Brenna Cobleigh, of Littleton, said there was a “screeching” sound from the train’s brakes, which is not out of the ordinary, as the train came to a controlled stop about 100 yards south of Central Street.
Police, Transit Police and Acton firefighters were called to the area of 117 Central Street for a report that a person had been struck by the train at 6:46 p.m.
The train is pictured below as it sat at the scene in darkness.
Police at the scene wouldn’t comment, but Transit Police spokeswoman Lydia Rivera sent me the following email while I was still down in Acton. I was glad I had emailed her before leaving the newsroom to go check this out.
At approximately 6:46 PM, Transit Police were notified by MBTA Railroad Operations that MBTA Train #431, heading outbound from North Station came into contact with a trespasser in the area of 117 Central Street (1.5 miles north of MBTA South Acton Station) in Acton. Transit Police, along with Acton Police, Fire & EMS responded. Unidentified white male is a fatality.
Approximately fifty passengers were evacuated from the train and a MBTA Bus Shuttle was established to transport the passengers to all remaining stations traveling outbound towards Fitchburg Station.
Cobleigh said passengers were told there had been an emergency, but got no other updates while they were kept on the train for about 90 minutes before being allowed to disembark. Cobleigh said some people sitting near her overhead conductors saying the train may have hit someone, though.
Many of the passengers walked down the tracks with a police escort to meet family members waiting in cars about 8 p.m.
There were still some passengers on the train when it continued up the tracks at 8:20 p.m. Police remained at the scene to investigate.