MTA investigates operator of wayward A train

The A train traveled the wrong way on downtown tracks.

The operator of an A train that traveled the wrong way on downtown tracks two weeks ago met with NYC Transit investigators Tuesday and handed in her radio for inspection, according to a union official.

Investigators at NYC Transit’s system safety office spoke with the train’s operator, who hasn’t been identified, about the Aug. 11 subway snafu and is looking at the radio that lets workers and the Rail Control Center communicate. The radio is an older model, the union source said.

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg could not comment on steps taken in the investigation.

“This is an extremely unusual occurrence and we take it extremely seriously,” Lisberg said. “The investigation is trying to determine exactly where the miscommunication occurred that led to this train operating uptown on the downtown track.”

The screwup started when signal problems in the tunnel that carries A and C trains caused a backup that required some downtown trains to turn around. Rail control ordered the train to let passengers off and then pull into a spur track to let it turn around safely, but the train at Canal Street instead headed uptown on the wrong tracks, according to Lisberg. The slow-moving wayward train went past the Spring Street station up near the West 4th Street stop, Lisberg said.

The MTA downplayed the risk of a collision because trains on the route were stopped at their stations. The operator and the conductor, who the MTA has not named, were taken off the job with pay after the incident, according to Lisberg.

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