Collision between auto and WES train highlights need for drivers to heed traffic signals/use caution around trains


An automobile driver escaped serious injury this morning when the driver turned into the path of a WES Commuter Rail train. The incident happened about 9:15 a.m. as the train was pulling out of the Beaverton Transit Center.

Security video from the train showed the auto pulled past the white line at the intersection and slowed to nearly a stop. The driver then accelerated and turned left from the wrong lane, and against the signal, into the path of the train. The WES train made contact near the front driver’s side door. The video shows the automobile pull off to the right side of the road after the collision. After being stopped for about 25 seconds, the train moved to clear the intersection and video from the security camera at the back of the train showed some debris from the auto left behind in the street. The collision delayed the last two trains of the morning commute.

An 80-ton WES train cannot stop on a dime even when traveling at a slower speed. When the trains are traveling at their maximum of 60 miles per hour, it takes a half a mile or the length of nine football fields to stop.

Safety tips for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists

Don’t take unnecessary risks and follow these tips to stay safe around our trains:

  • Always obey traffic signals, warning devices and railroad signage.
  • Don’t speed through intersections as crossing gates are coming down.
  • Don’t cross the tracks at unregulated crossings or in front of an approaching train.
  • Don’t trespass on private property including railroad tracks.
  • Do not walk, bike or play on the tracks or on railroad bridges.

Avoid fines

Traffic-related offenses around railroad tracks include:

  • Criminal trespassing; a $6,250 fine and up to a year prison sentence.
  • Unlawful interference with a traffic control device or railroad sign; a $427 fine.
  • Failure to stop for a railroad signal; a $242 fine.
  • Obstructing a rail crossing; a $242 fine.
  • Pedestrian failure to obey a bridge or railroad signal; a $97 fine.

About WES

The 14.7-mile WES line operates weekday rush hour service connecting Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville in a 27-minute commute. WES travels an average 37 mph with a maximum of 60 mph.