Track fault disrupts Bukit Panjang LRT services for 6 hours

An SMRT staff tries to recify a problem on one of the train carriages after the train stalled at Segar station. There was smoke seen emerging from under one of the carriages.
An SMRT staff tries to recify a problem on one of the train carriages after the train stalled at Segar station. There was smoke seen emerging from under one of the carriages. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Commuters at Segar station waited over 30mins for the LRT to arrive.
Commuters at Segar station waited over 30mins for the LRT to arrive. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Commuters boarding a shuttle bus at Bukit Panjang station.There was some confusion over which buses to board and where the bus would stop.
Commuters boarding a shuttle bus at Bukit Panjang station.There was some confusion over which buses to board and where the bus would stop. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

The troubled Bukit Panjang LRT line faced yet another setback when train services to and from Choa Chu Kang were disrupted for about six hours from 10.20am yesterday.

Operator SMRT apologised for the inconvenience caused to thousands of commuters who were affected.

The culprit was a signal rail joint on the track near Choa Chu Kang station that was damaged on Tuesday evening.

This caused the current collector devices, which serve to transfer power and signals from the tracks to the trains, on several train cars to dislodge as they moved over the damaged joint.

As a result, services between the Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang stations were first halted on Tuesday at 10pm for around two hours.

SMRT said engineering staff worked through the night to correct the problem.

While services resumed by 6.40am, a track fault near Choa Chu Kang station caused a power trip on the line at about 10.20am, said SMRT. This led to services being stopped again.

Services for the entire 7.8km LRT line, including the loop from Petir to Senja, were suspended between noon and 1.20pm for inspections and assessments by engineers.

Service for the Petir to Senja loop resumed at 1.20pm although the service in the other direction remained down at midnight.

The service between Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang stations resumed at 5.45pm.

Shuttle services between stations and regular bus services were free during the disruptions. Travel on the LRT line was also free until the end of service at about 1am.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Track fault disrupts Bt Panjang LRT services for 6 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe