Third service disruption on SMRT this week caused by signal fault

Nurul Azliah Aripin
Nurul Azliah Aripin
Commuters crowding at City Hall station because of train delays on the North South Line. (Yahoo file photo)

[UPDATED 27 Feb, 1pm: Details of latest service disruption on Thursday]

A signal fault on SMRT's Circle Line on Thursday morning caused another service disruption -- the third this week alone.

SMRT tweeted at 736am that a signal fault would cause an additional delay of 20 minutes travelling time from Paya Lebar to Dhoby Ghaut.

At 853am, it tweeted that train services between the two stations were operating normally again.

On Wednesday, an SMRT spokesman said that the upgrading programme to update the signalling system across the entire SMRT network would take up to two years, and warned commuters that delays would continue in the meantime. She said it would eventually "address many of the signalling-related incidents we are facing today"

On Tuesday, another track fault struck the North-South Line, causing passengers to suffer delays a day after thousands of commuters saw their travel disrupted in the morning rush hour on Monday.

The latest disruption lasted about half an hour and affected south bound services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations.

According to Channel NewsAsia, transport operator SMRT reported a problem with the “signal code generator”, which provides trains with speed codes.

SMRT sent out a tweet at 9:52pm notifying commuters that they would be experiencing an estimated additional travelling time of 15 minutes, and it later revised its estimate to 20 minutes.

At 10:22pm, the company said in a tweet that train services were back to normal.

Earlier on Monday, a track fault along the North-South Line delayed the travel of thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour.

At a little past 7am, SMRT reported a “track circuit failure” on the south bound line between Jurong East and Kranji MRT stations.

It later said in its Facebook page that the service between the stations was restored at 8:32am.

SMRT sent engineers to investigate and rectify the fault. While engineers were working to solve the problem, it advised commuters to expect additional 15 minutes of traveling time and that free buses had been deployed at affected stations between Admiralty and Ang Mo Kio.

“We were alerted of a track circuit failure on the south bound between Yew Tee and Kranji MRT stations this morning. As a result, our trains were travelling at slower speeds to ensure the safety of our passengers until the problem was rectified at 8.32am….There was no service disruption although trains ran at a slower speed. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” said SMRT in a Facebook post.

Several netizens have slammed the rail operator for downplaying the train delay. Many of them had disagreed with SMRT for denying that the incident was a “service disruption”.

Commuters have had to put with a spate of train delays in recent months. Since the New Year, four of such incidents have occurred along the North-South and East-West Lines so far.

Here are photos taken by commuters during Monday's train delay: