2-hour MRT Breakdown Comes After SMRT CEO’s Assurances to Frustrated Commuters


Frustrated MRT commuters slammed SMRT today for yet another train service breakdown due to a track circuit fault at Jurong East Station. The delays on the East-West Line allegedly lasted more than 2 hours, while SMRT only announced that travel time could be extended by 5 to 20 minutes.

Commuters took to social media to share their ire at SMRT, especially calling the organisation out for not being upfront about how long the delay would last.

@enthralleddd: “when it’s rainy & the hurdle to get to work is real when it took 45mins btwn 2 mrt stations bc of a train fault. i want the day to end alr.”
@Cka70061418: “Wow, im appalled. I board the train frm boon lay at ard 8.25am & have just reached buona vista @9.15am. I wonder how u guys est ur delay.”
@qixin: “10 mins is understatement. It’s at least a 30 mins delay at Jurong East”

SMRT reported that train services had resumed as per normal at 10.58am, however according to MRT Disruption Feed, it appears that train services on the North-South Line were halted due to another signalling fault from around 2pm onwards.

SMRT Trains CEO Lee Ling Wee released a statement this week that the organisation has “no choice” but to conduct signalling checks during the day and during peak hours. He said:

“If we were to restrict the performance checks to only weekends, or engineering hours (i.e. 1.30AM – 4.30AM), it would take Singapore years to implement the new signalling system on the NSEWL”

The statement posted on SMRT’s blog came after scores of grievances over recent breakdown were aired on social media, with one online petition pushing Guinness World Records to honour SMRT for Highest Number of Train Delays going viral.



  1. After so many complains about differences in the duration of the delay, I think people really need to check their own clock if it is accurate.

    • errr… whats Plan B sir; particularly for long distance travelling? LTA just announced COE quota will reduced for the next 3 mths… I really hate to think but cant help it to think something very fishy is going on behind the scene….. very very very fishy….

  2. Hahaha it normal now a day for SMRT breakdown. No breakdown is abnormal beside it helps all uber grab and taxi driver to make a living. Big Thank U

  3. I know they are not that bright but it seems they cannot even tell the time now- 5 mins vs 2 hours (120 minutes)!! That is a whole new level of stup****.

  4. Many will read as CEO will step down if MRT breakdown again after his assurance
    At least he spoke, better than the missing Transport Minister
    MRT breakdown is normal
    If after a month no breakdown, Transport Minister will be thinking raise fare and will open his golden mouth also normal la (silent when breakdown and using his magical disappearing act).

  5. Wonder they understand how tired n frustrating it is. LTA n SMRT staffs shdnt drive cars to work. They shd understand better when on the ground

    • Your productivity has nothing to do with him Or impact his million salary.

      If BOD says – your monthly salary is $1 till you solve this problem – confirm he will not talk about testing in the middle of the day.

      In fact – many service delivery guys’ KPI (bonus / raise or promotion) is tightly coupled with operational availability (uptime vs downtime).

      If he knows shame – he should offer to pay himself $1 per month till the uptime is more than 99.95%.

      I remembered an Indian guy did that for Citibank. Much harder than moving a bunch of trains around – he had to get the bank globally profitable within a year. During which he paid himself $1 each month as CEO.

  6. The mrt lines in Singapore are not as old as the tubes or the rail yet there’s continued breakdowns.
    It frustrating for commuters.
    How is it in our first class city that we can’t even have a decent train line? All we get are fare hikes and breakdowns!!!

    • That previous CEO – the lady that likes to talk a lot about corporate governance … was it true ? a number of Engineers left during her time – she was big on mrt Malls / share price – not too interested in maintenance.

    • You may be right. The current phase of unpredictable breakdowns could be due to a lack of effective regular proactive preventive maintenance during the previous years of operation. After installation, startup and commisioning, all equipment and machinery must undego a systematic plan of preventive maintenance to ensure continuous efficient operations in the long run. Just an opinion 🙂

    • Sivadas Krishnan it’s almost like someone bought a Kia Kancil and thinks it runs forever.

