In a train emergency, T says ‘just stay put’ - Metro US

In a train emergency, T says ‘just stay put’

When you’re trapped underground in a subway car, there is not much to do besides send angry tweets.

Remain calm and wait for instructions from MBTA personnel, said T spokesperson Lydia Rivera.

But if it’s an incident that staff might not know about, drop your phone and jump into action.

The T encourages passengers to pitch in.

“[Customers] can depress the Passenger Emergency Intercom located on the train for assistance,” she said.

Rivera said MBTA employees receive training annually on how to respond to various emergency situations including medical response and evacuations, ensuring customers are safe during sticky situations.

Last week, two separate T trains broke down while underground — once in Porter Square, when two Red Line trains stalled, trapping more than 400 people below the surface for more than two hours, and again last weekend on the Green Line near Kenmore Square when a car derailed.

Personnel, with the assistance of fire and police, helped get patient passengers above the ground.

Train breakdowns can occur during the summertime when a car’s auxiliary power supply overheats.

Derailments often result from kinks in the train’s tracks from extreme heat.

While both breakdowns are still under investigation, in the event of such emergencies, the T does have protocol to deal with trapped customers.

What they do


The T dispatches as many workers as possible to the scene, while contacting the Transit authorities and local officials. If necessary, a T driver might seek customer assistance during an evacuation after all third rail power is turned off.


Authorities are informed and a power crew and track foreman are brought to the scene to assess. Everything remains untouched until an investigation is done.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.

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