translated from Spanish: CDMX Metro adds incidents that disrupt service

An explosion was heard and the train that had just left Atlalilco station – and on which Naghelly Aquino was travelling – suddenly stopped. Gradually the car I was in began to fill with smoke, so some women were asking for the windows to be opened to ventilate the space. She thought it best to keep them closed to keep more smoke from coming in because they didn’t know how long they’d be there.
It was around 08:00 hours and the woman, like every day, had boarded the Metro at the Constitution station of 1917 of Line 8, however, this Tuesday, the journey to her work became a nightmare when she and dozens of passengers were trapped in a train that presented a breakdown so they had to descend the tracks and walk in the darkness of the tunnel until the next station: Squadron 201.
“Then another explosion and more and more smoke, because we do start to despair,” Naghelly shares.

Not knowing what might happen, the woman began taking videos to document what was going on, the same ones she sent her son so that he could upload them to his social media and send them help.
“We didn’t know what to do at the time because people started opening the doors, so the driver was screaming that they wouldn’t go off the tracks, because there could be more accidents, so they opened the doors on the opposite side – the ones that are attached to the wall – and he said to get off,” he explains.
This is how all the users traveling on that train had to evict the convoy and walk to the next station where they were received by emergency personnel. All he could hear was that a tire of the train had caught fire and that the driver had controlled the flames with a fire extinguisher.

“We got off and the indication they gave us is that we didn’t touch the tracks for anything in the world. It’s a very small corridor and we were going one at a time with the cell phone lamps because obviously nothing was seen (…) we were very afraid because when we passed by the train we said ‘there’s another explosion and then there we are not to tell it'”, shares Naghelly.
Read more: Metro CDMX records delays in Lines 1 and 3 due to controlled power outages
Short circuits and daily fires
While it is true that daily metro service is affected because users drop various objects to tracks such as crutches, umbrella, cell phones and even coffee makers, or by other people’s accidents such as the boat that was embedded in the cyclonic mesh of Line B on March 29, the fault in Line 8 is the second fact in the last five days that is recorded in the capital Metro in which it is necessary to suspend service and call the emergency bodies of the city.

#AvisoMetro: Evicted and removed broken down train on Line 8. The gear is slow, soon the service will be normalized. Take forecasts. #MovilidadCDMX
— MetroCDMX (@MetroCDMX) April 28, 2021

Just on Friday, April 23, a short circuit was recorded that caused a fire on the tracks of the Consulate-Northern Canal interstellar of Line 4, so the service of the entire line had to be stopped for about seven hours when staff from fixed facilities of the Collective Transport System (STC) – after the intervention of Heroico Fire Brigade – concluded with the work in the fire zone.
On Wednesday’s incident on Line 8, metro only reported that rolling stock specialists performed maneuvers to remove the broken-down train, which was taken to the workshop area where relevant incident personnel will investigate the causes of the breakdown.
But these were not the only facts, on February 10, for example, a train that was at the Green Indian station began to burn on the platform. The STC indicated that the flame started at the bottom of the third carriage apparently caused – according to the fact sheet issued by the Metro – by the rain that caused an electric arc.
Since last Saturday, January 9, when the Central Control Post (PCC) – the brains of the Metro – caught fire, calls from users, civil society and other actors to invest budget in the maintenance of the Metro were not kept waiting.

Together with specialists and technicians, System authorities travel the affected track area on Line 4 to resume service as soon as possible.
— MetroCDMX (@MetroCDMX) April 23, 2021

On these pointing both the Head of Government, Claudia Sheinbaum; and the director of the Metro, Florence Serranía, have stated that contrary to citizen perception, the Metro is being given greater maintenance than in previous years, however, on a day-to-day stand, it claims themthe state of service, particularly in the area of train breakdown delays, has not been expected.
On average, the Metro’s 12 lines carry 5.5 million users, but during the COVID-19 health crisis the influx dropped by up to 70% and between 1.5 million and 1.7 million users a day were mobilized.
With the passage of weeks and the change of epidemiological traffic light from red to orange – which has allowed much of the activities in Mexico City to be resumed – the influx of the Metro is 2 million 471 thousand people, which is already close to 50% of the influx that was before the pandemic.
After the fire that consumed the central building of the Metro, Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, also serve 50% because before the accident, for example, Lines 1, 2 and 3 operated with between 30 and 40 trains depending on the influx. Currently lines 1 and 3 offer service with 20 trains, while line 2 does so with 16 convoys, as reported by the STC.
‘I have no easier way to get to work’
When he finally left the tunnel at Squadron 201 station, Naghelly looked for a bardita to sit on and immediately took off his water cover because he couldn’t breathe well.
“As time went on and the adrenaline went down, several (users) have already started to feel bad. I decided to go back (to my house) because I was just starting the line and I was a long way to go and because I said, ‘No, the Metro is not going to work right now, how am I leaving?'” the woman recalls.
Every day he travels 16 stations – from 19 that has Line 8 – from Constitución 1917 to Santo del Agua, where to transfer to reach the Cuauhtémoc station, line 1, where he works.
“Besides, they checked my pressure and I was already ingesting it high and I wasn’t bringing my medicine because I’m hypertensive,” she adds.
After living this incident, he says, he will take some precautions such as leaving in the middle cars, but she will not stop traveling on the Metro, even if she is afraid and knows that it will be several days before she manages to overcome the shock she experienced because there is no other transport that takes her to her job.
“The facilities and trains are very old, I think they need a lot of maintenance (…) unfortunately I have no easier way to get to work, that is, traffic in the city is impossible, so the fastest way is the Metro, that’s why I’ll keep taking it,” he said.
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Original source in Spanish

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