New additional video footage has surfaced of Saturday afternoon’s fire on a SkyTrain Canada Line train that was making its approach on Aberdeen Station in Richmond.
Two videos captured by a passenger inside the train shows billowing smoke, big sparks and tall electric flames obscuring the elevated view usually seen from the side windows.
Loud bangs and unusual rail grinding noises were heard as the train drove on the southbound track. In addition, while there were some calm voices, some passengers on the train can be heard panicking.
One male voice, presumably the individual that recorded the footage, consoled a frightened passenger who can be heard crying in the video. “Just relax, just relax… hang on to that, hang on to that, just relax,” he said to a fellow passenger as the train slowly ground to a full halt just outside the station.
The incident occurred just before 3 p.m. on Saturday and has been deemed as an “electrical fault” by TransLink. Train service between Bridgeport and Richmond-Brighouse stations were shut down for more than three hours to allow crews to safely evacuate the passengers, assess whether any damage was done to the track, and tow the problem train back to the maintenance yard.
The Canada Line has a fleet of 20 two-car trains and currently uses a maximum of 17 trains during the morning peak hour. During the evening peak hour, 16 trains are used.
While all three SkyTrain lines are part of a single metro network, there are some major differences between the Canada Line and both the Expo Line and Millennium Line.
South Korea’s Rotem, a division of Hyundai, built the Canada Line trains while Montreal-based Bombardier built the trains that run on the other two lines.
In addition, the trains on the Expo and Millennium lines use linear induction motors, but the Canada Line’s trains utilizes conventional electric motors, which have more moving parts and are more prone to fire incidents.
The Canada Line is operationally independent from the BC Rapid Transit Company, the operator of the Expo and Millennium lines. ProTransBC, a private company and subsidiary of SNC Lavalin, is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Canada Line through a 35-year concession.
The contract maintains that ProTransBC will be financially penalized by TransLink if it does not meet performance standards.
Feature Image: Nick Chen screenshot via YouTube