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Days after launch, light rail vehicle ‘reboots’ on tracks after stalling

Lachlan Roberts 23 April 2019 72

Canberra’s light rail network has experienced an array of teething issues over the past couple of days. Photos: George Tsotsos.

Days after its launch, Canberra’s light rail vehicles are experiencing an array of teething issues, with one trip taking an extra 15 minutes on Tuesday morning (23 April) after breaking down.

Canberra Metro spokesperson said technicians are currently working through the reasons behind this morning’s delay, but believed it was a software issue with the vehicle. The issue was resolved after rebooting the vehicle.

Transport Canberra deputy director general Duncan Edghill said the system has been working “spectacularly” and said this morning’s delay was an isolated issue.

“As far as I am aware, the issue that we had this morning is the first time we have seen this issue,” he said. “We certainly would expect this to be isolated in nature.

“With any new bus, light rail or another vehicle there are teething issues that may need to be worked through. We appreciate the patience of the Canberra community as we bed down those issues. Overall, the system as a whole over the past four days of its operations is performing exceptionally well.”

Mr Edghill said there were a few other tweaks that will be made to all the vehicles over the coming weeks.

“There are a few bedding in issues that we need to work through with the light rail vehicles,” he said. “There are some tweaks that we think we need to make to the air-conditioning system and there are some tweaks that we will make to the speakers and the volume of the announcements.

“These are issues around optimising the system when we have got real-life people on board. There are some things that we can test before passengers board but it is only when we get passengers onboard that we can actually work through some of the teething issues.

“We are going through that process right now.”

Authorities say they anticipated issues may arise at the initial stages of light rail operation.

Despite the hiccups over the past couple of days, ACT Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said the first days of the light rail being fully operational was a raging success.

“I am certainly aware of one incident this morning [23 April] where one light rail vehicle took some extra time to get into the city but I think in the scheme of the operation of light rail over the weekend and again this morning, it has gone very well.

“We will continue to learn and continue to bed down. As we have said, there is bedding down period for light rail that will continue over the coming weeks and months.

“We expect that Canberra Metro will be on top of any issues as they arrive and they have proven to be so far,” she said.

Ms Fitzharris also said that there are no plans in place to remove travel fees for the remainder of the week in light of the issues.

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72 Responses to
Days after launch, light rail vehicle ‘reboots’ on tracks after stalling
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6:06 pm 23 Apr 19

There’s always going to be minor issues with new capability... what a great accomplishment for l’il ol’ Canberra!

    6:14 pm 23 Apr 19

    Roy Philpott If a complete breakdown is a minor issue, heaven help us if there is a major one. 😟

    6:20 pm 23 Apr 19

    David... I was taking the silver lining approach...

    6:30 pm 23 Apr 19

    David - complete breakdown? Is that what you’re calling it? From what I heard it lost power a couple times and had to restart.

    Would you call it a complete breakdown of a bus stalled and had to restart?

    12:13 am 24 Apr 19

    David Brown I think you only need to look as far as the Light Rail project in Newcastle NSW to know how well this project went. Or worse still the Sydney CDB Light Rail if you want to know what an unmitigated disaster looks like.

    5:58 pm 25 Apr 19

    David Brown - one right at the start of operations that causes a 15 minute delay to one service?

6:09 pm 23 Apr 19

I was surprised to see 10km / 25 km / hour speed limit at few places. Did they really want to be faster than a bicycle?

    6:23 pm 23 Apr 19

    Shiva Sapkota If I recall those are in the areas by the stations and the depot for obvious reasons. Its typically 60-70 elsewhere on the track. These trams accelerate insanely quickly though.

    6:56 pm 23 Apr 19

    Can I choose to ride it on a day it doesn’t break down? Just let me know in advance.

    1:27 am 24 Apr 19

    Iaian Ross F=ma will take care of that.

    Once the trams are stuffed full of people, the acceleration will dramatically decrease

    3:55 pm 24 Apr 19

    Ted Douglas I've travelled in full trams in Geneva. Acceleration will always beat a bus and the overall ride is a lot smoother too.

