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Why did the TTC shut down Line 2 yesterday?

The TTC has issued a news release to explain to passengers why it shut down part of the 2 Bloor - Danforth subway line yesterday, Thursday, May 19.

At about 4:30 p.m. yesterday TTC staff received reports about smoke at Jane and Runnymede stations, and then on an empty train at High Park Station. The TTC suspended subway service between Keele and Islington stations, called Toronto Fire Services, evacuated stations and operated shuttle buses to replace subway service.

TTC crews repaired the train they believed was the source of the smoke, but when they restored power, a communications cable at Runnymede Station arc-ed and smoked, knocking out communications at the station. While crews and Toronto Fire investigated that problem, the TTC restored service west of Jane Station at 6:10 p.m., shortening the turn-backs to Keele and Jane instead of Keele and Islington stations.

The TTC dispatched staff from across the network to help passengers, safely evacuate stations and manage shuttle buses. At the peak of the incident, it operated 65 shuttle buses. During emergencies when the TTC has to close the subway, it pulls shuttle buses from routes throughout the city. The buses may take some time to get on scene, particularly in rush-hour traffic.

The TTC worked with Metrolinx to enact a fare-protocol, allowing TTC passengers to access GO Transit and UP Express services for the price of a TTC fare.

TTC staff made announcements throughout the subway system over the evening and continued to issue e-Alerts and social media updates. The news release explains, “Communications is always a challenge in these situations, but was worsened by loss of communications at Runnymede Station.”

The release continues, “Subway service cannot safely operate without adequate radio communications. A decision was made at approximately 10 p.m. to suspend service between Keele and Jane stations for the rest of the night to allow crews to inspect the affected area and to ensure it was safe and ready for this morning’s start of service.”

Service was problem-free today.

TTC staff continue to investigate the root cause of these fires. The TTC believes, however, that the problem began with a faulty power cable on the underside of a westbound train.

According to the TTC, “Safety comes before service. The TTC appreciates the frustration these situations can cause, but it will not compromise public or employee safety whenever fire or smoke is detected. There were no reports of any customer injuries last evening and we thank our employees and our partners at Toronto Fire, Toronto Police and Metrolinx for their assistance.”