      How come kbh never visit the station when the break downs happen ?

  7. The NYC subway, call it tin can but it runs well, they do not do testing during peak period and they cannot afford frequent delays otherwise movement of people will be a big mess.

  8. C’mon! We need fresh ideas and fresh pair of eyes to tackle this continuing problem!

    Maybe it really is time WP do something and send someone to take up the job of Transport Minister and actually make some changes. Since all those fielded by PAP doesn’t seem to be able to handle the job!

  9. I had an expired Translink card and Translink refuse to return back the deposit money but only be transferred to another new card. This also applies to cancelled card. This down right outrageous. Take money fro commuters wherever they can but give a most unreliable train system. Now no more LKY, no more reliable system.

  10. Can u believe that with the software and technology that world can offer Tdy, they can’t do a signal check simulation at the board room before they release for live run? What ‘no choice’? This is not the reason or excuse commuters want to know..if all these army or air force generals can’t do the job, get a true engineer to head the company..bloody suckers

  11. no accountability… low priority… no resolution…for regular sinkies… if its transport used by White as Whites… sure will be fixed in double time!

  12. Fact is no one is giving pressure to transport ministry to get a definite answer from LTA and smrt on when exactly this nonsense will end. Or does anyone here has an answer when you this can be fixed

  13. Putting everything else aside, this is Serious. Breakdowns of one kind or another almost everyday. There IS SOMETHING Very Wrong with something in the System. Does SMRT already own what it is, and is quietly doing something about it?

  14. Last night 11.20pm Joo Koon to Jurong east mrt breakdown I alight at lakeside as told by the staff.They ask we to take free bus to Jurong east n from there the staff ask the people to take free bus to Bukit Batok to Bukit Gombak to cck n tell us from cck there is train but it is all bullshit..The staff just want to chase us off..One of the staff even tell a old lady there is train from cck..From there we have no choice but just to take cab back to our home..I reach home 2.20am..I feel that when breakdown we should not deducted the fare when we exit same when we order the food is bad they shouldn’t charge us..

  15. I werk at TUAS every time train break down..i get travel chit at Tuas Link Station…when ever i give to my Manager or my Boss..they laugh at me and say why only u alway late 1hr to 2hr… ur reason train break down…and station officer can isued u travel chit so funny..i take train to werk..they drive to werk…So Mr Minister of transpot i hv no choice to (MC) medical chit frm POLYCLINIC or Urgent Leave to cover ur Salary and Pay…but my company deduct my salary or pay….frm last Month and this Month u know hw much kena deduct…can i claim frm u Mr Minister..

  16. Like I said, if their words is true, pigs will be flying. Lol. Whatever they say anything in future only Low IQ people will still believe. Still believe that they can lead singapore next election because no one else can, only 3rd world people will believe that. We have a lot of them here anyway.

  17. So far no comments from ivory tower. Train faults of all sorts seem to be cropping up taking turns.
    Perhaps we should fire the entire top honchos from both SMRT & LTA overseeing the train system and hire those experts in Hong Kong. Enough is enough. If salaries are docked each time the train screws little wonder how much is left end of the month.
    This public service profit centre is not working out. Shocked to read SMART is also bidding for NS rail project.

  18. The new auto door closure system is not practical and ridiculous. Giving so little time for passengers to exit and enter the train. Passengers getting stuck between doors is commonplace everyday. Today i came out temporarily for others behind me to exit at amk, but immediately after everyone came out, the doors shut. Leaving everyone including some people like me on the platform. The next train is also very packed and hard to get on. I waited for a few trains on my own platform and have to wait again on another platform. Why cant they let the train captain close the doors manually??? This is going backwards!

  19. Exactly !our mrt is only meant for foreigners only.
    They are the ones making full use of this facility. Locals are urged to take cabs instead. Example see the service from airport to Jurong full of foreigners laden with heavy luggages etc.
    You won’t have a single seat all occupied at originating point till Jurong the final destination.
    No one urging these foreigners to ply cabs or taxis.
    As you say Singapore is now most unreliable and unpredictable at all times.

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