Track fault delays trains on EW Line for 4 hours

A display at Raffles Place MRT station notifying commuters yesterday of the delay. The delay affecting the east-bound stretch of the East-West Line was not linked to the new signalling project, said operator SMRT.
A display at Raffles Place MRT station notifying commuters yesterday of the delay. The delay affecting the east-bound stretch of the East-West Line was not linked to the new signalling project, said operator SMRT.ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Normal service on eastbound route between Jurong East and Redhill resumed only at 12.30pm

An eastbound stretch of the East-West Line (EWL) was affected by a track fault at Redhill station yesterday morning, causing delays that lasted for over four hours.

Normal train service resumed at about 12.30pm.

The fault was not linked to the new signalling project, said transport operator SMRT.

It first tweeted at 8.13am that commuters should expect another 10 minutes of travel time from Jurong East to Redhill stations. This was later revised to 15 minutes.

Almost three hours after the fault first occurred, SMRT said at 10.56am that the delay had been reduced to 10 minutes, then subsequently down to five minutes.

Screens and signs at stations, as well as announcements in trains, also alerted commuters to the additional travel times.

Singapore Management University student Tan Yan Bin, 20, who was caught up in the delay, said this is not the first time she has been affected.

These days, she leaves home earlier to pre-empt any train delays.

Software engineer Vignesh Sundar, 31, who takes the train to work in Commonwealth, said he was late because of the delay. "I have to inform (the management) each and every time I'm late," he said.

Other commuters like civil engineer Alex Wong, 27, were more fortunate.

Mr Wong said he was not adversely affected by the train delay as he was returning to office after an appointment. But he would have been frustrated if it was the other way around and he was rushing for a meeting when the delay hit.

The last time the EWL was hit by a major fault was on July 25, when an intermittent power fault resulted in trains running at longer intervals.

Train service between Bugis and Queenstown stations had to be shut down for around 30 minutes at mid-day for engineers to rectify the fault, later discovered to be a loose panel next to the tracks in the tunnel near Tiong Bahru station.

• Additional reporting by Daniel Ong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 31, 2017, with the headline 'Track fault delays trains on EW Line for 4 hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe