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A few words from Fred Cummings about last week’s SkyTrain service disruption

If you were on the Expo SkyTrain Line last Wednesday afternoon (February 5) like I was, you might have experienced some delay in service.

Although my trip was only a few minutes longer than normal, for two and a half hours, the disruption of regular service caused varying levels of delays to our riders’ estimated trip times.

Disruptions in service are something TransLink and our operating companies actively try to avoid and we are sorry it happened.

“I want to apologize to our SkyTrain customers who were affected by this unusual incident,” says Fred Cummings, President and General Manager of BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC).

Details about the disruption

Starting at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, an eastbound train encountered a mechanical issue and stopped outside Main Street-Science World Station. BCRTC investigated the incident and found that a part used to connect the problem train to the power supply in the SkyTrain guideway (the tracks), failed, broke off and got lodged between the two power rails that supply the Skytrain with 650 volts DC of power. This prevented the train from continuing on its normal route. A failure such as this can occur if a train encounters a stray object in the guideway, but this particular incident was determined to be the result of a part that was defective or fatigued.

“The recovery from this event was complicated by the equipment that failed being lodged in-between the power rails. I want to assure everyone that the personnel deployed worked extremely hard and as fast as they could to get service back before the evening peak service,” says Fred.

To help alleviate the situation, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) supplemented service with a bus bridge, and SkyTrain Staff and Transit Police were deployed to help manage the crowds forming at SkyTrain stations.

Despite our best efforts, many of our riders were left frustrated and late for appointments by the delay.

Upgrading SkyTrain

As regular readers of the Buzzer know, SkyTrain is over 25 years old! A number of upgrades to the Expo Line are being carried out as part of OnTrack to keep the system in good repair.

We are always looking for ways to improve our service and making sure our SkyTrain system runs smoothly and on time is a priority.


2 Comments

  • By Sheba, February 11, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    Notice how there are only comments when the Skytrain isn’t running. The vast majority of the time it runs on schedule and without a problem but nobody talks about that. Maybe it’s something we should remind the region as a whole about. Crap happens sometimes and as annoying as it is, it shouldn’t be the only thing we talk about.

  • By Ric, February 11, 2014 @ 11:30 pm

    Did the problem train get fixed and put back into service?

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