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

The ‘Upside Down’ is coming to Surrey with ‘One Man Stranger Things’ parody

Charles Ross one-man act based on first two seasons of hit Netflix show

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read