Green Line train derails near Capitol

Metro Transit workers try to rescue a Green Line light rail train that went off the tracks Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 in St. Paul. (Jennifer Simonson/MPR News)

Metro Transit started trial runs of Green Line trains this week in preparation for the line’s June 14 opening. Things didn’t go so smoothly this evening when one of the trains partially derailed in downtown St. Paul. The front wheels of the train were several feet from the tracks near 12th and Cedar Streets. Crews are still working to move the train.


UPDATE (6:05 p.m.):
Metro Transit provided this statement:

At approximately 4 p.m., wheels on the lead car of an out-of-service, three-car light-rail train came off the tracks while traveling northbound on the Green Line through the intersection of 12th and Cedar streets in St. Paul. This train had been located at the Union Depot and was returning en route to Minneapolis.

Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way. Trains had not traveled on this section of the track since the snowstorm last week. Rail operations responded to the scene to clear the snow and put the wheels back on the tracks. Metro Transit Police and St. Paul police directed traffic through the partially-blocked intersection. Two train cars that were attached to the lead car were moved to Tenth Street Station to clear the scene. The train cars were returned and reattached to pull the train car back onto the tracks. The effort to put the train car back on the tracks continues.

When it is back on the tracks, the train car will be brought to Minneapolis for inspection. Other than the operator, no one was on the train when the wheels came off the track.

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): From Metro Transit: “The train was successfully brought back onto the tracks shortly after 6 p.m. and will be returned to Minneapolis tonight. The tracks will be inspected but it does not appear that there was any damage. We expect trains to be back in this area again this week.”

  • Protogonus

    It appears to be the same section of track they went down on several hours earlier, so MetroTransit is not quite telling the truth that the train was on a section that had not been traveled since the snowstorm. Also, the most obvious cause is that MetroTransit did not prepare (groom) the tracks adequately before putting a new $3 million LRV (light rail vehicle) into service, which indicates a certain lassitude and recklessness with taxpayer money but–what the heck–it is federal money, right?

  • AndyBriebart

    Kid it kill anybody?

  • FarmGirlWithPitchfork

    Probably not just federal money, but also funds from state, Ramsey County, and MetCouncil. Blocking the intersection likely inconvenienced some people during afternoon rush hour. Imagine what the impact would be if it were not an empty 3-car transit train, but a 120-car unit freight train with hazardous cargo that could be explosive or emit dangerous vapors?