Video: Pyrotechnics preceded June derailment

Commonwealth Magazine | Andy Metzger | July 3, 2019

The derailed Red Line train busted up three signal sheds controlling a significant stretch of track. (Photo by Andy Metzger)

A VIDEO OF the Red Line derailment on June 11 from the vantage point of the JFK/UMass Station shows the Braintree-bound train coming into view around a slight curve when a big flash occurs toward the rear of the train.

The Boston Carmen’s Union put some of the blame for the calamity on budget-trimming measures adopted by T management over the years. The union’s president, James O’Brien, said that if the MBTA hadn’t eliminated the second motorperson position on Red Line trains, the destruction of the signal equipment likely could have been avoided.

“You can’t make cuts to the operating budget year after year and expect to provide the same level of service and safety. MBTA management sacrificed safety in order to cut the T’s operating budget when it eliminated a second Motorperson on Red Line trains,” O’Brien said in a statement. “Had a second Motorperson been onboard that 50-year-old Red Line train, they would have seen the car derailing ahead and pulled the emergency brake, likely avoiding the damage done to the signal system electronics.”

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