The remains of a crossing gate lying on the Caltrain railroad tracks at Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park disabled a southbound train at about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday (July 14) after a piece of the gate damaged an air hose on the underside of the train, according to Caltrain.
A witness told transit police that a vehicle had crossed the tracks and run into the gate, damaging it, then left the scene, Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann said.
Southbound train #264, after hitting the remains of the wooden gate, came to a stop at the Menlo Park station, as scheduled, and passengers were transferred to other trains, Caltrain said.
The incident disrupted rail traffic throughout the evening, Caltrain said. There were no injuries reported.
The train's contact with the remains of the gate was not significant enough to have been felt by passengers, but the damage was such that the engineer could not restart the train, Ms. Ackemann said.
Another southbound train was used to push the damaged train to a siding, freeing both tracks for normal traffic by 7 p.m., said Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew.
The gates are wooden, Ms. Ackemann said. A collision between a vehicle and a gate that leaves the gate damaged is preferable to a vehicle bring stuck on the tracks. "These things do happen," she said.