Track fault disrupts North-South MRT line again

Ewen Boey

Train service along the North-South MRT line was disrupted again early Saturday morning, just two days after a massive outage wreaked chaos during the peak-hour traffic rush.

Trains were not operating on both bounds between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations initially early in the morning but service to some stations were gradually added until full service was restored before 2pm.

SMRT told Yahoo! Singapore that train service between Orchard and Marina Bay stations along the came to a halt at 6:50am after a track fault at Orchard station.

In their press statement, SMRT said that one train stalled between Orchard and Somerset stations. The 500 passengers on board were safely detrained onto the tunnel at around 7:20am.

The transport operator said that preliminary investigations showed that the cause of the disruption was due to damage to a third rail -- a similar problem to the one on Thursday.

A total of seven trains were damaged. SMRT is working to replace the damaged third rail and conducting a full inspection of the system and on all trains.

Train service resumed operations at 1:48pm. On Thursday evening a massive outage also on the North-South line stranded thousands of passengers with some having to walk through a tunnel to reach the next station. At least one woman fainted and some passengers broke a window to let ventilation in.

On Thursday evening a massive outage also on the North-South line stranded thousands of passengers with some having to walk through a tunnel to reach the next station. At least one woman fainted and some passengers broke a window to let ventilation in.

Two days before that, part of the new Circle Line was down for less than hour.

Meanwhile, commuters expressed outrage over the third train disruption this week.

Kelvin Goh, 25, an operations specialist, was unable to get onto the train from Toa Payoh. "It's unbelievable that SMRT can have so many train faults in a single week. Now I'm going to be late for work. Compensation for my train ride is not enough to make up for the inconvenience caused," he told Yahoo! Singapore.

Frustration was also evident over social networks, with Facebook user Fiona He commenting, "SMRT owes us an explanation! This is ridiculous and getting on our nerves."

Facebook user Skyee Alfonso also questioned, "Didn't they (SMRT) check all tracks after the major disruption on Thursday? It shows that they have not learnt their lesson. Just solving the problem in short term seems like no long term plan is made."

During the Saturday morning train disruption, SMRT advised passengers to seek alternative modes of transportation between the affected area, and provided two-way bus bridging service between some stations.

SMRT said it apologises for the considerable inconvenience caused to commuters due to the breakdown.