Hundreds of ACE train passengers stuck for hours as mudslide causes 2nd day of cancelations

2 months ago ABC7 News

Hundreds of ACE train passengers stuck for hours as mudslide causes 2nd day of cancelations

Despite an inspection through Niles Canyon, another ACE train carrying 223 passengers encountered a mudslide, forcing more evacuations and canceling all trains Wednesday.

SUNOL, Calif. (KGO) -- Altamont Corridor Express has canceled all trains Wednesday after a morning train was stopped between Pleasanton and Fremont due to another mudslide.

At 5:30 a.m., ACE train 01 encountered a mudslide in Nile Canyon, according to spokesperson David Lipari. This is the same area where mudslides stopped a train on Tuesday, causing over 200 people to be evacuated after being stuck for hours.

RELATED: 225 passengers evacuated from ACE train after mudslide blocks tracks in Niles Canyon

Lipari said that 223 passengers were on board, along with three crew members, but there were no injuries and the equipment is fine.

Passengers returned to the Pleasanton station, more than three hours after they passed through for the first time, without ever reaching their destination.

"I had fallen asleep finally and then, boom!" Curt Sennewald, an ACE Train passenger said. "And was woken up!"

The reason was history repeating itself.

A landslide hit an ACE train in Niles Canyon, the same exact place where this happened on Tuesday.

"I was dazed out and what happened you know? And everyone's saying well we hit a tree and then we saw the mud up against the window," Rick Gogue, an ACE Train passenger said.

"It sounded like we hit a vehicle or something it was so powerful, it just rocked us," Hector Zamudio, an ACE Train passenger said.

Zamudio was one of more than 220 passengers that woke up to this, leaving them stranded on the tracks for hours.

RELATED: Roads closed, homes threatened in East Bay hills as officials monitor mudslides

"I noticed just the window got shattered, it was all cracked," he said. "So then we saw nothing but tree limbs just everywhere, I didn't know what it was!"

All afternoon ACE Trains were cancelled and everyone trying to get to work in San Jose never made it, as our ABC7 view from above shows the landslide still covering the tracks next to a muddy, debris-filled Alameda Creek.

"Because the hills are right next to the track, so with all of that mud, even though it's not raining, it's still causing havoc," he said.

Heavy equipment was brought in to clean up the tracks and tow the damaged train to safety.

Meanwhile, passengers were given the option to either hop on a bus to work in San Jose or a train ride back to Stockton.

"It happens, it's nature, I wish I had taken the second train, then I would have known and just stayed home," Sennewald said.

A spokesman for ACE Train said three people were treated for minor injuries because of this incident.

Photos taken by passengers show dirt and debris pressed up against the doors and windows of the train.

Image from inside train stuck Wednesday morning in Niles Canyon due to a mudslide.

Blaine Bowden

Image from inside train stuck Wednesday morning in Niles Canyon due to a mudslide.

Blaine Bowden

Image from inside train stuck Wednesday morning in Niles Canyon due to a mudslide.

Blaine Bowden

While not as severe as Tuesday's situation, Lipari says that ACE is concerned.

He says that Union Pacific sent a vehicle inside the canyon last night and didn't see any indication of problems.

Union Pacific provided this statement to ABC7 News:

"Union Pacific crews are working to clear the tracks in Niles Canyon after today's mudslide, which was a direct result of the heavy rainfalls in the area. We hope to open the track later today. We will inspect the track to make sure it is safe before allowing train traffic to resume."

Several other morning trains were being held at stations and the maintenance facility, but ACE has announced that all remaining trains for the day have been canceled.


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