MBTA says it wants to find out why one of its brand-spanking-new Orange Line trains derailed at Wellington today; in the meantime, riders will get buses instead
The T has issued a statement on the derailment in the area where workers were supposedly making track improvements at Wellington today:
Earlier today, the third car of a new Orange Line train derailed while switching tracks outside of the work zone at Wellington Station. MBTA personnel safely evacuated all passengers from the train and no injuries have been reported at this time.
Safety is at the forefront of all we do, and we will do all that is necessary to identify and resolve the cause of today’s event to ensure the safety of our riders and employees. A full investigation into this incident is currently underway.
We are inspecting Orange Line infrastructure & trains, & will resume service in the area when determined to be safe. Shuttle buses will run through the end of service.
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!
The TRAIN is new, the tracks
The TRAIN is new, the tracks and the switches are not. The train derailed while switching tracks, which suggests very strongly it's a switch problem. It probably didn't do its thing right and knocked the train off the track. This was a gentle, upright derailment.
Compare this to putting a brand new Lexus on Storrow Drive in a bad pothole season.
The train can be new, but putting it on 100 year old infrastructure only means the train probably won't catch on fire.
At least, they won't steal
At least, they won't steal overtime pay, will they?
Nah, they're not cops
Nah, they're not cops
So you know one honest MBTA
So you know one honest MBTA worker, or something?
Oh we know why
Oh we know why... apparently the T does not.
You buy garbage, you get garbage.
Considering the train was passing over a switch
at the time of the derailment, it is quite possible the problem was with the switch or the track.
These CRRC cars have not proved themselves to have a Breda-like derailment fetish -- yet.
The switch is due for
The switch is due for replacement during the ongoing track work on one of the planned weekend outages, so it was an old replacement-age piece of infrastructure pressed into service to facilitate the single-tracking on the normally southbound track. These switches are normally only used to take out-of-service trains in/out of the yard and are only flipped a handful of times per day for that purpose. During the single-tracking they're flipped for each opposing-direction movement, meaning hundreds of times per day. Unlike the end-of-line crossovers at Forest Hills and Oak Grove for reversing direction, they aren't built extra-ruggedized for all-day use like this and thus the single-tracking ops slightly increases the native derailment risk (albeit with extra safety precautions taken by going very slow through them).
It was a calculated risk (albeit a safely-provisioned one) that the switch would hold up for the duration of the service diversion. Obviously it didn't pan out as well as planned since this was only Day 2 of the switch being pressed into regular service and it's clear-as-day that a split switch was the source of this derailment. Remains to be seen whether the verdict faults the car or the switch mechanism for the train splitting the switch. Realistic odds point more strongly to the switch mechanism being the culprit, since the switch is at end-of equipment life.
In an interview with a Space Shuttle pilot...
...they asked him what was the most nerve wracking part of flying the shuttle? He jokingly replied (paraphrasing here) “it’s when the liftoff countdown reaches zero and you suddenly remember everything was built by the lowest bidder”
Well sure, but it was
Well sure, but it was contracted to be built TO SPEC by the lowest bidder.
Good legal deflection
Good legal deflection response. Teflon MBTA doesn't have to worry. And all you riders with measley paychecks...feel free to sue. Insurance settlements come a dime a dozen. How dare the damage control press release say that riders suffered no damage physical or mental within hours of the incident.
Improve the Tracks
Tracks have been improved
Train now derails.
Just pave it all.
Pave over every stinkin', good for nothing square foot of rail with conductive concrete and run electric busses from now on with plows and heating trucks for especially bad winters.
Massachusetts could been competing against NASA with it's very own Mars lander with the money we've flushed down that Sarlacc Pit of failure.
Three weeks of bus shuttles....
between Oak Grove and Sullivan Square while a damaged switch is replaced
Still beats a firmware update
Still beats a firmware update every five minutes
Honestly why hasn't Google gotten into trains yet ffs
Well, that's heartening news,
Well, that's heartening news, the T is interested in equipment malfunctions.
Why does it take three weeks
Why does it take three weeks to install a new switch? They should already have all the necessary parts, equipment, and expertise to do the job. As usual, this smacks of MBTA management making decisions to maximize rider pain and expense as part of their long-term effort to chase people off the system. They're probably hoping the general public blames it on "lazy union workers" instead of on cheapskate do-nothing managers and ideological politicians.
Have you ever installed a switch?
How long should it take? Are you sure they have the parts on hand? Is the area safe for trains to pass right now?
Look, I can't answer these questions either, but the idea that the T wants to "maximize rider pain" is one that comes up every time they close a section of a line for x number of weekends to do the repairs that are needed. Honestly, though I hate that lines are closed, at the end of the day, they do this to improve the system. I'm old enough to remember when the completely closed the Ashmont line for a year to replace the track completely. That's a year of bustitution up Dot Ave.