    6:01 pm 25 Apr 19

    Anura Samara - wonderful thing about electric motors - max. torque at zero revs. Instant throttle response and fast initial acceleration. Not to mention regenerative braking.

6:13 pm 23 Apr 19

Did they rush it into service?

6:14 pm 23 Apr 19

it’s to be expected it’s a new thing

6:18 pm 23 Apr 19

Action buses to pick up the slack

6:21 pm 23 Apr 19

I took it today. Totally awesome.

6:37 pm 23 Apr 19

Had a ride yesterday and it was excellent, but new eqpt always has teething troubles. Just be thankful it’s not as bad as flying on a Boeing 737 MAX!

6:53 pm 23 Apr 19

Caught it on Sunday! It is fantastic!!!

7:16 pm 23 Apr 19

Us southerners are not feeling the rail love

7:16 pm 23 Apr 19

Can we define ‘raging success?’

    7:44 pm 23 Apr 19

    3 people travelled on one tram

    8:21 pm 23 Apr 19

    standing room only on the few I’ve caught so far

    8:27 pm 23 Apr 19

    Well, I could say that means they haven’t planned the capacity of the service very well. 😉

    But seriously, let’s wait a year, measure average passenger numbers compared to expected, average trip times, down time for the service, then maybe we can make an informed assessment. Or maybe I’m just crazy.

    6:00 pm 25 Apr 19

    Gabriel Spacca - in addition as new routes are built you'll have a complete network that covers the city. Passengers from other routes will be using this one as well in future.

7:18 pm 23 Apr 19

Define "raging"

7:43 pm 23 Apr 19

My bubs and I had an unexpected but good ride today. I’m pretty sure it would have been faster than a bus from Gunghalin to the city considering the time of day.

8:20 pm 23 Apr 19

The proof is 5 yrs hence

8:24 pm 23 Apr 19

give us a break from all this advertising , oh i mean "news".

9:00 pm 23 Apr 19

Does anybody else just think of the monorail episode of The Simpsons when hearing about this debacle,?

Lucy Baker 9:02 pm 23 Apr 19

While I was waiting at the Northbourne/Mouat/Antill lights at 6 pm a nearly empty tram went past heading for Gungahlin. You’d think from all the PR that it would have been full of Gungahlin people headed home from work. I’m very worried that this light rail is going to cost ALL Canberrans a very significant amount of money to subsidise – much more than we’ve been told.

    Capital Retro 8:55 am 24 Apr 19

    At midday on Monday at the city end terminus I counted 6 people/passengers leaving on the Gungahlin tram. Even when it is free no one wants to get on it.

    Me2 10:12 am 24 Apr 19

    It’s a 3 day working week in school holidays- half of Canberra isn’t at work. Next week will be a better guide on patronage

    Capital Retro 1:11 pm 24 Apr 19

    At the same time there are heaps of tourists in town and they appear to be international ones especially in the Parliamentary Triangle and they are on foot, not interested in the tram.

Capital Retro 11:44 pm 23 Apr 19

Here I am embarrassed by bagging the ugly wires that surround Canberra trams, now assured that the problems could be worse if we had the same wireless models that Newcastle have:

maxblues 1:11 am 24 Apr 19

I’m just glad the ACT Govt has nothing to do with the running of Canberra Airport. “Teething issues” could be catastrophic.

JC 7:24 am 24 Apr 19

I must be related to nostradamus!

Months ago I predicted there would be a breakdown in the first few days of passenger operations and I predicted the negative uninformed comments I am reading now.

    Capital Retro 8:52 am 24 Apr 19

    The word “breakdown” isn’t mentioned anywhere in the article which proves that you too can see through all the “teething problems” spin that Transport Canberra have been dishing out.

    JC 3:51 pm 24 Apr 19

    A breakdown is a teething problem. So not quite sure your point.

    Capital Retro 7:58 pm 24 Apr 19

    All my children had teething problems when they were young but their teeth didn’t breakdown.

    I was wrong, you have fallen for the spin after all.

Capital Retro 8:57 am 24 Apr 19

“These trams accelerate insanely quickly though.”

So do the Tesla battery cars. They also catch fire.

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