Train service between Joo Koon, Tuas Link stations to be suspended on Thursday

Mr Alvin Kek, senior vice-president for rail operations at SMRT, speaking to the media during the press conference on the Joo Koon train incident. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

SINGAPORE - Train service between Joo Koon and Tuas Link stations will be suspended on Thursday (Nov 16) so that the authorities can carry out investigations.

Bus bridging services will be provided for affected passengers.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that trains on the North-South and East-West lines will also run at slower intervals of between 2½ minutes and three minutes, compared with the current two minutes, as an interim safety precaution.

These measures come after an SMRT train collided with another train at Joo Koon station on Wednesday morning, leaving at least 28 passengers injured.

Preliminary investigations found that a glitch in the new communications-based train control system wiped out a safety software feature when the first train passed a faulty circuit.

The company which provided the signalling system, Thales, said this was the first time such an incident had happened.

SPH Brightcove Video
28 people were injured in an MRT collision at 8.20am at Joo Koon station. This led to major delays on the East-West Line. The Straits Times looks at the how day's events unfolded.

"On record, we are one of the safest... we have never had a collision," said Thales' Mr Peter Tawn.

Mr Tawn added that the company may look at increasing the safety factor, or the buffer distance, between trains. This currently ranges from about 10m to 50m.

In Wednesday's incident, the trains had adhered to a safety buffer of 10.7m before the collision.

SMRT's senior vice-president of rail operations for the North-South and East-West lines, Mr Alvin Kek, said the company was ensuring that all drivers did extra checks and had controls in place even if the train was driven in automatic mode.

SPH Brightcove Video
Two MRT trains collided at Joo Koon station on Wednesday morning, injuring 29 people. Here are five things about the accident.

Additional information will also be made available to drivers in their train cabins.

The LTA said that trains will go through an additional layer of control measures and manual checks before they are deployed.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.