SACRAMENTO — Multiple Sacramento Regional Transit District train operators have complained during the extremely hot days that the temperatures in their cabins are so hot it is a safety hazard.
If one of them passes out, the train could potentially be driving itself. Obviously that could, worst case scenario, end in tragedy.
The problem has gotten so bad some operators have called dispatch and said they can’t work; they’ve had to stop and take a break mid-shift or leave the train and ask for a substitution.
“Operators have had to call off…saying, ‘Look, I need a break,'” said operator David Allston. “‘It’s too hot in here. I’m sweating, I’m feeling flush, I need a relief.'”
Each train has a number, either a 100 or 200 designation. The 200 trains are fine, but the 100 trains are problematic. They’re older and often the air conditioning stops working, according to Sacramento RT operators who spoke with FOX40.
On 100 trains with functioning air conditioning, FOX40 utilized a temperature gun to monitor the heat. Some areas in the trains reached around 105 degrees, which did not include readings in the cabin, where drivers tell FOX40 it gets even hotter.
Operators say Sacramento RT is aware of the issue, yet year after year the air conditioning still has problems.
“It’s as if we don’t know who’s taking care of the air conditioner…they’re adequate when they’re maintained correctly,” said operator David Allston. “This is a progressive thing that’s been happening for the last maybe 3, 4 years.”
According to multiple operators if, worst case scenario, an operator passes out mid-ride and their foot slumps off the “deadman,” or the pedal, there is a safety mechanism that should automatically stop the train within 5 to 10 seconds. But if one passes out, and their foot does not not slide off the pedal, it’s feasible the train could be going full speed without a conscious driver.