SkyTrain Fizzles Again! Passengers Abandon SkyTrain Like Rats leaving a Sinking Ship!

Oops, SkyTrain fizzles again with scores of passengers abandoning the Skytrain and walking down the tracks to escape the damned thing.

It certainly looks like transit customers are completely fed up with SkyTrain and TransLink wants to build more?

‘Computer glitch’ shuts down SkyTrain again; some passengers walking on tracks to stations

July 21, 2014 2:32 PM

TransLink is warning passengers to make other transportation arrangements after SkyTrain has been shut down on the Expo and Millennium lines, due to a technical problem.

Photograph by: @myzrahi, Twitter

METRO VANCOUVER — TransLink is advising passengers to make alternate arrangements to get home this afternoon following a system-wide shutdown on the Expo and Millennium lines for the second time in a week.

Media spokeswoman Jiana Ling said TransLink has no idea when the system will be up and running again, after a communication glitch shut down all the trains on the system, leaving many passengers stranded in trains on the tracks, starting at 12:30 p.m.

TransLink has added enough buses for about four hours to service the entire SkyTrain system.

“We advise them not to take SkyTrain today,” she said. “They should use the existing bus network to get home.”

TransLink did not provide details on the cause of the shutdown but was evacuating all the stations along the two SkyTrain lines. The problem also means TransLink can’t communicate with passengers in the trains on the platform.

Droves of passengers could be seen carrying everything from babies to boxes walking along the trains near Main and Stadium stations. At 1:30 p.m., TransLink asked “anyone inside the trains to stay put for safety, noting SkyTrain attendants will be driving trains back to stations asap.”

“Due to at the high-voltage tracks and risk of injury or death, passengers should stay in the trains,” said a statement issued by TransLink. “We are still encountering passengers illegally leaving the trains mid-station which compromises the situation.”

Ling said Transit police and security are trying to manage the problem of people forcing the doors open. “We know it’s unfortunate and inconvenient but it’s much safer. It’s life-threatening really.”

This is the second time in a week that service was halted on the Expo and Millennium lines.

Last Thursday, a computer problem caused a similar delay on the system, prompting many passengers to force open the doors of the cars. TransLink warned passengers not to leave the cars without an attendant.

The problem does not affect the Canada Line.

TransLink is asking passengers to use its online trip planner and select the drop down menu option “DO NOT USE SKYTRAIN” to get the alternate bus route home.

“We appreciate your patience as our technicians attempt to get the system functional again,” TransLink said. “Further updates will be available as we know more.”


5 Responses to “SkyTrain Fizzles Again! Passengers Abandon SkyTrain Like Rats leaving a Sinking Ship!”
  1. Alex says:


    There’s another story today that Vancouver mayor wants to buy the Arbutus corridor, BUT, it only to be used for Greenway, for walking/biking and backyard gardens!

    To me, this is such an idiotic idea. We already have the tracks laid down, the land and road is there, WHY NOT re-use the same tracks or re-furbish it for Light rail or streetcar? I am not familiar with technicalities of such a conversion, but would love your comments on this.

    I think a light rail would even benefit home owners who like to keep this for their gardens, as they’d have rapid transit to their door steps!

  2. Haveacow says:

    I see Translink has started a region wide walk fit program for its commuters. Its really nice of them to provide those great above grade walking paths!

    If all of that started yesterday with a problem from one electrical panel I would suggest a big warning sign on all of them that reads, “If you touch the inside of this panel, everyone is walking”.

    If power was out across the system why were the security people at Translink so mad at people forcing their way off trains and walking on the pathway that is provided? If the tracks had no power you certainly couldn’t get electrocuted by the third rail? If the third rail was still powered but, the induction rail wasn’t, what the hell happened?

    I am reminded of several passages from HG Wells’ War of the Worlds, “It was an unending stream of misery evacuating from the small towns and the large cities of the country” as well as, “It was the route of civilization the massacre of mankind”.

    That’s how the world will end, not with a bang but, an electrical panel!

    Actually in all seriousness, I do hope everyone got home ok and no one was hurt!

