MILLCREEK, Utah — More than 100 passengers were stranded inside UTA Trax trains when a power outage ground the trains to a halt around 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Three trains on the blue and red lines between the Millcreek, Meadowbrook and North Murray stations were affected.
“The hottest part of the day, greatest number of passengers and the power goes out,” said UTA spokesperson, Carl Arky.
As passengers waited for relief, many vented their frustrations on social media.
“No A/C on board. Temps inside now over 100 degrees,” a rider said in a tweet.
Another added, “Any idea when the red line at meadow brook is going to be able to move?”
UTA technicians will investigate the exact cause of the outage, but the excessive heat may be the culprit.
“We think it’s the heat,” Arky said. “We don’t know for certain yet. We are investigating it. It really hasn’t happened before. It’s kind of unusual.”
The issue was magnified because passengers were forced to wait on the sweltering hot trains until the tracks were secured.
“We can’t take people off the trains and put them on the tracks until we have enough of our personnel responding to make sure they are safe,” Arky said.
After about 45 minutes, riders were escorted off the stranded trains and led to fresh air and alternate forms of transportation.
“None of us would have wanted to be in that position,” Arky said. “I can put myself in their shoes and understand it’s hot and without air conditioning, I’m sure it got uncomfortable in there. We will try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The issue caused delays throughout the Trax system during the Friday evening commute.
SANDY, Utah — The Utah Transit Authority confirmed a car versus TRAX incident near the Sandy Expo station Wednesday night.
UTA spokesman Carl Arky said a van ran through the crossing gate, which was down, and the train couldn’t stop before hitting the back end of the vehicle.
Arky said no one was injured and the driver of the van will be responsible for the damage to the crossing gate.
He also wanted to remind drivers to stop when the crossing gates are down and that it is only safe to go through the crossing once the flashing lights have stopped.
Trains are running back on schedule.
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Transit Authority will begin the first part of an $8.4 million project to replace rails and switches in the downtown area beginning Saturday, May 3.
The project is expected to last through May 22 and will replace equipment that has been in service since the light rail line opened in December 1999.
“We’ve put a lot of time, effort and thought into this construction project,” said James Larson, lead communications specialist for this project. “We will have volunteers at every station affected by construction telling people where they need to go and what they need to do throughout the whole process.”
The affected intersection for the first part of the project will be 400 South and Main Street. Delays on the Green and Blue lines will be between 5-10 minutes while the Red Line will see 10-20 minute delays.
UTA said the project will help keep the system in good operating condition and ensure it runs safely and reliably for years to come.
“The ride will be much smoother,” said project manager Greg Thorpe. “Riders won’t notice any clanking or banging anymore in these areas.”
For TRAX riders north of the construction, trains will have full access from the Airport and Salt Lake Central stations to Gallivan Plaza where riders can either walk to the Courthouse station or ride a bus shuttle.
The Red line will travel from the University Medical Center station to a temporary State Street station where riders can walk or take the bus shuttle to the Courthouse station.
From the south, Blue and Red line trains will travel to the Courthouse station where they can walk or take the shuttle to Gallivan Plaza or the temporary State Street station.
Green line riders will need to transfer to the Blue line at the Central Pointe station, then take the shuttle or walk from the Courthouse station to the Gallivan station.
Drivers in the area can use the following options around the construction:
- I-15 use Beck Street, 600 North or 600 South
- Northbound use West Temple or State Street
- Southbound all streets are open
- Eastbound use 200, 300 or 600 South
- Westbound use 200, 300, or 500 South
MILLCREEK, Utah – Lightning strikes have downed multiple power lines and multiple TRAX lines are affected by the outage according to UTA.
UTA spokesman Carl Arky said 10 UTA-specific power poles were affected by severe weather in the area while Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Spencer Hall said a lightning strike caused the outage at 3300 South and Main Street.
A bus bridge between Murray Central and Central Pointe stations is still active and there is no estimate as to when trains will be back up and running.
Hall added there is no estimated time for when power will be restored to their lines as well.
This is a developing story. It will be updated as new information becomes available.