There was major disruption for travellers on Manchester Metrolink from mid-afternoon on Sunday 14th May following a major communications failure. The problem was first reported at approximately 1530 with the failure meaning that the control room could not communicate with the trams in service. It was decided on the ground of safety to suspend all services whilst the problem was investigated with passengers advised to find alternative ways to get to their destination.
Danny Vaughan, Head of Metrolink at TfGM, said: “I’d like to apologise for the disruption to the network and the impact it has had on our customers. There was a technical systems failure which has affected communications between the control room and trams out on the network. As such and to ensure the safety of our passengers and staff we have halted all services and are now in the process of slowly returning all the vehicles to depots where possible”
The issue was a brand new issue which hadn’t been experienced by Metrolink previously. It is believed that it was caused by a component attached to the Metrolink control network sending out spurious communications which resulted in the safety system correctly shutting down. Despite the high profile recent cyber attacks across the world there is no evidence to suggest that the Metrolink system was affected by this with the IT network being closed with high levels of security.
Despite fears that the disruption may continue into the vital Monday morning rush hour the problem was fixed in time for a full service to resume from the start of service on Monday 15th May.