Track fault causes delay on East-West Line on Friday morning; most serious disruption since January

Train services were delayed by a track fault on the East-West Line on Friday (March 18) morning.
Train services were delayed by a track fault on the East-West Line on Friday (March 18) morning.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE -  A track fault on the East-West MRT Line on Friday (March 18) caused the most serious rail disruption since January.

Suspected to have been triggered by a works vehicle during the usual pre-dawn maintenance shift, the fault near Paya Lebar station added up to 30 minutes to travelling time on the westbound track during the morning peak. 

The slow train service on the westbound track lasted for about three hours from 7.09am to 10.11am, when it normalised. 

Rail operator SMRT first announced in a tweet at 7.09am to expect an additional 15 minutes travelling time from Tanah Merah to Aljunied stations, in the direction of Joo Koon. 

It added in a later tweet that train services were still available on the East-West Line.

At 7.38am, SMRT updated the additional travelling time to 20 minutes, adding that train services were still available.

At 7.55am, SMRT revised the additional travelling time to 25 minutes.

Nearly two hours later, the delay seemed to worsen. SMRT, in a tweet sent at 9.05am, told commuters to expect 25 minutes additional travelling time from Pasir Ris to Aljunied. This had earlier been between Tanah Merah and Aljunied stations.

At 9.18am, the additional travelling time was extended to 30 minutes.

At 9.32am, SMRT said its engineers had cleared the fault near Paya Lebar, but said that trains will be travelling at a slower speed due to congestion. Commuters were told to expect an extra 20 minutes of travelling time from Tanah Merah to Aljunied.

At 9.48am, the additional travelling time from Tanah Merah to Aljunied was revised to 15 minutes.

At 10.11am, SMRT said the track fault was cleared and train services from Tanah Merah to Aljunied were operating normally.

Several commuters took to Twitter to complain about the delay.