Train passenger wakes up locked in train yard

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 11:41 PM

TACOMA, Wash. - Have you ever fallen asleep on public transportation? A Tacoma man fell asleep on the Sounder train, and woke up 5 hours later locked up in the train yard.

"It was just a really bizarre situation," sas Mike Reinhardt. 

Last month, Reinhardt got on the 4:20 p.m. Sounder train from Seattle to Tacoma. He sat on the upper deck and says he fell asleep, exhausted from the stress of a job search and the holiday season.

"I nodded off and the next thing I knew I woke up and the train was stopped... I realized what time it was and I said 'holy ----- I was on the train for 5 and a half hours," recalled Reinhardt.

He woke up at 9:30 at night, confused and locked inside a empty train car parked in the train yard.

"I went and grabbed one of the pamphlets by the doors and called and said, 'Look, I'm locked on this train, please get me off the train,'" said Reinhardt.

Reinhardt says it took 15 minutes for someone to rescue him. He wonders why no one woke him up, and was upset he was left sleeping and vulnerable.

"If I'm sound asleep, I could have been robbed, I could have been killed for that matter," he said.

Sound Transit says crews sweep the trains routinely every night before parking them in the yard, but for some reason did not find Reinhardt sleeping on the upper deck.

A spokesperson said after almost a decade of serving millions of riders, this was only the second time this has happened, but it does serve as a reminder that they need to sweep the cars more carefully. Sound Transit also advises passengers who tend to fall asleep to set their alarm on their cell phones.

Reinhardt believes this should serve as a wake up call for other passengers and the trains' security team.

"I think they need to step up a little bit because it shouldn't have happened," he said.

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