Train operators fined $1.1m for delays and lapses in safety

Commuters at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station during the disruption of train service on March 15, 2012. SMRT and SBS Transit have been fined a total of $1.1 million for a series of train delays and safety lapses in the last 10 months. -- ST FILE PHOTO:&n
Commuters at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station during the disruption of train service on March 15, 2012. SMRT and SBS Transit have been fined a total of $1.1 million for a series of train delays and safety lapses in the last 10 months. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SMRT and SBS Transit have been fined a total of $1.1 million for a series of train delays and safety lapses in the last 10 months.

SMRT will have to shell out $860,000 for the following lapses: a trackside fire at Newton station on Feb 13; failing to launch the correct trains for service on the Bukit Panjang LRT network on July 4; failing to repair a corroded rail along the Circle Line on time; and exposing workers to the risk of electrocution at the Ulu Pandan depot between November and December last year.

The other public transport operator SBS Transit will be fined $250,000 for taking too long - 21/2 hours instead of 30 minutes - to evacuate 250 passengers stuck in a stalled train along the North-East Line (NEL) in June after the operator failed to move the stalled train to Hougang station for a detrainment process.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it will not penalise SBS Transit for the Jan 11 NEL breakdown that was caused by corroded U-bolts that caused the overhead cantilever arm to sag. The regulator said the it may not have been possible to detect the defects visually and SBS Transit had maintained the U-bolts according to manufacturer's requirements. The fines will be donated to the Public Transport Fund to help needy families with their transport fares.