MBTA: Actions of operator under investigation in Green Line derailment

“Investigators are focused on the operation of the train as it departed Riverside Station.”

Service on a section of the Green Line’s D branch was suspended on Wednesday morning for more than five hours after a train derailed during the morning commute. 

The inbound Green Line train was departing Riverside Station just after 6 a.m. when the second car “came off the rail” at a track switch, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. The first train car did not derail. 

“There was one passenger aboard the train and no one was injured,” Pesaturo said. 

Pesaturo said the preliminary investigation into the derailment found “no issues with track infrastructure, the signals, nor the train.”

Advertisement

“Investigators are focused on the operation of the train as it departed Riverside Station,” he said. “The preliminary investigation shows the train’s operator did not have the signal system’s authorization to proceed. By not allowing the track switch to be properly aligned, the second car of the train came off the rails.”

The operator, who was hired in March 2019 by the MBTA, has been removed from service while the investigation is ongoing, according to the MBTA. 

 “I want to apologize to the Green Line customers whose commutes were disrupted this morning,” MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in a statement.  “We will complete the formal investigation as soon as possible and take corrective action if needed. We can and we must do better.”

Shuttle buses replaced service between Riverside and Newton Highlands until just before noon, when regular service resumed. 

Wednesday’s incident follows in the wake of a week in June when two trains went off the tracks while in service, which prompted public outcry about the state of the transit system and rising fares to ride. The MBTA has said that major damage caused by the June 11 derailment of a Red Line train to signals and switches at JFK/UMass Station will likely not be completely repaired until October.