Two Caltrain incidents tie up commute for riders

Two incidents on opposite ends of Caltrain’s service route left evening commuters saddled with delays Thursday.

At approximately 3 p.m. an unidentified man — illegally walking on the train tracks — was fatally killed after being struck by a Capital Corridor Amtrak train at the College Park station near San Jose, according to Caltrain spokesman Jonah Weinberg. One hour earlier, a Union Pacific freight train derailed near Paul Avenue in The City, Weinberg said.

The incidents resulted in delays of 30-plus minutes for commuters travelling southbound and 20 to 25 minutes for northbound travelers, according to a representative at Caltrain’s customer service hot line.

“The two incidents exacerbated each other,” Weinberg said. “It was a domino effect.”

Weinberg said the delays would be over by Friday morning.

In San Jose, passengers travelling on three commuter trains operated by Amtrak’s Capital Corridor experienced delays of up to two hours because of the pedestrian fatality, according to Amtrak spokesperson Luna Salaver. Those trains were travelling westbound from San Jose to Sacramento, Colfax, and Auburn, according to Salaver.

The derailed Union Pacific train was carrying nine cars of dirt from local construction projects in San Francisco, according to company representative Zoe Redmond.

Because it was travelling on tracks owned by rival company BNSF Railways — a common practice for competing train systems — cleaning up the derailment took a little longer than usual, Redmond said.

wreisman@examiner.com

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