MBTA: Red Line debacle 'unacceptable', investment is coming

MBTA: Red Line debacle 'unacceptable', investment is coming

BOSTON — Transit officials say the operator of a Red Line train that derailed in Boston this week was not at fault in the mishap.

The Red Line derailment Tuesday nearly destroyed a signal box, causing service to be suspended for three hours on Wednesday morning while they worked on it.

"This is unacceptable and we want to apologize for the inconvenience," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Friday. "We have a team of over a hundred employees hard at work trying to get service back together."

Content Continues Below

All the damage to the third rail and the power systems has been repaired, according to the T. The longer-term challenge, they said was repairing the signal system. There were three signal bungalows that sustained "significant" damage -- one was almost completely destroyed. The trains will be running at slower speeds due to the damage and the work being completed, Poftak said.

He added there was no sign of foul play or operator error in the derailment, but the exact cause of the issue is still under investigation.

The car involved was put into service in 1969 and given a refurbishment between now and then.

"We replace all the parts according to state and federal standards...so we are confident in the cars," Poftak said.

The disabled train car was removed from the tracks within 24 hours, but the MBTA said immediately to expect Red Line delays for the foreseeable future.

The MBTA shut off power to the third rail between the North Quincy and JFK/UMass stations around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning after massive damage was done to what’s called the signal bungalows just under the Columbia Road bridge.

"These are not plans that are out on a drawing board, these are fully funded projects that are being implemented," Poftak said. "We know that it's incredibly frustrating. We'd also like to thank our employees for their professionalism and resilience."

Service was suspended for three hours while dozens of workers made repairs to the third rail and track switches, signals and power lines. Coach buses were brought in as part of the shuttle service.

Disruptions and delays continue for many Red Line commuters as a result of the mishap and full service may not be restored until next week.

No serious injuries were reported in the most recent derailment.

"The system is safe," Poftak said. "We have a safe system. We view this as an urgent matter...we are investing in the system. We are investing almost a billion dollars this year."

Nearly a dozen people were hurt in a Green Line derailment on Saturday that investigators have blamed on operator error. The T has suspended that operator.