Red Line Service Continues at Reduced Levels Following Derailment

The Tuesday morning derailment left commuters frustrated and service was late by more than an hour

MBTA crews continue to repair tracks and signals on parts of the Red Line following Tuesday's derailment outside the JFK/UMass station in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood.

Officials said Wednesday afternoon that while crews make repairs, service would continue to operate at reduced levels and Braintree-bound customers would need to switch trains at JFK/UMass.

Passengers on the Braintree branch of the Red Line will have to change trains at the JFK/UMass station in order to get to South Station and points forward. Riders heading towards the city on the Ashmont line wlll not need to switch at JFK/UMass.

"We know this makes for a very slow trip home, so additional Commuter Rail trains will be put into limited service today, leaving South Station at 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7:20 p.m. Trains will stop at JFK/UMass, Quincy Center, and Braintree," read a statement from the MBTA.

During Tuesday's derailment, the MBTA's signaling system was damaged. Those multiple signal bungalows are used as a communication tool for operators to move from one station to another. With them being down, communication is unclear.

The bungalows have to be rebuilt and new cables have to be installed while tracks need to be repaired.

The delays have been understandably frustrating for commuters.

"It has to be up and running tonight. It's unacceptable that it's not," said one commuter.

"As long as this is the only time this happens. If this becomes a pattern, we have a problem," said Ismail Mohammed of Quincy.

Tuesday's derailment caused severe delays of more than an hour, frustrating commuters who were forced to instead take shuttle buses after their ride was interrupted.

"We hear very clearly and we understand very clearly that the situation with these derailments is not acceptable and we are taking steps to address that," said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

The incident not only affected public transportation commuters, but also drivers since the north and southbound ramps for Interstate 93 in the immediate area were shut down.

Crews were able to right the derailed train and move it as they continue working to resolve the issue. The cause of the derailment is still under investigation.

"We need answers, solutions & more funding, and we need it now," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said in a Tweet. "It is imperative that we have a public transportation system for Boston residents and surrounding communities that is safe and reliable."

Although Poftak said there was no "relationship" between Tuesday's derailment and the Saturday derailment of a Green Line train, he called for a third party assessment to conduct an independent review of all derailments that have happened in the last two years.

Chris Dempsey, Director of Transportation for Massachusetts, says Boston needs to step up and invest in a better public transportation system like other major cities.

"You can look at places like Seattle which has added tens of thousands of jobs to their downtown core without adding additional vehicles," said Dempsey. "They've gotten that done because they've invested in rail. They've also had their buses working much better."

For more details on alternative solutions for Red Line passengers, click here.

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