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credit: zengarden.com

credit: zengarden.com

It’s uncanny; everything the man touches…  

February 26, 2014: President Obama praised Minnesota’s Metro light rail system to St. Paul, due to begin operations in June:

 I just had a chance to take a look at some of those spiffy new trains,” Obama said Wednesday of the expansion of Minneapolis’ Metro light rail.

‘They are nice and they’re energy efficient. They’re going to be reliable. You can get from one downtown to the other in a little over 30 minutes instead of when it’s snowing being in traffic for two hours.’

Obama said other cities should follow Minneapolis and St. Paul’s lead in expanding public transit access.

Two hours later a test train derailed in downtown St. Paul:

credit: redpenofdoom.com

credit: redpenofdoom.com

A Central Corridor light-rail test train rolled off the tracks on Cedar Street in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon…

The minor derailment occurred as the northbound train, which was not carrying passengers, attempted a turn at Twelfth Street just before rush hour. It was leaving downtown headed toward Minneapolis about 4 p.m. [skip]

A Metro Transit official at the scene said this was the first time that stretch of track had been used since 10 inches of snow hit the Twin Cities last Thursday. It appeared the train hit an area of snow and ice just before a curve in the tracks at 12th Street.

And what may be to blame for this mishap?

‘Wheels on the lead car came off the tracks because of snow that had accumulated in the rail right of way,’ Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr confirmed in a written statement Wednesday evening, adding that there was no apparent damage to the tracks.

Kerr said crews inspect tracks ‘on a regular basis to make sure snow is removed and there’s no impediments to operation.

Right.  Doesn’t St. Paul get a lot of, you know, snow?  Shouldn’t people running an “energy efficient” and “reliable” light rail system be aware of that, or is the destructive effect of Mr. Obama even speaking about such things sufficient to ensure disaster?