Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew 'extremely concerned' as he gives update on recovery of Bukit Panjang LRT line

SINGAPORE - Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew briefly visited the bus stop outside Choa Chu Kang MRT station around 8.30am on Tuesday to observe the running of the shuttle buses following the shutdown of the Bukit Panjang LRT line since Monday evening.

Accompanied by Land Transport Authority chief executive Chew Men Leong, Mr Lui also spoke with SMRT staff on the ground.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, Mr Lui posted an update on his Facebook page on the LRT shutdown.

He posted a photo with the caption: "Testing of outer loop in progress. Hope to restore outer loop service after morning peak. Engineers have completed bypass of inner loop tie breaker at Senja. Will start testing soon."

Accompanying another photo, he said: "A healthy tie-breaker for the outer loop of BPLRT. And the burnt tie-breaker for the inner loop, which incidentally was a new one just installed on Sunday night due to some arcing problems."

 

//

 

//

Train operator SMRT on Monday said that the shutdown during the evening rush hour happened after a tie-breaker overheated and caught fire, and that the root cause is being investigated.

Mr Lui also wrote on his Facebook page at about 6.30am on Tuesday, before posting the photos: "I am extremely concerned about the disruption of BPLRT services, which has resulted in significant inconvenience to residents."

 

//

He added that the Land Transport Authority and SMRT engineers have been working round the clock since Monday evening to try to restore service, but that it would "unfortunately take more time before service can resume".

He said that he has given instructions for as as many buses as is needed to be deployed at affected stations to provide alternative transport for residents getting to school and work, and for more officers to be deployed on the ground to assist commuters.

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, MP for Bukit Timah-Holland GRC, which Bukit Panjang is part of, also wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning regarding the breakdown. While he thanked SMRT engineers and technicians who worked through the night, he brought up the spate of recent disruptions.

 

//

"The SMRT management has to reflect on how best to address the root problems behind this spate of disruptions. Singaporeans have a right to expect and demand higher standards of reliability," he posted.

jalmsab@sph.com.sg