Train trouble sends passengers onto tracks before World Cup game

SAO PAULO, July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 9:34am EDT

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SAO PAULO, July 1 (Reuters) - An equipment failure on the train tracks linking downtown Sao Paulo to the city's World Cup stadium led hundreds of passengers to walk along the tracks on Tuesday, just hours before the city was set to host a match between Argentina and Switzerland.

Trouble started at 8:05 local time (1105 GMT), but trains were running normally about 90 minutes later, said a spokeswoman for Sao Paulo's metropolitan train service, which was working along with local police to remove straggling passengers and soccer fans from the tracks.

Malfunctioning trains are a common sight in Sao Paulo, where public transportation is often stretched to capacity, and passengers frequently descend onto the tracks in frustration.

A special "World Cup Express" line between downtown and the Corinthians arena began running normally about two hours after the incident, according to the train operator's Twitter feed. Subway announcements advised fans heading to the game to remain on a parallel subway line that also runs to the stadium. (Reporting by Asher Levine and Esteban Israel; Editing by Todd Benson)

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