SkyTrain's Expo Line was shut down for nearly six hours on Saturday

Leaves fingered for long SkyTrain shutdown

Six-hour halt blamed on fallout from 'unusual' storm

An unusually heavy build-up of leaves on the SkyTrain tracks was to blame for a lengthy disruption of the rapid transit system Nov. 12, TransLink officials say.

The nearly six-hour shutdown of the Expo Line last Saturday happened after an intense storm the night before brought rain, hail and wind gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour, disrupting ferry service and sending leaves and other debris into the air.

Fred Cummings, president of TransLink’s SkyTrain subsidiary, said trains turned leaves in the tracks into an oily paste that caused some SkyTrain cars to skid, prompting trains to stop as a safety precaution.

“While leaves on the tracks have caused minor SkyTrain service disruptions in the past, this is the first time in our nearly 26-year history a build-up of leaves has caused a major service disruption,” he said.

Cummings said the high winds and heavy rains were an “unusual combination of events” that left soaking masses of leaves on SkyTrain wheel assemblies.

“We would like to apologize to our passengers for the service disruption and assure them that we will be identifying changes to how we respond to a major wind event to better address any issues that may arise, before they become a major service issue,” Cummings said.

All safety systems performed normally and appropriately, he said.

A bus bridge carried passengers trying to take SkyTrain between Surrey and New Westminster and also between Commercial-Broadway and downtown Vancouver.

The Millennium Line between VCC-Clark and Sapperton stations ran normally.

Just Posted

Mixed Nuts a second year tradition for Maple Ridge dancer

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker

Pitt Meadows band takes all at The Roxy

Typical Dreamers win $5,000 in Vancouver competition

Create memories, not garbage this holiday season

Recycling depot in Maple Ridge will also be closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Adopt a family this Christmas in Maple Ridge

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries are looking for sponsors

Good Reads: Holidays at Maple Ridge library

Annual Food for Fines campaign underway.

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Four men in hospital after early morning Vancouver stabbing

A large group of men was seen fighting in Yaletwon

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read