Teamwork Key to Mitigating Trolley Collision

Issue 9 and Volume 162.

BY FRED SULLIVAN On May 28, 2008, at approximately 6 p.m., two outbound MBTA Green Line Light Rail Vehicle trolleys collided in Newton, Massachusetts. Up to 200 passengers were estimated to be aboard the four cars. The first two-car trolley stopped for a red traffic signal and was starting to accelerate when it was struck by a faster moving second two-car trolley. The impact knocked the rear car of the first trolley off the tracks to the left. The front car of the second trolley rode up over the left of the rear of the first trolley. Its front truck assembly dislodged to the left, landing on the inbound tracks. The front end of the car buckled downward on impact and crashed onto the tracks and ballast, collapsing the front end even more, curling it into the shape of a clenched fist. The midpoint of the left side of the…

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