LRT breaks down for 2 hours

Train car stalls on Sengkang and Punggol LRT tracks after power trips

For more than two hours yesterday evening, train service on the Sengkang and Punggol Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems stopped.

The cause: a train car had stalled in the middle of the tracks after repeated power trips at 7pm. Passengers had to get off the train and "walk some distance on the tracks" to the nearest platform. Full services resumed at 9.29pm, according to SBS Transit, which operates the Sengkang and Punggol LRT.

Housewife Tan Kim Choo, 72, who lives in a Housing Board block near Sengkang station, witnessed the breakdown.

She observed from her 13th floor unit that "the headlights of the train went off briefly before coming back on again", adding that some commuters initially did not get off the train.

Responding to queries, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, chief executive officer of SBS Transit, said a cable fault is suspected to have caused the failure.

He said: "We are investigating the cause of the (cable) fault. We apologise to affected commuters for the inconvenience caused."

UNDER INVESTIGATION

We are investigating the cause of the (cable) fault. We apologise to affected commuters for the inconvenience caused.

MR GAN JUAY KIAT, CEO of SBS Transit

During the disruption, free bus rides and free bridging bus services were available so commuters could continue with their journeys.

Some made light of the situation yesterday. For Facebook user Kelly Ong, the disruption of her usual routine meant she got to have dinner at a cafe with her partner, instead of the usual coffee shop.

Ms Ong said in a post: "Happy mid-week. Thankful for the LRT breakdown earlier while I'm on my way home."

Power-related breakdowns have been creeping up ever since the operators started adding trains to cope with rising demand, The Straits Times reported on April 27. In April, an unprecedented power fault caused three MRT lines and one LRT line to suspend their service.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has declared a bold target for Singapore's rail system, calling for operators to halve the number of disruptions by the end of the year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2016, with the headline 'LRT breaks down for 2 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe