It was while holding signs at the Mansfield commuter rail stop in early November for Joe Kennedy III that Kevin Doyle saw the need for a special alert for the Acela train. As 20 people held signs over a two hour period, the slower speeds of MBTA trains and freight trains made the group feel less worried about standing close to the tracks.
About 80 minutes into the visibility for Kennedy, an Acela train, with the ability to travel up to 150 MPH, took some of the supporters by surprise as Dunn yelled at everyone to move further back.
After watching a mother with her 10 year old child get out of the way just in time, Doyle requested that the selectmen address the issue so there is are difference warnings for the faster Acela trains and the slower MBTA commuter rail and freight trains.
“I’m very fearful that we’re going to have an incident in this town,” Doyle told the Mansfield Board of Selectmen.
Suggestions from Doyle included a separate alert for Acela trains that tells those on the platform to move back an additional 10 feet. Like most stations, there is a yellow line that those on the platform are advise to stand behind when a train is approaching but Doyle feels that the line does not property protect those waiting for a train from the faster and more dangerous trains like the Acela.
“There’s no safeguards there. That yellow line is not gonna save your life,” Doyle said.
Doyle also said that he has talked about the issue with his legislators and mentioned that when state Senator James Timilty was at the station, he could not believe how fast the train was going.
Selectmen George Dentino suggested fencing off the track to prevent people from getting to close to the trains speeding by.
"The danger here is not so much the speed of the train but the ability to fall into that train," Dentino said.
The selectmen hope to have a letter to send to the general manager of the MBTA in the near future to help modify the alert for the faster trains.
What do you think should be done to help alert those waiting on the train platform of faster trains? Do you agree that the MBTA should adjust the train approaching sign for faster trains? Tell us in the comments.