New emails show Keolis mishandled investigation
On December 26th the Boston Herald reported on new emails released by T officials regarding private contractor, Keolis’ mishandling of an investigation into a train car that broke free from a train in motion in September of this year. According to T officials, this mishandling greatly limited the ability of investigators to accurately determine the actual cause of the derailment.
In emails, the T’s Director of Maintenance for Railroad Operations, Steve Adkins wrote, “Our investigation revealed that Keolis has serious issues in incident preservation and incident investigation capability,” going on to state, “The lack of critical information like witness statements, photographs of the scene and records from maintenance and transportation departments severely limited the identification of a root cause.”
Along the same lines, the T’s Chief Safety Officer, Ronald Nickle wrote that Keolis failed to look into legitimate safety concerns “time and time again.”
Aside from criticism from T leadership, an official from the Federal Railroad Administration emailed Keolis CEO, David Scorey, two days after the incident, stating that the agency planned to penalize the contractor for moving defective equipment related to the incident before officials were able to inspect it.
Although Keolis has not yet been penalized by the FRA for its mishandling of the investigation, the situation has highlighted ongoing tensions between T officials and the private contractor, with Nickle stating, “I think Keolis has in many instances caused much more grief than I care to remember.”