A one in a million chance.
That’s how the cause of yesterday’s debacle that derailed Skytrain commuters’ travel plans last night has been described.
It might be cold comfort to anyone who was left waiting for hours for a ride home last night, but at least we know more about what caused the delay — a collector shoe on a car made contact with a piece of rail that just happened to be on the line.
Richard Sykes, VP of maintenance at BCRTC, says the incident follows work that’s been performed on the line.
“We’re undertaking a number of rail replacement projects, and on the Broadway S-curve we stored a piece of rail that had dislodged itself and bounced its way into the guideway, or into the dynamic envelope in front of the vehicle and managed to catch that shoe in passing.”
Attempts to fix the shoe was hampered by its weight at nearly 25 kilos.
Sykes says once the equipment to lift the train arrived, the real work began.
“It took us an hour to set this up, and probably 50 minutes to actually lift the train, slough the train out of the way, remove it, put the train safely back on the track, and probably another hour or so again to break the equipment down, clear the track, secure the train, and make our first passed movement.”
WATCH Maintenance VP Richard Sykes explain what happened: