Joo Koon MRT station more packed than usual due to suspension of train services

Joo Koon MRT station was more packed than usual due to the suspension of train services on Thursday morning. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Joo Koon MRT station was more packed than usual due to the suspension of train services on Thursday morning. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Bus bridging services will be available throughout the day to help with the disruption. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The rush-hour crowd at Joo Koon MRT station was more packed than usual as train services between Joo Koon and Tuas Link stations were suspended on Thursday (Nov 16).

This comes a day after a software glitch in the new signalling system of the East-West Line resulted in a collision between two MRT trains at Joo Koon station on Wednesday morning.

There are three other stations between Joo Koon and Tuas Link - Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent and Tuas West Road.

The extra-crowded conditions were because commuters travelling to the affected stations had to alight at Joo Koon to use the free bus bridging services that will run throughout the day. The bridging buses were also ferrying passengers from the affected stations to Joo Koon.

SMRT staff were present to guide passengers going to and fro.

Generally, the instructions were clear and most commuters said they were able to switch to buses without a hitch.

"It's definitely more packed than usual, but to be honest, it was worse yesterday morning," said engineer Wang Hai, 38, who was in the train that had hit the stationary one on Wednesday.

He usually takes the train to Tuas West Road station. From there, he takes the company shuttle bus to his office in Tuas Link, but on Wednesday, he had to alight at Joo Koon station as services were suspended so the authorities could carry out investigations into the accident.

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"The company has arranged for us to be picked up from this station instead, so it's not too big an inconvenience," said Mr Wang.

He added: "It is frustrating and embarrassing that this happened to the public transport system, but there's no point being angry."

A 27-year-old sales engineer, who gave his name as Mr Goh, said he was late for work as he received notifications about the suspended service just before leaving the house at 6.45am.

"Now I have to get a cab to work. I usually alight at Gul Circle, which is one stop after Joo Koon," he said, speaking to The Straits Times at Joo Koon.

"I know it takes time (to sort out the bugs in the system) but SMRT better step up their game."

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

Logistics worker Mohamed Asraff, 48, whose usual stop is at Gul Circle station, had initially gone to the wrong bus stop to take the bridging bus but was directed to the right one by an SMRT worker.

"I had problems looking for the signs, but the staff members were helpful. It's not inconvenient for me."

Miss Dorothy Tan, 23, was on her way to take the free bridging services to Tuas Link. She found out about the suspended service from the announcement made at Outram MRT station, where she started her journey this morning.

"I don't think there was any confusion. The instructions were clear. I don't find it a big thing, because bridging services and train breakdowns have become so normal I have become used to them," she said.

"But the train collision is definitely something new."

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