Glitch between Kranji, Bukit Gombak stations causes mass commuter exodus

Commuters in the west had a rough start to their Monday mornings after train services were disrupted between Kranji and Bukit Gombak stations. 

Thousands of commuters found themselves either stuck in stationary trains, jostling through unusually large crowds or waiting for bus bridging services due to a signaling system fault, photos and videos posted online showed. The problem began at around 8am, according to train operator SMRT.

At around 8am on 16 December 2019, there were no train services on both bounds between Kranji and Bukit Gombak MRT stations due to a signaling fault. Our engineers were on-site to rectify the fault,” it wrote in a statement at nearly 10am. Notices at train stations showed that the Jurong East interchange, which is right after the Bukit Gombak station, was also affected. 

It said the outage lasted about 45 minutes.

“Commuters in the affected trains safely disembarked at the stations… Train services progressively resumed from 8.45am. We are sorry to have affected your morning commute,” SMRT added.  

The disruption mainly affected commuters across the five stations, including those at Yew Tee. Predictably, some frustrated commuters took to social media to vent their anger, complaining about late buses, overly crowded trains and bus stations, among other gripes. 

A woman called Sin Hwee said she was stuck in an unmoving train near Yew Tee station for at least 15 minutes.

“Train fault at Yew Tee! They announced train delay for 10mins, but I’m in the same spot for 15mins! Still not moving,” she wrote on SMRT’s Facebook page at 8:10am.

“Still no buses to be seen at Kranji,” Twitter user @Airborne447 wrote to SMRT at 8:45am, including a photo of crowds waiting. 

“It’s so crowded at Kranji it’s scary… both at the platform and the bus station,” @Taefaerie tweeted at 8:50am.


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