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Heat slows down Caltrain commute, both ways

Crossing-gate problem in Burlingame adds to the slowdown of afternoon commute

Tuesday's heat wave slowed down Caltrain afternoon/evening commute trains in both directions to reduce wear on tracks and because of a crossing-gate problem.

As of about 5:30 p.m., trains were behind schedule by up to 20 minutes, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

The crossing-gate problem forced trains to travel slowly through the Burlingame area, she said.

The heat also prompted Caltrain to enact a "heat restriction" that calls for trains to slow down from their top speed of 79 mph.

Dunn said when it is extra hot the rails can become soft and be damaged by trains' weight. Slowing down trains reduces pressure on the rails, she said.

Trains slowed to 60 mph between San Francisco and Redwood City and to 50 mph between Redwood City and San Jose.

A similar slowdown may be necessary on Wednesday.

As of about 5:30 p.m., trains were behind schedule by up to 20 minutes, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said.

The crossing gate problem forced trains to travel slowly through the Burlingame area, she said.

The heat also prompted Caltrain to enact a "heat restriction" that calls for trains to slow down from their top speed of 79 mph.

Dunn said when it is extra hot the rails can become soft and be damaged by trains' weight. Slowing down trains reduces pressure on the rails, she said.

Trains slowed to 60 mph between San Francisco and Redwood City and to 50 mph between Redwood City and San Jose.

A similar slowdown may be necessary on Wednesday.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Andrew
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:34 am

Also factor in the lack of AC in some of the train cars. The later cars in the Express Caltrain after the Giants game were very sweltering. Talk about a fun "Spare the Air" day...


Like this comment
Posted by 100 year old technology
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

That's what happens when you're using 100 year technology. Come on Caltrain, this is the 21st century, not the 19th century.


Like this comment
Posted by jack
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 9, 2010 at 7:34 pm

India is always hot, commonly at 110 degrees. Their trains don't slow, only in California because we are 5th world, not as advanced as India!


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