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An investigation is underway into Red Line train’s ‘unintentional’ movement

In this file photo, a Red Line commuter made his way to a waiting train during the morning commute.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A two-car Red Line train with “diminished braking capacity” moved out of an MBTA rail yard and onto the tracks at Braintree Station early Monday morning when an operator on board lost control before it came to a stop about 800 feet north of the station, agency spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

The 5:30 a.m. “unintentional” incident caused 30-minute delays during the morning rush hour. By around 9:20 a.m., the MBTA tweeted that regular service had resumed.

“The incident occurred as MBTA personnel were readying Red Line trains for the start of service,” Pesaturo said via e-mail. “There were no injuries nor damage, but service was disrupted as T personnel worked to return the disabled, two-car set to the rail yard.”


The train involved was an older model, Pesaturo said.

Asked if Monday’s incident qualifies as a runaway train incident, Pesaturo said, “An investigation is underway to establish the facts.”

“The MBTA is committed to taking every action necessary to prevent such incidents,” he added.

The incident comes just over a month after the Federal Transit Administration found the T was plagued by runaway train incidents and needed to urgently correct its protocols to prevent more of them.

Last month, FTA associate administrator Paul Kincaid said the T didn’t have “adequate written procedures for safety processes and training,” citing two recent runaway train incidents in the MBTA’s railyards that resulted in worker injuries.

In response to the FTA’s finding, Pesaturo said the T “issued a series of new safety directives, trainings, and polices regarding train movements in rail yard facilities and car houses.” The T also has plans to increase staffing at its rail yards.

The FTA issued four safety directives to the MBTA on June 15, including the one involving runaway trains. The directives are part of the federal agency’s ongoing inspection of safety at the T spurred by a series of incidents, including the April dragging death of a Red Line passenger at Broadway Station.


Last week, an Orange Line train caught fire between Wellington and Assembly stations atop a bridge, causing passengers to frantically flee from the smoke. The fire happened after a metal side panel of the 42-year-old train car fell off and touched the electrified third rail.

The FTA expects to finish its final report about the T next month.

Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor.dolven@globe.com. Follow her @taydolven.