Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Something's Fishy

I commute by Metrolink train every weekday. On Monday morning, Aug 14, 2006, we were delayed 2 hours. Our destination of Union Station in Los Angeles was visible from the window. The conductor repeatedly apologized, but gave no explanation as to what was going on. That afternoon, I saw a news bulletin from It stated the following:


Many Metrolink trains bound for Los Angeles today encountered delays of between 30 and 75 minutes this morning due to a signal system malfunction at the entrance to Union Station. This malfunction prevented switches on the lead tracks at the entrance to the depot from being operated properly and greatly limited the number of trains that could enter and depart the station at any one time. In addition, the malfunction caused the cancellation of 7 other trains this morning.

An investigation into the situation has revealed that metal clips used during the installation of a new crossover switch at Union Station this weekend caused an electrical short in the signal system at that location as trains began to pass over early this morning. These clips help hold the metal rails to the ties underneath. The clips have been removed and the installation of replacement clips will take place shortly.

When I read this, it occurred to me that maybe this talk of metal clips causing problems with the switches was perhaps, not just a mere accident. Something seemed to have happened to the clips over the weekend. Was it vandalism or even terrorism? I didn't give my own conspiracy theory too much credit until the next day.

On Tuesday, I wanted to look at the news bulletin again. I went to and found that the bulletin I had read a day earlier was gone! Instead, a new bulletin, titled with the same name, had taken the other one's place.


Metrolink would like to apologize again for the delayed and cancelled trains on the morning of August 14. The signal system malfunction that occurred at Union Station was resolved later that morning and trains operated on schedule into the depot today. Our staff is reviewing our procedures and will make any changes necessary to insure our passengers are not inconvenienced again.

Updated on 8/15/06

Now I really wonder if my little theory was right. Did someone perhaps, try to get some trains to collide coming into L.A. that morning? I doubt it would be anything like Al Queda, but I can definitely see some local degenerate behind such an action. I'll probably never know.


Anonymous said...

Even if it was deliberate, since nothi g really terrible happened, other than a few commuters' daily routines were disrupted (boo hoo), they would downplay the situation.

Now, if there WAS a collision, then things might've gotten more interesting...

Robert E Wilson said...

But isn't it interesting how Metrolink changed the text of their bulletin and tried to pass it off as the original bulletin?

Anonymous said...

Probably just their no-brainer way of thinking nobody was paying attention.