TransLink still unsure cause of Saturday's Expo Line shutdown

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SkyTrain Mark I car

A shutdown on the Expo Line Saturday evening caused major problems for transit users, and the cause still remains unclear to officials at TransLink.

In a media release issued Sunday, TransLink says they are “still determining” what led to a power surge that brought service on a portion of the Expo Line to a halt.

Image: Gordon Shen / Instagram

SEE ALSO: Major delays on SkyTrain: Expo Line shutdown due to technical glitch

The service disruption lasted over two hours, with 19 trains affected–of which a dozen were stopped on the tracks between stations.

The timing was a stroke of misfortune for all those in transit to the Canucks game.

TransLink managed to restore service to half the system between King George and Edmonds stations, and had activated bus bridges using 13 buses and accommodating an estimated 3,200 passengers, to alleviate the jam. They were able to get the full Expo Line operational by about 8:15 p.m. The Millennium and Canada Lines were not affected.

“Keeping people safe is job one,” noted TransLink in today’s statement. They added:

The entire transit system and all operating procedures are designed to put safety first, and as soon as there was an issue last night the system did what it was supposed to do for the safety of all passengers. The computers immediately recognized that there was a problem, and the trains were brought to a halt.

On social media, transit users noted what appeared to be a lack of adequate response and personnel. TransLink addressed that matter:

As soon as service goes down, TransLink works safely and quickly to get things running again and to make sure that back up service is in place to get people where they need to go. It’s an ‘all hands on deck” recovery effort.

SkyTrain attendants, customer service staff, Transit Police, mechanical and technical experts, bus operators and transit supervisors … all of these professionals work together as a team, not only to get the system back up and running, but to ensure people are safe, that they knew what is going on and what to do, and to help them get to their destination.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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