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MBTA Says Operator Caused Latest Green Line Derailment

Green Line passengers at the Newton Highlands stop head for shuttle buses after a train on the D branch derailed earlier Wednesday morning. (Chris Lisinski/SHNS)
Green Line passengers at the Newton Highlands stop head for shuttle buses after a train on the D branch derailed earlier Wednesday morning. (Chris Lisinski/SHNS)
This article is more than 1 year old.

A Green Line train carrying one passenger derailed at Riverside Station Wednesday morning, and the MBTA says operator error is to blame.

It was the T's third derailment in as many months.

The Green Line train's second car went off the tracks at about 6 a.m., the MBTA said in a statement. The single passenger aboard at the time was uninjured.

The incident caused commuter delays as service was suspended and shuttle buses were used between Riverside and Newton Highlands until just before noon.

Officials found that the operator attempted to proceed without the signal system's authorization, the T said. The track's switch was not properly aligned when the train moved forward, causing it to come off the rails.

The T said the operator was hired in March and has been placed on paid leave while the investigation continues.

"I want to apologize to the Green Line customers whose commutes were disrupted this morning," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said in the statement. "We will complete the formal investigation as soon as possible and take corrective action if needed. We can and we must do better."

Wednesday's derailment marked the third since June. Another Green Line train ran off the rails near Kenmore on June 8, injuring 10 people, and a Red Line train caused severe damage to the branch's signal system when it derailed June 11.

Transit officials initially thought the Red Line damage would be restored by Labor Day, but in an update last week, the T said it was targeting October for when all the signals would be operating automatically.

The MBTA implemented long-planned fare hikes July 1, despite pushback from riders and some local officials, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and City Councilor Michelle Wu. The T declined their calls to delay the hikes until repairs were made, saying it needed the money for necessary improvements.

This article was originally published on August 07, 2019.

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Laney Ruckstuhl is a digital producer.

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