Sound Transit CEO explains light rail failure after Apple Cup – KIRO 7 News Seattle

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff released a statement about what was wrong with a Link light rail train that stopped in a tunnel after the Apple Cup.

Rogoff said a northbound train with football fans on board lost power due to a severed cable.

“This is the thick cable controlling most of the train’s key functions, including normal braking and propulsion systems, as well as doors and lighting.”

He said that after the line broke, the brakes automatically engaged, the lights went out, and only the tunnel lights came on.

The train operator immediately started solving the problem with the help of the Link Control Center and even tried to restart the train systems several times, but to no avail. The operator didn’t know what happened, Rogoff said.

During that time, many functions, including intercoms, were unavailable, according to his statement.

“We deeply regret that the communications received by passengers via the intercom were totally inadequate.”

Since there was no communication, the passengers used the emergency mechanisms to exit the train.

He said: “Staff executed emergency protocols to shut down Link train operations in the area to protect passengers.”

“Sound Transit deployed a rescue train which slowly traveled southbound through the tunnel to pick up stranded passengers. Other passengers walked to the University of Washington, and possibly U District stations on their own.

After all passengers exited the tunnel and the stalled train was removed, northbound UW service was restored around midnight.

Although an investigation is still ongoing into the matter, some “important lessons” have been learned, Rogoff said.

Rogoff said workers focused too much on fixing the problem without letting passengers and those waiting at other stations know what was happening. He said Sound Transit will ensure this does not happen again.

He also said current evacuation procedures will be assessed.

Jose P. Rogers