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Leominster Rail Passenger Details Rocky Commute to Boston

November 28, 2018

Commuter Rail passenger Jason Permatteo who was forced to abandon a broken commuter train from Fitchburg. Courtesy of Jason Permatteo

Jason Permatteo went with the flow of a stream of passengers pouring off the MBTA Commuter Rail’s Fitchburg Line some 3.5 hours late to North Station yesterday morning after the 404 express train derailed near Waverley Station in Belmont.

Permatteo, 46, a technology salesman from Leominster who works at Cygilant in downtown Boston, looked none the worse for wear.

“So, here’s the sad state of affairs: It’s almost to be expected. You expect it to be horrible, so it’s not super surprising. Obviously, the age of the trains is a factor because I would imagine new trains don’t just blow axles out. I mean, there are countries around the world who can get it right. I don’t understand why we, as a major city, cannot. Seriously, man, there’s a better way to do it. I don’t know, I guess I’m just punch drunk from this morning.

“Just before we got into Waltham, I think, I heard a piston-almost sound and then the train slowed down and they said, ‘Oh, we have a brake problem.’ And about 10 minutes later it was a broken axle. ... I guess they said later it was an actual derailment. So then we sat and we waited for our rescue train. We sat there a good two hours.”

Amid a heavy response by Waltham police, firefighters and Keolis Commuter Services, Permatteo said some passengers asked to get off to walk the tracks to a parking lot to make other travel arrangements.

“To get from our train to the next we had to walk on the tracks,” Permatteo said. “It was very orderly. It wasn’t chaos, but it was frustrating. Taking the train ... I text my wife every other day, ‘OK, late again, here we go.’ I’ve been on it for almost a year now. It’s just so inconsistent. I should be on the train no longer than an hour or so. I left my station (North Leominster) at probably 6:45 this morning and I’m just getting here now. And I’m not in New York,” he said, laughing.

“I pay $360 a month to come in from where I come in from. I would expect that I could get here at least at a reasonable time.”

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