Expo Line Goes Kaput – Canada line Ills – TransLink’s Bad Day

The aging SkyTrain system is having many troubles today.

One of the big problems with expensive light-metro lines is the lack of redundancy in the system.

With the huge costs to build just one line, only one line is built, unlike mature light rail systems, where multiple lines offers redundancy in the system if problems develop with one line.

As most North American light rail lines are built like hugely expensive light-metro lines, the lack of redundancy also becomes an issue.

What is interesting, is that the GVRD in the 1970′s had planned for three east/west lines and two North South lines coming and going out of Vancouver, by the 21st century.

Such planning offered operational redundancy for the LRT network, thus further making the light rail lines user-friendly and of course, user friendliness is the top reason for attracting ridership to transit, especially the motorist from the car.

 

SkyTrain track issue causing delays for afternoon commuters

Commuters are seen waiting to take a bus after a SkyTrain track issue caused delays on Sep. 27.

Commuters are seen waiting to take a bus after a SkyTrain track issue caused delays on Sep. 27.

Commuters planning on taking the SkyTrain out of downtown after work are being warned of some potential delays.

TransLink says there’s a switch problem affecting the Main Street station so no trains are running between Stadium and Commercial stations.

Stadium-Chinatown Station has been closed due to overcrowding as well as the HBC entrance to Granville Station.

Canada Line is also experiencing delays due to a train that had to be removed from the tracks at Marine Drive Station.

Spokesperson Chris Bryan said the delays are minor but as could disrupt the rush hour commute.

“I think about 15-20 minutes is pretty safe but if crowds get in as the afternoon rush continues, it’s going to get pretty crowded.”

TransLink has put shuttle trains in place at both Stadium and Commercial Drive.

Commuter Melissa Jackson said she’s been waiting for more than an hour and has not moved so far, “There’s no ETA so it might be an hour, it might be four.”

She said there’s a lot of miscommunication and things are getting tense.

“Shoulder to shoulder traffic. There’s been a couple of outbursts and outbreaks, arguments, there are a couple of transit people but most of them have vacated because it’s sort of turning into a semi-disgruntled mob mentality.”

So far there’s no timeline for when the issue will be fixed.

More to come…

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Comments

2 Responses to “Expo Line Goes Kaput – Canada line Ills – TransLink’s Bad Day”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The lack of redundancy is in most new European LRT systems as well. It’s not normally a factor of design of a failure of a particular rail operating technology. It is quite frankly a failure of politics in general. Even the most technocratically controled rapid transit systems in the world suffer from some degree of political influence or outright interference. Building any and I repeat any, rapid transit line is a political as well as a technical exercise and always will be. The lack of line functional redundancy is a symptom of a political deal made by someone. “If I let you have your line first, I get my line next or no deal!”. The technical act of proposing a redundancy in a system is most often stopped by someone saying, “we only have so much money and political good will, having a line close enough to another that there is a functional redundancy is waste of money and time, when so many other areas of the city want their line as well!”

    Zwei replies: Actually, many European tramways have portions of disused routes, still energized for such an occasion. A few of the new build tramways also have portions of unadvertised trackage to deal with problems. Not a lot, I admit, but at least in a tram, one can easily alight and find alternative transport. With SkyTrain, one is trapped.

  2. Haveacow says:

    I give you the example of a new system like Manchester’s Metrolink. It took almost 24 years for them just to have a second right of way in the downtown portion of their city via, the “Second City Crossing” and technically they still have about 2.5 km of mainline in their urban core that if severed, would split their entire 102 km network into 2 pieces.

    Dallas has the largest LRT system by track length in North America at roughly 162 km of mainline track but all the lines still concentrate on one stretch of double track in downtown Dallas. Now they are finally planning to build a second downtown right of way in a physically segregated surface section as well as a tunneled section so the system can finally connect to various important downtown locations. To even think of doing this and not build another suburban line connecting a distant suburb to the rest of the LRT network, took the entire network to be at a point where it could no longer add any more frequency to the service on any of its branches because the central section is at capacity.Many conservative local Dallas and state Texan politicians are still fighting it to their dying breath, as waste of resources.

    It’s true that, many legacy tram, streetcar & LRT systems have unused portion of tracks from lines that have been discontinued or cut back that can and are used as non-service track. However, to actually have one in a new construction and not justify it as the beginning of another future line but singly as a possible piece of network redundancy, I guarantee would not likely pass any of the rapid transit line business case evaluation report systems that I know of. Or would the local political class let that go for very long in any city I have ever heard of.

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