‘Unacceptable': Gov. Baker Responds to Red Line Derailment

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is calling Wednesday's Red Line derailment "unacceptable" and says the MBTA needs to take a closer look at how it happened.

"I think the most important thing from our point of view is that nobody got hurt, and credit to the T folks, they had the system back up and operating again by 6 o'clock last night, and this morning went relatively uneventfully," Baker told State House News Service on Thursday. "But they need to do some homework on why this happened and figure out if there is some issue that needs to be considered along the rest of the lines and the rest of the tracks to make sure that we don't have some terrible situation like this lurking somewhere else on the tracks."

The last car of a six-car Red Line train derailed as it entered Andrew Station around 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, then "re-railed itself" before it stopped. Crews later found that about 300 feet of third rail were damaged as a result of the derailment. No one was injured, but the derailment caused severe delays.

"As I've said many times, most of the stuff on the tracks and the systems and the trains and the cars and all the rest on the T are 50 years old or more," Baker said. "For decades people neglected making the investments they should have been making in the core system.

"We're investing hundreds of millions of dollars in those core system upgrades, and a couple years from now, you're going to have basically new cars on the Red Line, new cars on the Orange Line, new signals and switches on both systems, new cars and a very different system than the one we have now, but in the meantime, I get the fact that what riders had to put up with yesterday was unacceptable."

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said despite Wednesday's incident, service has improved on the MBTA, especially on the Red Line. 

"I think the governor has done an awful lot of work on the T," Walsh said. "This situation that happened yesterday, we really haven't heard something like this in quite a while, that we've had a big breakdown like this."

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