Crowded stations and delays plague North-South, East-West Lines on Tuesday morning

The queue at City Hall MRT station towards Pasir Ris around 8.35am on July 25, 2017.
The queue at City Hall MRT station towards Pasir Ris around 8.35am on July 25, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
The queue at City Hall MRT station towards Pasir Ris around 8.35am on July 25, 2017.
The queue at City Hall MRT station towards Pasir Ris around 8.35am on July 25, 2017. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Passengers inside a train at Braddell station towards Raffles Place at around 8am on Tuesday (July 25).
Passengers inside a train at Braddell station towards Raffles Place at around 8am on Tuesday (July 25). ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Passengers inside a train at Braddell station towards Raffles Place at around 8am on Tuesday (July 25).
Passengers inside a train at Braddell station towards Raffles Place at around 8am on Tuesday (July 25). ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Long queues of commuters waiting to enter Lakeside MRT station on Tuesday (July 25).
Long queues of commuters waiting to enter Lakeside MRT station on Tuesday (July 25). PHOTO: TWITTER/@SETTPAING

SINGAPORE - Train travel on the North-South (NSL) and East-West (EWL) Lines was plagued by crowded MRT stations and constant delays for much of Tuesday (July 25) morning. 

A power fault caused trains on both lines to travel slower, resulting in long queues to get into some stations and lengthy waits for trains to arrive. 

SMRT, which operates the NSL and EWL, first said in a tweet at 7.26am that trains were running at longer intervals due to "intermittent power fault".

"Crowds are expected at stations," it said, adding in subsequent tweets that its engineers were working to rectify the faults. 

The fault culminated in SMRT shutting down train service at 11.30am for around 30 minutes on the EWL between Bugis and Queenstown stations. Free bus services were made available. 

In a Facebook post at 11.15am, SMRT explained that its engineers had traced the power fault to a loose panel next to the tracks in the tunnel near Tiong Bahru station. 

"As engineers require track access to remove the panel, traction power needs to be turned off for safety... the operation is expected to take up to half an hour," it added. 

Commuters started complaining about the power fault from as early as 6.20am, with several claiming that they were stuck at Lakeside MRT station.

Twitter user @settpaing tweeted photos of long queues waiting to enter Lakeside station, which he described as "extremely crowded". 

Separately, a track circuit fault at Commonwealth station caused delays of up to 25 minutes on the EWL from Joo Koon to Tiong Bahru. 

 

SMRT first warned commuters of the fault and to expect 15-minute delays at 8.51am, This was revised to 20 minutes, then 25, in subsequent tweets 

The track circuit fault was resolved more than two hours later at 11.06am. 

Secretary Jesse Francis, 40, told The Straits Times her normal commute from Jurong East to Queenstown took almost an hour instead of the usual 15 minutes. 

"This is really out of the blue. I would normally take a taxi if I was expecting any delays," said Ms Francis. 

The latest incidents come barely 12 hours after a door obstruction at Newton station caused delays along the NSL during evening peak hour on Monday. 

A power fault last occurred on July 12, affecting train services on both lines late at night.