TransLink blames electrician for second SkyTrain shutdown in a week

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      TransLink says "human error" was the cause of Monday's (July 21) shutdown of the Millennium and Expo lines, which lasted for hours and led stranded passengers to walk along the tracks to the nearest stations.

      In a news release today (July 22), the regional transportation authority states: "An experienced electrician was installing a new circuit breaker for the Evergreen Line at a power distribution panel when he accidently tripped the main breaker feeding the critical systems at SkyTrain’s operations centre, causing a system-wide shut down of train controls."

      TransLink is still reviewing the incident, which "halted trains and impacted TransLink’s ability to communicate with customers over SkyTrain’s PA systems".

      It was the second major SkyTrain outage in one week.

      “Our trains are reliable 95% of the time, but we know that is little consolation for customers who are delayed for hours when we do have a significant breakdown,” said Doug Kelsey, TransLink's chief operating officer, in the release.

      “Two major disruptions in one week is unprecedented, and the two incidents are completely unrelated.”

      TransLink says it will offer a "free day of transit" on B.C. Day to "show appreciation for customers".


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      Jul 22, 2014 at 12:37pm

      Wow, free transit on a stat holiday when absolutely nobody will be using it. Big points for consistency, TransLink: You always seem to get it so horribly wrong. In fact, your offer will probably incense people more than two instances of system failure in one week. Fire the electrician who killed your trains, and then ditch the PR Einstein who came up with this plan.

      Devil's Advocate

      Jul 22, 2014 at 2:27pm

      Translink received harsh criticism last week when a computer malfunction caused the trains to go down and then they didn't offer passengers a free ride.

      Now they're being criticized because of a human error (because none of the rest of us are human and make mistakes, right?) and for offering free transit on a long weekend day. Hey Eric, should they have consulted your schedule? My schedule? The schedule of their ridership? I'm pretty sure that they can't please everyone and clearly, they started with you.

      While I wasn't pleased about last week's fiasco, I thought Translink did a fine job yesterday in dealing with the breakdown. They at least learned from last week's mistake.

      try again

      Jul 22, 2014 at 4:56pm

      @Devil's Advocate
      Translink appears to have learned NOTHING after these two catastrophic failures, Doug Kelsey hasn't taken responsibility. They haven't addressed the problem of a lack of redundant systems so one problem won't affect the communications and running of the trains. There is a huge problem with the way the system operates having been shown to all of us in the last week. Translink execs DON'T get it. To give riders a 'free' ride (there is nothing free about any of it, just like TREO & TI Corp.) on a stat holiday is an absolute insult and doesn't even address a rebate to monthly pass holders. Disgusting.
      Another thing: why hasn't the evacuation in a timely manner of passengers being held hostage on trains been dealt with? No one should be stuck on a train as long as many riders have been.