A trolley on the Green Line derailed Oct. 30 at the Boston College station around 3:30 p.m., causing an afternoon of delays. MBTA work crews responded to re-rail the trolley as MBTA used shuttle buses to transport commuters. Six T stops were affected.
“I was walking down Comm Ave, right near campus, and I heard a horrible crash behind me,” said Taylor Cerwinski, MCAS ’18. “When I turned around, one of the T cars was horizontal across both sets of tracks.”
Cerwinski recalled that no one looked like they were injured, and the car was still upright. No injuries were reported to officials. According to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo, the trolley was back on the rails around 6:07 p.m., while Jason Johnson, Deputy Press Secretary at MBTA, said that the B branch service between BC and Washington Street returned to normal around 8:45 p.m. on Sunday.
The derailing occurred while the trolley was traveling at a low speed and a Green Line official threw a switch before the trolley had crossed over to the other track, Johson said in an email.
“The MBTA employees remained extremely calm and professional while assessing the situation, and helped to calm down nearby bystanders,” Cerwinski recalled.
About 40 minutes after the incident, around 4:07 p.m., a post on MBTA.com stated that shuttle buses would be transporting commuters.
Twelve shuttle busses replaced the T for the six stops between Washington Street and Boston College: Washington Street, Sutherland Road, Chiswick Road, Chestnut Hill Ave., South Street, and Boston College.
Johnson did not respond to questions regarding how often the T derails or how many passengers were on the derailed trolley. In mid-October, The Boston Globe uncovered that in 2015 the Green Line had the most derailed trains on light-rail lines in the nation with seven derailments. This year is not far behind, with five derailments as of Oct. 13—not including the most recent incident on Sunday.
The frequency of accidents in 2015 led to a state audit, done by the State Department of Public Utilities. The audit found that MBTA had not been maintaining the tracks or wheels on the type of trolley that had a history of derailments. In response, MBTA officials have put a range of safety measures in place—most notably track and train maintenance as well as suspending speeding drivers. MBTA officials contend that the system is safe, but have admitted that the Green Line is most susceptible to trolley derailments due to a batch of poorly-made cars that make up most of the fleet.
Featured Image by Emily Fayhe