Muni board member questions speed practices in Twin Peaks Tunnel

Despite the recent derailment of a Muni train in the Twin Peak Tunnel — which still hasn’t been explained — one member of the board that oversees the transit agency is questioning why vehicles aren’t going faster through the underpass.

Before a 2006 derailment — which occurred a few feet away from the latest incident — Muni light rail vehicles averaged a top speed of 50 miles per hour in the tunnel, which connects the Castro station to the West Portal station. However, over the past three years, during which the department has made major renovations to the tunnel, that top speed has been reduced to 35 mph over straight stretches, and 20 mph around a curve in the underground section.

Cameron Beach, who serves on the seven-person board that governs Muni, has repeatedly asked for an explanation for why the top speed hasn’t been restored, and on Tuesday he brought the item up before the department’s Policy and Governance Committee (PAG) meeting.

Muni executive director Nat Ford said the department has hired two separate independent firms to study the speed levels under the tunnel. Ford expressed concern about bottleneck problems at West Portal station if the top speeds are reinstated back to 50 mph.

For now, the top speed remains at 35 mph, although Ford said the department will present a more detailed analysis of the situation at next month’s PAG meeting.

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticsUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have taken different approaches to transit and infrastructure funding. <ins>(Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)</ins>
Bay Area transit has big hopes for a Biden administration

The best chance for local agencies to get relief may be a change in federal leadership

BART Ambassadors are being called on to assist riders in social situations that don’t require police force. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unarmed BART ambassadors program formalized with a focus on community service

Public safety and police reform are key elements in campaigns of Board members Dufty and Simon

San Francisco DJ and producer Jah Yzer livestreams most mornings from his home. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Roots & Tings build community through music

Lateef the Truthspeaker, Jah Yzer and Winstrong call for voting as a form of healing

On Oct. 13, people lined up to vote early for the presidential election in Southlake, Texas. <ins>(Shutterstock)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Five things to watch for in the run-up to Nov. 3

Down-ballot races, as much as the presidency, will determine the future course of this nation

WeChat (Shutterstock)
U.S. District Court denies Trump request to shutdown WeChat app

A federal judge in San Francisco denied a request by the U.S.… Continue reading

Most Read