  3. Zack says:

    Damn. If it were light rail with overhead wires, people could just walk out safely regardless of it being grade-separated or not without much trouble. To be honest, why are we even spending money on security and transit police when they are doing no work? And if faregates are working, they should actually replace those damned Translink personnel.

  4. Haveacow says:

    If it were LRT, most of the people would just be walking down the street because very few LRT lines have kilometers upon kilometers of above grade right of way to have to walk on. If it were just LRT, It would just be many thousands of ticked off passengers having to find another way home walking down the some main street somewhere. Instead there were many thousands of trapped riders having to pry their way out of a train then walk 10 meters plus above crowded roadways with little or no direction from the experts to tell them were to go. Though I would have probably waited inside the trains for staff to come, I can’t fault other people for just getting tired of waiting or panicking and wanting to get out of those puny enclosed spaces that are called Skytrains. Hell, I ‘m not even claustrophobic (I served on Subs when I was in the RCN) but compared to other public transit trains I have been on in my lifetime, those Skytrain interiors are tiny and for most people, there is a limit as to how much they can take before they need to get out.

    Zwei replies: I was told by one of the trapped customers that the temperature inside was exceeding 40C after 30 minutes. He then forced open a door and lead the Exodus, remembering what I told him that the reaction rail was not, nor ever has been energized. When he reached the station, he was confronted by an attendant who demanded his name, but fellow passenger, demanded the attendants name as he was going to take legal action. Evidently a non to friendly crowd encircled the attendant and she soon disappeared in the throng of very unhappy passengers. Both events were handled very, very poorly and they were still threatening legal action against those ho “jumped ship”. I quickly legal opinion from my lawyer friend (after many beers) was that, with no attendants on board and if a passenger left a stopped train after reasonable amount of time, it would be very hard for the court to convict. One has the right to save him or herself if they deem the situation is dangerous and being stuck on a train after 30 minutes in 40C heat would probably be considered a dangerous situation.

  5. eric chris says:

    Typically, TransLink which has a big “advertising budget” used to pay off the newspapers can keep a lid on bad news. It works like this: first TransLink pulls out a big and expensive full page notice (paid for by us taxpayers) telling everyone including drivers who don’t use transit to “dress warmly while waiting for the bus on a chilly day” or some other equally useless message in the Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight… Vancouver Courier, then a few weeks or months later TransLink calls the Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight… Vancouver Courier to make a news release!

    It goes something like this: “Hello Kelly Sinoski”, this is Ian Jarvis from TransLink, and I have a story about how awesome TransLink is.” “Shall I mention that you don’t take transit and drive, instead, Ian?” “No Kelly, that isn’t newsworthy.” “Shall I inform everyone that 90% of the buses going to UBC are empty? “No, Kelly.” “Shall I tell everyone that trips by drivers have been stuck at 57% since the formation of TransLink?” “No, Kelly, stick to the message: more funding for TransLink. Otherwise, I lose my job and the Vancouver Sun losses its advertising revenue, then you lose your job, got it?” “Yes sir, Ian!, I got it: more funding for TransLink. I’ll get the word out to our readers pronto, thank you for the scoop!”

    At least the CBC isn’t controlled by TransLink. Occasionally, some of the news about the buffoons who run transit in Metro Vancouver isn’t censored and is reported on by the CBC and grudgingly by the Georgia Straight.

    Inadvertently, the recent failure of ST has exposed the major design flaw of ST: when ST craps out and riders are stranded 10 metres in the air, there are no safe escape routes and ST is disaster waiting to happen. Moreover, if riders do leave the ST cars and walk along the guide way, there is the potential for sabotage, intentional or accidental. Riders can fall 10 metres from the guide way. You don’t want people anywhere near the tracks and outside the ST cars at any time. How after mothers and small children were seen walking next to near ST cars which are normally energized by 600 volts, TransLink has kept its license to operate, is a mystery to me. How Ian Jarvis, Doug Kelsey, Fred Cummings and Bob Paddon are still employed at TransLink after this is baffling: