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August 24, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Railway station adds emergency work repair crews

SHANGHAI Railway Station is adding more maintenance workers to its power grid system to prevent damage from frequent thunderstorms after lightning caused a train to break down on Saturday, forcing hundreds of passengers to endure an uncomfortably hot wait.

Lightning hit and damaged the station's power supply grid, which held up a bullet train from departing for Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province. "It's a very rare incident," an official with Shanghai Railway Station said yesterday. "But we have dispatched more workers to check on the power supply network. They will be able to repair any damage quickly if it happens again."

The 700-plus passengers experienced a sweaty wait as the bullet train's air conditioning was out of service due to the loss of power. Some passengers waited on the platform to avoid the stuffy carriages.

The train was supposed to leave at 1:46pm. After passengers were seated, an announcement told them that there would be a delay as the power grid had been damaged by lightning.

The passengers cheered when the train finally started to move around 3:30pm but the cheers turned to anger when the train stopped again at a station in Shanghai's Qibao Town. The train didn't start for another 30 minutes, said Miao Zhen, one of the riders.

Railway officials said they had used a diesel locomotive to drag the bullet train, which runs on electricity, to Qibao Town, where it could then run normally as the power grid was undamaged there.

Railway officials said they still had no solution how to help passengers when air conditioning systems break down on trains due to a loss of power.

Last summer, a bullet train from Shanghai to Nanjing broke down and two passengers were rushed to hospital after they felt sick in the sweltering carriage. The breakdown was also caused by a power failure.

Police on the train at the time said temperatures inside cabins reached more than 50 degrees Celsius as the air conditioning was out of service.


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