About 26,600 commuters were left stranded when train services along the new Circle Line were disrupted on Tuesday early morning.
Operator SMRT said in a statement that a power fault had prevented train services from starting and this affected trains between Marymount and Dhoby Ghaut stations in both directions at 5:30am.
Preliminary investigations show that a faulty cable below the platform at Dakota station caused the power trip. SMRT is investigating the cause of the faulty cable and checking through the system “as a precaution”.
SMRT, which runs the North-South and East-West lines as well, deployed a total of 47 buses to ferry commuters, with the first bus arriving at 6:30am at Marymount. The buses operated at 10- to 15-minute frequencies until the service ended at 10:30am.
It had also advised passengers to find alternative forms of transport through the radio stations and public announcements at affected train stations, while its engineers worked to get the line running as fast as possible.
Around 8am, train services between Bartley and Marymount were partially resumed. Thirty minutes later, services resumed between the Dhoby Ghaut and Stadium stations, and between the Bartley and Paya Lebar stations. Full train services resumed at all Circle Line stations at about 9:50am.
For commuter Cheong Hui Ling, who was on her way to work at 8am, her usual 16-minute train ride from Marymount to Paya Lebar lasted over an hour due to the disruption.
She said that at Marymount, where she took the bus bridging service, there was an SMRT officer re-directing commuters and she did not have to wait long for the bus which followed the route of the Circle line stations.
She attributed the long journey to complicated road directions, which caused the bus to pass by the same place three times so that it could follow the sequence of stations.
Over at Serangoon, the interchange for the Circle and North-East lines, twitter user rrayfoo said there were massive crowds and he was confused by what was happening.
He said that shutters at the station were closed halfway for "some unknown reason", and there was an A4 note pasted on it while SMRT staff tried to divert human traffic.
Twitter user Darren Lee posted, "With peak hour starting, this isn't looking good for SMRT. Better trains, please."
Local actor Tay Ping Hui joined the fray and tweeted, "Circle Line is down this morning. This time, punishment should be to provide free rides for commuters and not paying a fine to the authorities as usual."
Passengers who were unable to complete their journey due to the disruption can ask for a refund at any of SMRT's 68 Passenger Service Centres at the MRT stations within the next three working days.
The rest of the Circle Line stations will open on 8 October, and it joins Marymount station all the way to Harbourfront through the west side of Singapore.