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Light Rail Train Derailment in Portland on Icy Tracks

13 Jan 2017, 10:17 am

A Trimet light rail commuter train derailed earlier this morning in Portland, Oregon likely due to ice on the tracks. Earlier this week, Portland received 8 to 12″ of snow. Travel problems have been widespread over the region since the big storm dropped the accumulations.

According to the Portland Tribune: TriMet spokeswoman Roberta Altstadt, speaking on KPAM radio at 7:30 a.m., said the situation was unique for the MAX line: Ice had never built up enough to force a train off the tracks before today. It’s unknown if the train or the wheels were damaged, she said, although crews were working on the problem as she spoke.

According to KATU: According to TriMet spokesperson Roberta Altstadt, the train switched onto a little-used section of track that had become coated with ice, causing the derailment. The train was shifted off to the right of the tracks at a multi-track junction, but all train cars remained upright.

Cars remained upright after the derailment. Crews worked for several hours to unfreeze the tracks, using blow torches. A large truck was used to assist in moving the train cars.

After about 4 hours, the Trimet train was back on the tracks. Rail service is expected to remain slow throughout the day as trains will move well below typical speeds to avoid additional ice issues.

Traffic problems have been felt throughout the region all week. Dry conditions with temperatures in the 30s the next few days will help to melt away the snow and ice.


[Credit: YouTube/Michael Demidenko via Storyful]

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels

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