Metaphor alert: Minnesota light rail train runs off tracks after Obama lauds it in visit

posted at 7:21 pm on February 28, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Every light rail project runs off the tracks, metaphorically, going outrageously over budget, lurching past deadlines, flattening people’s dreams, sometimes even abandoned even by Democrats and media as they continue to disappoint.

Now, a literal derailing as a metaphor for these metaphorical derailings. A meta-metaphor, if you wil:

A Minneapolis light rail test train derailed shortly after President Obama lauded the expansion of the system, the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn., reports.

Obama touted the expansion of Minnesota’s Metro light rail system to St. Paul, which is scheduled to open in June, as an example for the nation to follow. Hours later, a train ran off the tracks.

“I just had a chance to take a look at some of those spiffy new trains,” Obama said Wednesday of the expansion of Minneapolis’ Metro light rail.

“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.”

Obama said other cities should follow Minneapolis and St. Paul’s lead in expanding public transit access.

Two hours later:

A Central Corridor light-rail test train rolled off the tracks on Cedar Street in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon…

The minor derailment occurred as the northbound train, which was not carrying passengers, attempted a turn at Twelfth Street just before rush hour. It was leaving downtown headed toward Minneapolis about 4 p.m.

Crews working on the derailment hooked up another train to pull the derailed car back onto the tracks. The train was back on the tracks just after 6 p.m., according to a Metro Transit spokesman.

A Metro Transit official at the scene said this was the first time that stretch of track had been used since 10 inches of snow hit the Twin Cities last Thursday. It appeared the train hit an area of snow and ice just before a curve in the tracks at 12th Street.

And what may be to blame for this mishap?

“Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way,” Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr confirmed in a written statement Wednesday evening, adding that there was no apparent damage to the tracks.

Kerr said crews inspect tracks “on a regular basis to make sure snow is removed and there’s no impediments to operation.”

But it remained unclear Wednesday whether such an inspection had been done at the derailment site in the wake of the biggest snowfall of the season.

Ya don’t say.

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Not true. It’s panacea. Every forward-thinking country has rail as a primary means of transport.

- Urban Defeatist

Lanceman on February 28, 2014 at 7:23 PM

A Metro Transit official at the scene said this was the first time that stretch of track had been used since 10 inches of snow hit the Twin Cities last Thursday. It appeared the train hit an area of snow and ice just before a curve in the tracks at 12th Street.

And what may be to blame for this mishap?

Al Gore was in town?

Wethal on February 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

A meta-metaphor, if you wil:

Deliciousssss…

/billmcneil

JohnGalt23 on February 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Huh.

Well, I guess there really is no coming up with anything that better describes this administration, the progressives, or the direction the nation is heading in generally.

Can’t come up with anything.

Diluculo on February 28, 2014 at 7:26 PM

“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.”

Tell us, Ed….has it ever taken you 2 hours to get MSP to St. Paul?

Minnesotan: “OMG….its snowing…..what will we do? How will we survive? OH YEAH! We can take the light train…oh..wait…you mean it only goes from one downtown to another? So…how do I get from Farmington to the Mall of America.

I guess I’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. Drive.”

BobMbx on February 28, 2014 at 7:27 PM

His reverse Midas-touch again. Happens every time.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Minn. light rail doesn’t hail wet noodles.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 7:30 PM

The Hammer stealing Ed’s story right out of his own backyard!

Get off my lawn snow!
- Ed

pain train on February 28, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Ahahahahahahah…how Al Gore-ish can you get?

theotherone on February 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Lanceman on February 28, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Hold on:

It’s a lie. Told by right wing extremist TEA party types and FOX news.

-Pederast Harry Reid

cozmo on February 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

“I just had a chance to take a look at some of those spiffy new trains,” Obama said Wednesday of the expansion of Minneapolis’ Metro light rail.

“They are nice and they’re energy efficient. They’re going to be reliable.

President Barack Obama

.

A Minneapolis light rail test train derailed shortly after President Obama lauded the expansion of the system, the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn., reports.

.
Poop happens.

listens2glenn on February 28, 2014 at 7:34 PM

No one would think of planning for snow in Minneapolis, right? So it’s perfectly understandable that a bit of snow on the tracks would cause a derailment.

“They’re going to be reliable.”

I wonder how many billions more that promise will cost us, and if the President’s promise will be any more reliable than the others he has made?

Actually there is no need to wonder. He has a ‘track record’.

Yeah, I know. Lame joke. But somehow perfectly fitting.

s1im on February 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Obviously those tracks are racist !!! RACIST !!!!

viking01 on February 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

It’s Minnesota. It’s not like happened in a real state or anything.
*runs from GG*

annoyinglittletwerp on February 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Four Wheels Good! Two Rails Bad!

lexhamfox on February 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Didn’t a Minnesota town buy school busses several years ago that were like the bus that Hanoi Jane Fonda was going to drive across country – ran on vegetable oil?

And then the School district found out that in very cold temperatures, vegetable oil turns to…solid margarine?

Wethal on February 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Give MSNBC a little time and they will show that the Tea Party, Fox, Limbaugh, and Bridgegate caused this derailing. Tingles Matthews will then announce that saying ‘derail’ is a code word.

rmkdbq on February 28, 2014 at 7:51 PM

The Kiss Of Death strikes again. Whatever. his royal keister praises turns to sh!t within hours.

AH_C on February 28, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Four Wheels Good! Two Rails good Bad!

lexhamfox on February 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Derails bad. Turn on brain.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

President Barack Obama, Friday Feb 28, 2014 :

“I just had a chance to take a look at some of those spiffy new trains,” Obama said Wednesday of the expansion of Minneapolis’ Metro light rail.

“They are nice and they’re energy efficient. They’re going to be reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”
“…reliable.”

(two hours later . . . )

A Central Corridor light-rail test train rolled off the tracks on Cedar Street in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon…

The Press reported Friday that less than two hours after Obama made his remarks, a test train that was operating on the Minneapolis Metro Green Line ran off the rails in St. Paul.

listens2glenn on February 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

So they built a train that doesn’t operate very well with snow on the tracks. In Minnesota.

No wonder Barry loves it. It’s job security for twice as many Goonion thugs than real working trains would provide.

Rusty Nail on February 28, 2014 at 7:57 PM

I’ve seen this before. It’s Obamacare in action in Minn.

Sabercat2 on February 28, 2014 at 7:58 PM

And they say God has no sense of humor…

CPT. Charles on February 28, 2014 at 8:02 PM

God mocks false idols.

ConstantineXI on February 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

It’s Bush’s Bishop’s fault!

Oh, and gophergirl was seen in the vicinity!!

ToddPA on February 28, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Dick Cheney’s hurricane machine also makes snow and trains fly… Who’da thunk it?

viking01 on February 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

My collie says:

The train did not go off the tracks.

Let me repeat that. THE TRAIN DID NOT GO OFF THE TRACKS!

It was simply an uncontested arrival. That’s all. K?

CyberCipher on February 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

The train was freed from track lock.

Flange on February 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Who did Obama throw under the tracks to cause that?

VorDaj on February 28, 2014 at 8:17 PM

“Think of this train as my Harvard diploma…,” Obama said, “Clean, shiny, fake, errrrrrrr….. and off the rails and headed right at us.”

viking01 on February 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Prescient Palin 2016

I toldja!!!!

renalin on February 28, 2014 at 8:21 PM

The train was freed from track lock.

Flange on February 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

THREAD WINNER.

ToddPA on February 28, 2014 at 8:21 PM

At the risk of ridicule for a French reference, it’s like he’s got a Merdas touch.

Next he’s going to tout solar energy and the sun’s going to burn out.

SoRight on February 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

It wasn’t a derailment, it was an “uncontested arrival”.

climbnjump on February 28, 2014 at 8:24 PM

It was simply an uncontested arrival. That’s all. K?

CyberCipher on February 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Geez, I was late to the party again – beat by a collie…

climbnjump on February 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

climbnjump on February 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Don’t feel bad, you just beat me to saying what you did.

Flange on February 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

This turkey is going to cost nearly $1 billion, half of which is being given them by the US taxpayer.

The only way I can support such projects is if they tie Obama to the tracks.

Adjoran on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA

MN light rail, making it easier for thieves to travel from Minneapolis to Bloomington and back with your jewelry and electronics.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

“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.”

“Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way,” Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr confirmed in a written statement Wednesday evening, adding that there was no apparent damage to the tracks.

So can it run in snowy conditions or not?

Hill60 on February 28, 2014 at 9:18 PM

MN light rail, making it easier for thieves to travel from Minneapolis to Bloomington and back with your jewelry and electronics.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Now you’ve done it…racis!

