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Power Protection Featured Article

July 17, 2014

Businesses Take Heed: Power Outage Causes Rail Delays, Commuter Woes

By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

It wasn’t a good week for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the commuters who rely on its rails for daily travel.

A slew of malfunctions and signal problems caused serious delays, only to be topped by a complete outage that left commuters stranded and frustrated. According to The Boston Globe, an Amtrak-owned facility in Boston’s South End ceased functioning, diverting trains to other stations, leaving riders delayed, some up to 90 minutes, and causing angst for those needing to get to work.

Why did the equipment fail? Well, mechanics weren’t 100 percent sure. A spokesperson said that the initial issue was caused “by the company’s interlocking tower power inverter in the South End.” However, to get to the bottom of the problem and find out why problems remained required more power cutting, thus more delays and more stranded commuters.

This left passengers to seek alternate methods of travel, and some flocked to social media to express their anger.

“It was horrible,” said one commuter named Ken, who asked not to share his surname. “I could hear the groans and comments coming from all the people waiting.”

This debacle highlights how important power protection is when it comes to running a service. While commuter rails are slightly more complicated than telecom and data systems, the heart of the matter is the same. It’s imperative to have a plan in place to keep steadfast in the event of an outage, lest you anger a large group of people who rely heavily on your provided services.

For businesses, this means hyper-focusing on keeping all systems “go.” In addition to regular system backups, companies should seek uninterruptable power supply (UPS) devices to provide emergency power when power fails. The most obvious advantage of an uninterruptible power supply is, of course, the maintenance of power.

In addition to keeping things running smoothly, using power protection equipment can also save institutions thousands in costly damages due to outages in the event of an interruption or total outage. Downtime means lost revenue, and mad customers.

While the MBTA lost a lot of faith from the people who rely on it most, other organizations don’t have to face the same situation. Have a backup plan, and take power protection seriously.


Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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