6,500 commuters hit by peak hour MRT train delay

Alicia Wong


A train fault resulted in 6,500 commuters hit by a peak hour disruption along the East-West MRT line on Friday evening.

A Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) spokesperson said it was a 20 minute disruption, due to a fault in a westbound train at Kallang MRT Station at about 5:50pm.

The train had to be removed, disrupting service between Kallang and Bugis.

"Train services resumed at around 6:10pm but passengers on the westbound services experienced longer waiting times between Kallang to Joo Koon due to the heavy evening peak hour passenger flow," she said.

To maintain service on unaffected stretches, trains were turned around at Eunos and Bugis.

Undergraduate Maxie Aw Yeong, 21, told Yahoo! Singapore she was at the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station at about 5pm when she heard announcements of a 5 minute train delay.

The delay was later increased to 10 minutes and then 20 minutes, she recounted. She added that MRT staff started using loud-hailers after 6pm.

At one point, gantries at Tanjong Pagar MRT station were shut from overcrowding at its platform.

Many frustrated commuters took to microblogging site Twitter to share updates on the situation and warned others not to take the train.

Chen Wei Li tweeted at about 6.20 pm, "East-west line train towards town delayed for 30min, on a Friday rush hour evening. Pls RT (retweet) and save yourselves."

At close to 7 pm, Oh Germaine wrote on Yahoo! Singapore's Facebook page that other than Tanjong Pagar MRT station, all the stations up to Clementi MRT station were "fully packed"

User Jorge Sabado, however, said everything was "back to normal" at the Toa Payoh train station.

By 7pm, there were reports from commuters that train services were back up running although the trains might be crowded.

The train fault could not have come at a worse time with SMRT having their annual Dinner and Dance this Friday.

SMRT apologised for the inconvenience caused. Passengers who were unable to complete their journeys can file a claim at any of SMRT's 68 stations within the next three working days.