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July 4, 2012

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Delays hit Metro Line 2 third time in week

THREE times within a week, Metro Line 2, Shanghai's busiest subway line, has broken amid the summer heat.

Yesterday, the third time, officials reported another long delay that affected commuters on their way home, instead of those going to work as in the prior cases.

Metro operator Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said signal glitches hit the line about 6:14pm, during the afternoon rush.

Trains between the Zhongshan Park station and the Hongqiao Railway station, Line 2's western end, had to travel at slow speed and the interval between trains was lengthened, according to Metro officials.

Other key stations along the line, such as the People's Square station, had to restrict passengers from entering and the operator suggested they use other subway lines and other public transportation.

A passenger, surnamed Xu, said he had waited about an hour before he could get a train home.

"More and more crowds gathered around me on the platform," said Xu, who was heading to the Zhongshan Park station at the time.

The congested Metro platforms got stuffy, passengers said. Some of the passengers caught in the delay were air and train travelers headed to the Hongqiao airport and railway station.

The service had gradually resumed by 7:20pm, around an hour later.

Line 2 is the only subway in Shanghai that links city's two airports, Hongqiao and Pudong international airports. It has a daily passenger count of more than 1 million, the largest of city's 11 lines, followed by Line 1. And the number is still increasing, said the operator. In total, Shanghai Metro network serves more than 6 million passengers each day.

Shentong just apologized and promised on Monday to "lower the breakdown rate and strengthen maintenance work" after Line 2 and Line 1 suffered delays after breakdowns on Monday.

Some riders who commented online about the problems said an apology won't solve the problems. Some riders were stuck on Line 2 more than once within a week.

On Monday, a Line 2 train reported problems and was put out of service during the morning rush hour. Passengers were evacuated from the train and extra trains were sent to the line to alleviate the congestion at stations, according to Metro officials. It was three days after the previous signal problem which made trains halt frequently in the tunnel.


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