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Trains Not Working At Denver Causing Delays  
User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1883 posts, RR: 10
Posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8266 times:

Breaking: Trains or people movers are broken and not working. People using buses instead of trains.

SOURCE:

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingne...wn-at-dia-causing-delays-thousands

[Edited 2012-10-12 08:13:52]


لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6372 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8223 times:

Not on Great American Beer Festival weekend! Nooooooo!

Sounds like a bad time to be had at DEN for the next few hours. My friend is there trying to get to SEA and says it's a bit crazy.


User currently offlinejmy007 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 598 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8054 times:

I never understood why there wasn't a passneger tunnel to complement the train tunnel, like in Atlanta.


Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7996 times:

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 2):
I never understood why there wasn't a passneger tunnel to complement the train tunnel, like in Atlanta.

I have been asking this question for eight years. You'd think that common sense would prevail...but I guess they didn't want people wandering off and inadvertently finding the secret underground Masonic City of the New World Order!


User currently offlineKBJCpilot From United States of America, joined May 2012, 178 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7834 times:

I just spoke with a coworker and they have been stuck in pre-security for 90 minutes. Nobody knows if they have held flights ( I assume the flights leave without them due to schedule commitments) and people are pissed. The airport administration is nowhere to be seen and it's not a good situation right now.

Apparently there is a glitch in the software that drives the underground trains and they have been stopped, or operating slowly, all morning.

Perhaps they will invest in an underground people mover/moving walkway to prevent this in the future.



Samsonite, I was way off!
User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7773 times:
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Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

Denver International Airport opened in 1995: it's been open 6,436 days, to be exact. The number of days with significant train problems is less than a dozen -- in fact, I can only think of three or four, but I'm sure someone will correct me on that. That means that 99.8% of the days the airport has been open have been problem-free.

If you break it down by hours that trains have been down, I'm sure that the system gets three or even four nines of reliability. Hardly problem-prone if you ask me. And... hardly worth the investment to build an underground backup system that would be expensive and almost never used.

[Edited 2012-10-12 10:17:22]

User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7724 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 5):
Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

This was a problem that should've never happened...honestly, they should've had the foresight and done it right the first time.


User currently offlineSW733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6372 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7660 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 5):
Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

Has anyone here blown it out of proportion? I don't see it. We all have perspective - this is rare. But, it's a rare situation that could have been designed around very simply.


User currently offlineKBJCpilot From United States of America, joined May 2012, 178 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7510 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 5):
Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

I'm sure the 30,000+ people who missed their flights this morning, or were delayed, or missed business meetings, or whatever are keeping it in perspective. And I'm sure the airlines that have to re-route people due to DIA's failure to have an adequate back-up plan in place are happy of DIA's failure as well.

I love DIA but when things like this happen, as they occasionally do, it shows the need for redundancy.



Samsonite, I was way off!
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7489 times:

Quoting QatarA340 (Thread starter):
Breaking: Trains or people movers are broken and not working. People using buses instead of trains.

probably explains why my colleagues who elected to catch the early morning flight from DIA today rather than last nights late one with me have not made it into the office yet....


User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4317 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7456 times:

To be fair...there is a bridge leading from the Terminal to the A concourse, so anybody who uses the A concourse should be having very few issues.

That being said, to not build an underground walkway was foolish. But this isn't the only airport where this is a problem. MCO has no walkways at all from the terminal to the airsides. I do not believe there is a walkway to the D gates in LAS from anywhere. PIT has a similar design in a lot of respects. SEA I believe has no link from the North and South satellites. So this happens in many airports. But the systems have been so reliable that you rarely hear of issues relating to this. The problem is the rare time it does, everything goes to hell in a handbasket.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23308 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7428 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
That being said, to not build an underground walkway was foolish. But this isn't the only airport where this is a problem. MCO has no walkways at all from the terminal to the airsides. I do not believe there is a walkway to the D gates in LAS from anywhere. PIT has a similar design in a lot of respects. SEA I believe has no link from the North and South satellites. So this happens in many airports. But the systems have been so reliable that you rarely hear of issues relating to this. The problem is the rare time it does, everything goes to hell in a handbasket.

The difference between these examples (except for PIT) and DEN is that malfunctions on a single train would affect only a fraction of the available gates.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20365 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 5):
Denver International Airport opened in 1995: it's been open 6,436 days, to be exact. The number of days with significant train problems is less than a dozen -- in fact, I can only think of three or four, but I'm sure someone will correct me on that. That means that 99.8% of the days the airport has been open have been problem-free.