The tin trolley in st. louis killed the premier mall with it’s honor system for fare payment and running from N. St. Louis straight to the mall.

Murphy9 on February 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

These seem to be designed to transport young hoodlums, who don’t yet have cars, from bad neighborhoods to your favorite mall.

claudius on February 28, 2014 at 9:31 PM

Naw dawg dey jus stuck in food deserts!

Murphy9 on February 28, 2014 at 9:34 PM

I’ve seen the train from time to time, it’s actually quite spacious.

Well ok it was meant to carry more than the 5 people who are on it at any one time, but still, rich urban MN liberals can now pretend that they too live in Manhattan.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

When the city put wifi in Mpls a few years ago, the company they picked to do the install had just finished Phoenix and everything down there was great.

The Mpls job was a disaster, poor reception, interference, dropped signal and nobody could understand the problem.

Until: some genius pointed out that they used the same protocol as the Phoenix job and unlike Phoenix, Minneapolis has trees.

Lots and lots and lots of trees. Big, bushy, leaf filled trees and every time the wind blew it wrecked the wifi signal.

So we’re used to stuff going wrong…

Bruno Strozek on February 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

“Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way,” Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr confirmed in a written statement Wednesday evening, adding that there was no apparent damage to the tracks.

Kerr said crews inspect tracks “on a regular basis to make sure snow is removed and there’s no impediments to operation.”

Darn global warming climate change…

ddrintn on February 28, 2014 at 9:47 PM

“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.”-BHO

The minor derailment occurred as the northbound train, which was not carrying passengers, attempted a turn at Twelfth Street just before rush hour. It was leaving downtown headed toward Minneapolis about 4 p.m.

Crews working on the derailment hooked up another train to pull the derailed car back onto the tracks. The train was back on the tracks just after 6 p.m., according to a Metro Transit spokesman.

Perfect.

yongoro on February 28, 2014 at 9:51 PM

So they built a train that doesn’t operate very well with snow on the tracks. In Minnesota.

No wonder Barry loves it. It’s job security for twice as many Goonion thugs than real working trains would provide.

Rusty Nail on February 28, 2014 at 7:57 PM

That’s a big part of the proggies fanatical support of mass transit, -the fact that the greedy unions have a monopoly on it.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 9:59 PM

The taste of irony is sweet in the morning. Well, anytime actually.

Texas Zombie on February 28, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Everything he comes close to runs off the track. Look at the country.

crosshugger on February 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM

Was Obama on it, is what I want to know….

Sherman1864 on February 28, 2014 at 11:02 PM

And what may be to blame for this mishap?

Global Warming?

/utterly surprised nobody else said it earlier

BillH on February 28, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Kerr said crews inspect tracks “on a regular basis to make sure snow is removed and there’s no impediments to operation.”

If regular and frequent inspections would be required in Minneapolis in the winter to keep the trains running – just how efficient is this really?

EA_MAN on February 28, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Well ok it was meant to carry more than the 5 people who are on it at any one time, but still, rich urban MN liberals can now pretend that they too live in Manhattan.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

But you will never actually SEE them ON the train – that’s for the lower class folk who can’t afford the Prius or Camry hybrids.

climbnjump on February 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

But you will never actually SEE them ON the train – that’s for the lower class folk who can’t afford the Prius or Camry hybrids.

climbnjump on February 28, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Aren’t liberals just so thoughtful?

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2014 at 11:38 PM

“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.”

Well, unless there’s a little bit of ice before the tracks take a turn. Then it would be better to be stuck in traffic.

HiJack on March 1, 2014 at 12:04 AM

You know, I drive by a stopping point for the light rail in Minneapolis after church on Sunday mornings. Never seen more than 5-6 people on the train at that point. Figured, “Oh, well…it’s Sunday morning. No surprise it’s not busy.” Was downtown for a law-related event a few months back. Drove past the train during the evening commute. 5-6 people on board. *facepalm* The project was an epic fail from start to finish.

Othniel on March 1, 2014 at 2:26 AM

Funny thing that a major mall in Portland Oregon got light rail access, then started declining very fast. Major businesses keep pulling out of certain ‘close access’ to the light rail and bus spots.

OregonPolitician on March 1, 2014 at 4:10 AM

Oh and the Portland Oregon light rail does not operate in the snow and ice. Hazardous for them you see!

OregonPolitician on March 1, 2014 at 4:11 AM

Anti-Midas effect strikes again!

rbj on March 1, 2014 at 8:36 AM

This Administration has been off the rails for some time.

oldennis on March 1, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Spiffy trains, not a smidgeon of corruption and BOR said this guy’s eloquent? RUKiddin’ me! The winter maintenance alone will put this project in the red. Some things are just not meant to be in cold country.

Kissmygrits on March 1, 2014 at 9:20 AM

The ironies just keep comin’. Reminds me of the Federal gummint…

vnvet on March 1, 2014 at 9:34 AM

inspected on a regular basis could mean once a year, probably in the summer. Regular is not the same as adequate.

iowaan on March 1, 2014 at 9:45 AM

If the Train
Runs off the Track
Do you Want
Your MONEY back?

Y-E-S spells Yes
And you are not It.

Fleuries on March 1, 2014 at 9:59 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHA

MN light rail, making it easier for thieves to travel from Minneapolis to Bloomington and back with your jewelry and electronics.

Bishop on February 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

But after they get the cash, they can take the train back to MOA and buy crap…Thus driving the economy.

Racist.

BigWyo on March 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Reminds me of the Shiny new 80 million dollar jail i work at.

Everything sounded great on paper, except the company who built it is based out of Texas, and didn’t understand that in -40 Celsius none of the equipment they installed would work properly.

So we have a jail that has gates that don’t open in the cold, cameras with no video feed and a septic system that freezes.

Pegcity on March 1, 2014 at 11:27 AM

The wheels on the train go round and round….

bbordwell on March 1, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Why do they need light rail from Minneapolis to St. Paul? Everyone knows you can just jump on the U of M campus connector for free.

Hat Trick on March 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

“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.”

Takes 15 Minutes
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Downtown to Downtown

There are about ten different routes, none of which take over 20 minutes. These guys can’t open their mouths without lying.

BTW. They do know how to handle snow in Minneapolis…

Haiku Guy on March 1, 2014 at 1:18 PM

I take it that it doesn’t snow very often in St. Paul.

unclesmrgol on March 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

I keep wondering what keeps the expansion of these light rail trains going. I appears just to be the desire of politicians to spend large amounts of money no matter what. The revenue of these lines in the Twin Cities pays about 1/3 of the operation costs, the rest coming from tax subsidies and direct subsidies. And that does not count the capital costs which was also forced upon the taxpayers who do not want them.

Dasher on March 1, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I take it that it doesn’t snow very often in St. Paul.

unclesmrgol on March 1, 2014 at 2:50 PM

We have had only 58 inches of snow so far this winter. So it was a complete surprise that the track rails were clogged with snow and ice… metaphorically speaking.

Dasher on March 1, 2014 at 6:24 PM

As much as I consider this choo-choo train thing a boondoggle, the car derailed during a testing period of the new line. There were no passengers. One tests anything to find the problems and weak spots.

Skipper50 on March 1, 2014 at 8:30 PM

Ya Know, Speaking of Eds home area, I’ve been on a North Central airlines DC9 carrying about 85 passengers with full winter gear and many with skis. We took off from Chicag, landed at Oshkosh, Escanabe, Iron Mountain, Sawyer and ended at Presque Isle. All in a blinding blizzard. We didn’t taxi to terminals, we just flew along and suddenly there were banks of snow outside the windows. Passengers got on and off through the tail door. No portable stairs needed. We stopped at a shoveled path in the snow, then took off again. This happened at each stop. The whole trip took less than two hours. The DC9 returned to Chicago and made three more trips that day carrying 80-85 passengers. The trains were not running.

Now I am a railroad fan, I follow Frisco, Katy, MP. I was also a commercia pilot. The average railroad passenger car carries 46-56 passengers. This aircraft transported about 400 passengers, 800 two directions, using a crew of 4 in the eight hour day. The train would possibly transport this many passengers with 8 passenger cars, one way, using a crew of 6 – 8 each way. I guarantee none of the trains has eight passenger cars at this time, in fact the trains didn’t even run.

I am tired of this railroad passenger BS for anything but excursions and big city commuting. Forget high speed rail. Couldn’t compete without government subsidies if the owners put SAM batteries at each airport. However, normal non-express service would possibly be good with RDCs to provide some public service at small intervening towns that would never get air service.

Old Country Boy on March 1, 2014 at 9:05 PM

And Minnesota taxpayers are on the line to pay 68 cents of the fare for every passenger mile – forever.

sclemens on March 1, 2014 at 9:56 PM