SUV damages train tracks?

I’m all most certainly missing something obvious here, but how can an SUV driving on train tracks damage them?

SUV cleared from Muni tunnel, service restored

Bolding mine.

What kind of damage is likely?


The articles says they “inspected the system and made minor repairs”, not the track specifically. So it could easily be signals or the overhead power lines or the like.

Does the Muni run on a third rail hanging by the side of the tracks, like the NYC subway? If so, an SUV could bend a few bits (like the third rail or cover position?) to mess up the positioning etc. Those aren’t meant to be driven on or hit at speed with a ton or two of weight.


No, Muni uses overhead power lines.

They are now saying the driver was drunk. Color me surprise.:rolleyes:

It’s possible the SUV “derailing” could have caused minor damage to switches or other bits that a normally-functioning train would never touch. Better to fix anything that seems awry than risk a train accident because of an idiot drunk driver.

Where this guy wrecked is chock-full of wayside equipment, track switches, crossovers and sensors as a pair of surface rail lines go underground and connect with the main line.

The MUNI crews will probably drag a gage stick along the tracks to confirm they didn’t get moved, but if that driver knocked out switch motors or wiring, that will take some effort to fix.

I’m impressed that the guy made it almost all the way to Van Ness from Church and Duboce.