The Toulouse Metro network suffered one of the biggest breakdowns in its history this Wednesday, July 6, following an electrical accident in the tunnel near the Batte-d’Oy station. Since morning, A and B lines have been suspended. Tisséo Voyageurs, which operates public transport at the junction, aims to resume normal operation on both routes on Thursday, July 7 at 5:30am, before rush hour.
The Place de la Batte-d’Oy is surrounded. Toulouse Municipal Police and a handful of National Police vehicles blocked five accesses to the roundabout leading to the metro entrance this Wednesday, July 6 morning. Alarmed by this deployment of law enforcement and emergency services, residents questioned the situation with Tizio agents, who blocked access to the metro. About 70 firefighters and a dozen engines were responsible for dousing the basement fire.
“Shortly before 9 a.m., when the train passed before Patte d’Oy station (Line A), an electrical arc on the track caused the incident and created smoke and a complete safety of the system,” Dizio explains in a press release. freedom “The incident damaged safety link cables, a guide bar and an insulator connecting the command post to the pilotage of A and B lines”. In fact, the control station that controls both lines simultaneously from Passo Campo was not connected to the network and therefore could not direct trains following the incident.
Technical teams will work through the night
“We still don’t have a precise explanation of the cause of this electrical curve,” notes Nicolas Misiak, head of Tisséo Voyageurs, overvoltage or something else, “it’s too early to say but the obsolescence of electrical equipment is not in question”, adds the manager of the public establishment that operates the network, according to “Tisséo technical groups All are working hard and will be working through the night to reopen the Metro as normal on two lines at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow Thursday, July 7, before rush hour anyway” (7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., editor’s note).
During the incident, the A and B lines of the network were plunged into darkness without power. All trains are stopped. “Firefighters and Tisséo agents evacuated one train line A and six trains on line B, in good order and without problems”, assures Nicolas Misiak, president of Tisséo Voyageurs, the relief dedicated to this purpose, through the corridors.
Crisis meeting upon crisis meeting
“Things went on in an orderly manner without panic. There were no malfunctions in the safety elements and all smoke evacuation systems were working properly,” assures Captain Magali Freide, one of the officers responsible for organizing the intervention. Additionally, it indicated that “eight people who suffered minor smoke inhalation were treated directly at the scene.”
Firefighters then systematically inspected the entire line A to check that there were no fire hazards at other key points in the electrical network.
Ambre, 18, was on her way to work at the Place des Carmes when the blackout occurred. The young florist was traveling on the A line in the direction of Escurol: “The train did not stop suddenly, but with a rumble. When the metro came to a complete stop, we received a radio call from Tizio, indicating that the train was about to leave at one o’clock. Point, unable to wait any longer, to find out what was really going on, a woman Picked up the car’s intercom, she was told we were all about to leave, a very loud alarm went off, beeping intermittently. It looked like something out of a disaster movie. A gentleman came to manually open the car door. We all got out in silence. I was out in two minutes.
Tisséo is currently working and will continue overnight to “recover damaged installations”. To restore safe connectivity between the trains of the two lines of the Passo Campo Command PC and the automated metro, it requires “drastic intervention at the level of guide bars and power lines”.
There also seem to be some hiccups in the implementation of the reinforcement buses to compensate for the total shutdown of the A and B lines of the Toulouse Metro. “We have announced more buses, but we don’t actually have the required drivers to operate them. Under these conditions, it is normal for people to be angry,” said an employee of Dizio.
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