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MBTA: ‘No evidence’ that infrastructure caused Green Line crash

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MBTA: ‘No evidence’ that infrastructure caused Green Line crash

According to MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak, investigators have discovered “no evidence” that vehicle or infrastructure concerns played a role in a Wednesday night accident between two Green Line trains and are looking into probable human errors, but have not to determine the cause of the incident.

Blue Line trains resumed service to Government Center shortly before 2 p.m. on Thursday, after numerous downtown Boston stops were offline during the morning rush to allow personnel to put the trains back on the rails and execute repair work. Trolleys restored to the Green Line between North Station and Park Street about the same time, albeit with delays.

Poftak, who maintained the T is safe and that he and his family travel it often after yet another incident, told reporters that the agency “made sure the tracks were thoroughly inspected” before resuming subway service.

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“We have no information to imply that there was a problem with the trucks or the train infrastructure, including the track,” Poftak added.

Human error is “one of the variables that we are looking at,” according to GM, who also stated that the inquiry into the crash’s cause is still ongoing.

“I’m hesitant to come to any conclusions. I’ve seen cases in the past where, after all the facts are revealed, what you thought was obvious isn’t, but that’s one of the things we’re paying particular attention to right now “Human mistake, according to Poftak.

A Green Line train carrying 20 to 25 passengers moving westbound near Government Center station collided with another train carrying only two T operators merging onto the rails to commence service around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Train drivers in that location are told when they can go by signals in normal conditions, according to Poftak. Investigators have “not found any indication currently that the signals were operating illegally,” according to Poftak, as of Thursday afternoon.

All four drivers involved in the accident were placed on paid administrative leave, which is customary protocol, according to Poftak. According to him, the train operator who collided with the other train had no safety or regulatory breaches on their MBTA record.

“That is part of the investigation,” Poftak said when asked how fast the trains were moving at the time they crashed.

Both trains came to a halt. There were no injuries among the passengers, but all four drivers — two each train — were sent to Massachusetts General Hospital.

“None of them were critically harmed,” Poftak added, adding that the drivers all walked off the trains themselves. Three of the patients have now been discharged from the hospital. He refused to say what their injuries were, citing legal constraints on disclosure.

Six weeks ago, the Federal Transit Administration initiated a virtually unprecedented investigation into the T’s safety, triggered by a string of incidents that prompted one FTA official to describe the regulatory agency as “very concerned about the ongoing safety issues.”

“I understand how upsetting these situations are,” Poftak remarked on Thursday. “It disturbs no one more than those of us who work at the T and are dedicated to maintaining the system as secure as possible. I continue to believe that the MBTA is a safe mode of transportation. My family and I use the T on a regular basis.”

Last summer, on the B Branch, a Green Line trolley allegedly travelling three times the speed limit collided with another trolley from behind, injuring 27 people. Rachael Rollins, the then-Suffolk County District Attorney, opened a criminal investigation into the T.

Federal regulators first advised that the MBTA put anti-collision technology on the Green Line as an added layer of protection more than a decade ago, but the MBTA has yet to do so. Following the incident last summer, T officials sought to accelerate the timeframe by a year, aiming to have the Green Line Train Protection Project operational by 2023.

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