Local News

Green Line service resumes after crash, cause remains unknown

On Wednesday night, two Green Line trains collided near Government Center, sending four people to the hospital.

An MBTA worker offers a commuter directions from the Government Center station, which was closed Thursday morning. Craig F. Walker/Boston Globe Staff

Green Line service resumed Thursday after being disrupted by a trolley collision and derailment Wednesday night that sent four people to the hospital. 

While an investigation is still underway, there is no immediate evidence that the crash was caused by faulty rails or issues with the trains themselves, according to MBTA officials.

Human error is being investigated as one possible cause, but MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak urged patience on this front.

“I hesitate to draw conclusions. I’ve seen situations in the past where once all the facts are known, sometimes what you thought was apparent is not, but that is one of the things that we are looking very closely at,” Poftak said of human error, according to State House News Service.


The crash happened near the Government Center station around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, The Boston Globe reported. A westbound train carrying between 20 and 25 passengers struck a two-car train that had no passengers inside, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo told the Globe. The two-car train was preparing to enter service at Government Center. 

The collision caused both trains to derail, and four trolley operators were taken to local hospitals, Pesaturo said. 

Green Line service resumed at 2 p.m. Thursday. Three of the four operators taken to hospitals have been released, Pesaturo confirmed Thursday afternoon. 

The four operators were placed on administrative leave, WCVB reported.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the incident was tied to a lack of maintenance on the MBTA system that stretches back years

“We know that this is directly connected to the fact that there’s been deferred maintenance for decades in the system, and it is time to have a plan to make sure we can invest what we need, fix up the track, update our trains, and ensure that people can rely on the service,” Wu said, according to WCVB. “As a regular T commuter, it’s always frustrating.”

After the crash, service was suspended between Park Street and Union Square. Riders were directed to the Orange Line for alternate downtown service. Shuttle buses replaced service between Lechmere and North Station. 


Earlier this spring, federal officials announced they were taking an increased oversight role into MBTA operations. The Federal Transit Administration said in a letter to the MBTA that it is “extremely concerned with the ongoing safety issues,” the Globe reported. A pattern of “safety incidents” caused FTA officials to step in and begin inspecting the safety of MBTA trains. 

In April, a man was caught in a Red Line door while at Broadway Station before being dragged about 100 feet to his death. In May, a man died after falling from a platform onto the third rail at the Park Street station.

When an improperly installed bolt on the brakes of a new Orange Line train caused a derailment in late May, the entire fleet of new trains was pulled for inspection. A similar braking issue was found on seven other Orange Line trains

The MBTA recently announced that construction will occur on multiple Green Line tracks this summer.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com