MBTA workers who stopped runaway Red Line train honored by Gov. Baker

“When things work, it works because of people like you,’’ Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack said.

Officials look at a red line train that took off without an operator.
Officials look at a red line train that took off without an operator. –Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

The two MBTA longtime employees who safely stopped a runaway Red Line train last week were honored by officials at the State House on Monday morning.

Ainsley Saunders and Mark McNeill, who have a combined 48 years of experience, were awarded citations from Gov. Charlie Baker and MBTA officials for their work on Thursday.

“Based on all accounts after the fact, you two performed in exemplary fashion, made a whole series of strategic decisions, executed them perfectly, and turned what could have been a far more dangerous circumstance into something that, while it was temporarily messy for a lot of the people involved, did not lead to any sort of significant … disaster,’’ Baker said. “I just want to say thanks.’’

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Faced with a moving Red Line train and no driver, Saunders and McNeill coolly navigated other trains away from the danger and cut power to the Braintree branch, causing the runaway train to safely coast to a stop just past North Quincy Station, The Boston Globe reports.

Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack said their work was a respite from the T’s “really rough year.’’

“It’s important to remember that every day most of the people that work with the T are actually working really hard, doing a great job, providing reliable public transportation for over a million riders a day,’’ she said. “When things work, it works because of people like you.’’

McNeill grabbed a nice addition to his honorary citation: A selfie with the guv.

Gallery: Old photos of the MBTA

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