New North-East, Circle Line trains to have fillers to reduce gap between train, platform

Commuters getting into a train at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station on the North-East Line (NEL). New trains on both the NEL and the Circle Line will be fitted with gap fillers. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Commuters getting into a train at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station on the North-East Line (NEL). New trains on both the NEL and the Circle Line will be fitted with gap fillers. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - New trains that will be put into service on the North-East (NEL) and Circle Lines (CCL) from the second half of 2015 will be fitted with gap fillers, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

These rubber strips, which help to narrow the gap between the train floor and platform edge, were incorporated into the design of the 42 new trains when they were ordered in 2012.

SBS Transit, which operates the NEL, and SMRT, which operates the CCL, will also retrofit the older trains with these gap fillers when they are due for their mid-life refurbishment.

On Thursday morning, services on the NEL were disrupted for around half an hour, after a woman's leg got stuck in the platform gap at Boon Keng MRT station. A similar incident happened in March 2015, involving a student at Hougang MRT Station.

LTA said the platform gap ranges between 36mm on the Downtown Line, where trains have gap fillers, to 110mm on the underground stations on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).

Since 1997, gap fillers have been installed at all above-ground stations on the NSEWL, cutting the distance to 75mm, LTA added.

However, due to the design of the platform screen doors at underground stations, these strips cannot be installed there.

LTA said there are various safety measures in place, including "in-train announcements and signs on the platform screen doors to remind commuters to mind the platform gap".

"The operators also deploy staff at the platforms to manage commuter flow. In addition, programmes are also run to raise awareness about commuter safety," the spokesman added.