MBTA denies newspaper's request for documents on September pull-apart

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BOSTON — Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials will not release records to a Boston newspaper that could explain why a commuter coach broke away from a moving train on Sept. 6. The Boston Herald requested written and email communications between several top officials, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper says the commuter railroad cited an ongoing investigation as the reason for declining the request.

The newspaper had sought the material, emails sent to and from then-General Manager Steve Poftak, deputy General Manager Jeff Gonneville and Chief Railroad Officer Ryan Coholan to Julie A. Ciollo, the MBTA’s assistant general counsel.

No-one was injured when the last coach of a four-coach MBTA commuter train, carrying about 400 passengers, detached. Air brakes on the train operated as designed and brought the two segments to a safe stop.

Since the incident, which MBTA’s operator Keolis called “exceptionally unusual,” mechanics have since been putting all coach cars through “more rigorous daily inspection,” including physically checking couplers to ensure they are properly connected.

Accident investigations led by the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Railroad Administration often require railroad officials to remain silent until federal agencies' work is complete. It is unclear if the agencies are involved in the Massachusetts case.

See the original article online.
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