Train fault causes delay on East-West Line on Thursday morning

The crowd waiting to enter Boon Lay MRT station.
The crowd waiting to enter Boon Lay MRT station. PHOTO: COLE CHEONG
The crowd waiting on the train platform at Jurong East MRT station.
The crowd waiting on the train platform at Jurong East MRT station. PHOTO: @MINFINITELY/TWITTER

SINGAPORE - Rush-hour commuters in the west had their journeys disrupted on Thursday (Jan 28) morning when a west-bound train on the East-West line encountered a fault.

In a tweet at 8.03am, rail operator SMRT said to expect an additional travelling time of 15 minutes from Outram Park to Jurong East stations, in the direction of Joo Koon.

It revised its estimate in subsequent tweets, with the latest update at 8.21am warning of an estimated 25 minutes travelling time from Aljunied to Jurong East stations.

Normal train service resumed more than half an hour later at 8.36am, although SMRT said to expect longer travelling times as they worked to clear the crowds at stations.

The train reportedly limped to Commonwealth, where passengers were asked to disembark. The incident caused a tailback effect, with the peak period crowd growing exponentially by the minute at several stations.

To prevent people from entering the already overflowing platforms, fare gates at at least one station were closed.

Stockbroker Cole Cheong said he did not hear any announcement at Boon Lay station, where the gates were closed.

“Hopped into a taxi,” he said. “Sharing with strangers. And traffic on the AYE (Ayer Rajah Expressway) is very slow.”

Commuters also took to social media to voice their displeasure over the congestion at stations.

Some claimed that the train fault had occurred at Kembangan station and that there was no east-bound train because of the fault.

In a statement, SMRT spokesman Patrick Nathan said: “Passengers aboard an East-West line train en route to Joo Koon were detrained at Commonwealth this morning due to a signalling fault affecting the train.

“The train was then moved to Ulu Pandan Depot for checks. As the detrainment took place during peak hour, there was a build-up of passengers at interchange stations such as Buona Vista and Jurong East. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to passengers due to the additional travelling time.”