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Line 2 fails during rush hour

METRO Line 2 yesterday suffered its longest breakdown ever, right in the middle of rush hour.

Operations on the line came to a sudden halt when power supply equipment failed and, separately, a train broke down in the tunnel between Lujiazui and Dongchang stations in Pudong New Area, local Metro authority said.

This had a fallout effect and Metro stations were congested with hundreds of thousands of rush-hour commuters for about 50 minutes.

Some stations had to turn passengers away, advising them to find alternative means of transport, to ensure crowd control, the Metro authority said.

The power glitch happened at 8:13am between Lujiazui and Century Avenue stations. This problem was rectified about 20 minutes later.

Trains affected by the electricity failure had to use reserve batteries to keep lights and air-conditioners running, the authority said, adding that passengers generally remained calm throughout the inconvenience.

Line 2 did not return to full operation until 9:03am because the broken-down train was awaiting a tow, Metro official Lan Tian said.

"Drivers had to unlock the wheels of each carriage of the stranded train to release passengers, which prolonged the delay," Lan said.

He stressed that the two breakdowns were not connected.

Metro Line 2 had never suffered such a long period without service, he said.

Information about delays was broadcast regularly at affected stations and large crowds of commuters gathered around turnstiles at major stations, deciding whether to wait for trains or take buses and taxis.

Lynn Xie, a passenger who normally changes to Line 2 from Line 3 at Zhongshan Park Station at 8:40am, was advised by Metro staff to avoid train travel and opt for either a bus or taxi.

"I could not find a taxi at the station as so many commuters had the same idea," said Xie, who finally boarded Line 2 about 9:20am and was 30 minutes late for work.

Passengers at People's Square, Zhongshan Park and Century Avenue stations could not change to Line 1, Line 4, Line 6 and Line 8 for about 30 minutes, the authority said.

"All I wanted to do was get off the train but that, of course, was not possible," said one of the stranded Line 2 passengers, Zhao Shengnan.

The exact cause of both breakdowns is under investigation by the Metro management.


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