Train fault delays service on Bukit Panjang LRT line for 3 hours

SMRT first tweeted about the train fault on the Bukit Panjang LRT line at 9.21am.
Passengers alighting from the carriages at Bukit Panjang station on May 24. SMRT staff were asking commuters to take a bus from the interchange.

SINGAPORE - A stalled train near Keat Hong station on Tuesday (May 24) held up commutes on a stretch of the Bukit Panjang LRT line for three hours.

In a Facebook post, SMRT apologised for the train fault, which occurred at 9.05am  between Keat Hong and South View stations.

There were 48 commuters on the stalled train, which still had lights and air-conditioning, said SMRT.

The rail operator said it deployed staff to address the fault five minutes after it was detected. But as the faulty train could not be pushed out immediately, the staff helped the 48 commuters alight from the train at 9.40am and guided them to Keat Hong station via the LRT tracks. 

“Traction power was turned off, and SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force) staff were activated as a precautionary measure during the detrainment process,” said SMRT.

All 48 commuters arrived safely at Keat Hong station at about 9.50am, and none needed medical attention, SMRT added. 

In its post, the operator said it ran a shuttle train service between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang stations, and made free regular bus services available between those stations.

There was additional train travel time of up to 10 minutes between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang, it added.

SMRT first tweeted about the train fault at 9.21am.

When The Straits Times arrived at the Bukit Panjang LRT station at 10.15am, two SMRT employees were at the train platform directing commuters to Bukit Panjang bus interchange to take service 975 or 976 to Choa Chu Kang station. 

Institute of Technical Education student Abdul Hakim, 21, said he did not know about the disruption until staff at the Bukit Panjang station told him to go to the bus interchange instead.

Mr Hakim, who was on his way to school, said: "Even if I am late, I have a valid reason that teachers can understand."

At 12.05pm, SMRT said that normal train services between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang stations were restored. 

The rail operator also tweeted at the time that the free bus services had stopped.

At Bukit Panjang station, staff at the platform informed commuters who were heading to the interchange that train services were resuming. 

An SMRT employee was seen boarding a train at Keat Hong station at 12.10pm, to drive the train in manual mode between Keat Hong and South View. After South View, the train resumed running in automatic mode and at its normal speed. 

Tuesday's incident followed that of May 12, when a stalled train disrupted service between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang LRT stations for 20 minutes.

SMRT said commuters affected by the delay can download an e-travel chit as proof at this website.

  • Additional reporting by Varun Karthik

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