Close call as commuter rail train strikes empty car on Ashland tracks

A grandfather and grandson had to abandon their broken-down car before it was hit.

Two people, a grandfather and grandson, had to abandon their broken-down car before it was hit by a train in Ashland Thursday night.

Commuters saw hours-long delays after the empty car was squashed by a commuter rail train, according to police. 

Ashland officers said no injuries were reported, but the car was left mangled on the tracks at Main Street Crossing. 

Evening shift officers are on scene of a crash involving a train and motor vehicle at the Main St crossing. No injuries reported. Please avoid the area as the intersection will be blocked for an extended time.

Posted by Ashland Police Department on Thursday, February 6, 2020

The MBTA reported the Worcester line collision around 6:40 p.m.

The grandfather and grandson were in the car together when they realized it was lodged on the tracks, Ashland Fire Chief Keith Robie said.

Hoping to bring back help, Robie said the grandson got out of the car and ran to the fire department, bringing two firefighters back to the scene.

That’s when firefighters saw the train coming, Robie said, and the grandfather standing in front of his car waving down the train to make it stop.


“Unfortunately,” Robie said, “trains, their size, their speed, they don’t stop quick.”

He said throughout the years, they’ve learned that the safest bet is to just move out of the way — so firefighters pulled the grandfather out of the train’s path.

One woman responded to the Ashland Police Department’s Facebook post explaining that she had to back up from the Main Street tracks and take another road home since police were on either side of the stopped train.

You ladies and gentleman are amazing to me,” she wrote, “You run in when most people would be running away. Very glad to hear the gentlemen in the car got out safely.”

Police said the car was cleared from Main Street Crossing around 9 p.m., but the MBTA warned passengers that they would continue to see delays throughout the night in both directions. 

Main St., Crossing has re-opened. Vehicle has been removed and all units are clear from the scene.

Posted by Ashland Police Department on Thursday, February 6, 2020

A Framingham train left South Station by 7:45 p.m. but was held at Natick Center because of the collision, while multiple Worcester trains were cancelled or held near Ashland, Framingham, and West Natick to wait out officials examining the tracks.

Many trains were more than two hours behind schedule, according to the MBTA.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on