After morning commuter rail derailment, evening ride goes smoother
After a rough start to the day Tuesday on the commuter rail due to a derailment on the Rockport/Newburyport line, passengers faced nearly no delays in the evening , officials said.
Passengers coming in from north of Boston were delayed during the morning commute after an MBTA locomotive derailed at low speed near the T’s Somerville train yard, said Tory Mazzola, spokesman for Keolis Commuter Services, operator of the T’s commuter rail system.
“The incident from this morning did not impact evening service,” Mazzola wrote in an e-mail to the Globe. “We saw a couple minor delays [Tuesday] evening but generally nearly all trains were on time”
The locomotive at the rear of Train 102 on the Newburyport/Rockport Line derailed at 7 a.m. as it headed toward North Station with an estimated 300 passengers aboard, Mazzola said.
No one was injured, he said. Mazzola said around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday that the cause of the derailment remained under investigation.
The incident triggered a safety slowdown that affected riders on the Haverhill and Newburyport/Rockport lines, which travel to North Station, and because of the derailment, Haverhill trains were going to be rerouted through the afternoon.
Normal service on the Haverhill line resumed at about 3:50 p.m., MBTA officials said in a tweet, although at least one Haverhill train was operating about 10 minutes behind schedule between Lawrence and North Station around that time, officials said.
Frances Noone got on the 7:45 a.m. train in Lynn and was set to arrive at North Station at 8:08 a.m., heading to work in Boston.
“It’s kind of like a roll of the dice when you take the T,” she said.
Noone spent the ride catching up with a friend and at first didn’t realize the train was delayed.
“We were just kind of sitting on the tracks looking at pictures from her trip,” she said, when one of the passengers said, “There’s been a derailment.”
“Oh, dear,” she said.
Some passengers had to stand during the delay.
“There was standing room only,” she said. “We were lucky enough to have a seat. But people were standing, and it’s kind of tiring. . . . Everyone’s just wondering what’s going on, and people were sharing information from the reports.”
When they finally pulled into North Station, it was 8:45 a.m., she said.
She was going to be late for work.
“I’m not really angry or anything,” she said. “Safety comes first.”
But it wasn’t a good way to start the day — that’s for sure.
“At this point, I would just like to go home,” she said after the morning ordeal.
The derailed locomotive was uncoupled from the cars and left on the tracks near the T’s Boston Engine Terminal in Somerville while another locomotive connected at the front of the train and completed the journey into North Station, officials said.
The locomotive remained on the tracks as of 8:51 a.m., but the derailment took place at an area commuter rail trains can bypass. Meanwhile, the derailment triggered an investigation and led to speed restrictions.
Passengers who usually travel on the Haverhill and Newburyport/Rockport trains were expected to be affected by the derailment. Delays of 25 minutes to 40 minutes were reported on those trains that were able to start the trip to Boston.
“We will work closely with the MBTA and Federal Railroad Administration to investigate the cause of this incident,” Mazzola said in an e-mail. “We appreciate our passengers’ patience and apologize for this inconvenience. Passengers traveling today should stay connected to our customer service updates for train information.”
Trains were set to run on the Lowell Line and would not make stops between Reading and Malden; passengers traveling to stops between Reading and Malden would disembark at the Anderson stop in Woburn and board a bus, officials said.
“For service between Malden and Reading passengers may also utilize local bus 136,” MBTA officials tweeted. “Staff will be on site at Reading and Anderson to assist. If a passenger is travelling to North Wilmington, please see a staff member at Reading or Anderson for assistance.”
Update: Due to an earlier derailment, Haverhill trains until approximately 4:00 pm will be re-routed. Trains will run on the Lowell Line & not make stops between Reading and Malden. Riders for stops between Reading & Malden will alight at Anderson & board a bus.— MBTA Commuter Rail (@MBTA_CR) April 2, 2019