Signalling faults hit North-South line two days in a row

Packed train at Somerset MRT station at 3.59pm on May 28, 2017.
Packed train at Somerset MRT station at 3.59pm on May 28, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The North-South MRT line has been hit by signalling faults two days in a row, barely a week after first-quarter statistics showed a sharp improvement in rail reliability.

At around 6pm on Monday, operator SMRT tweeted that the journey between Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East - a span of four stops - would take 20 minutes longer because of a signalling fault.

SMRT said free regular buses had been activated because of the delay.

At around 6.25pm, SMRT said that the fault had been cleared, and that train service was returning to normal speeds and frequency gradually. It added that free buses had stopped.

On Sunday afternoon, there was no train service between Marina Bay and Marina South Pier for around three hours because of a signalling fault. Free buses were also activated.

SMRT had warned commuters to plan for extra travelling time when the new signalling system on the North-South Line undergoes weekday tests from this week.

It said the signalling system may continue to experience glitches, but these would not pose "critical danger".

It was not known immediately if Monday's delay between Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East was because of the signalling trials.

More station personnel will also be on hand to help commuters, the rail operator added.

Last Wednesday, the Land Transport Authority announced that from January through March, trains on the MRT network covered 354,000km between delays of more than five minutes - double the distance clocked in the first quarter of 2016.