Yes, but those 0.2% of days are a real goat rodeo, aren't they? And as others have been pointing out, walk-tunnels would have been a great backup and would have been a lot less expensive to dig while the airport was being built.


User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3308 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7422 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 5):
Let's keep this in perspective, shall we?

OTOH, when was the last time you heard of ATL's train being down? While I'm sure it has been down at times, it's not newsworthy because the backup system is in place. Try that for perspective. DEN has inconvenienced a lot of people today.


User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7393 times:
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Quoting KBJCpilot (Reply 8):
I love DIA but when things like this happen, as they occasionally do, it shows the need for redundancy.

It doesn't show why it would be a worthwhile investment, however. Yes, it sucks that all those thousands of people today were inconvenienced. But it's just not worth it to have constructed a pedestrian walkway that would nearly never be used. It's a 1+ mile walk from the terminal to Concourse C. If the walkway was there, lots of people would still be late for their planes, and they'd be complaining of the long walk instead of the long wait.

In the end, you can't design total redundancy into the system. It is impossible. Problems are going to occur, and they suck. I think DEN has done a pretty good job of designing a relaible system.


User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7330 times:
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Quoting toltommy (Reply 13):
OTOH, when was the last time you heard of ATL's train being down? While I'm sure it has been down at times, it's not newsworthy because the backup system is in place. Try that for perspective. DEN has inconvenienced a lot of people today.

I agree that lots of people have been inconvenienced today. One day out of the thousands that the airport has been working. Would spending the millions for an underground walkway been worth it to save the inconvenience of a tiny, insignificant percentage of passengers? No, not in my view.


User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 7261 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 15):
I agree that lots of people have been inconvenienced today. One day out of the thousands that the airport has been working. Would spending the millions for an underground walkway been worth it to save the inconvenience of a tiny, insignificant percentage of passengers? No, not in my view.

I'm all for perspective, but I would bet the planners recommended the redundancy of a pedestrian tunnel. What I suspect happened was this was one of the features dropped to keep the price tag down, or there was just too much of a faith in technology (and we saw how that worked out with the baggage system!).

Any benefit-cost analysis for the additional investment would need to take into account the costs of not only the passengers inconvenienced, but also the operational costs borne by airlines to delay aircraft or reaccommodate passengers who could not make their flights. This number--over the expected life of the terminal--assuming, say, one operational incident every year--would dwarf any dollar value associated with passenger inconvenience.

Quoting toltommy (Reply 13):
OTOH, when was the last time you heard of ATL's train being down? While I'm sure it has been down at times, it's not newsworthy because the backup system is in place. Try that for perspective. DEN has inconvenienced a lot of people today.

Yes, very easy to put into an Excel spreadsheet in 1990 and label as "nice to have." On the other hand, very difficult to explain the logic of such a decision to passengers in this day and age, when there are older examples to the contrary.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

The no walkway design was a risk. DEN depends upon the reliability of the trains. The failure could also have been done on purpose to push DEN to the concept of extending close in concourses around the terminal.

Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
MCO has no walkways at all from the terminal to the airsides. I do not believe there is a walkway to the D gates in LAS from anywhere.

MCO has an emergency walkways between the train tracks, so if the trains failed, the doors could be opened and passengers could walk, albeit exposed to the elements, between the airside and the terminal.

IAD does not have a pedestrian tunnel to temporary Concourse C/D but D is still connected by the old mobile lounges and can still go to C if necessary. ORD Terminal annoyingly has a walkway between B & C but no train.


User currently offlinegoosebayguy From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7010 times:

YOu would think that if the software has worked perfectly for many years then why update it? Then you realise that in China they have 1000's of hackers perfecting bugs to bring down a country's infrastructure and this could be a test of the system! America's airlines could be shut down just by stopping the shuttles!

User currently offlineflashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2903 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6930 times:
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Quoting neveragain (Reply 16):
I'm all for perspective, but I would bet the planners recommended the redundancy of a pedestrian tunnel. What I suspect happened was this was one of the features dropped to keep the price tag down, or there was just too much of a faith in technology (and we saw how that worked out with the baggage system!).

Any benefit-cost analysis for the additional investment would need to take into account the costs of not only the passengers inconvenienced, but also the operational costs borne by airlines to delay aircraft or reaccommodate passengers who could not make their flights. This number--over the expected life of the terminal--assuming, say, one operational incident every year--would dwarf any dollar value associated with passenger inconvenience.

It's funny you should say that. I'm a planner. And in the absence of overwhelming cost-benefit analysis, I likely wouldn't have recommended the tunnel as redundancy over other methods (dedicated areas to load bus bridges, recovery planning, etc).

