Train delays during Downtown Line 3 open house due to track fault

Commuters waiting for the train to resume at Ubi station towards Bukit Panjang station along the Downtown Line. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - A train fault near Hillview station affected services on the Downtown Line (DTL) and also dampened the mood of some attending an open house for a new stretch of Singapore's MRT network on Sunday (Oct 15).

For at least 40 minutes from about 12.40pm, train service was suspended between Bukit Panjang and Beauty World stations on the DTL2 while services along DTL3 that will open this Saturday (Oct21) were also affected.

While attending the DTL3 open house which offered free train rides and previews of the 16 new stations from Fort Canning to Expo, engineer Chu Ern Teng, 43, and his family had to wait about 20 minutes at Bedok Reservoir station platform as the train heading to Fort Canning did not move.

"It is disappointing that this had to happen and it has spoilt our day a little and caused a bit of unhappiness. I do hope it will run smoothly once it opens," he told The Straits Times.

An announcement of the fault was initially made in trains with commuters told to disembark at Ubi station.

SBS Transit, which operates the Downtown Line, then announced the fault online at 1.04pm and free bus rides were made available at bus stops near affected stations.

SBS Transit did not comment if the train fault affected services on the DTL1 stretch - running between Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown - which connects the DTL2 and DTL3.

Normal service resumed at about 1.20pm after the defective train was taken off the line and SBS Transit also said that services on the DTL3 were running as usual.

SBS Transit's senior vice president of corporate communications Tammy Tan apologised for the inconvenience caused and said it was investigating the cause of the fault.

A commuter who only wanted to be known as Agnes had to wait at Geylang Bahru station for 30 minutes as the trains were not moving.

"(The delay) is a small thing, we can still enjoy the activities and free rides," said the administrator, 55.

The opening of the 21km-long DTL3 will mark the completion of the Downtown Line that stretches 42km. It will become the longest underground and driverless MRT line, eclipsing the 35.7km Circle Line.

During the open house that drew close to 360,000, the Land Transport Authority hosted a bevy of activities at the new stations, with Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Dr Lam Pin Min touring the stations.

The open house also saw Singapore Civil Defence Force officers give the public guided tours to view the MRT Civil Defence shelters at Geylang Bahru, Bedok Reservoir and Tampines West stations.

Housewife Vivian Chong, 42, lives less than five minutes from the new Geylang Bahru station.

"The noise and dust we endured for the past years is worth it as the station will bring a lot of convenience to us," said Madam Chong.

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