05/22/2015 08:16 EDT | Updated 05/22/2016 05:59 EDT

SkyTrain Expo Line Shutdown Blamed On Bird's Nest Fire

Expo Line's shutdown between Vancouver and Burnaby caused major commuter headaches.

Jamie Andersen

VANCOUVER - TransLink says public transit will be free across Metro Vancouver today after a ``freak accident'' shut down a major SkyTrain line.

The Expo Line has been halted between Burnaby and Vancouver after a spark from routine track maintenance ignited a bird's nest under a track.

The blaze burned through part of a communications cable at about 11 p.m. Thursday and crews weren't able to repair it before the morning rush.

TransLink is advising people who take the Expo Line between Waterfront and Joyce-Collingwood station to find alternate travel arrangements.

It says transit will be free for its entire service area for all of Friday, after the disruption caused heavy crowds and delays.

TransLink spokeswoman Anne Drennan says the fire was very brief but still managed to burn through about one metre of cable.

"I think you'd, in all fairness, have to call this a freak accident,'' she says.

Repairs are expected to be completed by the late morning or early afternoon.

The Millennium line is operating from VCC-Clark to Columbia station, and regular Expo Line service is operating from Edmonds to King George station. (News 1130)

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