Person hit and killed by Amtrak train in Mansfield; Providence Line service affected

Somebody was hit by a train near Mansfield station this afternoon. The station itself was shut - and the parking lot is closed - and delays persist along the Providence Line.

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Acela

I'm on the 2167 to Penn Station. We were "held indefinitely" in Sharon due to the accident. Total trip delay is 3 hours. (An hour delay at first because of mechanical issues which made us head back to South Station and board another train.)

And now the cafe car is temporarily closed due to cash register issue. Someone please send beer!!!

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Interesting that for once the

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Interesting that for once the T alerts actually say "due to earlier trespasser strike" rather than the more sanitized "medical emergency" or even "track issue", "disabled train", etc.

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The T had to be honest about

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The T had to be honest about the trespasser, because some peoples cars on the road adjacent to the accident had blood/body parts on them and police won't let people have access to those vehicles.

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I don't understand the need

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I don't understand the need to stop trains for more than half an hour if someone gets hit. If they're hurt, they'll be taken to the hospital. If they're dead, roll the corpse aside.

If Mumbai stopped the trains for three hours every time someone got killed, the trains would literally never run. They'd be stopped for the entire day.

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This isn't Mumbai

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Not that I know anything about train crashes there. Do you?

It's not just getting the injured/dead person off the tracks - service needs to be halted so police can investigate exactly what happened, and that's not something that can be done quickly.

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Former RR employee here

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The accident must be investigated, of course.

The third rail must be de-electrified; the tracks and train itself inspected.

A new crew is brought in. If you were at the controls when someone died, you probably would not want to continue the trip. Also, the engineer has to be drug tested and interviewed, even if he is not at fault. If the train is damaged (windshield shattered, brakes compromised by debris) equipment must be swapped out.

The body cannot be removed until the medical examiner declares the person dead, even if the person is very obviously dead. If the ME is busy somewhere else, this takes time.

Then you have to remove all the human debris.

Investigators have to determine if it's a murder, or a suicide, or in one case I was on duty for, a murder-suicide.

Then you have to re-electrify the tracks.

All the departments that have to be on duty: one or two Railroads, the electric company, local and state police, transit police, the medical examiner, the union, train mechanics, track workers....and a few more I'm forgetting.

It is not a matter of picking up a body and moving it aside. MBTA/Amtrak shennigans aside, all of this has to be done.

It may take less time to wait until the accident scene is clear and you have the all-clear than to bring in a new train.

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The third rail must be de

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The third rail must be de-electrified

That area is just overhead catenary, which probably doesn't have to be de-energized in most cases.

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Interesting to note that under current FRA

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rules, train crews involved in a grade crossing accident are exempt from drug and alcohol testing, but are required to undergo such testing if they hit a pedestrian trespassing on the right of way.

Apparently somebody has decided that the laws of reaction time and basic physics that don't prevent a train from hitting a car that's spotted on the tracks (the reason for the exception) don't apply when that same train hits a person spotted on the tracks. Even though a car is much easier to spot than a person at normal train speeds.

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"Roll the corpse aside?"

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This is a human being who died here. I think they deserve a little more respect than that. Should we just cover the person with a sheet so everyone on the train can see?

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Thanks

It was nice of you to take some time out what I'm sure was a busy day to let us all know that you're a horrible person.

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Reminds me of my favorite

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line from John Godey's 1972 book The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (which all three movies by that name were based on). Dispatchers are swapping war stories, when one dispatcher chimes in with:

"There was that time on the Lex (Lexington Avenue line) that a motorman stopped his train and reported a dead body on the tracks. Frank Correll (the IRT dispatcher) asked "Is he dead? To which the motorman responded "Affirmative - he's as stiff as a board.""

"Then prop him up against a pillar and get your train moving. We'll pick him up after rush hour."

For obvious reasons, this scene was not included in any of the movies.

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Friend has yet to get car back

A friend of mine was parked directly in the "splatter" area (sorry I could not find a euphemism to make this softer) and she has not yet received her vehicle back. Even after it is scrubbed and returned she feels pretty creeped out about driving it. RIP to the trespasser.

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This must have been a truely horrific incident...

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...given the "impacted areas" map Mansfield PD posted on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldPD/photos/a.295983407108430.73396.2872...

Sadly people continue to do this sort of thing. I feel for the engineer who had to witness this and the other train crew members and first responders who have to cope with this. Most all agencies involved (certainly the MBTA and Amtrak, as well as their respective PDs) are all too well-versed at dealing with these, so you know it's got to be bad when one of the busiest stations on the commuter rail system is closed the following day.

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Definitely one of the worst incidents here in a while

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I was on MBTA #813 on my way home to Wickford Junction. When I got to Ruggles, I saw scrolling notifications on the platform saying something to the effect of "Passenger strike. Anticipated delays of up to 30 minutes". My train arrived at Ruggles on time and there were numerous announcements from the conductor about the incident. We were held at Transfer interlocking limits for about 20 minutes before we were allowed to proceed to Route 128. Dispatch then informed us that ALL passengers were going to be discharged at Route 128. Any passengers going to Providence would board Acela Express #2173 and any passengers going to the regular MBTA commuter stations would board #815. Once I got off at Route 128, I boarded Acela #2173.

We were held at Route 128 for about 30 minutes before we were cleared to proceed on Track 1. We got no more than 3 miles down the track (milepost 214) before we were instructed to stop at Junction interlocking limits. We were there for well over an hour...completely stopped. In the meantime, 172 was transferring passengers to Amtrak Northeast Regional #86. A few eastbound trains switched to track 2 at Junction and passed us. We were finally allowed to proceed.

When we reached #172, we came to a complete stop and then proceeded at Restricted Speed after waiting a couple minutes. The engineer was blowing the horn every few seconds. Once we we reached catpole 203.54, we were allowed to proceed west at Normal speed.

During this entire time, track 2 between Mansfield and Junction was completely blocked off. Everything was running on track 1. Eastbound trains would have to stop at Mansfield interlocking track 2 until given clearance to proceed. They would switch at Mansfield to track 1 until Junction and then switch back to track 2. There were so many trains waiting to get through that the congestion was unbelievable.

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