It seems that trains, like humans, operate a little slower when it gets this hot. Metro sent out a notice on Twitter Monday afternoon alerting Gold Line riders that trains were running up to 15 minutes behind schedule because of record-setting temperatures along the route. According to transit agency's news blog, The Source, these delays affected the Expo and Green Lines as well.
So why the slowdown? Apparently the transit agency mandated speed restrictions in certain areas where the high heat was liable to interfere with the overhead catenary system that powers the trains. When temperatures get high enough, the overhead wire can begin to sag, and even become disconnected from the train. A 2011 heatwave in London caused cables at two stations to collapse completely.
GOLD LINE: up to 15 min delays thru 7PM as trains travel with speed restriction due to extreme heat. pic.twitter.com/qTdaBXKvx7— Metro (@metrolosangeles) June 20, 2016
Metrolink also saw major delays. With trains forced to slow down to below 50 miles per hour, arrivals were delayed by up to 45 minutes.
Making matters worse for Gold Line riders, problems with the air conditioning system inside the cars were reported on social media throughout the afternoon.
- Heat-related speed restrictions in effect on Metro Rail this afternoon [The Source]
- Heat Wave — ‘One for the Record Books’ — to Slam LA [Curbed LA]
- Expo Line Extension to Santa Monica [Curbed LA]