Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 Breaks Found in New Light Rail Line

I was surprised to see the story today about the 11 breaks in the Light Rail Line. The blog on the az central site had more than a few comments about the story, most of which are (of course) pretty critical of the entire system. Mayor Gordon "guarantees" that we will have "the safest system in the nation."
Some things that came to my mind were.. Are line breaks common in other cities with light rail? Would a 6" to 7" break in a line be enough to cause a huge safety problem? If/when this type of thing happens once the system is operational, how long would it take to fix?
Just last week I mentioned how impressed I was with the entire system. The test track we rode on was exceptionally smooth and felt very safe. I firmly believe they will figure this out but I'll sure try to find some more information and get some answers..


Anonymous said...

The breaks wouldn't (except in exceptional cases) be a serious safety problem, because modern rail systems have an electric 'broken rail detection' system.

They *would* shut the line down, however. Fixing a break could take as little as 24 hours, if it was due to defective rail or rail damage.

However, if it was due to subsidence (and therefore required relaying the trackbed), it would take much longer (months).

Rail Life said...

Thanks for stopping by! I haven't seen the results of the testing yet. Metro has said they should be able to open on time and on budget.. Will be fun to watch.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the breaks are a result of torch cutting the rail to allow drainage. What a dumb thing to do. Basic trackwork 101. No torch cutting unless its an emergency. Then you replace the section of rail during the next maintenance window. I wonder who's head will roll for this????

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