Train delays fail to derail PSLE oral exams

Commuters lining up to get travel chit from SMRT staff at Bishan MRT station.
Commuters lining up to get travel chit from SMRT staff at Bishan MRT station. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Despite the rail system being hit by double trouble yesterday morning, most Primary 6 pupils arrived in time to take their PSLE oral examinations. Fewer than 10 pupils were late, according to the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, and they were given time to rest before taking their exams.

Secondary schools were also holding their preliminary exams.

It was later revealed that separate faults were behind the delays on the North-South (NSL) and Downtown (DTL) lines during the morning rush hour. SMRT's NSL woes may have come from a defective train transmitting erroneous signals, which caused delays of up to 45 minutes between Marina South Pier and Sembawangfrom around 6.30am, before normal service resumed some three hours later. The train has since been pulled from service.

Delays on SBS Transit's DTL were likely due to a fault in the line's supervision system, which prevented trains from being automatically launched from the depot. Trains had to be manually driven to the main line at a slower speed. Service was back to normal by about 9am.

Long queues were seen at passenger control stations as students queued to get excuse letters to explain why they were late, although the Education Ministry said on Facebook it was not necessary.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Train delays fail to derail PSLE oral exams'. Print Edition | Subscribe