The buildup of “a grease” on an exposed piece of Red Line undercarriage caused electricity to arc and eventually break the axle of the subway train car that catastrophically derailed at JFK station three months ago..

Derailment cene
Image via the Boston Herald

– News covered by Quincy Quarry News with commentary added.

MBTA reveals a faulty ground broke the axle that caused the June Red Line derailment.

Following the usual meticulous examination of the derailed train lead by the National Transportation Safety Board, today at a regularly scheduled MBTA oversight board meeting the likely cause of the catastrophic derailment was announced.

As has long been suspected by the rail aficionados at Quincy Quarry, the derailment was likely caused by a broken component in one of the train’s wheel sets; specifically, an axle failed.

Trashed train control equipment
A Jacquelyn Goodard/MassDOT image

A faulty grounding ring bushing appears to have given rise to an electrical arcing which in turn caused the axle to fail at arguably the worst possible place possible as the derailed train then destroyed mission critical train control equipment which had been inexplicably placed right next to the tracks.

Following identification of the likely problem, the MBTA has undertaken all manner of appropriate inspections as well as increased the frequency of its inspection of the parts tied to the axle’s catastrophic failure.


The one-fingered MBTA salute!
A transit map graphic

And of particular interest to Braintree Red Line strap hangers who have suffered considerable delays in service given damage caused to train control equipment by the derailment, while the Ashmont Red LIne control equipment has been repaired, the Braintree control equipment is (currently, ed.) not expected to be fully repaired until the end of October.

As such, expect another six weeks of delay above and beyond the usual only to expected delays when riding the T.

Source: MBTA: Faulty ground, broken axle caused June Red Line derailment

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