Last Thursday, January 3rd, the FrontRunner commuter train broke down, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded or delayed. The train was coming from Salt Lake, southbound, and stopped in the single-track area of the Jordan River Narrows, making access for mechanics difficult, and the possibility of swapping to a functioning train, impossible.
UTA (Utah Transit Authority) spokesman Gerry Carpenter said, “It was an unfortunate location for it to break down. There in the narrows is very difficult to access… And certainly it made for a cold night for those who were having to wait longer than usual for a train to arrive.”
There were an estimated 200-250 commuters stranded in single-digit degree weather. As soon as UTA issued the alert at 5:22pm, they immediately began coordinating a bus bridge to shuttle passengers between the Draper and Lehi Stations. The train resumed its regular route just after 7:00 pm–after a very cold hour and a half for some people!
Carpenter said that UTA is working to discover whether the malfunction was electrical or mechanical, and they will be looking for ways to improve the response in similar situations.
FrontRunner is Utah’s first commuter rail line. Traveling from North of Salt Lake to South Provo with 16 stops from end to end. It runs from 5 am ti 11:30 pm Monday-Friday, and from 7 am to 11:30 pm on Saturday. Night service runs once per hour. For a list of current fares visit www.rideuta.com.
Just recently opened in December, the FrontRunner is still new, and there are some kinks to be ironed out, but it will be a helpful convenience for a lot of people. The accident attorneys of Christensen & Hymas encourage everyone to be safe around these trains, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.