All photos courtesy of Scott Page
Yesterday at around 4:00 pm, MBTA Type-7 LRV #3633 derailed at the crossover at Brigham Circle station.
#3633 struck it's sister car Type-7 LRV #3634 which was sitting on the opposite track. The trains sustained minor damage during the accident. #3633 has some minor body damage (missing panels) and also sustained damage to it's center truck and articulation. #3634 also had some minor body damage. Also during the derailment, a light pole was bent over and a catenary wire bracket was broken off the line.
Most news outlets here in Boston are reporting only one form of human error was to blame in this situation. I believe, however, that there are three different ways people are at fault.
1: The Inspector at Brigham Circle Station
2: The operator of #3633
-Every operator that is trained to drive a trolley on the Green Line is taught to read their rail (make sure the switch they will be passing over is in the right direction) at every crossing and switch throughout the system. This however was not done today. If the operator had been paying attention to the rail in front of them, they would have noticed that the switch was not set properly and the accident would have been prevented.
-According to the MBTA website, the schedule for the Green Line 'E' branch on Columbus day was the same as a Saturday schedule. The only exception was that trains would terminate at Heath Street instead of Brigham Circle like a regular weekend. Today that did not happen. If 'E' line trains were terminating at Heath St. this incident would have been avoided all together. This can however be blamed on a headway adjustment, meaning that the inspector at Brigham stopped the train before Heath because there were not enough Lechmere trains in the central subway (Which is done on a regular basis during the week).
Overall, this accident was not the fault of just one person and hopefully it was a learning experience for everyone involved.
After the incident, it took MBTA personnel six hours to get the trolley back on the tracks. #3633 and #3634 were then moved to an MBTA maintenance facility for evaluation and repair.