The T is investigating how a Red Line train managed to travel several miles from Braintree to the Neponset River without a driver at the controls.
Equipment tampering is one of the things investigators are looking at; trains aren't supposed to just move on their own volition, let alone travel several miles. The Herald reports the FBI is now on the case.
At approximately 6:08 AM, an inbound Red Line train departed Braintree Station, without an operator.
The train made no station stops, proceeded north just past North Quincy Station, when MBTA Operations personnel de-powered the third rail, bringing the train to a complete stop.
T personnel boarded the train, and operated it north to JFK/UMass, where passengers were asked to exit the train on to the platform, so it could be taken out of service and examined. No passengers were injured.
MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola calls the incident "highly troubling" and says Transit Police are involved in the investigation.
The investigation includes a look into an initial report that a safety device within the train’s cab may have been tampered with. Investigators are interviewing witnesses and the train operator.
Red Line trains are equipped with a dead man's switch, which is supposed to stop a train should enough pressure not be applied to the speed controller, for example, if the driver suddenly collapses or is not present.
WFXT reports a passenger on the train noticed "something tied around the control panel."
Channel 7 interviews a passenger.