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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Who needs a science education?

A MAX train goes through the water underneath the Morrison Bridge, Oct. 31, 2015. Photo by Kate Kralman.
We had a bit of rain here in northwest Oregon this weekend, enough to flood some downtown Portland streets. Notice the train in the picture above. These are low-floor cars, specially made so wheelchairs have easy access. Notice that the water is over the bottom of the doors. The inside floor of the cars was flooded. This is an electric train, getting it's power via a connection to an overhead wire. Not a good situation.
     Okay, nobody got fried, nobody got hurt. I heard that the electrical system is isolated from the passenger compartment, but I'm pretty sure being submerged in water negates that. The only damage is that a dozen trains have been pulled from service while they are cleaned and inspected, which of course means major disruptions in service. They don't have a huge surplus of these things.
     Now we are gearing up for a political fight. The union blames Tri-Met, Tri-Met blames the union. I suspect Tri-Met is going to get the blame and they will have to sacrifice one of their number to the mob. I would just as soon they scrapped the whole organization. I am not a big believer in commuter trains. I am a big believer in automated parking garages.

P.S. I could have put in a link to any of several news stories, but every single one of them is loaded with ad-ware and take a year and a day to load, and I can't abide that kind of slovenly behavior.

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