SMART Trains See Delays After Novato Flooding

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) passengers in Marin and Sonoma counties faced delays Jan. 17, a day after heavy flooding in Novato, California, closed the train tracks near Hanna Ranch Road.

Matt Stevens, a spokesperson for SMART, told the Marin Independent Journal that the water receded Jan. 17 as the weather cleared following weeks of rain, but it still affected tracks in the region.

SMART cautioned commuters on Jan. 17 to expect up to 20-minute delays. Trains were back on schedule by late afternoon, according to the Journal.

Stevens noted that trains can pass through water up to a certain point, the Journal reported. “We had a slow-order in effect through the weekend and [Jan. 17] we decided we would go ahead and operate through that area,” Stevens said. 

It was a significant improvement from Monday, when the tracks through Novato were so congested that SMART bused passengers between the Hamilton and downtown stations, according to the Journal. 

The tracks near Hanna Ranch had standing water all weekend, according to Stevens. He said it was caused by a breach in a levee on Novato Creek, the Journal reported.