Miami-Dade County

Debris delayed trains on Metrorail as technicians scrambled to get riders moving

Traffic seems to be moving at a faster clip given the Passover-Easter weekend, but riders on Miami-Dade’s Metrorail Friday morning were experiencing delays due to debris on the tracks.

Blame it on the weather.

“This morning, at about 6:15 a.m., strong weather conditions blew debris onto the northbound Metrorail tracks between Coconut Grove and Vizcaya stations,” said Karla Damian, spokeswoman for Miami-Dade’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.

“A northbound train made contact with part of the debris, making it difficult for the train to connect with the third rail for its electrical charge. Although damaged, the train had limited operability and pulled into the Vizcaya Station to disembark passengers,” she said.

“A second northbound train, unaware of the issue, also made contact with the debris. This train was unable to resume operation due to the loss of power,” Damian said.

Just before 10 a.m., Miami-Dade Transit said the power had been restored and service had resumed, with residual delays.

In addition, a rescue train took passengers from the disabled train and transported them to the Coconut Grove Metrorail station where they safely disembarked at that station, Damian said.

Metrorail riders were in for a long commute on April 19, 2019, as debris forced delays on the tracks. Courtesy Harry Emilio Gottlieb

Earlier in the morning Miami-Dade Transit tweeted out a warning to its passengers at 8 a.m. that acknowledged the service delays and said that technicians were working to clear the debris and restore power.

Though slow-going, Metrorail continued to provide service through the morning by single tracking — using just one track — around the disabled train.

“The train remains on the tracks and passengers are being kept inside for their safety until technicians can clear the debris, rescue the disabled train and restore power,” Damian said.

Some riders, used to zipping over motorists on clogged roadways, expressed frustration on social media.

“What is usually a 15 minute ride took 1:15 this morning,” a rider heading northbound posted on Facebook. She received her first alert to delays on her cellphone at 6 a.m. “It’s ridiculous to take this long to solve the problem,” she said at 9 a.m.

The transit department told riders on social media it was “moving slowly” as trains were still single-tracking after 9 a.m.

Riders can check the Metrorail tracker to see when their trains will arrive at the stations.

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Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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