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Red Line service restored after derailment

MBTA general manager: ‘We understand very clearly that this situation is not acceptable’
Photo: David L. Ryan / Globe Staff

Significant delays hampered sections of the Red Line for several hours on Tuesday following an early morning train derailment at JFK/UMass Station, the second major derailment on one of its subway lines in four days.

About 60 passengers were aboard the Braintree-bound train at the time of the 6:10 a.m. crash, according to the MBTA and Boston Fire Department, which deployed a technical rescue team to safely escort passengers from the train.

“They had to cross the tracks, then go up to the station,’’ said Firefighter Brian Alkins, a Fire Department spokesman. “They walked down the tracks to safety.”


One person received a minor injury, but no one was transported to a hospital, officials said.

After 4:30 p.m., the MBTA announced that Red Line service had been restored to Ashmont and Braintree. Braintree line riders were advised to change trains at JFK/UMass station for continuing Red Line service, according to the T. Red Line trains, according to the agency, would operate at reduced speeds as they traveled through JFK/UMass. The agency encouraged customers to plan for an additional 15 to 20 minutes of commuting time.

Earlier in the afternoon, MBTA general manager Steve Poftak said shuttle bus service and added commuter rail stops were available to Red Line passengers during the evening commute Tuesday.

He said shuttle service would run between North Quincy and Broadway and between Ashmont and Broadway. He said the T hopes to offer “better service” than the shuttles and encouraged riders to check the MBTA website and social media accounts.

In addition, Poftak said, commuter trains will make additional stops at the affected stations.

The T tweeted that the Middleborough/Lakeville Line will make stops at JFK, Quincy Center, and Braintree, the Kingston/Plymouth Line will stop at JFK and Braintree, and the Greenbush Line will stop at JFK and Quincy Center.


“Customers can use a CharlieCard or CharlieTicket to board” those commuter trains, the T tweeted.

Poftak said investigators are still working to determine a cause of Tuesday’s derailment, but preliminary indications are that it was “not related” to Saturday’s derailment caused by operator error.

Poftak plans to bring in an outside party to review all T derailments over the past two years.

“I believe the system is safe,” Poftak said, adding that he’s a daily T rider.

Earlier Tuesday, the T brought in a large crane, and the work to remove the train was ongoing around noon. Around 12:15 p.m., shuttle buses continued to run between Broadway Station in South Boston and stations in North Quincy and Ashmont in Dorchester, according to the T.

Governor Charlie Baker declined to address the cause of the derailment and instead deferred to an ongoing T investigation of the cause. But the Republican, who’s long pushed back against calls to infuse the system with more cash, argued the agency is still doing the “overdue” work to update its aging equipment and infrastructure, some of which is decades old.

“We want to make sure we get it right,” Baker said after an unrelated event in Springfield. “I wish we could install it all tomorrow. We can’t. But I believe we’re heading in the right direction on that stuff.”

Tuesday’s derailment was the fifth this year, putting the T on pace for the most derailments since 2009, according to MBTA data.


Most recently, Saturday, a Green Line train carrying 150 riders derailed near Kenmore Station, injuring 11 people, including the driver, who was blamed by the T for the crash and suspended.

During the peak rush hour when commuters faced long, slow rides on heavily crowded shuttle buses, ride-hailing service prices surged. Rides on Lyft hit $101.69 for a shared ride between Dorchester and downtown Boston around 8:08 a.m.

Commuters trying to get into the city got stuck in morning rush hour traffic in Dorchester, South Boston, and North Quincy, officials said. A Globe editor got on a shuttle bus at Ashmont shortly after 6 a.m. and arrived at work at 9:49 a.m. at the Globe’s offices in downtown Boston.

Traffic delays were reported in Milton and Quincy, especially near North Quincy Station, where passengers where gathering by the dozens waiting for the shuttle buses. The buses then joined the traditional morning traffic chokepoint — the Neponset Avenue Bridge crossing the Neponset River into Boston.

Crowds of passengers gathered underneath the covered busway at JFK/UMass, taking shelter from the rain while they waited to be picked up by buses. Standing among the crowd was Ryan Lemay, 23, who was on his way to work. Raindrops covered his glasses.

“It’s inconvenient,” he said of the service disruption. “I don’t really know why the trains are down.”

He was heading to his job in the North End. Whether he would be late or not remained to be seen.


“I don’t know yet,” he said. “I might be.”

Meanwhile, MBTA workers wearing fluorescent yellow jackets were shouting at people to stand back and stay on the sidewalk.

“Listen up!” one MBTA employee yelled. “If you’re going downtown, take the commuter rail.”

A bell clanged as the commuter rail train slowly rolled into JFK/UMass. The crowd thinned out as a group of passengers left the bus area and started making their way to the commuter rail platform.

Another man in a fluorescent yellow coat asked the remaining passengers where they were going. “North Quincy, anybody?” he shouted. “Park Street?”

Meanwhile, shuttle buses kept arriving, one by one, whisking away groups of passengers.

“Longwood! Longwood over here!” another T worker yelled.

Sanketh Rikka, 25, stood by, waiting to see which shuttle bus he could take to Kendall Square.

“I just found out there’s no Red Line service,” he said.

Rikka looked at his watch and said he’d probably be late for work. “I don’t know how much time it’s going to take . . . but there’s no other option,” he said.

At the Fields Corner Station, dozens of people were standing in the rain on Dorchester Avenue waiting for the shuttle bus to arrive.

Red Line passenger Shannon Accardi was checking Lyft to see if the ride-hailing service was a good alternative to waiting in the rain for shuttle buses. Accardi, whose ultimate destination was Downtown Crossing, learned that surge pricing on Lyft had pushed the price of a 2-mile trip to JFK to $58 per person.


Hayley Kaufman of Globe staff contributed to this report. Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.

John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at hkaufman@globe.com.