There were no train services on the Bukit Panjang LRT line for more than six hours yesterday, after two broken rail support brackets affected the signal and ground rail between Phoenix and Bukit Panjang stations.
This caused two trains to stall successively from 9.45am, and brought train services to a halt on the entire line of 14 stations. The incident happened as SMRT Buses was holding its first community event to mark the opening of the Bukit Panjang Integrated Transport Hub which opened on Monday.
SMRT said that the first stalled train was recovered and pulled back to the depot but, after services were resumed, a second train stalled at the same stretch of track. This train was unable to continue service and about 10 passengers were guided to Bukit Panjang LRT station. It did not indicate if both trains stalled at the same place and if there were passengers on the first stalled train.
SMRT added in a Facebook post later in the afternoon that engineers were deployed immediately to carry out rectification works after the trains stalled. These included the replacement of the rail support brackets, and signal and ground rail. It also carried out network-wide checks on all trains and tracks to ensure that the system was safe for operations before full services were resumed at 4.18pm.
Further investigations will be carried out to determine why the two rail support brackets failed.
During the disruption, free bus services were provided at all LRT stations on the line. SMRT employees were also deployed to the affected stations to assist commuters. "We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused our commuters," SMRT said.
When The Sunday Times arrived at Bukit Panjang LRT station around 12.40pm yesterday, there was a stationary LRT train on the tracks and a group of workers nearby.
A Bukit Panjang resident who wanted to be known only as Madam Chan said: "Many residents here rely on the LRT... It would have been very messy if this took place during rush hour on a weekday."