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The MBTA’s week of troubles

A Red Line train that left Braintree Station without an operator caused major delays Thursday morning.Kim Candelora

With a death, an injury, a runaway train, various delays, and continuing debate over an extension project, it's been a rough week for the MBTA.

Here are the highlights:

• On Monday, a man at Haymarket Station allegedly harassed passengers and threw a beer bottle at an MBTA employee, nearly hitting the worker in the head.

• On Tuesday, former governors Michael S. Dukakis and William F. Weld publicly criticized the T saying it needs more in-house experts, particularly to handle projects such as the Green Line extension (more bad news on that project below).

• Also Tuesday, a disabled train at Braintree Station caused delays on the Red Line during the morning commute.


• Later that night, during the evening commute, a male victim was seriously injured after being struck by a train at Broadway Station, which caused the T to shut down a portion of the Red Line and replace train service with shuttle buses.

• During the Wednesday evening commute, a woman died after being struck by a train at Downtown Crossing Station. That incident also spurred a temporary shutdown of the Red Line and the deployment of shuttle buses.

• Also Wednesday, the state transportation board said it had not ruled out canceling the long-awaited Green Line extension project, and on Thursday the T announced it has notified several firms working on the projects that it was ending their contracts.

• Thursday morning saw more, albeit "minor" delays along the Red Line due to a disabled train at North Quincy Station.

• Also Thursday morning came the a bizarre announcement that a Red Line train had left Braintree Station without and operator, prompting an investigation by state officials into a report of tampering involving a safety device. FBI officials said they are "aware of the incident." No passengers were hurt, but a train operator suffered minor injuries after being brushed by a train at Braintree and the issue led to significant delays, officials said. A parody Twitter account was created making light of the Red Line "ghost train."


There was one bright spot for the T, however.

Members of the Harvard University Band surprised commuters Tuesday with some holiday music.

Plus, there's been no snow for the T's aging trains to contend with so far this winter, and there's none in the foreseeable forecast either.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele