Safety barriers for Bukit Panjang LRT line completed

Safety barriers at the Bukit Panjang LRT station. Such barriers have been installed at the platforms of all stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT line, to prevent commuters from falling onto the tracks.
Safety barriers at the Bukit Panjang LRT station. Such barriers have been installed at the platforms of all stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT line, to prevent commuters from falling onto the tracks.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Safety barriers have been installed at the platforms of all stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) line, to prevent commuters from falling onto the tracks.

Works to install barriers for the Sengkang-Punggol LRT line will be completed next year, said Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng yesterday.

He told Parliament the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and BPLRT operator SMRT are testing a video analytics system that can alert train operators to track incidents.

The safety of commuters is a "top priority", Mr Ng told Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera. He added that the LTA, and operators SMRT and SBS Transit, will do more to raise commuters' awareness of how to deal with such incidents.

In March, Mr Ang Boon Tong was struck by two driverless trains after he fell onto the tracks from the Fajar station platform. The 43-year-old cook was drunk.

Currently, operators are required to inform commuters about safety procedures through signs and regular announcements at the station, Mr Ng said. A passenger who has fallen onto the tracks can try to alert others who are nearby, he added. Commuters can also push emergency stop plungers located at every platform to stop trains from entering or leaving the platform.

Activating these will simultaneously alert the station's passenger service centre and the line's operations control centre, Mr Ng added. Rail operators will immediately shut off traction power to the trains and dispatch trained personnel to the scene to provide assistance until the Singapore Civil Defence Force arrives, he said.

Separately, Mr Perera also asked about the number of freon gas leaks on the MRT and LRT network.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a written reply that there have been 23 instances of such leaks on trains over the past 10 years. As soon as a leak is reported, affected commuters will be asked to alight at the next station and the train withdrawn for repair, he said,

Freon gas - a common refrigerant used in air-conditioners - is non-toxic, but interacts with moisture in the air to form an odourless white smoke. In May, a freon gas leak on a train caused smoke to engulf the Raffles Place station platform.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2017, with the headline 'Safety barriers for Bukit Panjang LRT line completed'. Print Edition | Subscribe