SkyTrain service restored after thousands of Surrey passengers delayed by train derailment

SkyTrain service between Columbia and Scott Road stations was finally restored Tuesday evening, one day after a train partially dislodged from the track, triggering a shutdown.

A TransLink spokesperson told CBC at around 8 pm that Tuesday that the track problems on the Expo Line had been fixed and regular service was resuming, though there may be some gaps in service.

Before then, dozens of bus bridge shuttles transported frustrated SkyTrain passengers to and from Surrey across the Fraser River.

Lally Dol, a barber who works near Columbia Station, said he watched droves of passengers transferring between trains and buses.

“Everyone’s working hard, making sure people are getting home. And that’s what matters, right?”

On Monday night, TransLink crews removed dozens of passengers from a SkyTrain partially dislodged from its track between Scott Road and Columbia stations.

TransLink attributes the derailment to a switch that failed just before 8 pm

Metal scraps were shaved from the SkyTrain rails before Scott Road station as train service between Columbia and Scott Road came to a halt. (Edward Wong @edwardiswong/Twitter)

“SkyTrain safety protocols were immediately initiated, and the passengers were safely removed from the train within 10 minutes. Crews have since inspected other switches on the system and ensured they are operating safely with no issues,” TransLink said.

No one was injured.

Edward Wong was one of the passengers escorted out of the stalled train Monday evening. He recalled seeing the train leaning over by a foot as it screeched to a stop.

“I heard a loud bang and screeching sounds from the track. I immediately felt the train careen to the right side, and my shoulder kind of hit the side of the carriage while sitting down.”

Video shared by Wong online shows passengers walking in single file along the track with visible metal shavings scattered on the course.

Pictures also show metal scraps dislocated from the rail along the site of the damage.

“About 20 meters behind, where the shavings ended, there was a concrete partition that had clearly been struck by the train,” said Wong. “It was really crazy how it all happened, but we all made it out in one piece alive.”

TransLink bus bridge shuttles transport SkyTrain passengers between Columbia and Scott Road stations. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC News)

TransLink investigates how train became dislodged

TransLink told CBC it will be undertaking a technical review to assess the damage. It says this is the first time a SkyTrain was partially dislodged from its track.

“There could be a number of mechanical reasons that a switch fails,” spokesperson Tina Lovgreen said. “Until we do that review, we won’t know exactly what caused this particular switch failure.”

Lovegreen said crews inspected all other switches in the train.

“They did ensure that they were all safe, and there were no issues with them.”

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