NTSB: Train that rear-ended another was on 'full power'

A federal investigation has found that the operator of a light rail train that struck the rear of another train in the Boston area in July had turned the speed controller to full power

Via AP news wire
Tuesday 21 September 2021 23:44
Boston Transit Collision
Boston Transit Collision

The operator of a light rail train that struck the rear of another train in the Boston area in July had turned the speed controller to full power, according to a federal report released Tuesday, and the regional transit agency said it is moving to fire the person.

The train accelerated to 31 mph before colliding with the train ahead of it, which had been moving at about 10 mph, according to the National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on the crash, which sent more than two dozen people to the hospital.

“A preliminary review of striking train’s event recorder data revealed that the operat​​​or of the striking train placed the master controller in a full-power position prior to the accident,” the report said.

The report did not say if the controller had been turned to full power on purpose or accidentally.

The driver was placed on unpaid leave Monday, and the agency is moving to fire the person, said Joe Pesaturo, a spokesperson Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, in an emailed statement. The operator’s name has not been made public.

The crash on the MBTA's Green Line B branch on July 30 sent 24 passengers and three workers to the hospital, the report said. All injuries were considered minor.

The MBTA announced the day after the crash that the operator of the train in the rear had been placed on paid administrative leave.

The investigation continues, and the NTSB said it will now focus on internal and external oversight, operational testing, equipment, and employee fitness for duty.

Safe and reliable service are a priority for the T, Pesaturo said, adding that the agency is in the process of installing a $170 million safety system that will help monitor train speed and avoid collisions.

“Once the full system is installed and tested, all Green Line vehicles will be enabled with both an audible alarm and subsequent automatic braking, if required, to prevent collisions," he said. The target year is 2024.

The trains, each consisting of two coupled railcars, were both westbound and crashed on the track running down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue west of Boston University

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in