It was a ‘cooling fan’ issue that sidelined one of the new SkyTrain cars during this morning’s rush hour, causing commuter gridlock for a brief time, mainly at the Surrey stations.
The President and CEO of the BC Rapid Transit Company, which is responsible for the SkyTrain lines, says the new Mark III trains which were recently added to the system are so technically advanced they’re highly sensitive.
That increased sensitivity is what’s causing them to shut down when they detect what they see as a problem on the tracks.
Vivienne King says engineers are now working to re-calibrate the computers.
“What I’m doing is working with my engineers and because of this sensitivity of the calibration with the computers I’m going to put more techs around the system so that when these things do happen we can get in quickly, we can correct it, we can learn and start to adjust this calibration.”
She adds that glitches are bound to arise as the new technology is pressed into service.
“New trains will have bugs in them no matter how much we work and we test and we re-test. I’ve commissioned a number of trains in my career and you will get those things happening in the beginning of running them.”
King will also be looking into how TransLink communicated the delays with commuters.
This morning’s disruption is at least the third time one of the new Mark III trains has failed.
Yesterday, another Mark III went down, due to a power surge.
And back in September, one was sidelined after losing power.
Seven of the new Mark III cars have been budgeted at $91 million, with 28 in total expected over the next three years.