Edmonton’s Metro LRT Line will be subject to speed restrictions until the city can fix a problem that caused a crossing arm to lift prematurely near NAIT Station on Monday.
On Friday, the branch manager of Edmonton Transit Service told Global News nobody was injured in the incident and that backup safety measures successfully kicked in.
“The first trip in the morning leaving NAIT Station, the Metro Line was departing that station heading towards Kingsway and as it was accelerating to leave, the gates that were activated for the crossing actually lifted as it was approaching and at that point, the mandatory brake application, or the fail-safe mode, enabled on the train and shut the train down,” Eddie Robar said, adding the incident occurred at 6:07 a.m.
The speed restrictions on the line were implemented on Thursday. When asked why the public wasn’t told about what happened, Robar said the city has protocol for when to announce LRT issues and this did not meet them.
Watch below: In May 2016, Vinesh Pratap filed this report about the Metro LRT Line and when it will run at full speed.
“Anytime that we have issues or technical issues on the line… unless it has significant impact to time, schedule (or it) would have a delay to the service that we provide to the street, we wouldn’t put a PSA (public service announcement) out or anything like that,” he said.
Robar said earlier this year, a similar issue occurred with the Metro Line that was determined to be a software issue and was subsequently fixed. A speed restriction was also implemented at that time until the issue was sorted out.
“There was an incident back in July that was similar – not the same but similar,” he said.
“We were told what everyone knows by now, there was an incident where the bars went up a little bit too early (and) erring on the side of precaution everything got shut down,” Coun. Aaron Paquette said on Friday. “Hopefully we’ll get this resolved soon.”
Paquette said councillors were told about the incident right away.
“They (city administrators) give us information as soon as they know it so that no one is left in the dark and once they finish their investigation then they give us a final report,” he said. “We’ll be following up with administration and ETS to find what’s going on and when they have the information they’ll provide it to us and everyone in the city will know about that at the same time.”
“Certainly the system is safe,” Robar said. “I mean all the mechanisms that are in place to ensure safety on the line itself went into effect in this situation, so the train or the system itself recognized that there was something unfamiliar going on on the track itself and all the safety systems themselves kicked into play which in this case was a mandatory brake application that stopped the train.”
Robar said an internal investigation is ongoing.
When the Metro Line opened, trains ran at a reduced speed of 25 km/h, due to problems with the signalling system. In May 2016, the go-ahead was given for trains to operate at full speed, except through the five intersections it crosses.
-With files from 630 CHED’s Scott Johnston