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MBTA says Green Line derailment a rookie mistake

WBZ reports the driver of the trolley that derailed near Riverside this morning didn't have proper signal authorization to proceed; had been hired just this past March.



then how is it that the SECOND car of the train derailed, but not the first.

How many months does it take to teach the drivers how to keep the trolley on the tracks?


Operators are trained thoroughly to not make exactly this mistake. The first piece is to have signal clearance for all movements, which the operator clearly did not have. The second is to "read the points" to make sure that the switches are aligned *even if* the signal shows a clear route. I was riding a tram in Amsterdam and whenever the operator navigated a switch he would point to the direction of the points to make sure they were aligned correctly. Running through a trailing point switch like this should never, ever happen, if indeed that is what happened (and since it appears they derailed a Type 7, it likely isn't Type-8-itis).


it was the second car in the train that derailed. If the operator ran through a trailing point switch set against them, then why didn't the first car also derail?

Is this supposed to be comforting?

It wasn’t the train and it wasn’t the track. They fire the driver and the problem goes away.

And then an even newer driver with all the same training is driving my train. Success!


The operator will not be fired since they are 589(Carmen) union. They will probably get discipline and suspension. If they are fired, 589 will sue the MBTA to rehire them. Ever wonder why so many bad apples stick around? There ya go.

Come on, Michelle Wu. Now is your chance to try to fight the political MBTA stronghold! They're like death and taxes. They will always be there no matter how hard to try to fight.

This will go down on your permanent record.

Well, don't get so distressed
Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?

Interesting that they threw the operator under the bus so quickly, so publicly. Is the official investigation complete? Did the investigating official write a report already? Is the union drooling at how easy it will be to paint this as a "rush to judgment" and "hostile environment"?

threw the operator under the bus

Yeah, sorry. I pondered changing that, but "threw the operator under the LRV" seemed forced.

It was in passenger service, right? Doesn't that mean NTSB or FRA or somebody investigates?

Of course everyone gets so upset when something goes wrong at the Mbta ...it’s so easy to bash a new driver… No one is perfect... things can happen ... no matter what job you are doing ...have a little more forgiveness... I’m sure there are many drivers who had accidents on their record ...and became excellent drivers during the course of their employment.. stop bashing operators... he is human.. things can andcdo happen.. life goes on ....

We've been sacrificing humans to the god for a better life since cave times. This is normal human behavior, and in this case normal government agency behavior.

When there was a Green line accident some years ago it was blamed on an operator using a cell phone. The MBTA already had substantial rules in place against use of cell phones on the job but the rules were not enforced. There was massive public outcry and the legislature passed laws against it.

Since then... what exactly has improved? Answer: Nothing.

However, you now have operators with no back-up communication to summon help in the event of an accident, and if the train radio is not working or breaks from the accident, it's up to the ambulatory passengers to call for help.


This is what happens when you have knee-jerk, over-reaction. All that needed to happen was the MBTA enforce their existing rules.

So... carry a phone and a flashlight.

Trains derail because the tracks are worn down, not because an operator suddenly "guns it" or "hits the brakes" too soon. The MBTA needs to make track maintenance and safety a bigger priority.

Rookie mistake??? I have to trust my T driver after working for the MBTA for how many months as a rookie mistake.