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Green Line trolley derails between Copley and Hynes; no injuries, at least

First responders in Copley Square

The scene in Copley Square. Photo by Rand. Can't sit still.

What the MBTA described as a signal problem turned out to be a trolley derailment just after Copley Square outbound that left passengers on that train and two trains behind it stuck in the tunnel.

Boston firefighters and Transit and BPD officers helped evacuate passengers from the three trolleys through both Copley and Hynes. BFD reports no injuries.

Victoria Price reports passengers were stuck on the trolleys for 45 minutes.

The T called in buses to shuttle passengers between Kenmore Square and Government Center.



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I am not a trains technical expert - but I see trains run hundreds of thousands of miles a day worldwide without simply falling off the tracks.

What a disgrace we are. We can not even collaborate enough to fund public transportation to a level where the trains do not spontaneously fall off the tracks.

Voting closed 27

The switch was being operated manually because of a signal failure. One of the points was apparently not set correctly and one wheel of an inbound E train apparently stopped on top of the point that was set for the wrong direction. They eventually just backed the train off and reset the switch, but had to shut down service while the incident was investigated.

Voting closed 9

but how boring would that be?
Trains getting you from point A to point B relatively on-time at a reasonable cost. Come on -- everybody needs an occasional derailment and/or a smoking train sometimes.

Voting closed 10

You can't handle the truth.

Voting closed 10

100% sure it was a derailment? MBTA is still saying signal problem, and Boston.com has an article claiming the same. I trust you more than both, and if it was a derailed train it reeks of the MBTA trying to keep it quiet.

Voting closed 9

It strikes me that an evac is a big deal. They said they evacuated through Copley AND Hynes, which tells me it was probably max distance from either station, which tells me that it wasn't an easy thing for passengers, particularly if they had mobility issues. If there's something you can fix without having to evac, I'd think they would move heaven and earth to do that.

Voting closed 11

Somewhere else in this thread is a comment explaining the issue: They had a signal problem that forced them to do run some switch manually and something went wrong and the train got stuck.

OK, technically, I guess this might not be what a railroad person would call a "derailment." A while back, some train started down one track at a switch but the rear wheels wound up on the other track. There's a specific name for this condition (which, of course, I can't remember), in which no wheels leave the rails, but in practical terms, it has a similar effect to derailment.

In any case, last night, firefighters in the tunnel were calling the lead trolley "derailed."

Voting closed 14

The term you're trying to think of is "splitting the switch".

Voting closed 12

It wasn't between Boylston and Arlington stations.

If there is any stretch of track on the MBTA system that's definitely haunted it's that few hundred yards.

I wouldn't be surprised if the haunts even included ghouls.

Voting closed 5