KEY POINTS

  • Adobe stopped supporting Flash earlier this month
  • Websites using Flash-based content will no longer be able to play them
  • A Chinese railroad in Liaoning province was also badly affected by the Flash shutdown

Adobe recently stopped supporting Flash, which meant Flash-based content will no longer work. While most thought it would only affect some websites, it appears that the shutdown also had an impact on one important thing in China: transportation.

A Chinese railroad in Liaoning province had to stop operations for a day following Adobe’s Flash shutdown, news outlet Apple Daily reported.

The railroad system in Dalian, China Railway Shenyang, reportedly failed to deactivate Flash ahead of Adobe’s announced shutdown, leading to a halt in operations for up to 20 hours.

Officials at the railway system use Flash-based software to make sure everything runs well. However, because staffers weren’t able to remove Flash before the appointed time, they were “unable to view train operation diagrams, formulate train sequencing schedules, and arrange shunting plans,” Apple Daily noted.

Due to this, the railroad was forced to stop operations for the entire day. The gaffe, per Apple Daily, led “to a complete shutdown of its railroads in Dalian, Liaoning province.” This obviously meant commuters had to find another way to travel to wherever they were going.

Eventually, the train operators were able to find a solution to the problem, Ars Technica noted. Instead of looking for new software to continue railway operations, China Railway Shenyang staffers reverted to an older version of Flash, one that doesn’t have the self-deactivating code.

The railway was able to resume operations after the older version of Flash was installed on the morning of Jan. 13.

Interestingly, railway staffers offered a detailed account of what transpired during the error and repair process via Chinese social media. The staffers wrote, as per Ars Technica (via Google Translate), that “after more than 20 hours of fighting, no one complained, and no one gave up.”

Without necessarily referring to the railway problem being solved, the staffers wrote, “even if there is little hope, there is a motivation moving forward.” The post has since been deleted, but an archived version can be accessed here.

This post, per Ars Technica, was met with mockery in China, with netizens pointing out that the problem could’ve been prevented had the railway staff used non-Flash-based railway management software. They could’ve created this software months ahead of the scheduled shutdown.

Adobe didn’t hide the fact that it will eventually stop supporting Flash.

adobe flash Adobe has retired Flash. Photo: Adobe