Timeline: Recent major breakdowns on Bukit Panjang LRT

A Light Rapid Transit (LRT) train travelling along the Bukit Panjang LRT line.
A Light Rapid Transit (LRT) train travelling along the Bukit Panjang LRT line.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Bukit Panjang LRT has been problematic from the time it started running in 1999. And it still remains so.

Last year, it had 10 major breakdowns (those that last more than half an hour). In comparison, the Sengkang-Punggol LRT had five such breakdowns in the same period.

The North-South and East-West MRT lines, which are much longer and operate at a much higher frequency and load, had seven in total.

 

Here are six recent incidents on the Bukit Panjang LRT:

MARCH 2015

An electrical fire causes the line to be shut down for 24 hours. Investigations indicate that a tie-breaker - a type of circuit breaker - overheated and caught fire.

The device had actually just been installed a few days earlier, replacing one that had "arcing problems". "Arcing" is an electrical discharge that jumps across a gap in a connection.

APRIL 2015

A dislodged current collector shoe causes a 1½-hour breakdown. It was the third case in five months of a shoe coming dislodged, thus breaking contact with the power supply. The two most recent incidents happened to new trains that were delivered in June 2014.

JANUARY 2016

A train door flings open while the vehicle is in motion, causing panic onboard. The operator suspects there is a design flaw in the system. The incident occurs after a signalling fault forces staff to override the driverless system and drive the trains manually.

APRIL 2016

A power dip at a substation in Buona Vista causes a trip that shuts down stretches of the North-South and East-West Lines, the Circle Line and the Bukit Panjang LRT. The root cause of the dip is still unknown.

JULY 2016

SMRT reveals that the entire first batch of 19 US-made Bombardier trains on the line had developed cracks. It says the defects were discovered in 2015.

JULY 2016

A train fails to stop at three stations. The incident was traced to a fault in its antenna, which ensures the automated train stops accurately at each station. Commuter Jacqueline Bong, who was on the train at the time, described the saga as "alarming" and "scary".