When unveiled in May, 2019, Sydney Metro boasted of its fully automated trains. Come July, a human got it to shut down.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance says the alarm was set off as a result of “human error”.
“What we saw, unfortunately, was a technician in a control room break a fire suppressant system and, in breaking the glass, gas was released through the control centre, which led to an evacuation. Because of the very nature of the gas release, it meant there was no oxygen to ensure people were safe inside the centre,” Constance told reporters.
The incident caused severe delays during peak hour, forcing thousands of commuters to catch buses.
Sydney Metro is a fully automated rapid transit system currently consisting of single line with 13 stations and 36 kms of track – from Rouse Hill to Chatswood. Monday morning’s error shut down the entire system, two trains were reportedly stuck inside a tunnel for an estimated 15 minutes. 17 ‘driverless’ trains were operating along the line when the shut down happened.
Buses had to be arranged to get the commuters to their destination. The services have resumed to normal since.