MBTA releases footage of runaway Red Line train

Officials looked at the runaway Red Line train in December. Jessica Rinaldi / The Boston Globe

The MBTA released footage on Friday of the driverless Red Line train that careened down the tracks with passengers aboard for five miles before being stopped.

David Vazquez, the train’s operator who no longer works for the MBTA, allegedly tied the train’s throttle with a cord and failed to set the brake when he left the train to fix a signal problem on December 10. The train traveled from just north of Braintree station through four stations before it was stopped by transit employees.

None of the passengers on the train were injured.

In addition to its investigation, the MBTA took “immediate steps” to prevent such incidents from happening again, according to a statement from MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola.


In the statement, DePaola said:

While the MBTA is grateful that no one was harmed, the safety of our passengers and employees is something we take very seriously. Within a week of the incident, the MBTA acted quickly, implementing new procedures which require a supervisor be present when a train operator is granted permission to ‘bypass’ a faulty signal. The MBTA also issued a special order to all train operators, reinforcing the policies against tampering with safety equipment, and reminding them of the disciplinary action for such violations.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told Boston.com the release of the video was the result of a public records request by a local TV station. The surveillance footage from the platforms of Quincy Adams and Quincy Center show the train speeding through the stations, with waiting commuters apparently unfazed.

Pesaturo said there was no footage of the train at the two other stations.

The train begins passing through Quincy Adams around the 4:10 mark in the below video.

The train begins passing through Quincy Center around the 3:24 mark below.




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