SINGAPORE - Train service on the North-South Line was affected by a track fault early Tuesday (Aug 30) morning, with commuters experiencing significant delays and slower trains due to congestion.
Normal service only resumed more than three hours later at around 9.10am.
In response to media queries, SMRT's vice-president of corporate information and communications Patrick Nathan said the delays were caused by a fault that was traced back to track-side signalling equipment near Choa Chu Kang MRT station.
Mr Nathan added: "For the safety of passengers, trains had to be manually driven at 18 kmh over the affected stretch. The fault was cleared and regular train services resumed at 9.10am.
"SMRT is carrying out investigations into the cause of the fault. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
SMRT first tweeted about the track fault at 6.08am, announcing that there was no service from Yew Tee to Bukit Gombak MRT stations.
It added that free regular bus services had been activated.
The fault was cleared at around 6.23am but SMRT said trains were moving at a slower speed between Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Gombak stations.
Subsequent updates by the rail operator's said to expect an additional 20 minutes of travel time between Woodlands and Jurong East due to congestion.
On social media, commuters said the track fault had occurred near Choa Chu Kang station. Several complained of crowded platforms and long queues at some stations.
Commuter Dick Chan said on Facebook he boarded the train at Jurong East station at around 7.15am, but as of 8.13am he had yet to reach Choa Chu Kang station.
Another affected passenger, Ms Joyce Chan, claimed that commuters were not allowed to enter Choa Chu Kang station. A video taken by Twitter user @AnnieKasmad showed a huge crowd waiting on the station's train platform.
Ms Hani Baiduri, who got on the train at Yishun station, said the train platform was very crowded at Khatib station.
"The train was moving slower than usual and I'm about 20 minutes late," added the 26-year-old infant teacher.
Senior systems specialist Aarati Bathula, 46, said she boarded the train early at Bukit Gombak station. "I got a seat and it was not so bad. But later on the train really slowed down a lot, and it took very long to get from station to station."
To cater to students held up by the morning train delays, Singapore Polytechnic - located along Dover Road - said in a tweet it would push back the start times for exams to 9.15am instead of 9am.
Between 7am and 9am, commuters also tweeted that they were experiencing delays on the Circle Line.
Twitter users @alexhilton and @DianaTeixeira both tweeted photos of the crowd at Botanic Gardens station, while user @xyseah questioned if the line was still affected by signalling issues.
On Monday (Aug 29), there were train delays throughout the day on the Circle Line that first affected commuters during the morning rush hour.
SMRT later said intermittent signalling issues were to blame for the delays, which caused longer travelling times during peak hours until the end of service.