It was problem with a switch mechanism that caused the 30-minute delay on the East-West Line that began on Wednesday morning (19 September), said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary.
“We could have taken a decision to stop services and allow us to just simply concentrate on repairing the problem. But that would have been a very big impact on the commuter experience,” he said on the sidelines of the official launch of a public consultation exercise for the next Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP 2040).
“So the decision we took now allows trains to pass but it’s slowing down the commute… We thought, on balance, that was better for the commuters, but it does mean that it’s going to take a little bit of time to ascertain exactly what the problem is with the switch mechanism.”
He added that SMRT and Land Transport Authority engineers are on the ground and that he expected the issue to be resolved “in a matter of hours”.
SMRT announced on social media at about 7.10am that a track point fault had caused a 30-minute train delay between Jurong East and Clementi stations. Free bus services were deployed between Boon Lay and Queenstown, the transport operator said.
In a tweet at 1.35pm, SMRT said the fault had been rectified and that trains are “progressively returning to normal speed”. It added that commuters should still add 15 minutes to their train travel time between Boon Lay and Queenstown MRT stations.
[EWL] UPDATE: The fault has been rectified. Trains are progressively returning to normal speed. Do continue to add 15 mins train travel time between #BoonLay and #Queenstown. Free regular and bridging bus services are available between #BoonLay and #Queenstown.
— SMRT Corporation (@SMRT_Singapore) September 19, 2018
Wednesday’s train service disruption was the second in as many days on the EWL. On Tuesday, a platform screen door fault caused a 15-minute delay between Joo Koon and Jurong East MRT stations in the direction of Pasir Ris.