Open MAX train door: 'This type of failure is rare'

Open MAX train door: 'This type of failure is rare'
A still image taken from video posted to YouTube shows a MAX train door wide open as it travels near I-84 in Northeast Portland. One passenger stuck his head out the door while the train was moving. (Image from YouTube/Roz Miller)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A MAX train traveled between two stops last week with one of the passenger doors wide open, prompting safety concerns.

A passenger, Roz Miller, posted video to YouTube of the open door as the train traveled between the Hollywood District and Lloyd Center stops. That’s approximately a five-minute ride with relatively high speeds for part of the trip.

In the video, you can clearly see the one open door as the train speeds along next to Interstate 84. At one point a man walks up to the door and sticks his head out as the train is moving.

Miller, who we have been unable to get in contact with, wrote in the comments of his video that people tried to hit the emergency button. The door eventually closed when the train pulled into the Lloyd Center station.

TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said once the train’s operator was alerted the door was immediately disabled.

"This type of failure is rare and the train has been pulled from service as crews investigate," Fetsch said in a statement. "We always encourage the public to immediately alert the operator if they see any safety concern."

MAX trains are not supposed to be able to move while a door is open - they have safety systems to keep that from happening. And there is a warning light in the driver's cockpit that indicates when a door is open.

TriMet is looking at whether the malfunction was a multi-system failure. The transit agency's head of safety and security said they are examining the train's data recorder to find out what went wrong.

They are also looking at whether the train's intercom system was not working. According to TriMet’s website, trains have up to four emergency intercoms to report a problem.

TriMet told us they hope to have answers by Thursday. Meanwhile, the train car has been pulled from service.