Equipment failure ruled out in Green Line crash; focus moves to operator

Transportation officials said today they had ruled out equipment failure in the Green Line trolley crash that injured 37 people on Thursday and they were scrutinizing the actions of the operator whose trolley rammed into a stationary train at Boylston Station.

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“With this point in the investigation, we have ruled out both any mechanical issues for either of the trains or infrastructure — meaning tracks, signals, etc. — so at this point we’re now focused on the operator,” Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said at a news conference this afternoon.

Davey said the trolley that was stopped at the station had its lights properly flashing. He also said no cellphone had been found belonging to the operator who drove his trolley into the stationary train.

He said the operator of the stationary train was still in the hospital as a precaution, but no one had been seriously injured in the crash.

The driver in the crash, a 46-year-old man who joined the T in 2006, had an accident-free record and was slated to receive a safety award today, the Globe reported today.

Thursday’s crash was the second on the Green Line in less than two months and one of several that have occurred over the decades on the original 115-year-old stretch of the nation’s oldest subway. It came just days before transportation officials were scheduled to receive a report on outfitting the Green Line with automated signals to stop vehicles before they collide, which would probably cost hundreds of millions of dollars and could require trains to run less often.

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