SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 8, 2014

Train-car brush sparks questions

ROCKPORT — A commuter rail train brushing a parked car near Rockport’s train station Tuesday night did not cause any injuries, but it is raising safety questions.

According to Rockport police, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter train struck a car parked near the tracks at 6:30 p.m.

The car sustained only minor damage, officials said, but the incident should serve as a reminder to residents to watch how close they park to the tracks, which are not fenced off.

“To prevent incidents such as this, motorists should not park their vehicles on a railroad right-of-way,” MBTA Director of Communications Joseph Pesaturo stated yesterday in an email to the Gloucester Times, a sister newspaper of The Salem News.

He added that the MBTA is not considering fencing in the tracks.

“A fence is not necessary,” he said. “We strongly encourage motorists to use common sense when they see an active railroad.”

Rockport police, however, are requesting that the MBTA put up more signs near the tracks to warn people parking by the station. The Tuesday accident occurred at the same time the Rockport High School baseball team was playing Triton Regional, which would have drawn spectators — and more vehicles than usual — to the area.

Upgrades to the station are still on the table, Pesaturo said. Renovations have been planned for the past several years, but no significant changes to the site have yet to take place.

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