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The Mass Media

Out-of-service Red Line train derails near Kendall/MIT station

Josh Kotler
Passengers board the inbound train at the JFK/UMass Red Line station. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

**Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of graphic violence**

On Saturday, April 23, an out-of-service Red Line train derailed while switching tracks near the Kendall/MIT station. Shuttle buses replaced service between the Park Street and Alewife station stops until service was reinstated on Sunday. 

The MBTA first tweeted about the derailment around 11:20 a.m. on Saturday. The tweet reads: “Earlier this morning, the first wheel set of an out-of-service Red Line train slowly derailed while switching from the northbound to the southbound tracks in the work zone outside of Kendall/MIT station. No passengers were onboard the train and there were no injuries.” 

At the time, shuttle buses were already being used to replace a portion of the Red Line’s service that day. The shuttle bus service was extended from Kendall to Park Street in order to accommodate passengers.

The MBTA quickly followed up their initial tweet with another.

“The safety of our riders and employees is our top priority, and we’ll do all that we must to find and rectify the cause of this incident,” reads the tweet. “A full investigation is already underway. The planned shuttle buses have been extended to Park St while [we] re-rail the train and safely restore the area.”

However, due to the MBTA’s various recent accidents, some riders question how reliable the MBTA is.

“We’ve watched five buses go by saying they are too full to pick anyone up. [I’m] just waiting to go home,” said Ian Black to NBC10 Boston. “I know they are trying to extend the Green Line, and keep all of the other stuff going on. But I mean if we can’t be doing the stuff to keep [things] running fluidly then it’s really not helping.” 

Over the past year, the MBTA has left quite the track record of accidents. Most recently, Robinson Lalin of Boston was killed after his arm became caught in a Red Line train door and he was dragged along through the subway tunnel at Broadway station. The accident occurred on April 10, 2022.

According to MassLive, Kevin Lalin, Robinson Lalin’s nephew, “alleges MBTA officials have yet to reach out or express condolences to the Lalin family since his uncle’s passing. The only time the family heard from officials was on April 10 when Robert Lalin died.” 

Prior to this, the MBTA had several incidents occur in September of 2021.

One of these incidents was another Red Line derailment at Broadway Station. The train was filled with roughly 50 people. Though the derailment did not result in any injuries, many UMass Boston students, faculty and staff were delayed.

Another one of the September 2021 MBTA mishaps occurred especially close to UMass Boston. In September of 2021, David Jones, a professor at BU, was found dead under a set of rusty stairs near the JFK/UMass T-stop. At that point, the stairs had been closed to the public for roughly 20 months. The stairs were later removed. 

On Sept. 26, 2021, an escalator meant to carry Commuter Rail passengers to street level became flat like a slide and started moving in reverse. A family from Louisiana sued the MBTA after the malfunction, which left them with extensive injuries. Several others were injured. 

According to a tweet by the MBTA, service from Alewife was restored around noon on Sunday, April 24. 

About the Contributor
Josh Kotler, Photographer