This level of operational snafu, best as I can tell from limited research this morning, has happened three or four times at DEN since it opened. Not once per year. Operational costs in this case wouldn't come close to the capital expense of construction, maintenance, and operation of a 1.2-1.5 mile long tunnel. And it's not just as easy as opening a tunnel alongside -- to meet code, for example, there would very likely need to be a fire exit somewhere in the middle (read: somewhere in the middle of the apron between concourses). How would that work? Where would it go? What would that cost?

Plus, what we're experiencing at DEN operationally is really no worse than other circumstances where operations are interrupted and there is no redundant workaround, the most obvious being severe weather. Security lockdowns/reclearances being another. Those are just costs of doing business in the airline industry.


User currently offlineneveragain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 19):

I whole-heartedly agree with your last point: the airline industry is full of various risk factors and unforeseen costs. And of course it is easy to play the blame game: TSA inefficiency, oil companies, labor unions, management bonuses, etc. all make it a difficult business. Furthermore I would agree that the operational reliability of the automated train system at DEN (and other airports worldwide) is very high.

My point, and I believe the point of others (such as SW733) is that redundancy could have been integrated into the design of the automated transit system at a very reasonable cost compared to the overall expenditure of the airport. And when such systems fail, the operational dysfunction caused and associated costs to all parties involved (especially the airlines) is extremely high.

Using some rough guesswork, I'd estimate that the DEN airport cost to have been approximately $3B in 1995 dollars excluding land acquisition (which should have been at least an additional $1B). Given that the $3B includes the terminal, on-airport surface access and car parking, and airfield system of five runways, it seems extremely generous to assume that the ENTIRE automated transit system cost more than 5% of the total project costs. And what would be the incremental cost of a modest walkway along side the tunnel? No more than 10% of the cost of the entire automated transit system.

Yes, operations and maintenance costs associated with a walkway should be factored into the equation. But how big are they, really? Consider:

1) There should be an allowance for operational savings associated with maintenance of the automated transit system -- system could be closed for longer periods at a time if there was a viable back-up in place.

2) Walkway could be closed for regular operations and only opened to public during irregular operations. This would reduce recurring O&M as well as suggest a reduced capex as level of finish would be lower.

3) The overall size of the walkway would be no more than 5% of the overall size of the passenger terminal.

I agree that it would have cost "millions" extra to construct the tunnel...but that has to be considered in the context of the overall development costs. Moreover, there's a longer-term perspective in that a walkway could help alleviate unforeseen longer-term capacity pressures on the automated transit system. And while the system is perfectly able to cope with existing demand, there are many examples in the aviation industry where facilities are asked to handle things they were never originally designed to do. Two such examples: (1) LGA central terminal building is accommodating roughly double its design capacity at present; and (2) transatlantic 757s!

In summary, would a walkway have been an expensive project? Yes. Unreasonably so (in the context of the overall project for initial DEN construction? I don't think so. Would it have resulted in unjustifiable levels of additional O&M? No.

And it sure would have come in handy today!


User currently offlineWN787 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6097 times:

"The last time DIA had a train situation of this magnitude was April 26, 1998, when a loose wheel on one of the trains damaged a routing cable in the tunnel and cut the system's power, shutting it down for about seven hours. On that day, a fleet of 30 shuttle buses was used to move passengers from the terminal to the gates." -The Denver Post

The city of DEN hopefully learned a lot about what does and doesn't need to happen in a situation like this.

I've been a ramp agent with 2 different airlines at DEN over the past 4 years and all I know is, the buses are HORRIBLE! And that's just for the Airside/Landside operation. Couldn't imagine what a mess CS is having today.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):
I have been asking this question for eight years. You'd think that common sense would prevail...but I guess they didn't want people wandering off and inadvertently finding the secret underground Masonic City of the New World Order!

There is NO Masonic City of the New World Order anywhere in the underground at DEN.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4416 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6072 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):
Quoting jmy007 (Reply 2):
I never understood why there wasn't a passneger tunnel to complement the train tunnel, like in Atlanta.

I have been asking this question for eight years. You'd think that common sense would prevail...but I guess they didn't want people wandering off and inadvertently finding the secret underground Masonic City of the New World Order!

  

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 17):
MCO has an emergency walkways between the train tracks, so if the trains failed, the doors could be opened and passengers could walk, albeit exposed to the elements, between the airside and the terminal.

