Two faults caused train delays during Thursday morning peak hour: SMRT

Photo of the crowd at Bishan MRT Station on June 29
Photo of the crowd at Bishan MRT Station on June 29ST PHOTO: NG WEI KAI

SINGAPORE - Two faults on the North-South Line on Thursday (June 29) morning led to delays for commuters during the morning rush hour.

A train encountered a signalling fault at Woodlands at about 6.40am, SMRT's vice-president of corporate communication Patrick Nathan said. 

"The train was driven manually towards Jurong East station at a slower speed, where commuters were safely disembarked," said Mr Nathan. "It has been withdrawn from service for further checks."

Less than two hours later, at around 8.20am, a fault on a platform screen door at Bishan MRT station delayed a train travelling towards Marina South Pier.

Already affected by train delays and disruptions during peak hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, commuters vented their frustrations on social media about train delays along the North-South Line on Thursday morning.

Twitter users complained of delays at Sembawang, Kranji, and Yew Tee stations, among other locations.

One user said it took him close to 30 minutes to get from Yishun to Bishan, which are four stations apart.

Mr Peter Ooi, a 23-year-old student, said he entered Ang Mo Kio station at 8.20am to take the train when he heard multiple announcements that there was overcrowding at the platform. He also noticed that there were many SMRT service staff telling people to line up and trying to organise the crowd.

He decided to take the bus to his destination instead, which caused his travel time to be extended by 30 to 45 minutes.

Staff at Bishan Station told The Straits Times that they were not informed of any delays.

There were no announcements on SMRT's Twitter or Facebook pages.

"The cumulative effect of these two faults on the same line during the morning peak resulted in longer waiting times for commuters. In-train and station announcements were made to keep commuters updated," said Mr Nathan. "We apologise for the inconvenience caused to affected commuters."

On Wednesday, commuters were hit by disruptions at around 5.20pm. The entire North-South Line ceased operation for about 10 minutes, and though trains began moving again afterwards, SMRT warned the public that journeys would take 30 minutes longer than usual. Normal service resumed around 7.20pm.

SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said a signalling fault on the NSL's new Communication-Based Train Control system was the cause of the disruption.

 

In a joint statement on Wednesday, SMRT and LTA said that they sought the "continued understanding and patience" of commuters, and warned commuters to expect delays in the coming weeks.

The statement said: "In the coming weeks, we will continue to conduct intensive performance checks and deploy new software to improve the system.

"During this period, commuters may continue to experience some delay when travelling on North-South Line, if new issues emerge."