T workers honored for halting runaway train

This Red Line train left the station without an operator. (Photo: WBZ-TV)

BOSTON (AP/WPRI) — Two transit employees whose quick action is credited with bringing a driverless Red Line train to a safe stop were honored at the Statehouse Monday morning.

Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officials presented citations to Mark McNeill and Ainsley “Lee” Saunders. Both work in the MBTA’s operations control center.

The driverless train carrying about 50 passengers left the Braintree station Thursday morning and rumbled through several stations. It was brought to a halt when power was gradually cut to the electrified third rail. The transit workers first had to make sure that other trains were safely out of the way.

The operator of the runaway train, David Vazquez, was also set to face a disciplinary hearing Monday. Baker said last week the driver appeared to violate several safety procedures.

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