Aerial Photos 2012

The Acela train speeds through downtown Attleboro along Pleasant Street approaching the Peck Street arch. (Staff photo by Tom Maguire)

MANSFIELD - Housing Commissioner Kevin Doyle is calling on selectmen to lobby the MBTA for greater safety after he said an Acela train barreled through town unannounced, endangering a political gathering.

The request was a result of an incident involving the high-speed Acela at the Mansfield train station on Nov. 2.

Doyle told selectmen at their meeting Wednesday night that a group of people were standing on the platform campaigning for Joseph Kennedy III for Congress, when the train came speeding through the station without warning.

"When I noticed the train was not slowing down, I started yelling at people at the other end of the platform," he said.

Doyle said he worked for the MBTA for 25 years, and this has been an ongoing issue.

Town Manager Bill Ross said the MBTA should be held responsible for their failed announcement system, and it's up to the agency to make changes. Acela trains sometimes travel in excess of 100 mph while passing by stations filled with commuters.

"I'm very fearful that we're going to have an incident in this town," Doyle said.

"There are no safeguards, and a yellow line is not going to save a life."

Selectmen Vice Chairman George Dentino said the problem is with the layout of the station, and not the speed of the train.

Dentino suggested the placement of fences or rails around the station's platform.

"If we provide openings where people have to walk through to get on the train, it might cut down on the number of incidences," he said.

Doyle and selectmen plan to work toward contacting the general manager of the MBTA to express their concerns.

NELL SMITH covers Mansfield for The Sun Chronicle. She can be reached at 508-236-336 or at nsmith@thesunchronicle.com.

(3) comments

jose

Or, maybe you shouldn't gather near the train tracks.

GaryJohnson

The point of this discussion is the platform where the communtors are supposed to be gathered. A train going by at 100 mph creates a backdraft, and a small child, or an older person, or even a healthy adult not paying attention, can be put in danger.

jose

Interesting. I've been taking that train for 15 years, had numerous trains pass through when I was on the platform, never have a seen anyone or anything sucked into the back draft, not even a paper bag. Last time I checked, the train runs on a schedule, it doesn't just drive the tracks looking for passengers. Check the schedule before you gather for an even on the station platform. I assume this is Obama's fault?

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