Trolley Involved in Green Line Collision Was Going at Least Twice Speed Limit: Sources

Last week, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told reporters that investigators found no issues with the trains or infrastructure and were looking at human error

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The NBC10 Investigators have learned that the MBTA’s preliminary review of last week’s crash involving two Green Line trollies indicates the striking train was traveling at least twice the posted speed limit.

A T spokesman would not confirm that detail, saying the investigation is ongoing.

Last week, MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told reporters that investigators found no issues with the trains or infrastructure and were looking at human error.

The crash last Wednesday near Government Center sent four trolley operators to the hospital. They are expected to be OK.

An MBTA spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing.

The T said that there were 20 to 25 passengers on one train when it crashed into an empty two-car train that was preparing to enter the station. About half a dozen stops on the Green and Blue Lines were impacted by service delays as maintenance crews worked to re-rail the trains.

Passengers who spoke to NBC10 Boston Tuesday night say it's just one more problem added to a growing list for the MBTA.

"That is pretty concerning," said Chris Crosby who used the Green Line regularly. "I think if anything, there should be a little more like scrutinization, and possibly even training for the drivers."

"I think better service or a new management, someone to take it over because it's been a couple years with the same thing and the same problem that keep on occurring over and over and over," said Carlos Robinson, who rides the T daily and says he always leaves an hour or two early in order to get to work on time.

The collision of two MBTA Green Line trolleys underground in Boston caused continuing delays the next day.

The latest incident comes as the MBTA faces a federal review after multiple safety incidents.

Just three months ago, the agency committed $25 million to speed up the installation of anti-collision technology on the Green Line.

The investment came after two trolleys on the B Branch of the Green Line collided on Commonwealth Avenue, injuring 27 people aboard, including four train operators. A subsequent NTSB investigation found one train was going triple the speed limit. The trolley operator, Owen Turner, was charged with negligence last fall.

MBTA police say the man fell onto the tracks around and touched the third rail, which powers the trains. The incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m.

In January, former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins launched a criminal probe into MBTA safety issues in response to that trolley crash.

The T also faced other safety incidents in September of last year. A Red Line train with nearly 50 people on board derailed and hit platform at the Broadway Station. Also in that same month, nine people were hurt after an escalator malfunction at the Back Bay Station.

More recently, Robinson Lalin, 39, of Dorchester, died after getting his arm stuck because of a door malfunction on the Red Line.

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