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January 12, 2018

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Commuters stranded by frost on tracks

SHANGHAI’S weather bureau issued its second yellow frost alert at 5pm yesterday, warning of freezing or severe frost in the city’s outskirts this morning.

The rural areas are likely to see temperatures drop close to minus 6 degrees Celsius this morning, while the low in downtown is forecast to be minus 2 degrees.

Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said the drop in temperatures will cause ice sheets on the roads.

It will be sunny and cloudy over the weekend, with the highest temperature to bounce back to the low teens.

Services were temporarily halted yesterday on Metro Line 9 from Songjiang South Railway to Zhongchun Road stations where the line’s above-ground rail tracks were covered in frost because of a cold snap during the morning rush hour. The Metro operator said such scenarios was unusual.

The frictional force between the tracks and wheels was weakened by the frost, meaning slower speeds before later services had to be halted.

Many passengers were forced to wait at the stations — they spent the time filling social media with complaints.

“Our technicians will inspect the tracks, especially in suburban areas where the temperatures are low,” said Feng Hao, a Metro official. “If we see frost, it will be cleared immediately.”

But Feng also said there was no guarantee it wouldn’t happen again. “You can’t predict the weather,” he said.


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