SALT LAKE CITY — A midday power outage affected 57,000 Rocky Mountain Power customers along the Wasatch Front on Monday.
The outage was caused by a circuit breaker that did not operate correctly at the Oquirrh substation in South Jordan, according to Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Spencer Hall.
The outages quickly spread across the Salt Lake Valley, but by 1:30 p.m. the number of homes or businesses affected dropped from 53,000 to just over 15,000, the utility reported. Power was fully restored just before 2 p.m.
In addition to homes and businesses, the outage also impacted mass transit routes.
A single Utah Transit Authority train was caught between the Jordan Valley and Daybreak stations on the Red Line when the power outage occurred, according to UTA spokesman Carl Arky.
Passengers were taken off the train and transported by van or bus to other stations, he said, and similar transportation was in place to bypass the affected portion of the tracks.
The outage came a day after UTA switched over to new schedules for many bus routes, TRAX and FrontRunner trains to accommodate new commuter rail speed requirements.2 comments on this story
"You almost have to laugh to keep from crying. You never want it to happen, but especially when we're asking people to adjust and adapt, obviously it makes it more difficult for the consumer," Arky said.
He said without power, UTA was "limited in our ability to update the signs on our platforms communicating updated information" and had to rely on social media as well as the drivers dispatched to pick up passengers.
UTA does not have a source of backup power, Arky said.
Trains can continue operating if one or two of the power sources located about a mile apart along the track lose power, he said, but UTA experts estimated at least five consecutive power sources lost power Monday.