Photo shows truck damaging Central Corridor tracks in St. Paul

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2013 - 4:25 PM

Police are getting closer to finding out who drove on and badly damaged exposed light-rail tracks in downtown St. Paul late last month.

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Police are looking for this vehicle,which damaged tracks in downtown St. Paul for the yet-to-open Central Corridor light-rail line.

Photo: Provided by St. Paul Police Department,

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Police are getting closer to finding out who drove on and badly damaged exposed light-rail tracks in downtown St. Paul late last month.

A surveillance photograph was released Monday showing a flatbed truck on the tracks along 4th Street between Sibley and Jackson Streets in Lowertown at about 3 a.m. on April 26. The truck was hauling a Toyota Camry.

Investigators are hoping someone will recognize either vehicle and call police at 612-349-7222.

One or two other vehicles are also suspected of driving on the tracks in that same time frame, said Laura Baenen, spokeswoman for project.

The vehicles damaged the concrete precast track panels and switch machines, which provide power and move the track switches.

Driving on the tracks isn’t allowed. Whoever drove on the tracks last month also would have violated a no-left-turn sign and driven the wrong way on the one-way stretch of 4th Street, Baenen said.

Exactly how much damage was suffered has yet to be determined or whether replacement or repairs will be needed, Baenen said.

The first Central Corridor light-rail train was towed between Minneapolis and St. Paul on April 30. Once the line is electrified later this year, trains will begin regular tests, and the outcome will help determine the line’s opening date next year.

Safety posters began going up last week at some station kiosks, “where they can be seen from sidewalks and the streets,” Baenen said. The posters alert drivers and pedestrians to stay off the tracks, obey all traffic signals and use marked crosswalks.

For more safety information, visit http://bit.ly/18pIPcq.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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