SkyTrain still not running in downtown: no estimated time for system restart

Dec 20 2017, 2:42 am

UPDATE: Train service has resumed.


SkyTrain’s Expo and Millennium lines west of Commercial-Broadway Station remains at a standstill this evening after an electrical problem this afternoon caused trains to come to a halt.

The issues began just before 3 p.m. when a train stopped near Main Street-Science World Station. Witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from the problem train before it stopped.

As of 9 p.m., there is still no train service between Waterfront and Commercial-Broadway stations in either direction: Waterfront, Burrard, Granville, Stadium-Chinatown, and Main Street-Science World stations remain closed. Expo Line trains from King George are turning around at Commercial-Broadway Station while Millennium Line trains from VCC-Clark Station are turning around at Columbia Station.

“It’s just never a good time [to have a service disruption], and having one at peak rush hour in this cold weather becomes almost unacceptable… so I apologize for that,” Cathy McLay, Acting TransLink CEO, said in a press conference outside Main Street-Science World Station.

TransLink has deployed maintenance staff to determine the cause of the problem and fix the issue as soon as possible, but there is no definite time for when service will resume. Crews are working to determine whether the electric issue was caused by the train or the track.

“We’re very optimistic we’ll be up and running before the morning,” McLay added. There is no certainty whether passengers will have to make alternate travel plans for Wednesday morning’s commute.

Buses will run until the end of SkyTrain hours tonight if service is not back to normal.


Earlier today, a total of 31 buses were put into service as part of the SkyTrain bus bridge. Buses were even pulled out of their normal routes to assist with the passenger spillover into bus services and the Canada Line, which operated with all 20 of its trains for a period.

Long lines were reported at bus stops and Canada Line stations in Vancouver. At Broadway-City Hall Station, the line for the 99 B-Line snaked its way deep into the train station.

In May, a bird’s nest caught fire near Main Street-Science World Station and damaged vital fiber-optic communication cables. In that disruption, service was severed west of Commercial-Broadway Station on a Thursday at 11 p.m. and did not fully resume until noon the next day.

And just last Thursday, November 19, the Expo Line also experienced a major service disruption during the morning rush hour. A major mechanical problem with a train near Edmonds Station was to blame.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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