A YouTube video making its rounds on social media shows sparks flying from what appears to be the power rail of SkyTrain’s tracks as a train makes its way down an elevated guideway.
The incident occurred earlier this week and was recorded from the windshield at the front of a train. It initially seemed to be related to ice and snow interacting with the power collectors on the underside of each train, but that’s not the case.
According to TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan, the sparks were from a tachometer near the wheels that came loose before falling off the train. A tachometer is an instrument that measures the working speed of the vehicle, and it helps the train computers calculate exactly where to stop at the station platforms.
“When we found out this fell off we pulled the train out of service, replaced the tachometer and have since replaced it and the train is back on the rails,” Bryan told Daily Hive. “At this point we believe it was an issue at the manufacturer level but are investigating.”
Of course, no passengers were in danger at any time of the incident. Each train has several tachometers.
Ahead of the next round of snowfall expected this weekend, TransLink says it will be enacting its snowfall weather plans to ensure the transit system continues to operate during the adverse conditions.
De-icing trucks will spray the entire trolley overhead electrical system if there is a forecast risk for frost or ice, and SkyTrain power rail and collector shoes on the trains will be de-iced. Additionally, de-icing stations will be set-up in covered areas and tunnels and measures are being taken to ensure track switches do not freeze.
If it is necessary, if snowfall occurs overnight, trains will operate throughout the night to help keep the tracks clear.
Traditional shorter 40-foot buses may be used on routes that normally utilize the 60-foot-long articulated buses as the longer buses do not perform well on hills or streets covered with ice and snow.