Transport Minister asks SMRT for update on rail incidents, conveys concern

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has asked rail operator SMRT to provide by next week an update on its investigations into a recent spate of incidents on its rail network.

Mr Lui met SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek and senior management on Thursday to convey his concern and disappointment over the delays - the most recent of which was an hour-long disruption on the East-West Line on Wednesday evening. The incident was caused by a train driver who bypassed a signal point on the track without authorisation.

"I share the frustrations of train commuters affected by these incidents, and I empathise with them on the anxiety and uncertainty that they may experience," said Mr Lui. "I am also very concerned about SMRT's service recovery efforts, particularly in reaching out to affected commuters promptly and keeping them updated during these incidents."

Mr Lui was briefed on the status of ongoing investigations by SMRT and its preliminary findings at the meeting. He has urged SMRT to "quickly identify the root causes of the occurrences, and to determine whether these incidents arose from engineering or procedural shortcomings".

The Transport Ministry said Mr Kuek has assured Mr Lui that SMRT will do its very best to step up checks to minimise service disruptions and improve service recovery. SMRT will also provide an update on remedial actions to be taken next week.