Just Right Rail

The weather’s been neither too hot nor too cold, so Tri-Met’s light rail “trains” should have been running perfectly. Alas…heading at slow speed into the Lloyd Center station in east Portland yesterday, a car inexplicably derailed, shutting down the lines and sending one person to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Service delays of up to an hour resulted as buses were pressed in to move stranded passengers; it took crews four hours to “re-track” the offending car, and the development agency remains unsure as to what caused the derailment. They’re “looking at” all kinds of stuff, though: the car, the tracks, the switches, the alignment of the stars, whether a plastic bag might have been on the tracks, and more.

No word on what sort of delays might be expected if a bus were to derail.

But having had yet another Very Bad Week, the development agency is “apologizing” by offering free rides on their light rail “trains” all day on Monday, August 18. Unfortunately, those few who hold passes will not have an extra day credited to their accounts; the free rides apply only to those who generally don’t pay to ride anyway, and to the occasional rider who might otherwise have had to purchase a ticket on Monday. Oh, and no free bus rides, either.

Screw the pass-holders and the bus-riders.

Actually, since it’s hard to say exactly what you’ll encounter when riding Tri-Met’s light rail (gang-bangers, derailments, heat slowdowns, pedestrian roadkills, collisions, and more are often on the menu), they should probably charge a premium for riding the things. After all, it works at theme parks.

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About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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2 Responses to Just Right Rail

  1. lectorconstans says:

    That’s a fascinating PR move: “Our trains often run off the track and hurt riders; here’s a free ride.” Do roller-coaster operators do the same?

    • maxredlines says:

      It’s interesting, but even more so in view of the fact that the day after they announced the free rides, another train killed two people at a stop further in the northeast end of the same line.

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