Power-line mishap requires closure of light rail track section for repairs

June 28, 2000|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Light rail service in the southern part of Baltimore will be disrupted for several days as workers replace a 1.2-mile section of track, part of which was damaged when an overhead power line fell on it Monday night.

Fourteen of 27 passengers aboard the train suffered smoke inhalation from sparks that were generated by the live power line hitting the track. They were treated and released from three area hospitals, Mass Transit Administration officials said.

The incident occurred about 11:30 p.m. north of the Westport station. The train had just pulled away when the overhead line broke, MTA spokesman Frank Fulton said.

The train stopped, and the operator noticed smoke inside the car. He radioed for the Fire Department and opened the doors for passengers to get out, Fulton said.

No fire was found, but investigators discovered scorch marks on the track where the line hit, Fulton said. He attributed the cause to a failed splice in the line.

To avoid future incidents, MTA engineers have decided to replace the entire section of overhead cable between the Westport and Camden Yards stations. Fulton said a 1.2-mile section of track will have to be replaced.

He could not estimate repair costs yesterday. Until the repairs are finished, passengers will be bused between the Patapsco and Camden Yards stations, he said.

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