Red Line Service Restored Following Derailment; Delays Still Expected

MBTA officials announced Tuesday afternoon that Red Line service to Ashmont and Braintree has been restored following a train derailment earlier in the day. Despite the partial restoration, commuters were being advised of train switches for the evening commute.

Officials said riders heading toward Braintree are being advised to change trains at JFK/UMass in order to continue Red Line service. Service will resume for Ashmont-bound customers and riders will not need to switch trains at JFK/UMass.

Braintree bound customers can also take the Middleborough/Lakeville, Kingston/Plymouth, or Greenbush Commuter Rail Lines. Ashmont customers can take the Fairmount Line.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said officials are still investigating why the third car of the northbound train went off the tracks, resulting in "significant damage" to the vehicle, the tracks and signals.

"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 Poftak during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Crews will still need to bring in a crane to remove the derailed car. Because of this, lane closures on Columbia Road at the Interstate 93 interstate are expected to impact motorists.

Tuesday's delays forced passengers to take shuttle buses as a replacement.

"I should have been at work an hour and 15 minutes ago," commuter San Yaccarino said. "It's pretty frustrating, to be honest. It makes for a long day."

The derailment happened at about 6:10 a.m. near the JFK/UMass station in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, officials said.

Shuttle buses were deployed to replace service between North Quincy and Park Street and from Ashmont to Park Street and commuter rail lines made extra stops to accommodate passengers.

"I was very surprised," Clement Murjan said. "I just saw the train and one of the parts was falling off and I was actually going to take the train to North Quincy, so I don't know how I would have fared."

The Boston Fire Department said the train was evacuated of 61 people.

"Safety is the MBTA's top priority, and we will conduct a comprehensive investigation to determine the root cause of today's derailment," MBTA spokesperson Lisa Battiston said. "Working closely with our state and federal regulators, the T will take whatever actions are deemed necessary to enhance the safety and reliability of the transit system."

MBTA officials said one person was treated at the scene for a minor hand injury. Another person returned to the scene complaining of neck and back pain. They were taken to an area hospital.

Nearby ramps for Interstate 93 northbound and southbound were shut down, according to state police.

"I'm probably going to take the commuter rail," Matthew Grant said. "Taking the shuttle is great, but the roads are backed up now as well because of the derailment."

Images at the scene showed crowds of people exiting the disabled train as more than a dozen officials respond to the scene.

It is unclear what caused the train to derail. This comes just a few days after the MBTA's Green Line train derailed on Saturday due to what appears to have been "operator-related" issues.

"This is the second derailment in a couple of days," Andy Quach said. "Last month, there was a similar derailment on the Red Line... there needs to be accountability because this isn't safe."

Poftak said there was no "relationship" between the two derailments but he has asked for a third party assessment.

"I would note that I have asked this morning for third party assessment of all main line revenue derailments on the MBTA over the last two years," said Poftak. "I want a fresh set of eyes on this to make sure we're not missing something. We have done investigations into all these derailments obviously and where root causes are identified we have taken comprehensive steps to mitigate them but I think we have an obligation to the riding public and the tax payers of this community and this Commonwealth to make sure we are taking every step possible to address this issue."

Mayor Marty Walsh said on Twitter that the derailments were "unacceptable".

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

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