Train-travel time still not back to that of pre-2011

A train pulling into Khatib MRT station.

Mr Christopher Tan's commentary (MRT turning the corner, but full recovery some way off; Feb 11) examines train delays and disruptions, but did not discuss the issue of train travel time.

Prior to the 2011 breakdowns, the train journey from Woodlands to Raffles Place during morning rush hour used to take around 39 minutes (this duration matches the timing stated on the journey travel board at Woodlands MRT station).

Currently that same journey takes anywhere from 50 minutes to one hour (additional travel time of up to 50 per cent), and this is without any major or announced delay.

The reasons given for the elastic timing range from signalling improvement to train congestion.

A letter published in The Straits Times Forum touched on this and SMRT responded saying that trains would be up to speed once the new signalling system is in place.

I am still holding on to this promise and patiently await the day when travel times will go back to that before the 2011 breakdowns.

Ong Choong Tuck

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