I just got a short email from one of our Loyal Readers who spotted a derailment of a MUNI LRV at Church and Duboce just 5 minutes ago (10:51am). I’m at home working so I can’t see for myself…if any Loyal Readers have eyewitness accounts or photos, send ’em in and we’ll post them (with credit given, of course!).
Another Loyal Reader, Brendan, posted this photo on TwitPic of the accident. Brendan posted on Twitter:
MUNI is handling this situation quite gracefully. Employees are out directing riders from Church to awaiting OB trains at Duboce.
Be sure to take alternate routes while this is fixed and stay safe out there! It seems the urgency of fixing up Duboce and Church’s rail lines and so on is more urgent than we thought. Too bad those big cuts from the state will delay maintenance projects like this.
UPDATE: More reports from the scene…Reader Thomas writes:
Greg, I don’t know if this is the way you normally get reports of problems, but I just got off the N at Duboce (being told to take alternative transportation to downtown), to see 3 muni white trucks surrounding a broken train parked across the tracks from the downtown entrance track to the entry to the parking yard there.
Ns and Js were turning around at Duboce above ground, and Ns were making the trip to Casto to turn around once in the tunnel.
As ever, 511.org and the nextbus predictions gave no info on the problems…
UPDATE 2 (Electric Boogaloo): The Muni TroubleAlert is now alerting riders to the accident.
UPDATE 3: KGO TV news has some coverage, and SFist is covering it too, along with Curbed.
UPDATE 4: Two Loyal Readers provide some pictures and commentary of their experience. First, Reader David:
Thanks for serving all us (often disgruntled) N riders. I was on the N right behind the one that derailed — at about 10:15am this morning.
I snapped an iPhone pic and i was running to Church St. Station. It’s attached.
If I wasn’t late for work, I would have gotten a closer pic (this photo doesn’t do it justice). At the time it happened, the operator of the train I was on said “we’ll be here for just a few minutes; if you’re in a rush, take the subway.” They may be handling the situation well now, but when it happened, as usual, there was zero communication or awareness of what was going on. When I got to Church street, scores of people were leaving the station with the impression there was no inbound service from there either (there was in fact in-bound service).
It looked like the train was coming either outbound from the subway or from the storage track on the side. I don’t know if it was switching tracks, but it had was PAST the inbound track and had hit the railing. The front was open, broken glass, almost off its hinges. I’m hoping it was an out of service train, because it would have been pretty bad for people on the train.
As of 2:15 pm, the derailed 2-car train is still across both tracks and the tunnel is closed.
There is one J train running as a Castro shuttle. There are 4 or so 2-car N-Judah trains running between Caltrain and Castro. However, some drivers will not let you stay on the train between Church and Castro (which is my stop). Grrrrr.
There is a lot of confusion at Church Station. Unfortunately, some people who only speak Chinese are not understanding the announcements. While there seem to be a number of operators, fare inspectors, etc, none seems to be able to help those who don’t understand English go upstairs and walk to Duboce to catch the outbound N trains.
I think today illustrates how many people only know the one or two routes that they take regularly. Many people seem to have absolutely no idea where Church Station is in relation to the N Judah line.
Meanwhile, Reader Joseph (who writes the awesome MUNI Grouch blog) has been twittering pictures at his twitter account and has an N Judah car in the Church Street Station!
FINAL UPDATE: The Chronicle reports the N is back to its old self – but I would imagine that there’s still going to be some delays…good luck with the commute home, everyone! Fingers crossed for a safe ride for everyone!