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MBTA Apologizes After Fire on Commuter Rail Train Forces Evacuations

No injuries were reported in connection to the fire

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@ZachTaylorHall

What to Know

  • The MBTA is apologizing after a fire on a Commuter Rail train bound for Providence forced passengers to evacuate.
  • The agency said the fire was contained to the locomotive stack and was caused by a "short and contained fire in the engine."
  • The incident is the latest in a series of public transportation mishaps this summer that have frustrated commuters.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has apologized after passengers aboard a Commuter Rail train heading to Providence were forced to evacuate after the vehicle caught fire Thursday evening.

"Dear Providence Line passengers," the MBTA said in a series of tweets. "We would like to apologize for the challenging commute you experienced tonight."

"It was contained to the locomotive stack and was caused by a short and contained fire in the engine."

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from Providence Line Train 831 from Boston while stopped at Canton Junction following the incident.

Commuters aboard the train described smelling smoke before being ordered off the train. 

LeonJohnson: “We were just sitting there and all of a sudden we seen big clouds of smoke and he started smelling it and we were all just kind of wondering what is happening and then they had to give it to the train. We sit outside in the next thing you know it was in flames.”
Angela DeCosta: “You could see the flames coming out of the engine. Yeah it was pretty intense.”

“You could see the flames coming out of the engine," said passenger Angela DeCosta. "Yeah it was pretty intense.”

Leona Johnson added: "They said we could get back on the train and we were like, 'We're not getting on this train.' And then it caught fire, again."  

The MBTA said the blaze did not occur in a passenger area and "went out on its own when the crew shut down the engine."

The blaze caused the line to run up to 35 minutes behind schedule. The train involved has since been sent to a maintenance facility.

The incident is the latest in a series of public transportation mishaps this summer that have frustrated commuters.  

Derailments on the Red and Green lines this summer have caused many commuters who rely on the MBTA to question the service and the recent increase in fares.

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