A major shutdown of SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium Lines occurred this afternoon, making it the second systemwide service disruption in less than one week.
The exact cause of today’s systemwide failure was a faulty electrical panel which led to a series of other issues. The issues are not related to last Thursday’s trigger of an overheated computer card at a different location.
The glitch also disabled the public announcement systems inside trains and at station platforms, causing further confusion and frustration for afternoon and evening peak hour commuters.
While only a handful of passengers pried the doors open on Thursday, the incident was much more severe today when train loads of passengers were seen walking on the elevated guideway after some individuals forced the doors open after waiting for half an hour.
Passengers are to exit their stopped trains only if they are instructed and guided by staff or if there is an onboard emergency such as fire.
Station entrance gates were closed. SkyTrain staff and Transit Police officers initiated the process of opening train doors and guiding passengers safely to the nearest station.
But there were many who did not want to wait for staff and officers to come to their help. Trains were forced open and damaged so severely by impatient passengers that they could not be closed shut, leading to additional delays as train doors must be closed in order for the vehicle to be able move.
This is not permitted and offenders can be fined for mischief. It is a safety concern as while the automated train system may be disabled, the third rail could still be live with 600-volts of electricity. Trains could also begin to move again without any notice.
Riders were seen walking along at least two stretches of the elevated tracks: Stadium-Chinatown to Main Street-Science World Stations and New Westminster to Columbia Stations.
— Kiran Hothi (@khothis) July 21, 2014
Skytrain down again in Van. People walking on the tracks, again. pic.twitter.com/kYxL7wKavQ
— Tyson (@TooTallTyson) July 21, 2014
— Becca Strom (@beccasaurusroar) July 21, 2014
Featured Image: @khothis via Twitter