Stuck on Muni in the Sunset Tunnel

100 Muni StoriesAbout 30 feet into the the Sunset Tunnel the in-bound N-Judah stopped. People sat quietly, unsurprised. Then someone in the front of the car exclaimed that the train had come apart and we were left behind. It took a few moments for people to process this before starting to exchange glances, mostly of amused disbelief.

Sure enough, the second car had stopped and for some reason been unattached from the first car, which continued out of the tunnel. I was worried about the chance of another train coming up behind us but it is a short tunnel and you can see light at both ends from the middle and I thought, surely the operator in the first car and muni control noticed the problem, as you can see in the photo I took that shows that a second train had started to enter the tunnel behind us and stopped.

A woman in the front car had dialed 911. She asked if anyone had any medical issues or if anyone was having a panic attack – no. Someone would be on their way to help. After five minutes or so, a Muni employee showed up and hopped on. He tried to start the car but explained it was not getting power. This is why it stopped and uncoupled from the
first car.

Everyone filed off the car and walked back to the tunnel opening to be greeted by fire trucks, police, and curious neighbors. A bus was being brought in to pick up passengers. I had plans to meet someone in the Castro. A quick check of the map and I was on my way up Clayton and down 17th. And that was it.

This was Katie’s day on Muni and her entry for the 100 Days, 100 Muni Stories contest. We all know too well how one little thing can derail your carefully scheduled day. Check out other stories competing for 100 Days, 100 Muni Stories, and send us your own Muni story today. Use the Muni Diaries submission form or tweet @munidiaries and include the hashtag #100MuniStories.


  • George

    Sadly I’m not surprised. MUNI Metro has been a joke since inception. Sadly light rail technology became available almost every city wanted 2 jump on it’s bandwagon. MUNI in particular has never had success with either it’s old Boeing, now Breda cars. In my years growing up in the City I wish they simply refurbished the old PCC cars like the ones now on the “F” line. Proven technology and one of the few American successful creations!
    Honestly rather take a bus then these things!

  • Angela

    Thank god for Muni Diaries, or I’d never hear about these hilarious adventure.

  • Mark

    One of the many reasons I’m now riding my bike 9.5 miles to work and loving every minute.

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