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Havoc on light rail route as technical issues cause delays

Lachlan Roberts 30 May 2019 62

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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62 Responses to Havoc on light rail route as technical issues cause delays
Jodie Ruth Jodie Ruth 11:36 am 30 May 19

not even anything on the Transport Canberra FB page until after it was resolved...

James Daniels James Daniels 12:04 pm 30 May 19

When a bus breaks down, you just need one replacement bus. When something goes wrong with LR, it causes havoc.

    Mark Bundy Mark Bundy 12:45 pm 30 May 19

    James Daniels except they never show

    Chris Emery Chris Emery 1:39 pm 01 Jun 19

    Does Canberra Metro have replacement buses waiting for a failure?

    James Daniels James Daniels 1:44 pm 01 Jun 19

    Chris Emery Any decently managed large scale bus service shoud have some spares, but I haven't seen much to suggest that description applies to TC.

    Chris Emery Chris Emery 1:46 pm 01 Jun 19

    Transport Canberra does not operate the LR

    James Daniels James Daniels 1:47 pm 01 Jun 19

    Chris Emery It's a supposedly integrated service

    Chris Emery Chris Emery 4:28 pm 01 Jun 19

    Don't try to apply logic to LR in Canberra.

Sarah Tea Sarah Tea 12:20 pm 30 May 19

I tried out the LR on the weekend. I was one stop from the city terminal heading north, and it was due in ‘4 minutes’. That changed to 17 minutes. Then back to 8 minutes. Then to 6 minutes. All in the space of a few minutes. How can timing be so unpredictable (and late) when it’s one stop away! Then it was full so I stood all the way to Gungahlin. I’ll be avoiding it.

    Dan Raven Dan Raven 7:22 pm 30 May 19

    Sarah Tea forgot to write that I made that mistake myself because it's not very clearly presented on screen.

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 12:27 pm 30 May 19

they had a month free trial to fix things, did they?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 12:47 pm 30 May 19

    Stas Idowu do you even know what the problem was? Nah didn’t think so.

    Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 1:41 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright I will not vote for a party that supports this type of stupidity in the election next year!

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 1:43 pm 30 May 19

    Seon Ferguson as opposed to a bitter person that just constantly whinges? Back on topic do you or dopey know what the problem was this morning. Yes or no? L

    Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 2:44 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright keep carrying that L. The transport system has gone back in time, not forward

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 3:13 pm 30 May 19

    Stas Idowu in your opinion of course. Getting back to the comment that triggered this discussion. Still any idea what actually happened and if what ever the issue was could have been “fixed” during the last month? Nope didn’t think so.

    Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 3:18 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright What was the issue then?

    Debbi Fluke Debbi Fluke 6:08 pm 30 May 19

    Daniel Oyston yes I’m curious now too, can you enlighten us Ashley?

    Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 6:50 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright keep holding the L. ACT Labor will lose the election thanks to this dismal form of failed transport promises of a 'better connected' Canberra, higher rates and cost of living

    Terry Butters Terry Butters 6:51 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright they really should have explored pretty much all issues that could ever happen to stop or slow the system and have very quick workarounds in place!

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 6:52 pm 30 May 19

    Terry Butters still doesn’t mean there will never ever be issues. Again any idea what the issue was this morning or just sounding off?

    Matt Russell Matt Russell 7:16 pm 30 May 19

    Ashley Wright what’s the issue Ashley ?

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 8:23 pm 30 May 19

    Matt Russell no idea. But I’m not the one whinging and whining that what ever the issue was could have somehow been prevented.

    John Kerry Tozer John Kerry Tozer 9:26 am 04 Jun 19

    Ashley Wright - Ashley..., you keep banging on about “what really happened” as though everyone who is paying the $47 million per year for the next 20 years SHOULD know! Guess what!!!! For $47 million a year I expect to be told, not asked if I know!

Angus Bucknell Angus Bucknell 1:36 pm 30 May 19

How good is the tram??

Shaun Hazell Shaun Hazell 1:48 pm 30 May 19

Speed them up they go way to slow

Shaz Mcgrath Shaz Mcgrath 4:20 pm 30 May 19

Now we know why there was money left over :)

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.

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.

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.

HiddenDragon 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.

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.

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.

Ian Ian 10:01 pm 30 May 19

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

michael quirk 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?

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

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

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

maxblues 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.

Graeme Eldridge 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!

Capital Retro 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.

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