• Green Line in danger of more derailments, report says

    Updated:

    A recent report says the Green Line is safe, but suffering from years of disrepair that could lead to serious safety problems.

    Money and manpower – that’s what it will reportedly take to make Green Line riders like those passing through Kenmore Square in the long run.

    MORE: Green Line Track Update Report

    The Boston Herald cites federal records in a report ordered by the state Department of Public Utilities as saying the Green Line had four derailments last year through October, and eight in 2016.

    The report says the Green Line tracks suffer from years of disrepair that only get fixed or replaced just after a derailment.

    "The number of derailments has dropped significantly since the stepped up track maintenance work began, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said in a statement. "Between 2014 and 2016, there were 19 derailments. In 2017, there were three derailments, all of which were caused by human error, not track conditions. There was one derailment last month when a large amount of snow fell onto the tracks in Newton Centre, just as the trolley was departing the station."

    MORE: Record number of MBTA workers paid $100K+ in 2017

    The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has a multi-million dollar repair program in place, but the report says more investment is needed.

    Here's the full statement from the MBTA:

    "A robust program for improvements to the Green Line track infrastructure is well underway. To date, work has consisted of the replacement of 28,450 feet of track, and approximately 1,020 ties and tie plates, leading to a reduction in track defects of more than 50 percent.

    "The corresponding upgrades have led to the lifting of speed restrictions at several locations where work was performed; the MBTA estimates that lifting the speed restrictions has resulted in improved travel times of up to eight minutes. Seven speed restrictions have been lifted in the last 2 ½ months alone. A key grade crossing (Chestnut Hill Ave/Comm Ave) has been completely refurbished while improvements were made at the Kent Street/Beacon Street grade crossing, the St. Paul/Beacon Street grade crossing, numerous locations along Huntington Ave, and the Cleveland Circle platform.

    "These and other short-term improvements set the foundation for core infrastructure work, which will be done in the months and years ahead as part of a comprehensive Green Line Track Renewal Plan.

    "Green Line track replacement and maintenance work in the last 20 months has included: Rail gauge face angle upgrades on over 90,000 feet of rail; Upgraded crossings at Packards Corner, St. Paul Street, Summit Avenue; The ongoing development of new training methods and track renewal plan.

    "When completed, costs for the Green Line track replacement project will near $120 million. In its cover letter (with the assessment), the DPU writes that it “finds that recent attention by the MBTA to repair and rehabilitate the Green Line track system is commendable and clearly demonstrates that the MBTA understands the need to maintain and upgrade its system to achieve a state of good repair."

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