Flood damage halts commuter, Amtrak trains in New Mexico

RELATED TOPICS: SOUTHWEST | PASSENGER | INFRASTRUCTURE | WEATHER
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Flash flooding from heavy rains Thursday evening washed out a section of New Mexico RailRunner Express track blocking commuter and cross-country trains north of Albuquerque.

Both RailRunner and Amtrak were operating bus bridges on Friday with rail service expected to be restored in time for Saturday's trains, says Augusta Meyer, a representative for the Rio Metro Regional Transit District. Commuters are riding buses between Bernalillo and Santa Fe while Southwest Chief passengers are on pavement between the Albuquerque and Lamy stations 67 track miles apart.

The washout happened on San Felipe Pueblo where floodwaters aimed at the milepost 874 bridge overtopped the rails leaving track misaligned, roadbed eroded and debris piled up for nearly a mile, RailRunner operations manager Robert Gonzales tells Trains News Wire. Herzog Transit Services, RailRunner's contract operator, is handling the repairs, he adds.

A National Weather Service spotter in Bernalillo reported 1.24 inches of rain from the cloudburst, the closest report to the washout. This was the latest in a series of damaging storms striking the area during the monsoon season.
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