Passenger injured when Capitol Corridor train lurches violently outside Davis

At least one Capitol Corridor train passenger was injured and possibly more Wednesday morning when a train suddenly lurched violently while traveling between Sacramento and Davis.

Karen Bakar, a spokeswoman for Capitol Corridor, said Amtrak officials reported one minor injury. Officials with Amtrak, which operates the train, could not be reached late Wednesday for more details.

A passenger, Erin Lehane, said two passengers appeared to be injured when the train suddenly shuddered, jerked and rocked on the tracks. An elderly woman in the cafe car fell and injured a hand and may have hit her head, and another woman appeared to injure her neck, Lehane said. Paramedics came onto the train in Martinez and escorted the women off, she said.

Another passenger, Matt Williams of Sacramento, said he was looking out the window and saw that the train appeared to lurch at a switch from one track to the adjacent track about 5 miles east of Davis.

“It was extremely sudden,” he said. “It listed one way. At the end of the switch, we swung back the other way. It oscillated back and forth. We thought it derailed. We thought the car was going to go all the way over.”

Williams said he saw conductor do a visual exterior inspection of the train at the Davis station, but the train continued to Martinez before it was taken out of service.

Capitol Corridor officials put out an alert at 8 a.m. that a track issue between Davis and Sacramento was causing systemwide delays. The track reopened just after 9 a.m., but residual train delays reportedly continued throughout the morning.

Union Pacific officials, who own the tracks, said they got a call from a passenger about an incident in that area Wednesday morning, and sent a track inspector out, but said they didn’t find any problem with the tracks. Spokesman Justin Jacobs said UP is replacing rail ties in that area as part of annual infrastructure projects.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak