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Havoc on light rail route as technical issues cause delays

Lachlan Roberts 30 May 2019 68

Out of service: Light rail vehicles have experienced two technical issues this week. File photos by George Tsotsos.

Public transport patrons have been left standing in the cold this morning after light rail vehicles failed to show up on time at their stops due to a “technical issue on the alignment”.

A Canberra Metro Facebook post this morning said due to a technical issue, the service experienced reduced services across the alignment on Thursday morning (30 May). Action buses were sent to various stops to provide people with public transport to their destination.

Canberrans took to social media to vent their frustrations, with one man saying he was left waiting at Macarthur Avenue stop with no communication at all.

Daniel Hooper said he waited over half an hour and only two “jam-packed” LRVs arrived, forcing him to call an Uber to get to work on time. However, he still got charged his fare when he tapped off.

Another person waiting at Mapleton stop in Harrison said there was no announcement at his stop about the delay and it wasn’t clear buses were being provided.

“People were told by a staff member in passing, people ran to the bus stop and then a train came. This was a shambles this morning,” he said.

“How about announcing that at the actual stops? People have no idea what is going on!” another disgruntled patron posted on Facebook.

“Do we get a free ride today after having tapped on early and having to wait for a delay and then cram onto overcrowded trams???” another person posted.

Delays were experienced this morning due to a technical issue on the alignment.

This morning’s delays come just days after a light rail vehicle broke down in the middle of its journey on Tuesday night (28 May).

Around 8:40 pm, a light rail vehicle experienced a “technical issue” near the intersection of Swinden Steet and Northbourne Avenue, a Transport Canberra spokesperson said. The vehicle was unable to continue its northbound journey to Gungahlin, impacting services on the network.

“Maintenance crews supported the vehicle back into operation and successfully reinstated full services,” the spokesperson said.

“During the service disruption a bus replacement service was arranged, however, the light rail service was reinstated before the bus replacement was implemented.”

The spokesperson said the cause of the technical issue experienced by the light rail vehicle was identified and resolved but did not say what the problem was. The spokesperson said it was unrelated to Tuesday night’s weather conditions.

“We regret that our passengers travelling on the light rail system were delayed as a result of this issue and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers,” the spokesperson said. “Passengers were informed through announcements and updates to the passenger information displays at stops and on board the light rail vehicles.

“Canberra Metro is now reviewing our procedures and response to Tuesday night’s disruption with the aim of always improving our service to customers.”


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68 Responses to Havoc on light rail route as technical issues cause delays
Michael MacWilliam Michael MacWilliam 6:25 pm 06 Jun 19

I didn't notice a thing, caught the LR from Watson, some time around 0810 or so. Was in the office before 0830, which includes a 5 or 10 minute walk. Tram wasn't even particularly full to my eye.

    Jacob White Jacob White 6:34 pm 06 Jun 19

    Michael MacWilliam you there! Stop being rational! Stop it! 😂

    Michael MacWilliam Michael MacWilliam 6:39 pm 06 Jun 19

    Jacob White heaven forbid anyone have a perfectly fine commuting experience while there's chaos on our tram network!

Krystal Owen Krystal Owen 6:30 am 06 Jun 19

Damon crisis!! 😂😂

Capital Retro 2:04 pm 05 Jun 19

Anyone out there have updated travel times across the network?

Bob Watson Bob Watson 1:45 pm 05 Jun 19

That’s ok up the taxes that will fix the 1950’s train set.

Garry Dodds Garry Dodds 12:39 pm 03 Jun 19

That's a Labor Government, and they say it's under Budget..Not so as a lot of tradies haven't been paid until after the Budget.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 7:15 am 06 Jun 19

    Garry Dodds government isn’t paying the tradies.

    Clearly you don’t know who built it and how it has been financed.

    I’ll give you a hint. It is a private company that is building and running it. Government just pays them a couple of up front payments (which don’t cover the full cost of construction) and then an annual fee for 20 years which covers the remainder of the construction cost and running costs.

    Garry Dodds Garry Dodds 7:32 am 06 Jun 19

    Our Taxes pay for this and the government hasn't paid there full amount to the Company as yet.

Dave Lange Dave Lange 4:38 pm 01 Jun 19

We all know it’s a great service as that’s what they keep telling us .

Chris Emery Chris Emery 1:35 pm 01 Jun 19

CanTheTram pointed out this weakness of trams.

Capital Retro 8:46 am 01 Jun 19

That was cheeky, Dan Backhouse.

I was thinking that “Stuck in the Middle with You” – (Stealers Wheel) would fit also.

Graeme Eldridge 3:33 am 01 Jun 19

Sad to say I’ll probably never have the pleasure of travelling on light rail in Canberra.

Either the Grim Reaper will come for me or I’ll get smart and escape to warmer climes.

