Normal VTA light rail service in San Jose has resumed today, following the derailment of a two-car train near the Virginia station early Friday evening that caused minor injuries to four people and blocked trains in the area for nearly 12 hours, agency officials say.

The VTA was able to tow the two-car train back to its car facility in the course of the night, and to test the rails and electrical supply at the site of derailment before resuming regular weekend service at about 6:45 a.m. today.

"It was done very carefully because it was right where one of the poles for the electrical supply was. We didn't want to do anything to hurt the integrity of the rest of the system," said Bernice Alaniz, a VTA spokeswoman.

The accident happened at a track cross-over where the train was switching onto a temporary single-track section because of the ongoing reconstruction of the platform at the Virginia station.

"We're investigating the cause," Alaniz said at about 10:45 a.m. VTA officials have interviewed the train operator and another attendent who was monitoring the cross-over and who witnessed the detrailment, but "I can't speculate right now" about whether the derailment was due to the vehicle itself, a problem with the track, or human error, Alaniz said.

When the two-car train went off the tracks on Friday evening it caused injuries to three passengers and the driver.

"We were really shaken up," said La Donya Reed, 34, of San Jose, who was on the train with her niece and son. When the Valley Transportation Authority train she was riding crumpled at its accordian-like connector, she said the sound was as loud as thunder. The lights flickered out. And kids screamed.

Reed, who had been at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library before boarding the train, said she and the children held onto metal bars inside the car to prevent themselves from falling.

San Jose fire Capt. Steve Alvarado said firefighters received an emergency call at 7:09 p.m. that a light-rail train had derailed just north of the Virginia light-rail station, near Virginia Street and Highway 87.

The driver of the train and three of the 29 passengers complained of minor injuries. All four were taken to a hospital for further evaluation, Alvarado said. The rest of the passengers walked a short distance to a working VTA train, which took them to the Tamien station half a mile south. Friends and family came to pick up the passengers from the parking lot there.

Three passengers gave their accounts of what happened:

Both Reed and another passenger, Jessica Fromm, 21, a San Jose State University journalism student on her way home to Morgan Hill, said they saw the driver get off the train shortly before it derailed. Fromm said the driver "fiddled with something," then got on the train, which "jerked backwards."

Fromm said she rides the train frequently, and because platforms are being retrofitted at the Virginia, Tamien and Curtner stations, drivers frequently slow down to navigate the area.

Monica Garcia, 19, who was on the back end of the derailed train and commuting home to San Jose from her job in Milpitas, said the driver was "going really, really fast." She said a man working by the tracks was yelling at the driver to slow down and running after the train. She said the train then hit a pole and she fell forward. She didn't get hurt. But she was so shaken up, she was still crying about half an hour later, when her ride came to pick her up.

"It was wrong, what happened," she said.

All three passengers said they were disappointed in how the VTA driver handled the aftermath.

"We were meandering in a daze. People were standing on the tracks and no one told us to get off. There was a real lack of leadership," Fromm said.

By 11 p.m., the train was being pushed back onto the rails and towed away.

But in the four previous hours, the accident had drawn ambulances, sheriff's deputies and 60 firefighters to the scene. Highway 87 southbound was closed at Julian and Santa Clara streets, and traffic was backed up on a night the Sharks were playing at HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose.

Cars slowed and onlookers gathered at the Virgina station to peer down from the overpass and stare at the flashing lights and derailed train.

One of the onlookers was Anthony Drummond, chief of staff for San Jose City Councilman Forrest Williams, who is also a VTA board member. Williams is in Japan on a sister-city trip, and Drummond stood outside in the dark and cold to update his boss by e-mail on what happened.