- It was not a great night for the public transport network, with the presence of smoke and faulty electrical equipment causing service interruptions.
- Here's what we know. 👇
If you were riding the Montreal STM metro last night and experience and shutdown, you likely weren't alone.
And I don't mean the other passengers who were with you on the train or platform with you as you waited, wondering what's up. I mean across the city last night Montrealers were dealing with disruptions to the metro service.
In fact, it seems there were two separate instances of stations almost needing to be evacuated last night, one on the Blue line and one on the Orange line.
Add to that the fact that, momentarily, trains were no longer stopping at Viau station on the Green line and we've got ourselves three metro lines all going haywire within the window of an hour or two.
I did reach out to the STM to see if these instances were, in fact, related, but their response seems to imply that the incidents were separate and it all just kinda went down in succession.
Everything seems to have begun with the initial diverting of trains past Viau station on the green line.
Which was eventually explained by the STM, as being caused by the presence of smoke from a fire that was actually outside the station and had managed to seep its way inside.
The tweet above reads:
Hi, service was interrupted at Viau Station due to a smoke release near the station, but service is now restored at this station. Thank you!
Trains began letting passengers on and off fat Viau again after no more than 20 minutes, perhaps even less... so it seems unlikely that this could have had anything to do with what happened next.
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At around 9:30, nearly an hour after the Green line experienced its own delay, it was the Blue line's turn.
A mother tweeted at the STM asking why there was an evacuation at Snowdon station, because her daughter had contacted her to let her mom know what was going on.
The STM responded:
There was slowdown earlier (around 9:25 p.m.) on the Orange line due to an equipment problem, and at some point a train at Snowdown Station was evacuated as a metro service was being prepared.
However, the problem was solved, the preparation for the interruption of service was cancelled, and the customers were able to re-enter the train a few minutes later. It is possible that this evacuation of the train could cause confusion.
The mother made a point of telling the STM that their message was evidently not clear enough, because her daughter evacuated the station (as she assumed the message on the speaker had told her to) and didn't know that service had resumed. She was then left to walk home, in the dark, in a neighbourhood she didn't know.
Over on the Orange line closer to downtown, another issue arose, this time at Bonaventure station, when it seemed the same issue was at hand.
The tweets below are in response to questions about the Orange line and Bonaventure station in particular, where there was another evacuation.
It also seems that, again, the message requesting evacuation was not clear in specifying if passengers were required to leave the station or simply the train car.
The STM let me know that the source of the issues on the Orange line stemmed from faulty electrical equipment at Lucien L'Allier station.
They believed that the interruption was going to last longer than it did, so in preparation for needing space to turn trains around, they evacuated Snowdon and Bonaventure.
In the end, service resumed far quicker than anticipated and the evacuations were momentary.
I reached out to ask the STM if these incidents were related and received a response by e-mail that did not implicate any connection between the incidents that all went down between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. last night.