‘Human error’ likely cause of Commuter Rail crash, derailment that shut down Fairmount Line

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Fairmount Commuter Rail Line was shut down for about 18 hours after an official says “human error” likely caused an out-of-service train to strike another train just outside of South Station Tuesday night.

The low-speed incident, which occurred around 8 p.m., left three coach cars derailed, according to an MBTA spokesman.

Four passengers were onboard the Fairmount Line train and no passengers were onboard the out-of-service train that was leaving a maintenance yard.

There were no reported injuries.

The line resumed regular service shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

An official told 7’s Sharman Sacchetti that the derailment was likely caused by human error.

“The initial findings from this investigation indicate human error was likely a factor in this Fairmount Line incident,” the official said in a statement. “In the process of establishing the facts, it appears that the out of service train did not adhere to a properly displayed red signal, which instructs the crew to stop and not proceed past a point. The involved train crew is currently not in service.”

This marks the second Commuter Rail derailment in less than two weeks. On April 2, a Rockport Line train derailed during the morning commute.

Passengers who ride the system are frustrated.

“It’s just getting worse and worse as the years go on, and I don’t know what the answer is,” said Terri Williams.

“If it’s human error, mind you how many of us have family and something happens, what are you going to say, sorry,” asked Margarita Sanchez.

In a statement, MassDOT says: “MassDOT will review the full results of the ongoing investigation, seek accountability as necessary and expects Keolis to uphold standards and protocols to ensure safety and reliability for customers.”

Keolis says the system is safe.

“I can tell you the crew in this particular case is currently not in service, and we’re taking appropriate steps, and we’ve continued to make investments that needed to be made to have a world-class operation here in Boston,” a Keolis spokesman said.

This is a developing story; stay with 7News on air and online for the latest updates.


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