Those two rules sometimes get broken and that is when I really appreciate conductors who are on the ball. One night, the second train before mine never arrived and my train came on the other track. All the way up the platform, conductors were hollering "Needham Heights!!" Thank you, thank you, thank you!
This past week, and I'll blame Dan Grabauskas since he's the whipping boy of the MBTA, not a single conductor has said a peep on any line. I've seen the entire train platform empty out into a train and half of those poor souls had to walk back to the platform since they found out from a train passenger that it wasn't their line. It's like train conductors are hiding from passengers and have lost their voice. There are no stop announcements anymore. This Friday, fed up, I asked a conductor who was collecting fares about why no one announced what line the train was. He told me, "We did but you probably couldn't hear us going by 30 mph." I call bullshit. Not a single conductor was in a doorway as it pulled up to Ruggles.
Dan can you please come back and put an end to this bizarre work stoppage? Things were so much better with you around. I really don't want to end up in Providence by accident. That would be one hell of a cab ride home!