Monthly Archives: October 2011

Car 235, how are you?

Not that I’m the kind of person to anthropomorphize the MAX cars, but if I did I would totally pity car 235, who’s like the poor guy that always happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you’ve seen it around, you may have noticed that 235 looks a little different from the rest of the Type 2s..  the others all have either the old paint scheme:


Or full-body ads:


235 is a little different – it could almost pass for a type 3 as it’s the only 2 that’s rocking the new TriMet blue and yellow color scheme that all of the type 3s are painted in (though one side of it has had an ad for a while), and the mirrors are still those of a type 2.

235 and some other Type 2

235 on the Yellow Line downtown

It wasn’t always like this.

Don’t remember where I found this, but this is an old shot of 235, looking like all the other Type 2s

But then, one day in 2005, 235 had a tangle with a fire truck in Hillsboro. It sustained severe damage in that crash.

Not my pics, I don’t have bigger versions of them

235 was repaired and re-entered service. As far as I know, it had a relatively uneventful life after that, until a few years later, when it was the trailing car of the train that derailed at 11th Ave.

Well at least it wasn’t the lead car?

Just along for the ride, so to speak

And then yesterday, a semi-truck loaded with cars crashed into 235 at 10th and Washington in Hillsboro. I’ve heard the operator is ok. It also was not his fault, which is also good news, and as far as I know the damage to 235 wasn’t too bad, aside from the windshield.

Pictures courtesy of Hillsboro Fire & Rescue

But we can rebuild it. We have the technology.

Après moi, le déluge

With the on-and-off rain that we’ve had lately, you may have noticed that stopping at platforms can feel somewhat rough. When the rain starts to fall and the tracks are just beginning to get wet (as pictured), the rails are much more slippery than they will be after it’s been raining for a while and everything is pretty much soaked. You might notice the operator using the track brake  (you can hear it drop and feel the train slow) when stopping at a platform to help keep the train from sliding, and you may also hear a buzzing/whirring sound in the train as sand is deployed for better traction.

For your own safety, please be extra cautious when crossing in front of trains in this weather because the trains can slide. Even if you have a walk sign at a platform, if a train is coming into that platform it’s a good idea to wait until the train has fully stopped before walking in front of it.

For all to see

Read this.

(click for full-size version)

While the rest of the local (and not-so-local) media has been falling over themselves to bring you the latest in CryingBabyGate

Did this really need multiple stories?

…where was any media coverage of Joel preventing a fatality? Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that this is at least getting internal recognition at TriMet. Donna said it, I’ve said it (more than once), and now Joel, and who knows how many other operators that I just don’t have links for – TriMet bus and rail operators really are saving lives every. single. day by compensating for the poor attention of / decisions made by the public around the buses and trains. This is not news to any operator, but it’s nice that this was distributed to other TriMet employees who don’t see it the same way since they’re not out in the field.

But Joel is right – if an operator does something stupid, there’s no end to the media coverage of it, and no official support from TriMet in the media for the rest of the operators who do their jobs, and do them well. The fact that operators prevent hundreds of horrific accidents every day, well, I guess that doesn’t sell as many newspapers as “look at the dumb thing this bus driver did!” TriMet bus ridership averages around 61 million boarding rides per year, the overwhelming majority of which DON’T make the news. Then one woman in August and another in September had negative interactions with bus operators when their small children were being fussy, and now somehow it’s fair that the public is viewing all bus drivers as babyhaters?

Anyway, then there is Jim’s quote at the end – “This story exemplifies how our operators put safety first every day. I wish we could put it out there for all to see.”

I wish we could put it out there for all to see.

I wish we could put it out there for all to see.




Gee, if only we had some sort of communications director at TriMet, perhaps someone with contacts in local media agencies, who could take on this role of putting it out there for all to see since it’s true, these sort of preventative incidents happen at a much higher rate than any corresponding media coverage. Too bad we don’t have-oh wait.

(and if Art Beardsley’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the operator who was able to stop his train in time at Willow Creek when a woman fainted into the right of way last spring, probably the last time an operator got recognition for doing something right)

What a difference a few weeks makes

Before is on the left, after is on the right.

Well now that certainly looks different

Not much in the way of commentary, just a series of pictures showing SW Lincoln St before and after the tree-cutting began as part of the Portland-Milwaukie light rail project / Orange Line construction, more or less taken from the same perspectives. As always, click for larger. If anyone really wants to see the full-sized versions I can provide them; I just did a quick and dirty 25% reduction here to match them to the “before” pictures without having obscenely large file sizes.

These next two sets are of that pedestrian path halfway down the street, where I think the platform is going to be:

And these didn’t have matching “before” pictures:

The bushes lining the aforementioned pedestrian path weren’t spared

Click for full-size if you feel like counting the rings

All things considered, “knowledgeable care for trees” is quite the euphemism for the recent work on Lincoln Street…

So this looks safe.

Beaverton Transit Center

I don’t know the details behind this, but I assume someone crashed into that light pole at a high enough rate of speed to knock it over like that. I’m really hoping those signposts that are propping it up have the structural integrity to keep it in place…

… because it sure looks like it’d take out the catenary if it goes the rest of the way.