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Crashes give new Houston rail line a bad reputatio


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Crashes give new Houston rail line a bad reputation

HOUSTON Houston's new rail line between downtown and the Astrodome is earning a few new nicknames.

The list includes: "Danger Train," the "Wham Bam Tram" and "A Streetcar Named Disaster."

More than 50 collisions have occurred along the seven and a-half mile route since it opened in November.

Some Houston residents are keeping a running tally on Web sites.

The MetroRail averages six crashes a month.

The Federal Transit Administration says that's a rate 20 times worse than the U-S average for the nation's 17 light rail systems.

Most of the wrecks are minor and injury-free, and usually caused by cars making illegal left turns across the tracks.

City councilman Michael Berry says Metro should have anticipated problems, since the track runs through the busy downtown, the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center and the Astrodome-Reliant Park complex.

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On the Net:

Metropolitan Transit Authority: http://www.hou-metro.harris.tx.us/motion/lrt/railintro2.asp

Wham-Bam-Tram Ram Counter: http://www.actionamerica.org/houston/

Danger Train blog: http://www.publiustx.net/index.php?catid3

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

team4news.com

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