Several EWL stations to be closed on Sundays to facilitate cable replacement works

On Sundays between April 18 and May 16, four stations between Gul Circle and Tuas Link stations will be shut. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Starting next weekend, several stations along the East-West MRT Line will be closed on Sundays to facilitate the replacement of electrical power cables along the Tuas West Extension (TWE), rail operator SMRT said on Tuesday (March 2).

On Sundays, between March 14 and April 18, six stations between Pioneer MRT station and Tuas Link station will be closed. Subsequently, on Sundays between April 25 and May 23, four stations between Gul Circle and Tuas Link stations will be shut.

SMRT earlier said that the Sunday closures would begin on March 7, but pushed the dates back by a week to give commuters more time to make alternative plans.

During the full-day closures, a shuttle bus service will serve designated bus stops near the affected stations, it said.

Train services will operate as usual on the Mondays following the closures.

Advising commuters to plan their journeys ahead of time and to cater for additional travel time, SMRT said it would post updates about changes in train operation hours and alternative transport arrangements on its website, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as its mobile application.

The replacement of cables along the TWE began in January and is part of a set of precautionary measures taken by SMRT and systems supplier Alstom to prevent power cable faults and potential service disruptions.

This is after a massive three-line rail breakdown on Oct 14 last year left more than 6,700 passengers stranded on trains for up to three hours and affected about 123,000 commuters.

The disruption was eventually traced to a burnt section of cable between Tuas Link and Tuas West Road stations along the TWE.

Alstom later committed to replacing all 150km of cables along the TWE with higher-specification ones, and to pay for the costs.

Said SMRT on Tuesday: "The full Sunday closures will provide more engineering hours and accelerate the cable replacement works, which are expected to be completed by end-2021."

Besides the power cables, Alstom also committed to replacing all 113 trip coils along the 7.5km-long TWE, as a faulty trip coil failed to isolate the initial cable fault that led to the Oct 14 disruption.

Stations along the TWE were closed early in November to facilitate the trip coil replacement, which was completed in December.

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