All aboard

So the President comes to town to tout transportation, with specific mention of the “spiffy” new light rail line. A few blocks away, hilarity ensues:


At approximately 4 p.m., wheels on the lead car of an out-of-service, three-car light-rail train came off the tracks while traveling northbound on the Green Line through the intersection of 12th and Cedar streets in St. Paul. This train had been located at the Union Depot and was returning en route to Minneapolis.Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way. Trains had not traveled on this section of the track since the snowstorm last week. Rail operations responded to the scene to clear the snow and put the wheels back on the tracks. Metro Transit Police and St. Paul police directed traffic through the partially-blocked intersection. Two train cars that were attached to the lead car were moved to Tenth Street Station to clear the scene. The train cars were returned and reattached to pull the train car back onto the tracks. The effort to put the train car back on the tracks continues.

Obama himself played the “spiffy” card:

“I just had a chance to take a look at some of those spiffy new trains,” Obama said in a speech at St. Paul’s Union Depot. “They are nice.  And they’re energy efficient.  They’re going to be reliable.  You can get from one downtown to the other in a little over 30 minutes instead of when it’s snowing being in traffic for two hours.”

Unless they derail or something. And anyone who sits on 94 between the downtowns and endures a 2-hour traffic jam apparently has never heard of Marshall Avenue, or Selby, or Summit, or Grand, or St. Clair, or….But hey, they’re spiffy. That’s something.