Smell of burning causes evacuation of Taipei MRT train

Tuesday, 12 January 2010 07:50 Taipei Times

Around 250 passengers aboard a northbound train on Taipei’s Wenshan-Neihu MRT line were evacuated yesterday after staff at Nanjing East Road station detected a burning odor coming from cars.

The incident occurred at 8:29am when the train was at Nanjing East Road station.

As soon as station staff smelled the burning odor, “we immediately evacuated all 250 passengers on the train according to the standard operating procedure and asked them to take the next train,” Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) spokesman Chao Hsiung-fei (趙雄飛) said. “The train was at the station, so the evacuation and the change of train all took place inside the station.”

He said the incident only caused a few minutes’ delay for passengers.

The malfunctioning train was sent to the maintenance depot in Neihu.

“The burning smell was produced by an overheated brake system,” Chao said, adding that similar incidents had happened on six previous occasions since line testing began last year.

“I can’t say if it’s exactly the same problem but technicians [from the Germany-based supplier of the brake system, Knorr-Bremse] will check it. They have just arrived in Taiwan,” he said.

In past incidents, the burning smell was triggered by friction between the brake pad and brake disk after the emergency brake intensifier on the train malfunctioned.

A report by the Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems for the city council earlier this month revealed the same problem had occurred six times during the test operation period last year.

The malfunctioning parts had been sent to Knorr-Bremse for checks, however, the company did not find anything wrong with them.

The Taipei City Government has asked the TRTC to provide a detailed account of how and why the problem occurs repeatedly as soon as possible.

Source: Taipei Times 2010/01/12

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