Bay Area commuter trains running again after mudslide derailment

Service was once again up and running Wednesday morning for a Bay Area commuter rail line after one of its trains derailed this week following a mudslide.

The Altamont Corridor Express, also known as the ACE train, began its morning run – albeit with delays – from Stockton to San Jose on Wednesday morning, just two days after one of its cars landed in a creek and nine of its passengers were sent to the hospital.

The train derailed Monday evening about 7:15 p.m. when days of rain led to a soggy hillside’s collapse, which pushed mud and a tree onto the Union Pacific train tracks around a bend between Fremont and Pleasanton, ACE officials said.

The train was going about 35 mph when it derailed, sending its lead car tumbling into a creek below and lifting the second car off the tracks, said ACE spokesman Steve Walker. Of the 205 people on board, nine were injured. All were released from the hospital Tuesday, Walker said.

ACE serves about 5,000 customers daily who commute south in the morning and north in the evening, Walker said. Ridership was slightly down Wednesday morning and the trains were running five to 10 minutes behind, he said.

The speed limit around the area of the derailment has been reduced from 40 mph to 10 mph, he said.

One train had already gone through the area of the derailment by 6:30 a.m. Wednesday without incident, Walker said.

On Tuesday, the derailed train was moved to Fremont, a few miles from the crash, Walker said. The cars will be moved sometime Wednesday to Stockton where they’ll be inspected. The lead car that landed in the creek may have to be salvaged but it’s too early to tell, Walker said.

One of the Bay Area's smaller transit lines, the ACE train serves passengers traveling from parts of the Central Valley to the East Bay and Bay Area.

The express service through the Altamont Pass began in 1998 and has been expanded since then.

The transit line runs from Stockton to San Jose, with stops in several cities including Tracy, Livermore and Fremont.

Cities along the route have seen major development over the last three decades as bedroom communities for the Bay Area.

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