The West

Shock and horror on the Joondalup line
Passenger Holly Gretton

It was my usual train ride to university yesterday morning and I definitely did not expect the shock that unfolded as the train cruised along the Joondalup line.

Half asleep, my main concern was that I had left my Smartrider at home and would have to find out how many zones I needed on my ticket to get to UWA without a fine. "First World problems," as my dad would say.

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By the time the train passed Warwick Station, I was drifting off to music on my iPhone when out of nowhere: bang!

The sound jolted me out of my sleepy state. The banging increased and the train was rocking.

All the passengers were in a state of confusion but there was little time to react as a powerline hurtled towards the side of the train, which was still moving at a steady pace.

Quick thinking and all of us huddled on the floor as the train ground to a halt. The driver announced over the PA that we had hit a powerline and needed to stay calm because a live wire was possibly on the train's roof.

We could not use the emergency exits and power inside the train was completely down. Instantly people began calling and texting in an attempt to remain calm.

The driver told us it was a "life-threatening situation" and I saw faces change as the magnitude of the incident became a reality.

Luckily this was a false alarm.

After about 40 minutes, police and Transperth officers boarded and opened the doors to let air in.

They told us buses would arrive soon but we had to jump off the train or wait for help to get down if not comfortable with that. Luckily some kind people helped me because the drop was quite steep.

The danger may not have been significant but the fear certainly was. If only I'd remembered my Smartrider!

The West Australian

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