Signalling snag hits Dubai Metro


By Meesha Kapoor

People waited in long queues at Dubai Metro stations yesterday morning between 8.05 and 8.20 as a snag in the signalling system caused trains running from the Rashidiya end of the Red Line to come to a halt between the northern terminus and Jafiliya station.

Some commuters could not make it to work on time due to a snag in the Metro signalling system. (EB FILE)
Some commuters could not make it to work on time due to a snag in the Metro signalling system. (EB FILE)

Services from Ibn Batutta towards Rashidiya, however, were unaffected.

Since the incident happened at peak rush hour, and the about 15-minute long disruption caused around three trains to be cancelled between the affected stations, several office-goers who use the Metro regularly were inconvenienced.

And when services resumed, there was a massive rush of delayed passengers attempting to board the trains and some narrowly escaped being caught between the doors.

“I have been using the Metro regularly, but today I waited for almost 14 minutes. The Metro is generally very convenient and I prefer it to the bus or taxi. But on days like these we do face some inconvenience due to the long wait,” Pooja S, an Indian resident who boarded the train from the Diera City Centre station, said.

Due to the delay, many people found it difficult to make it to work on time. “I usually take a taxi to work but today I thought I would take the Metro – and now I am late,” said SH, a Filipino waiting at Al Rigga station.

Regular Metro users also seemed disappointed by the delay. “The officials at the station made no announcements about the delay or its cause. When I asked the supervisor he only told me that a train was on its way and would arrive in around 15 minutes,” said Melanie F, Indian, who boarded from Rashidiya station.

Peyman Younes Parham, Marketing and Corporate Communications Director at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told Emirates Business that the stoppage time was very short and services were back within 15 minutes. “There was a signalling fault that caused the emergency mode to go on. The trains halted for a very short time between Rashidiya and Jafiliya and services resumed from 7am,” he said in an e-mailed response to Emirates Business’ query.

When reminded that the disruption was between 8.05am and 8.20am – and not around 7am, as he claimed – Parham, surprisingly, said 7am was the time he could confirm officially. However, this reporter was at a Metro station trying to get to office when the disruption happened, and can confirm that the time on her watch, as on the station clock, was indeed 8.05am.

Also, passengers using the Emirates Towers station said the card swiping system and the escalators were down. Only one swipe gate worked, causing a long queue at the station.

Parham, in his e-mailed message, only added: “Buses were running along the same route, and the key factor time and time again [is that] the emergency procedures are perfect.”