Signalling issues and stalled train disrupt service on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit lines
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Train services on two ofsystem lines, both operated by , were disrupted at separate times yesterday in two incidents.
During the morning rush hour, six stations of the(CCL) were without train service in both directions during the morning rush hour following what SMRT described as "intermittent signal interference". The company first announced the signalling fault on at 7:37 am, advising commuters to anticipate 10 additional minutes of travel time in the commute between and stations. The fault was announced rectified two minutes later by another tweet from SMRT, though delays were still expected in the direction of station due to congestion at stations and on trains.
SMRT issued another tweet at 8:09 am, alerting commuters to another signalling fault affecting the CCL, on the stretch betweenand stations.
Initially informing commuters that the issue would add 10 minutes of travel time along the affected stretch, the company later revised this to 20, and finally, 30 minutes in subsequent tweets, attributing the delays to "intermittent signalling faults".
The company later announced via Twitter service unavailable between Botanic Gardens andstations at 9:06 am, whilst offering free bus services along the length of the CCL. SMRT later amended the announcement in another tweet to encompass the stretch between Botanic Gardens and stations. Train service was restored along the affected stretch by about 10:27 am.
SMRT had previously experienced disruptions in service on the CCL for five consecutive days in September, also attributable to signalling issues, leading to authorities briefly switching off mobile signals at four CCL stations for two hours on September 2 during investigations. Most of the disruptions took place during peak hours, leading to suspicion the telecommunications network could be interfering with the train signalling system. After tests proved inconclusive following the lack of a disruption that day, the decision was made to turn off telecommunications signals in the event of another disruption.
“It's very frustrating", commented a commuter, 41-year-old Joseph Lim. "The trains are sometimes moving and sometimes getting stuck. I don't know whether to stay on board. The communication has been insufficient".
Another commuter, 29-year-old Alice Pan, stated, "I am now stuck at the station with no way to get to work. I can't get on anybuses because they are full and there's no free shuttle bus in sight. I can't get any cabs either". Pan was stranded in a train for an hour at station.
36-year-old Sean Chew, said of his experience during the incident, "I was stuck atfor more than one hour. I didn't want to take the bus because it was very crowded. So no choice, had to wait [...] Luckily I just finished work."
However, following the morning incidents, a stalled train on theled to a half-hour disruption during the evening peak hour on the same day. SMRT informed commuters of the disruption, between and stations in the direction of station, on Twitter at 5:48 pm, attributing it to a "train fault" at station. In the same tweet, SMRT estimated that the issue would be resolved around 6:10 pm. Due to the disruption, the company offered free bus services along the affected stretch in a subsequent tweet.
At 6:20 pm, SMRT announced on Twitter that it had cleared the disruption by removing the stalled train, and that trains were "progressively return[ing] to normal speed". The company continued to offer free bus services until 7 pm, when it announced the termination of the service on Twitter.
In the wake of yesterday's incidents, commuters criticized SMRT's handling of the matter on social media, citing SMRT's failure to provide sufficient information or sufficient buses for commuters, and uploading photos of the congestion.
- SMRT Corporation" — , November 2, 2016 (date of access). "
- Chew Hui Min. "Train service between Queenstown and Outram Park resumes; 2nd disruption following Circle Line signal fault" — , November 2, 2016
- "Train service along East West Line disrupted during evening rush hour" — , November 2, 2016
- "Signalling issues cause disruption, delays on Circle Line during morning rush hour" — , November 2, 2016
- "No service at 6 Circle Line stations as disruption caused by signal fault widens" — , November 2, 2016
- Lee Min Kok. "'Intermittent signal interference' causes delays, train disruption on Circle Line during morning peak hour" — , November 2, 2016