PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It took 22 hours, but MAX service on the Blue, Green and Red lines has been restored after overhead wires were damaged in Northeast Portland on Thursday evening.
TriMet officials said crews worked non-stop to repair the damage and get the trains running again.
Transit officials said an overhead wire was badly damaged just west of the Hollywood Transit Center. TriMet spokesperson Tia York said a MAX driver stopped the train after noticing a problem with the wire between 28th and 32nd avenues along Interstate 84 and stopped the train.
Crews worked on repairs throughout the night and into the day, fixing a portion of the railway but not all. The Blue, Red and Green lines were all still disrupted throughout the day on Friday as shuttle buses are running between Northeast 7th Avenue and the Gateway Transit Center.
“This definitely has been a challenge for us, but we know this is a big inconvenience,” said Roberta Altstadt of TriMet. “We appreciate [everyone’s] patience as we get this back up and rolling.”
Crews went to work right away to repair the wire but the process was complicated due to the incident happening during rush hour when thousands of riders were trying to get home, York said.
“The wires are high voltage. He was able to move the train to an area where it was safe and then helped passengers get off the train,” said York. She added that fire crews were called to the scene to help one passenger using a mobility device since the train wasn’t stopped at a regular platform.
Shuttle buses will continue to run between NE 7th Avenue and Gateway Transit Center. York said 30 shuttle buses were eventually tasked with helping transport riders but rush hour traffic made for lengthy commutes. Buses would continue running until 1:30 a.m.
TriMet officials also had to contend with thousands of people needing public transit after the Trail Blazers game wrapped up at the Moda Center. York said those riding Yellow line trains wouldn’t be affected.
“What we really want to do is thank riders for their patience but also strongly, strongly encourage them to watch the news in the morning and go to Trimet.org/alerts to make sure they know the status of service,” York said.
TriMet said investigators were working to figure out how the wire was damaged.