Shake Your Head In Disbelief Deptment

A snow broom in Sapporo Japan clears snow from the line. Yet in Richmond

a mere dusting of snow and a trace of freezing rain brought the Canada Line to a halt.


Now, freezing rain and ice storms can stop trams from running, when ice shrouded electrical overhead sags due to weight and is unusable or ice build up in flange-ways on on-street portions of track or at level crossings cause the wheels to rise up and break electrical contact.

Portland, Oregon is prone to such conditions and has had problems in the past, but cities with regular ice and snow storms are prepared to deal with such problems. Richmond had less than 0.5 cm of snow last night and a mere dusting of ice pellets and it caused the Canada Line to shut down.

Obviously there is more to the story, but if this is true, then the Canada Line has been built extremely flimsy and massive bills for repairs and retro-fitting are in order.


Ice on tracks blamed for Canada Line delays

By Bethany Lindsay, Vancouver SunJanuary 4, 2016 10:59 AM

A Richmond-bound Canada Line train crosses the Fraser River bridge. Ice buildup along the Canada Line is being blamed for problems along the rapid transit line during the Monday morning commute.

Photograph by: Ian Lindsay, PNG, Vancouver Sun

METRO VANCOUVER – Ice buildup along the Canada Line is being blamed for problems along the rapid transit line during the Monday morning commute.

The ice caused a train to stall on the track near Brighouse Station shortly before 5:30 a.m., according to TransLink. That impacted transit south of the Marine Drive station in Vancouver, and temporary bus bridges had to be set up to transport passengers to stations in Richmond.

By about 8:15 a.m., the problem train had been removed and de-icing solution was applied, allowing the Canada Line to return to normal service.

TransLink is telling commuters to expect some delays during their morning travels.

Meanwhile, trains along the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines were also experiencing delays because of problems with track safety alarms.

Ai?? Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun


5 Responses to “Shake Your Head In Disbelief Deptment”
  1. eric chris says:

    I give TransLink another six months of existence; TransLink is set to receive a massive jolt. Unsurprisingly, 2016 for TransLink has started off as 2105 ended. Tap in tap out… TransLink is working on it.

    Try Googling “TransLink Apologizes”. You’re going to be swamped with stories going back years. On the first big test of the comp-ass roll out after four months of advertisements telling us to prepare…

    “How does the Canada Line and Expo Line both shut down on the same day around the same time? TransLink has ruined my first day back to school”

    “They’re not letting people on the platform at Broadway due to ‘massive amounts of people’. Shit’s about to get messy.”

    “The last few days have been the biggest challenge of our system so far … It’s been a very busy time, said Lloyd Bauer, the Compass Card project’s vice president.” How busy has it been, Lloyd?

    After four months with all the regular and occasional transit users now on comp-ass, TransLink has sold 375,000 comp-ass cards. In other words, about 375,000 people occasionally and regularly use transit daily in Metro Vancouver.

    This is nowhere near the 1.2 million ridership daily on weekdays (system boardings reported as ridership) which TransLink claims. People only use transit four to five times weekly, by the way (APTA).

    Anyways, as an aside, Zwei, on the Massey Tunnel, I really do have a lot of respect for Lois Jackson and agree with her that there is a massive traffic issue at the Massey Tunnel. Do I support the 10 lane behemoth crossing to replace the Massey Tunnel? No. Do I support the Site C dam to provide electrical power for s-train using 50% more power than LRT? No.

    I’ve always maintained that dilution is the solution for commuters taking transit or driving cars. Trams distribute transit users and more bridges (small) throughout Metro Vancouver spread out drivers. Traffic planners here disagree. If they were smarter, Metro Vancouver would not be such a disaster for commuters.

    I do not once recall traffic gridlock in Adelaide, Australia, not once. Here, I’ve blown my top over one hour to two hour delays in my car, too many times to recount – Massey Tunnel, in particular.

    On another note, it seems that Daryl DC is back at it. According to Jeff Nagel who is one of the far too many puppet reporters reporting for TransLink, LRT sucks and Surrey “should” go with s-train.

    What are the idiots at TransLink thinking: after s-train derails and kills people, their jobs will be secure and they’ll receive more funding to keep their useless bureaucracy going? Uh, okay…

  2. Haveacow says:

    Had a job with the TTC as a student fixing or maintaining the streetcar wires, many, many years ago. You really have to have a lot of ice on a line to get it to the point it sags so much that the streetcar/LRV stops working. From time to time the extra weight may disconnect the support wires that keep the main power wire stable and in place but it rarely stops a whole line or even a large section of it. The TTC have a seasoned trolley pole design which removes most of the extra ice build up. Modern pantographs have a form of knife edge on the leading edge of the pantograph that scrapes ice build up off the main wire as well.