Well for one, MCO isn't exactly going to have metres of snow. Second, the Chunnel has an escape tunnel running along the main tunnel so I don't see why the tiny little tunnel at DEN can't have an escape tunnel.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20365 posts, RR: 59
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6012 times:

Quoting flashmeister (Reply 19):
And it's not just as easy as opening a tunnel alongside -- to meet code, for example, there would very likely need to be a fire exit somewhere in the middle (read: somewhere in the middle of the apron between concourses).

Really? Because that's not the case at ORD or DTW or ATL or at any other airport in the world with a pedestrian tunnel underground.

It would have been as simple as widening the existing tunnel by twelve feet. Or extending the stations so that they formed a single tunnel from terminal to terminal.

One day there is going to be a BIG mess. A train is going to jump the rails and it will take days to remove the wreckage or something like that. And when that happens, DEN might actually have to close to passenger traffic for several days. When that happens, it will cost much more than that tunnel ever would have had.


User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1407 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5894 times:

Quoting jmy007 (Reply 2):
I never understood why there wasn't a passneger tunnel to complement the train tunnel, like in Atlanta.

IIRC 30 million bucks was saved.

Quoting KBJCpilot (Reply 4):
Nobody knows if they have held flights

They don't. Well I imagine they hold a bit and some are held, but the airlines advertise that they don't hold the planes. And it is not the airlines fault you missed the flight, so they really don't owe you anything if they don't feel like it.

Any reports of how customers were handled that missed their flights? Reports of held/not held flights?

Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
To be fair...there is a bridge leading from the Terminal to the A concourse, so anybody who uses the A concourse should be having very few issues.

Everyone has to use the A concourse security when the train is dead. The backup buses for B & C can't leave from the underground train station - they have to leave from A.

Quoting WN787 (Reply 21):
"The last time DIA had a train situation of this magnitude was April 26, 1998,

There was a 64 minute outage in Feb 1999, but the buses were not activated.


25 Flaps : Although similar, an underground train failure at PIT would only impact O/D travelers between the landside and airside terminals. Connecting traffic (
26 AWACSooner : Someone missed the sarcasm bus!
27 DocLightning : 1) That you know of... (dum dum DUM!) 2) You only say that because you're one of them!
28 Post contains images DashTrash : You can't prove that.....
29 cosyr : I think one important difference between ATL and DEN is that in DEN there are switch tracks between each concourse. I have probably switched on each o
30 Post contains images rwy04lga : 100% of days at LGA are train-delay free. If you were stuck, would you consider yourself insignificant? Answered. 'Sarcasm bus'....
31 2175301 : What about the "other" backup option for problems with automatic controls in trains.... A manual operator station, and the ability to run the trains m
32 LOWS : That's not a bad idea...and I'm surprised that isn't possible here. The Docklands Light Railway in London can be manually controlled. If I'm not mist
33 stlAV8R : I think the real issue that people are missing is there is a redundancy system; the bus. The PROBLEM is that it is activated POORLY! If the trains mal
34 Post contains images N751PR : It probably was being used to help with hauling passengers between the concourses today.
35 rcair1 : Oh my goodness - that is a huge problem. I had not realized that - I was in DEN once when the trains failed, but only just at the beginning and I was
36 Post contains images lightsaber : One can never be too careful. If it wasn't for the secret city, there would be tunnels. My thoughts to. Too little backup to avoid it. See above. DEN
37 rcair1 : I doubt it, because I think the 'airport' (as in DIA budget) looses nuthin but face. I have no data - but I'm guessing the neither the airport or the
38 Post contains links WN787 : I know its sarcasm, but I hear it all the time. Although it is funny. See this clip http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...ncient-unknown---2012-end-
39 Post contains links ADent : The press did mention the trains operated in "manual" mode for awhile, but capacity is much reduced. Not sure if someone can walk on the train and pl
40 slcdeltarumd11 : I was at Denver when the trains broke for like less than an hour. People were going crazy. No backup buses happened. They did fix it quickly for it be
41 Post contains images DocLightning : Besides, everyone knows it's actually under ATL. Coke and DL are both HQ'ed there, so it must be true. So, how long did the outage last?
42 skywaymanaz : Twelve year old article I'm guessing it never happened and for over $100 mil in todays dollars probably never will. Really sad Denver never built thi
43 COSPN : Old Continental was the one who wanted the walkway to A for the Hub that they gave up on..
44 slcdeltarumd11 : It certainly has to be the longest time to get thru isnt it? The security at peak times can be rediculous, you have to ride a long bus to rental cars
45 flashmeister : This is what would have been worth investing in when they built DIA -- making sure that the bus bridge can operate from every platform to every platf
46 Post contains links ADent : Some airlines charged change fees to the folks that missed their planes due to the train. See http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/10/1...after-getting-cha
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