News & Reviews News Wire Santa Clara VTA nears resumption of light rail service

Santa Clara VTA nears resumption of light rail service

By | August 25, 2021

Test trains begin operation; system could be carrying passengers by Sunday

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Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority logoSAN JOSE, Calif. — The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority could launch a partial resumption of light rail service by Sunday, allowing service for fans attending a San Francisco 49ers game at the team’s stadium in Santa Clara.

KPIX-TV reports test runs on the light rail system began Tuesday. The VTA’s director of rail operations, Austin Jenkins, noted track, equipment, and the overhead power system must be tested before service can resume.  “Every step has to be taken; it has to certified,” Jenkins told a Tuesday news conference. “And the general manager will be the one who decides when we are ready and will be submitting that information.”

The system has been shut down since May when nine VTA employees were killed in a mass shooting by another worker who then killed himself [see “Shooter kills at least eight …,” Trains News Wire, May 26, 2021]. Another employee who witnessed the shooting took his own life earlier this month.

The lengthy restoration process has reflected the need to replace employees killed in the shooting, including four of the system’s nine substation maintainers and others who were involved in required federal inspections. It has also reflected the need for many of the surviving workers to receive counseling [see “Santa Clara transit agency still has no estimate for resumption …,” News Wire, July 6, 2021].

An update on the VTA website advised the public to be aware the light rail tracks are now active, and that the current testing phase is expected to last one to two days.

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