ACE train service back on track with normal schedule after Niles Canyon mudslides

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Monday, January 23, 2023
ACE train service back on track after mudslides
ACE train service has been restored Monday morning, after being shut down since mid-Wednesday morning because of two back-to-back mudslides.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- ACE train service has been restored Monday morning after being shut down since mid-Wednesday morning because of two back-to-back mudslides.

Niles Canyon Road has also reopened in both directions.

Hundreds of commuters rely on this train service to get to work in the South Bay from the East Bay, some coming as far as Stockton.

"Because whatever happens, I think this is the best possible commute for an East Bay resident to the South Bay, so my vote always goes for ACE," Natrajan Scthuraman, a San Ramon resident, said.

RELATED: ACE train will not operate until Monday following 2nd major mudslide in Niles Canyon this week

This comes after not one, but two mudslides hit the train filled with commuters on Tuesday and on Wednesday.

Scthuraman was on the train for Tuesday's crash and he said he was stuck on the tracks for nearly five hours.

"It came to a screeching halt and there was rocks falling and hitting the side of the train, so we know that something had happened and they came back and said that yes, it has been hit by a tree," he said.

After it happened again in the same place in Niles Canyon on Wednesday, hurting three people and leaving hundreds stranded on the tracks for hours, ACE train operators decided they weren't taking any more chances and said, they would not resume operations until they could be sure the corridor was safe, forcing commuters to come up with a plan B for the rest of the week.

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

An Altamont Corridor Express train had to be evacuated near Sunol on Tuesday after a mudslide blocked the train's railroad tracks.

"We had to arrange some carpool back and forth and usual traffic in the morning back and forth, and in the evening time, I think it takes about an hour and a half from Santa Clara back to Pleasanton," Song Park, a Pleasanton resident, said.

"I've done it for 15 years, from San Ramon to Milpitas, it's just like you spend almost a third of your life there, especially on Friday evenings, it's a nightmare," Scthuraman said.

A busy Niles Canyon Road has since been reopened in both directions.

And in our ABC7 view from above, debris on the tracks has since been removed, while Union Pacific crews work on inspections ahead of each train, it's still quite the muddy mess surrounding the tracks.

Monday's passengers are holding their breath that history does not repeat itself for a third time.

"I just prayed about it this morning, so hopefully it's safe!" Park said.

As of last check, all trains are still on schedule for the rest of the day Monday and Union Pacific crews will continue to do track inspections ahead of each train moving through the area.

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