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Subway riders face delays after signals short out

By Josh Rubin
Staff Reporter

Thousands of subway passengers were hit with delays today after a TTC signal system shorted out at the Lawrence Station.

The signals - the subway’s equivalent of traffic lights - went out when a pump clearing excess water from the Lawrence tracks failed at 9:45 this morning. The signals were back up and running by 2 p.m. The reason for the pump breakdown still hasn’t been determined.

According to spokesperson Marilyn Bolton, the TTC tried to pick up the slack by directing trains from a central location, but the backup wasn’t nearly as quick.

“The signals are really the backbone of the system. It was still running, but it was definitely slow,” she said.

The signal outage at Lawrence caused backups in the rest of the system, especially from Eglinton to Finch station on the Yonge line. A trip from Bloor to Finch, which normally takes 15 minutes, took an hour.

The TTC added extra buses on Yonge Street to help deal with the crush.

Bolton said the TTC still wasn’t sure what caused the big pump breakdown and an earlier one at 7 a.m. that was fixed before it affected the signals.

“Right now, we’re all just taking a few minutes to be grateful the signals are working, but this is something we really don’t think should have happened. If there’s anything we should have done differently, we’re going to try and determine that,” Bolton said.