I was getting a warm feeling from the effects of global warming but then winter arrived. Tricked again!

maxblues 2:47 am 01 Jun 19

Yes, there is a “technical issue on the alignment” and there will be many voters having an issue on their alignment.

Dan Backhouse Dan Backhouse 6:34 pm 31 May 19

Havok you say? Wish I was there.

https://open.spotify.com/track/5YJILvImepN7U7Vonz2VkB?si=5SshKFkYQ3yF3Jh_GiIcTg

Jorge Da Silva Jorge Da Silva 9:43 am 31 May 19

This is only the start... wait till they get on a bit...

michael quirk 7:26 am 31 May 19

Highlghts the inflexibility of light-rail when something goes wrong it all goes wrong. The government would be irresponsible to extend it to Woden without analysis. Bus based public transport framed around a busway is likely to be a more cost effective option. Why won’t the government do the analysis? Arrogance? Incompetence?

Ian 10:01 pm 30 May 19

What does “across the alignment” mean? Could CMET perhaps try communicating in English in future?

Helen Gladman Helen Gladman 9:54 pm 30 May 19

I wouldn’t say havoc. I waited about 9 minutes. I let a full tram go by. My phone nearly died. I was still at work by 8:30.

Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:43 pm 30 May 19

Sydney new tram has had bigger failures. It happens with new stuff

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 8:57 am 31 May 19

    Stephen Page-Murray - the first Tram operated in 1859 (160 years ago). How much longer you want?

    Stephen Page-Murray Stephen Page-Murray 9:18 am 31 May 19

    John Kerry Tozer

    Big change in technology. All new things have teething troubles for a while, doesn’t matter what it is

    Henk van Roy Henk van Roy 8:56 pm 31 May 19

    Needs more old fashioned project managers: question EVERYTHING especially software.

HiddenDragon 6:42 pm 30 May 19

“A Canberra Metro Facebook post this morning said due to a technical issue, the service experienced reduced services across the alignment”

Run that backwards through Google Translate and you’ll get The Collected Haiku of Scooby Doo.

Ken Zo Ken Zo 6:10 pm 30 May 19

I am no engineer but they did allow for this didn’t they?? So please tell me they designed the system so that if a train breaks down, others can cross onto the other side at certain points so they can keep the network running. Otherwise one failure breaks the entire network. Please tell me they did this. Please!!

    Ray Polglaze Ray Polglaze 6:41 pm 30 May 19

    I think the answer to your question Ken Zo is "No" they did not design the "system so that if a train breaks down, others can cross onto the other side". And so "one failure breaks the entire network".

    With the cancellation of the parallel bus routes, that makes public transport users from Gungahlin heavily reliant on a single fragile system.

    Terry Butters Terry Butters 6:45 pm 30 May 19

    Ken Zo one would hope so, a pretty basic and likely event, a breakdown! Maybe they employed some schoolkids to design the system?

    Ruth Foley Ruth Foley 11:13 pm 31 May 19

    Well they were made in Spain!! Does that mean we have to pay a million to get an Engineer from Spain? Yeaahhhhh Nothing but issues since and even before it opened. Disaster & embarrassment. Airport to Civic would have been a great FIRST trial run!! Without the total inconvenience to most of Canberra down Northbourne.

    Chris Emery Chris Emery 1:37 pm 01 Jun 19

    Ask people in Melbourne what happens. An average of three cars hit by trams per day. The line then stops for over an hour.

    Rowan Matheson Rowan Matheson 3:05 pm 01 Jun 19

    Ray Polglaze I hear of these things called ‘Buses’. This new tech can apparently overtake broken down things and can even deviate off their path if need be. They’re amazing. Possibly in 10-20 years or so government might have the budget to take this extraordinary tech up and explore ways to improve on these problems they’re facing.

    I agree...this whole thing is insanity.

    Nick Scott Nick Scott 11:53 pm 06 Jun 19

    These comments are amazing wow.

    Nick Scott Nick Scott 11:55 pm 06 Jun 19

    Ken I mean you would have noticed, if you drive down Flemington or Northbourne, that they haven't installed many switches along the tracks to allow the trammies to jump from one line to the other. They couldn't run them in two directions on the one line for obvious reasons. I'd suggest that your clever and sensible suggestion was not considered at the time of design.

Louise Fitzgerald Louise Fitzgerald 5:51 pm 30 May 19

My daily tram experience is positive however there needs to be better comms to all stations about delay times (either on screen or PA) for those people waiting remotely in the middle of Flemington or Northbourne.

Andre Poidomani Andre Poidomani 5:14 pm 30 May 19

They couldn’t get the bus schedules right, how would anyone expect them to get LR working properly. Lord forbid what happens with stage 2 if at all.

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