Masses of riders prolong SkyTrain shutdown by opening car doors, walking on track

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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.

Featured Image: @khothis via Twitter

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  • JT

    And the bad mum of the year award goes to: Woman walking on live track, carrying baby on track-side of walkway, while pushing stroller in other hand.

  • Q_wee

    Isn’t that could be the only time that you can finally walk on the walkway of the tracks?

  • Alyssa

    This article makes it seem like all of the track walkers were doing so without permission. I was actually escorted off of a train by transit staff, as were most of the walkers. Just for the record.

  • KG

    This article seems to indicate she started walking on the track by herself… Chances are she was asked to by SkyTrain staff as was the case with a lot of stranded passengers.

  • dude_chillin

    Wow, another way that Translink is encouraging folks to go green! At least it is not raining and different way of taking in the scenery. No apologies or an offering of free rides for folks for the rest of the summer. Not sure what Diane Watts and G. rob is yapping about getting control of Translink – not chance in hell that’s going to happen and not sure if doing that can actually solve the problems.

  • Beartx

    Way to go to blame the passengers. The article already said there was no way to make announcements. After 30 minutes stranded with no notification, I, too, would want to get off. I’m not thinking that blaming the passengers again is helping the Sky Train’s image.

  • guest

    And this article is a PSA of WHY you shouldn’t be opening the doors on your own and entering the tracks. You seemed to have missed the part where it said (1) tracks could still be electrified and (2) trains could be reactivated without any warning… does that not spell DANGER to you?

    Since when is 30 minutes a crisis?

  • mina

    call me old-fashioned, but taking a selfie after being stranded on a hot train and having to escort myself to the nearest station via a narrow, high-voltage track isn’t the first thing that springs to mind.

  • j

    im not saying you are wrong! but.. i am curious.. where is all the ticket fare increase money going to? like seriously? the transit system is getting worse and worse.. and there are more and more problems….. there has been so many issues.. like bus not running properly.. skytrains shutting down.. again and again..

  • BigAppleChick

    Exactly. I live in the NYC area and New Yorkers are more patient than this and often it’s a subway car that’s dirty, barely air conditioned & underground! To force open doors? Who does that after 30 minutes? 3 hours maybe. Dangerous, ridiculous and I wouldn’t follow that “leader” out to tracks afterwards. 30 minutes? C’mon.

  • Steve

    I’d love to see the look on your face the moment you step on the tracks, 600v of electricity run through your body. Idiot. Natural selection at its finest.

  • Beartx

    Again, with NO communication from Sky Train, and the second breakdown in ONE WEEK, my point is that blaming the passengers is NOT a good way to bolster Sky Train image. The article was shaming the passengers, rather than pointing out the inherent danger of the tracks. I hardly call this a PSA.

  • Beartx

    I would say you are the idiot for not reading my message and getting the point.

  • Craig Carey

    You catch me staying on a stalled train in the heat.

  • EV

    I completely agree with you, this article makes it seem like the passengers were doing something wrong. First off all half the people commenting on here weren’t stuck on the train. I WAS for almost 2 long hours, you don’t understand until you are in the situation. I agree on the part that its dangerous to be getting out of the train, no one on my train did, but have some common sense Translink if people did it before they will do it again, so turn off the power. You also have to consider that the only reason anyone knew somewhat of what was going on was because of social media. Not everyone has twitter and smartphones so obviously people are going to get impatient. The worst part is after finally having someone manually drive the train back to the station, Translink employee’s were so unhelpful at helping you find alternate bus routes. By the time I got off the train my phone was dead and couldn’t do it myself.

  • Kevin Gallant

    TransLink posted on twitter that attendants were opening train doors and guiding people back to the nearest station… TransLink needs to rethink their social media policy to prevent this crap from happening. Maybe if they actually put someone on each train…

  • annoyed!

    these passengers were escorted off the train by TRANSIT STAFF. please get your facts straight before blaming the wrong people

  • Heisenberg

    what a bunch of dummies – couple of dead ones and lesson learned.

  • Yuck Fou

    You expect to be compensated for a downed day of transit by getting a whole summer of free riding? You’re crazy. Also Translink said BC day will be free transit day to make up for this event