Icy tracks halt MAX lines

Freezing rain brought MAX trains to a halt, Feb. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Freezing rain brought MAX trains to a halt, Feb. 8, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — All MAX lines stopped around 7:45 p.m. Saturday due to the terrible weather conditions.

Buses are being dispatched to take riders where they need to go.

Trains are being moved to a platform to allow passengers to get on and off and the doors will be closed to keep passengers warm.

TriMet officials said at this time the MAX lines are halted, not discontinued. However, there is no timeframe for when the trains will begin again.

Bus schedules are delayed because buses are being dispatched to the MAX platforms.

Dave Lee was one of dozens of people in downtown Portland stuck on MAX because the freezing rain covered the lines that power the trains in ice. He was “just waiting for the bus, see if it’s going to come.”

MAX operator Matthew Carlberg said, “Usually you see a bunch of sparking from above the train, and then it’ll either melt the line, or shut down the system completely due to safety reasons.”

The operators let people stay on the stopped trains to stay warm until the buses could pick them up. For many, it was a long wait in the snow and freezing rain.

“It’s fun, it’s beautiful,” said Zuleyma Estrella, visiting from Seattle. “But it makes it tough to get around and get to know Portland.”

Buses had their own problems and several got stuck throughout the day.

“We’ve been on this bus for an hour and nine minutes, and we’ve made it two stops,” Kimmy Simon told KOIN 6 News. That bus was trying to navigate the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.

Jason, the bus driver, said, “Well we pulled in to stop and slid into the sidewalk, broke the chains, and so I’m stuck.”

At the MAX platform at Pioneer Courthouse Square, Christine Elizarraraz had some Voodoo Donuts to snack on as she waited for her bus to come.

Her plan was to “take ’em home, eat ’em in the morning because I know we’re going to be stuck out in the weather.”

Usually she takes MAX out to Hillsboro, but for her and everyone else waiting, it wouldn’t happen on this night.

The weather took its toll on Portland’s public transit. But Jerry Orlando was philosophical.

“It’s life. It’s OK. It’s Saturday, man.”

On the Net:

TriMet Alerts

Stay with KOIN 6 News for the latest weather information plus closings and delays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s