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December 19, 2011

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'Foreign substance' halts trains

SERVICES were suspended on part of Metro Line 10 for an hour yesterday, due to what the operator described as "the invasion of a foreign substance."

Shanghai Shentong officials did not specify what this "substance" was, saying that more inspections would be carried out once operations ended for the day.

This is the second time in little more than a week that the line's trains have been halted by external factors.

On December 10, services were stopped after a loose wire was found hanging in a tunnel.

In yesterday's incident, the operator issued a statement online just after 11am, saying services on the stretch of line between Tiantong Road station and Tongji University station - six stops in total - had been suspended.

Passengers reported "trains stopped in tunnels for long periods" and that Metro broadcasts asked other travelers to take alternative routes.

Operations resumed after the problem was fixed around noon, said officials.

Metro passengers have long complained that Line 10 is plagued by problems, even since the operator promised thorough checks following a crash involving two trains on this line on September 27.

More than 290 passengers were injured when two trains collided. An investigation found that human error was to blame, as dispatchers delivered the wrong orders to drivers.

In the December 10 incident, passengers were told to leave a train and take shuttle buses after the driver noticed a wire hanging from a tunnel.

Officials said "the wire was twisted with the power supply network and affecting the train operation."

However, yesterday's incident was not caused by a loose wire, said a Metro official, surnamed Lan.

The operator has listed 10 breakdown conditions, with details on how long repairs take. "The invasion of foreign substances" is one of the most severe problems, leading to delays of up to an hour.

The track and power system can be affected by various external factors, such as loose wires, said the operator.

Within the past month, 30 service interruptions have been reported on the Shanghai Metro system.


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