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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SHARE: Sunset seen from Jerry Sulina Park beautiful always moving for Maple Ridge walker

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

ON COOKING: Creating flavour when cooking meat

Chef Dez shares some ideas for preparing with marinades

LETTER: Flush toilets have been part of Maple Ridge Park for years

Reaction to newbie’s first visit to a city park and moreover her criticism of its facilities

VIDEO: One wounded in Maple Ridge gun battle

Two vehicles reportedly traded shots while driving down street

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Wildfire breaks out near Harrison Hot Springs

1.5 hectare fire is reportedly human caused

Police lay out details of mental health response in Abbotsford over long weekend

APD officers assist mental health team for three hours yesterday, man sent to hospital with injury

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Most Read