    The big danger is actually from snow because most if not all streetcar/modern LRT systems have their tracks flush with the road surface and excess amounts of it can actually lift a LRV/streetcar off the track in extreme circumstances. That’s why you often see in mainly historical pictures of big snow storms in the past, streetcars on their side after really heavy snowfalls. A good maintenance of way snow sweeping/snowplow vehicle and or plows on the operating fleet can both effectively do the job. Ottawa has for both the Trillium and Confederation Lines plows mounted on the front of the vehicles. The plows remove the snow build up from the line as the vehicles maintain their normal schedule. Only twice since 2001 has the Trillium Line (The original O-Train Line) needed a heavy railway snow plow to plow the snow off the main line which forced a stop in passenger service. They happened because a major snow storm struck at night while the line wasn’t in use so the snow had time to build up.

    I like the picture of the Japanese snow sweeper they really are effective. The Halton County Radial Railway and Museum (The TTC’s unofficial electric railway/streetcar museum) still use one of their sweepers when they need to clear track in the winter. Since its not the active part of their operating season and they are rarely open to the public in the winter months it doesn’t happen a lot but its really fun to watch it when they need it to do its job.

  3. eric chris says:

    @ Daniel, good link, what a disaster. This is what happens when people who don’t know what they are doing float along and string everyone along until the axe falls – expect lots of engineering resignations soon. It looks like too much faith was put on software to synchronize trains rather than enough effort on hardware and design work to build tunnels and overpasses at major intersections.

    Any dope can spend billions of dollars on subways and s-trains. It takes real engineers to build LRT right. Obviously, this was a learning experience in LRT design.

    For the Surrey LRT, I can see many similar issues as in Edmonton: left hand turns being eliminated and chaos, too, to create right of ways to make LRT “fast”. Keep it simple and you can’t go wrong: trams in mixed traffic. Speed of transit is a red herring. People commute as far as they can go in 30 minutes. Transit speed just makes for longer commuters and sacrifices shorter commuters.

    Edmonton will sort it out in time. What a mess in the meantime.

    Zwei replies: Real engineers unfortunately have turned LRT into light-metro. The success of what we call LRT was to do away with as much expensive engineering such as tunnels and viaducts.

    The problem in Edmonton is bad design. As well North America is about 30 years behind in public transit philosophy and the expensive lessons learned or aare being learned in France, Germany and the UK have yet to be learned here.

    There is great achedemic push-back to modern transit philosophy because it makes what is coming out of our universities an embarrassment.

    The light-rail Renaissance (which started then stalled in Edmonton), in part, happened, when transit planners and politicians discovered they could not spend their way out of gridlock and traffic chaos and that rail transit, to be successful had to operate at-grade to to achieve economic operation. The success of light-rail or the “return of the tram” in Europe is a dichotomy to what is happening on this side of the pond where everyone so gold-plates a transit line that it collapses under its own weight of debt as is what is happening to TransLink.

    In Vancouver, SkyTrain may have won a transit battle or two, but it has lost the transit war, as roads and highways are the preferred mode of transportation in the region today and for tomorrow. We cannot afford the SkyTrain solution that will wean drivers from their cars, with modern LRT, building three or four times the routes for the same amount of money, just may.

  4. eric chris says:

    More s-train and subway planning in Vancouver is daft; I’m sounding like a broken record, I know. In Edmonton, the subway under Jasper Avenue basically killed the pedestrian traffic in the downtown core and turned downtown Edmonton into a morbid lifeless hole. Well, there is no use in learning from the mistakes of others when you can just repeat them in Vancouver…

    “Many traffic and planning experts also question the advisability of putting our LRT underground downtown. The decision was made because 1970s-era planners felt downtown was going to keep on booming, as oppose to stagnate as it did for the next 30 years. In the long run we’re all going to be grateful we have far less congestion downtown than we otherwise would have had, but Calgary built its LRT at street level and was able to build three times the amount of track.

    Had they gone above ground, essentially emulating Calgary’s system in the 1970s and early 1980s, we now might have a fully functional LRT system covering the whole city, and the city would have now at this point have had 30 years to grow around that and adjust to it,” says University of Alberta planning professor Robert Summers.”

    So true. In the meantime, dopes in Vancouver dream of the subway under Broadway rather than plan for sleek trams in mixed traffic to remove all the stinking diesel buses which will remain with the subway to funnel people to the subway – how environmentally sustainable to use diesel buses recycling passengers to the subway. Fantastic. It is gold star planning by gold star buffoons who don’t give a crap and get paid the same to sit on their asses in the COV engineering department.

    Zwei replies: I am constantly amazed how Vancouver champions what has proven not to work and dissed what has proven to work. Can anyone please tell me how an 8 km East/West subway, with very limited stations will solve congestion and/or gridlock.

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