High-Speed Railway Experiences First Glitches
The Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway experienced its first major malfunction last Sunday, when a thunderstorm caused a power failure. Operators said that the thunderstorms and strong gales caused glitches in the power supply network in Qufu and Zaozhuang.
Southbound trains were stuck for 90 minutes because of the blackout and with power finally restored at 7:30 pm, train operations continued. One train that left Beijing was also stuck when a storm caused a power malfunction leaving the train with no lights or air-conditioning.
The passengers started to lose patience and became agitated, trapped in the train’s carriages for more than half an hour that, without air-conditioning, started to swelter. Only after two hours was power finally restored and trains resumed travel at 8:10 pm. Operators were explaining to passengers that the heavy rains brought by the storms caused the power outage.
These incidents have raised concerns on how operators can resolve this problem, since the railway was opened one year ahead of the predicted schedule. Officials of the railways said that the delay was to ensure passenger safety; still passengers are now changing their minds in taking the high speed rails given that one of the perks of the railways was that they were supposed to operate properly under any weather, which does not seem to be the case.