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MBTA Red Line Service Resumes After Train Derails

DORCHESTER (CBS) - Crews will work through the night to right the MBTA Red Line train car that derailed Tuesday morning, causing chaos for commuters.

The third car of a T train derailed just outside the JFK-UMass station on the southbound side around 6:10 a.m. It significantly damaged the train, the tracks, and the nearby signal equipment, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told reporters.

By late afternoon, Red Line service to Ashmont and Braintree was restored. Service resumed after Poftak warned the commute may consist of shuttle buses with commuter rail trains supplementing some stops as a worst-case scenario.

The Red Line will run at reduced service levels for the Wednesday morning commute.

Crane red line
Crane lifts Red Line car that derailed near JFK/UMass station (WBZ-TV)

Poftak explained that the timing and location of the derailment stranded some equipment on the southern side of the system, limiting the T north of the derailment in the morning. "We will have more trains than we had this morning so we will be able to offer a higher level of service there," he said.

CHECK: Red Line Service Options

The derailment strained multiple modes of transportation into the city. Commuter Rails made unexpected stops to try and alleviate some of the stuck commuters.

Sixty-five MBTA buses were brought in to serve as shuttle buses. Since the bus system is already running at full capacity in the morning, this pulled buses away from other routes.

red line derailment
An MBTA Red Line train derailed just outside the JFK-UMass station June 11. (Photo credit: Boston Fire Dept. )

"Same old, same old. What are you going to do?" said a man waiting for the next shuttle bus. "It's aggravating...they don't have any problem asking for more money but they give you the same service."

Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, a frequent T commuter, is demanding change.

"We can't wait. It's way too late for riders who are suffering every day with the unreliability of the system, who can't afford July 1st when the prices will go up, not just for subway but even more for Commuter Rail," Wu said.

Massachusetts State Police briefly closed the ramps from Route 93 north and south at exit 15 because of the derailment.

Ride-sharing wasn't much of an alternative either. Prices for a Lyft from Brighton to the Seaport before 8 a.m. were listed at $120. An Uber ride from Quincy to Cambridge cost $100.

WBZ-TV's Louisa Moller reports

A crane was brought in Tuesday evening to lift the train car, causing road closures in the area.

"It is a delicate piece of work in that it is partially underneath a bridge," he said.

Of the 60 people on the six-car train on board, one suffered a hand injury and complained of neck pain after the derailment.

The official cause is under investigation but Poftak said there has been no evidence of operator error or foul play.

This is the second derailment in less than a week for the MBTA. A Green Line train went off the tracks in a tunnel near Kenmore Square Saturday. Eleven people were hurt. The T said the cause of that incident was "operator-related."

"There is no relationship based on our preliminary review between these two incidents," said Poftak.

In a tweet, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called the derailments "unacceptable" and said, "it is imperative that we have a public transportation system for Boston residents and surrounding communities that is safe and reliable."

It is the fourth T/Commuter Rail derailment this year.

"I would note that I have asked for, this morning, for a third-party assessment of all mainline revenue derailments on the MBTA over the last two years. I want a fresh set of eyes on this to make sure we're not missing something. We have done investigations into all these derailments obviously and where root causes are identified, we have taken comprehensive steps to mitigate them but I think we have an obligation to the riding public and the taxpayers of this Commonwealth to make sure that we are taking every step possible to address this issue," said Poftak.

Poftak suggested commuters follow the MBTA on social media for the latest updates.

"We hear very clearly, and we understand very clearly, that this situation with these derailments is not acceptable and we are taking steps to address that."

He added, "I use the system every day. I believe it's safe."


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