Monday, March 24, 2008

VTA blames human error for light rail derailment

Two VTA employees are on administrative leave after a train derailment last Friday night at a scissors crossover north of Virginia Station. VTA has ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the derailment.

For more than a month, trains have operated on a single track in the area in order to serve Tamien station, which is undergoing platform retrofit while remain open to passengers. Virginia and Children's Discovery Museum stations are currently closed during the platform retrofit construction.

An employee is stationed at the crossover to oversee the single tracking operation.

When the train was derailed, it hit a power pole and the first two axles of the train were on top of the opposite crossover track. According to photographs and some eyewitness accounts, it is plausible that the southbound train encountered some problems while on the crossover. VTA is still investigating this incident.

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