81-year-old Blue Line train operator sets Guinness World Record

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Helen Antenucci, who’s been a Blue Line driver for nearly 30 years, was proclaimed as the world’s oldest train operator by Guinness World Records.

An 81-year-old MBTA train operator known for her passion for the New England Aquarium and uplifting announcements is now a Guinness World Record holder.

Helen Antenucci was proclaimed the world’s oldest train operator by the global authority last week. The MBTA congratulated Antenucci, who’s been operating Blue Line trains for nearly 30 years.

In an interview, Antenucci told Guinness World Records that she began as a Blue Line driver in 1995 at age 53. Since then, she’s become an “unofficial ambassador” of the Aquarium Station.

“The majority of people that get on or off my train there are families with children that are going to have a happy experience,” she said.

Passengers took to social media to honor Antenucci’s impact, including a video where she wishes the Blue Line commuters a  “Happy Thursday.” 

“Today’s a gift,” she can be heard saying over the crackling intercom. “Have a wonderful day.”

Some daily riders said they always recognize Antenucci and her voice on their Blue Line commutes.

“I love Helen’s announcements when I get on her train,” one rider wrote.

“Great to see Helen get some accolades! Everyone smiles when … they hear her,” another said.

According to Guinness World Records, a coworker nominated Antenucci for the world record without telling her.

“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” she said. “I get up every day and do what I love to do. Not many people get to say that at my age.”

Antenucci said she turns 82 soon and currently has no plans to retire.

“I would like to say thank you to all of my coworkers, family, friends and passengers for their support in making every day a wonderful journey,” she told Guinness World Records. “I will bring my passengers to and from where they need to go until my organization tells me I can’t, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

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