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Accident Report Detail

Rear End Collision of Three Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Trains

Executive Summary

On August 1, 1975, during the evening rush hour, southbound traffic on the Red Line of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston backed up because of a train standing at a stop signal in the tunnel south of Charles Street Station. Train 1402, a four-car 'Bluebird' train, stopped at signal 236 because of the backup. Train 1604, a four-car 'Silverbird' train, was keyed by signal 234 and crashed into 1402 about 4:58 p.m. About 3 minutes later, a four-car 'Bluebird' train, 1431, crashed into the rear of train 1604. One hundred and fifty-four persons were injured; total damage to equipment was estimated to be $425,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the malfunction of the train-stop tripper and the subsequent operation of trains 1604 and 1431 in violation of the rules and in excess of the speed at which they could stop short of collisions in the available sight distances.

Accident Location: Boston , MA    
Accident Date: 8/1/1975
Accident ID: 80010

Date Adopted: 4/14/1976
NTSB Number: RAR-76-05
NTIS Number: PB-253360/AS

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