Commuter rail train derails in Andover

4 a.m. incident under investigation; no one injured

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

A COMMUTER RAIL TRAIN without any passengers derailed north of the Andover station Tuesday morning, a day after MBTA overseers advanced two options for hiking fares this year by roughly 6.7 percent or 9.7 percent.

Mac Daniel, a spokesman for Keolis Commuter Services, the commuter rail operator, said the train was traveling northbound to set up for morning service. The derailment occurred about 4 a.m., according to Daniel, who said a conductor and an engineer were on board and no one was injured.

The two derailed coaches – which did not tip over – clogged railroad commutes north of Boston as it tied up trains farther up the line. Keolis canceled some runs and used buses to transport riders between Haverhill and Andover.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said the incident is under investigation.

“The Federal Railroad Administration has three inspectors on site where the MBTA derailment occurred near Andover earlier today and is investigating the cause. Prior to the line returning to active service, MBTA must inspect the repaired section of track, along with signals and any switches within the derailment area, as required by federal regulations,” a Federal Railroad spokesperson said in a statement.

Daniel said officials are looking at track infrastructure as the possible cause of the derailment and expects commuter rail service to be “full steam” for the afternoon commute. On Tuesday afternoon, Daniel said the first train had just recently traversed the section of repaired track.

“The track structure failed. We don’t really know why at this point,” Rich Murphy, director of train operations for Keolis, said in a video posted online Tuesday morning explaining the delays.

Including the derailed train, five trains were trapped north of Andover as a result of the accident, according to Keolis.

Daniel said officials are looking at track infrastructure as the possible cause of the derailment and expects commuter rail service to be “full steam” for the afternoon commute. On Tuesday afternoon, Daniel said the first train had just recently traversed the section of repaired track.

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Andy Metzger

Guest Contributor

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger is currently studying law at Temple University in Philadelphia. Previously, he joined  CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger is currently studying law at Temple University in Philadelphia. Previously, he joined  CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

“The track structure failed. We don’t really know why at this point,” Rich Murphy, director of train operations for Keolis, said in a video posted online Tuesday morning explaining the delays.

Including the derailed train, five trains were trapped north of Andover as a result of the accident, according to Keolis.