Skip to comments.Two injured in MetroRail collision Accident is 61st that has involved a light rail train
Posted on 09/20/2004 5:16:17 PM PDT by pete anderson
Two people suffered minor injuries after a car ran a red light and collided with a MetroRail train Sunday in downtown Houston. The accident was the 61st involving a light rail train.
The accident happened at about 4 p.m. at Main and Pierce. A northbound train collided with the car after the female driver failed to stop at a red light, said Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Chief Tom Lambert.
The unidentified driver and two children, ages 5 and 9, were uninjured and declined medical treatment, said Metro spokesman Ken Connaughton. Lambert said the driver was cited for running a red light.
Two light rail train travelers complained of arm injuries; one was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital with minor injuries, Lambert said.
Oh, the humanity!
Perhaps this made the news because there were two paying passengers on the train - except the story doesn't say that, does it. Two travelers.
Too bad John Edwards is running for VP.
Someone at the scene could have used legal representation!
> ... driver failed to stop at a red light ...
So, since the legacy media is incompetent, let me try to
read between the lines here.
This presumably recent LR system has at least some grade
crossings protected only by signal lights, and not gates?
Denver did the same thing some years ago. Before it opened,
I predicted that they'd have their first auto-train
collision at one of these unprotected crossings within
a month, and the first crossing fatality in the first year.
I'm generally an advocate of reviving surface rail,
but not when such massive stupidity is engineered in.
It certainly could be. Considering that this article is from the Chronicle, you should take it with a grain of salt. Consider: a brief glance at the article immediately reveals at least two major factual problems.
First, there have been 63 metrorail wrecks to date, not 61.
Second, Channel 13 is reporting that the accident is still under investigation and that fault has not been assigned - http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/091904_local_metroax.html
(Note: 13's article states 59 wrecks, which is the total for cars. The rest are with pedestrians)
I will also add that any article that fails to mention that Metro has basically made it illegal to be hit by one of their trains is presenting incomplete information.
According to credible news outlets, of which the Chronicle is not an example, we do not know that yet.
Then again, if by obeying "traffic laws" you mean Metro's law, which essentially makes it illegal to be hit by one of their trains under any circumstance, then yes. I suppose it was a violation of that.
It is a very bad design. The train runs in a lane in the middle of the street - it's very easy to not see the train. It's suprising there aren't more accidents with the trains. Pedestrians get hit too. People complained from the very beginning of the project that the design was terrible, but the city decided to do what they wanted and now there's an accident about every day or two. They even put ads on TV basically saying "Please don't run into the trains" but that campaign didn't have much effect. Geniuses.
> ... now there's an accident about every day or two.
Not nearly enough to effectively improve the gene pool.
Perhaps eventually one of the victims will be a decision-
maker that advocated this quaint 19th-century alignment.
Given an existing right-of-way, the biggest problem faced
by surface guideway systems is grade separation. High-
speed rail is essentially impossible without it, and even
today's 79mph-max (typ) US railways get in big trouble
at crossings when they reach ideal traffic levels.
Slow news day, I guess.
The color of the trains has to be a factor. They run down the middle of the street in downtown Dallas, and idiots do illegally drive on the tracks and turn in front of the trains, but there seem to be a lot fewer collisions with the bright yellow cars in Dallas.
Of course on the M-Line in Dallas, the trolley cars share the actual vehicle lanes, and there are collisions from time to time between the railcars and the motor vehicles.